If Chalmers somehow makes it to training camp with the Heat, he would be the obvious choice to back up Dragic. But Miami appears intent on trying to purge the final year of his contract; his $4.3 million salary could result in a tax bill three times that amount, depending on the Heat’s final payroll number. The Heat has time to move Chalmers, because a team’s tax bill is based on the roster on the final day of the regular season, an NBA spokesman said. But Miami appears interested in moving as soon as it can find a suitable deal, according to a league official who has spoken to the Heat.
July 27, 2016 | 7:07 am EDT Update
Westbrook, however, isn’t the only one whose contract will expire after the 2016-17 season. New Thunder guard Victor Oladipo will be a free agent, too, and he’s reportedly seeking the maximum salary, sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Under the projected 2017 salary cap ($102 million), Oladipo’s salary would jump to a little under $24 million in 2017-18 if he were to receive a maximum extension.
The potential playmaking void is one reason the Magic are in no rush to trade Vucevic despite the logjam, league sources say. They might need his post game, and especially his passing. Last season, Vucevic quietly morphed into one of the league’s best passing centers. He assisted on 16 percent of Orlando’s hoops while on the floor, a tidy number for a big man; only five centers racked up more potential assists, per SportVU tracking data.
Vucevic acknowledges the cap leap has created an awkward situation in which his presumed backup earns $5 million more than he does . “Do I wish I were a free agent now?” Vucevic asked. “Yes. But I can’t do anything about it. I’m happy guys are getting paid, and in the normal world, it’s still a lot of money. I mean, I’ll never spend all that money.”
Brad Turner: However, another source said Paul Pierce is still weighing everything and will make a final decision in a few weeks.
Green says “of course” he talked to Durant before July 1 (the date that NBA teams are officially allowed to start recruiting players) since they’re both on the Olympic team. “I think everyone in the world talks to their friends,” Green says. But he said he wasn’t constantly in contact with Durant … at least not until July 1: “Once July 1 hit, I did. I had sent so many texts to him over those last three days, I’m not sure the exact amount of number. I can’t even give you a ballpark, I just know it was too many. But it worked, so I’m all right with that.”