Beno Udrih’s season-ending surgery puts more pressure on tax-dodging Heat
Tyler Johnson is already out for what will probably be the entire season.
Now, the Heat are losing another backup point guard, Beno Udrih.
The Heat could just waive Udrih, who’s in the final year of his contract, if they want an extra roster spot and don’t care about retaining Udrih’s Bird Rights. (They probably don’t care about his Bird Rights, especially needing cap space to re-sign Hassan Whiteside.) Miami already has two roster vacancies, so a third is of only limited importance. But the Heat now have multiple needs:
- An additional point guard besides rookie Josh Richardson behind Goran Dragic
- Frontcourt depth with Chris Bosh sidelined
- Wing depth, which has been an area ripe for upgrade all season
Miami can afford to pay players the minimum salary a combined 38 days and remain under the luxury tax. As of Wednesday, there will be 50 days remaining in the season.
So, this is obviously a difficult stretch for the Heat. Third in the Eastern Conference, they can still achieve a satisfying amount this season.
Do they cash in 10 of their 38 duty days for a point guard on a 10-day contract now? Do they try to hold off and rely on another rookie in their rotation for the time being? Would they rather start signing players closer to the playoffs?
These are not easy questions, but as much as Miami wants to win this year, that’s likely a secondary concern. I’d be shocked if the Heat prioritize anything over avoiding the luxury tax – especially because they’d become the first team ever to pay the dreaded repeater rate.