Heat Rumors: Latest on Mario Chalmers Trade and Free-Agency Plans

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2015

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers (15) stands on the court in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Miami. The Pacers defeated the Heat 81-75. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

On paper, the Miami Heat look like contenders who can bow out of the Association's free-agency process. 

Except a little concept by the name of cap space needs to be addressed. Complacency might be one of the worst words in the ever-changing NBA, too.

So while it's great the Heat have Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade back in the fold, Chris Bosh is healthy, Hassan Whiteside continues his upswing and team president Pat Riley even managed to steal Justise Winslow on draft day, the Heat cannot afford to sit on their hands.

As such, it should not come as a shock the team continues to pop up in some of the freshest rumblings off the mill.

Dorell Wright Pairing?

Don Ryan/Associated Press

There is no such thing as too many guards in this version of the NBA, where sharpshooters such as Stephen Curry take down superteams.

One solid contributor on the market is Dorell Wright, who spent the first six years of his career in Miami before stints with three different teams over the past five seasons.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on some recent rumblings about a possible reunion: "Despite Dorell Wright saying there is a “great chance” he will be with Miami, that’s not something Miami has pursued. It’s a possibility down the line only if the roster is thinned."

As far as depth goes behind Wade, Wright would be a solid get. Last year, he appeared in just 48 games and received 12.4 minutes on average but still shot 38 percent from deep. 

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel points out an argument for both sides of the coin: 

There are worse ways to spend a minimum. Wright is a reliable scorer off the bench who will turn 30 in December. A pairing of him and Gerald Green behind Wade would slam the door shut on any depth questions at the wing.

The longer Wright hangs on the market, the better the chance the Heat scoop him up. Of course, the team is already in a bit of a cap pickle, which is a nice bridge to the next point.

Mario Chalmers on the Move?

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Point guard is as crowded as the cap-space situation in Miami.

Dragic gets the nod as starter, but behind him, Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier will fight for playing time. Behind them is Tyler Johnson, a reserve with enough upside to warrant a roster spot.

As they say, something has to give. The "something" might be the veteran Chalmers.

Per Jackson, the Heat continue to explore trades: "If Chalmers makes it to training camp with the Heat, he would be the obvious choice to back up Dragic. But Miami continues to explore trading him; 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 are in some trouble when it comes to taxes, so axing Chalmers' $4.3 million hit this year, per Spotrac, makes sense in the grand scheme of things. 

Last year, Chalmers still saw 29.6 minutes per game and responded with 10.2 points and 3.8 assists on average while shooting 40 percent from the floor. Plenty of teams should have an interest, and it helps he is a valuable expiring contract. The problem, of course, is teams know the Heat want to unload him. 

One way or another, expect Chalmers to move this summer. The Heat cannot afford—literally—to keep such costly backup contracts on the tab.

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.  

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