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Reports: Jae Crowder leaving Heat for Suns, Miami signing Avery Bradley

Heat forward Jae Crowder vs. Suns

Orlando, FL - AUGUST 8: Jae Crowder #99 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on August 8, 2020 at the Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Heat, prioritizing 2021 cap space, are signing players with only one guaranteed season.

That cost Miami Jae Crowder, who’s bolting for the Suns.

But the Heat will rebound with Avery Bradley, who leaves the Lakers for the other team in the 2020 NBA Finals.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:


The most Phoenix can pay Crowder over three years with the mid-level exception: $29,162,700

That’s a nice signing for the Suns. They have their backcourt set with Devin Booker and Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton is a centerpiece at center. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson are good young options at forward. Phoenix’s biggest need was a big forward, and Crowder fills it.

Bradley doesn’t really fit a need in Miami. The Heat have a crowded backcourt with Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Jimmy Butler. But Bradley at least provides a different element with his tenacious defense on guards. The best defender in that incumbent group, Butler is more capable of defending forwards.

By signing Bradley and Maurice Harkless to a combined amount more than the taxpayer mid-level exception, Miami is now hard-capped. If using the bi-annual exception on Harkless, the Heat could spend the remaining portion of their mid-level exception (about $4 million) and remain below the luxury-tax line.