The Miami Heat announced they acquired guard Brian Roberts in a three-team trade involving the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies. The trade will send forward Chris Andersen and two conditional second-round picks to the Grizzlies, who will send Courtney Lee to the Hornets for PJ Hairston and two future second-round picks.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical initially reported the news.
Marc Stein of ESPN provided details on the financial implications of the deal:
Trading Chris Andersen and absorbing Brian Roberts in a three-team deal has taken Heat from $14.3 million in owed luxury tax to $8.8 million— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 16, 2016
Three-team deal with Memphis and Charlotte has left the Heat at $3,526,460 over the luxury-tax line, compared to $5,671,520 over beforehand.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 16, 2016
Heat president Pat Riley spoke about the trade in the team's release:
“[Andersen] was absolutely essential in our 2013 NBA Championship run. We want to thank him for his contributions and we wish him nothing but the best, he will always be considered part of the HEAT family. Brian Roberts has been on our radar and we felt it was important to solidify our point guard position due to the injury of Tyler Johnson. We feel like we did that with the addition of Roberts and we would like to welcome Brian to Miami.”
Following the emergence of 26-year-old big man Hassan Whiteside and Miami's signing of Amar'e Stoudemire to a one-year deal at the veteran minimum, Andersen became an expendable piece of the team's frontcourt. Factor in the presences of Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem, and Miami simply didn't have minutes left for the 37-year-old.
According to Spotrac, Andersen is in the final year of a two-year, $10.3 million contract signed last summer. He's slated to earn $5 million this season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
Andersen joined the Heat midway through the 2012-13 season. Upon signing, he provided an immediate energy boost off the bench as a rebounder and a committed defender as the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs to capture back-to-back NBA titles.
During the 2014-15 season, Andersen appeared in 60 games for the Heat, including 20 starts. Over that span, he averaged 5.3 points, five rebounds and one block while playing just 18.9 minutes per game.
However, Andersen has been prone to injury of late. Throughout last season, he suffered from various bumps and bruises, including sore ribs, a sprained right ankle, an elbow injury and a left-calf contusion. He's only appeared in seven games this season, most recently battling a knee injury.
Although the 13-year veteran doesn't have much gas left in the tank, the Grizzlies are likely looking at this as an opportunity to acquire future assets in the draft picks and free up cap space with Andersen's expiring contract.
The Heat needed to make a move with uncertainty surrounding Chris Bosh, though this isn't exactly the major deal their fans wanted to see. It could be a precursor to another deal or merely a way to get rid of Andersen's salary.