With the salary cap set to spike by more than $20 million to an estimated $89 million next season, the Heat has left itself flexibility to accommodate the salary of any of the top-tier free agents — from Kevin Durant to DeMar DeRozan to Al Jefferson.
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But signing a top-tier player would likely mean the departure of Hassan Whiteside as well as Dwyane Wade needing to make a financial sacrifice.
One thing is clear: The Heat intends to make a long-shot bid to lure Durant, who sold his Miami condo earlier this year.
The Heat currently have only $48 million in guaranteed contracts lined up for next season, which would leave them with plenty of room to offer a max deal to Durant. It’s only possible to approximate the value of a max deal now since the max is a percentage of the salary cap and we can only estimate next season’s cap at the moment. But considering the cap projects to be around $89 million, Durant’s max would start in the $26 million-to-$27 million range for Year 1 of the deal.