NBA Trade Rumors: Will the Miami Heat Let Udonis Haslem Exception Expire?

Andrew Robeson@SportswriterguyAnalyst IIJanuary 2, 2011

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 20:  Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat exchanges words with the coaching staff during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on November 20, 2010 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies won 97-95.  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 2010 NBAE  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

When Udonis Haslem went down for the season, the Miami Heat were granted an exception.

The NBA exception says that if a player is deemed to be lost for the season before November 30, the team is allowed to use up to half of his salary to find a replacement via trade or free agency.

With Haslem, that granted the Heat a $1.85 million exception to use against the salary cap.

However, the deadline to use the exception is Jan. 6, and the Heat have yet to touch it. With no persistent rumors circulating involving the Heat, might they just let the exception expire?

There is a good argument to let it expire. Since Haslem's injury, the Heat have been one of the league's hottest teams. The Heat have another five-game winning streak going, which started right after a 12-game winning streak ended.

On Saturday, not even a 20-point deficit could keep the Heat from winning against Golden State.

Is there really an attainable player out there who could improve the Heat right now?

The Heat obviously don't think so, even as they struggle to find playing time for Eddie House and Mike Miller—two guys who, when paired together, could return a decent NBA player.

The other concern that coach Erik Spoelstra has is finding time for Haslem, who the Heat are hoping might return by season's end. Chris Bosh has flourished in the power-forward role as of late for the Heat, and Haslem would be relegated to being his backup. There would be no real reason to chew into Bosh's minutes just to get Haslem playing time.

If anything, Haslem might become a trade chip next season if the Heat continue to play well without him. Even though no one, myself included, likes the idea of Haslem leaving.