MIAMI — Among the reasons cited by the Miami Heat for trading Dewayne Dedmon to the San Antonio Spurs last week was roster flexibility.
This bending has now started around the NBA, but not yet by the Heat.
With buyout season in full swing, not only are names already hitting the market, but they’re also being taken off the market.
Terrence Ross, held off in Saturday night’s overtime loss to the Heat by the Orlando Magic, not only has since parted ways with the Magic, but is now moving to the Phoenix Suns, according to multiple reports. Ross had been tied to the Heat at last Thursday’s NBA trading deadline, as well as last year’s NBA draft.
Guard Danny Green, whose combination of 3-point shooting and defense could have made him a Heat fit, instead received a buyout from the Houston Rockets with reported plans to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, who sit just ahead of the Heat. in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
And the Heat on Monday will face an opponent who also restocked on the buyout market, with the Denver Nuggets adding point guard Reggie Jackson, after being dealt last week by the Los Angeles Clippers and then reaching a buyout deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
Typically, the turnaround in the buyout market is slower, with players only needing to be waived by March 1 to be playoff eligible for another team. But with competitive playoff races in both conferences, that pace has picked up.
The Heat, in dealing Dedmon, are positioned to be able to sign up to two players in the buyout market while remaining below the luxury tax threshold. The number would be reduced to just one outside addition if the Heat convert center Orlando Robinson’s two-way contract to a standard deal.
If the auction enters the process, the Heat have exceptions worth about $4 million each to sign a player from the buyout market, but not the means to put both in play and stay below the tax threshold.
Dedmon was waived by the Spurs on Thursday and is free to sign with any team other than the Heat, without needing a buyout deal, already securing his $4.7 million total salary for the season. The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked with such interest.
Among the keys to Saturday night’s comeback from a 17-point deficit was the second-half revival of point guard Tyler Herro, who led all scorers with 23 points.
Herro was 2 of 10 for five points in the first half, before coming back to shoot 8 of 13 for 18 points in the second half and overtime. He scored half of the Heat’s 10 points in the five-minute overtime period.
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“He usually understands,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And I think with Tyler it doesn’t necessarily affect him if he has a 2-for-10 first half. He’s still going to play his game.
“I think he didn’t necessarily have his legs for all three balls, especially in the first half. So in the second half he put the ball on the ground and was able to reach floaters, runners that he makes look easy. They’re not really easy shots, but he’s got a great touch on those.
Herro’s momentum turned into Heat momentum, with Herro going all out despite his fifth foul with 8:39 left in the fourth quarter, playing with the confidence of teammates Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
“Once he saw a few of them go,” Spoelstra said of Herro’s floats, “it helped him get a better rhythm. And Bam and Jimmy did a really good job of putting him on. in those situations on dribble transfers where he was able to get off.
A week ago, the Heat had just suffered back-to-back road losses to the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, underscoring the need to make the most of a week that included games against the Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets and Magic.
The Heat won all three.
“Man, have a good week,” Adebayo said. “Now we just have to keep building on this and go from here.”