Heat's Updated Roster, 2021 Salary Cap After Reported Nemanja Bjelica Trade

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica (8) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Miami Heat are fortifying their frontcourt with the addition of Nemanja Bjelica from the Sacramento Kings, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Kings will receive Moe Harkless and Chris Silva, per Wojnarowski.

The Heat entered trade deadline day nearly $18 million over the cap, so they had to make the money work with Bjelica's $7.2 million expiring salary. Together, Harkless and Silva earn $5.1 million this season, so Miami's cap burden increases slightly.

Bjelica will provide depth at the 4 behind Kelly Olynyk in South Florida.


Heat Depth Chart

  • PG: Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Avery Bradley
  • SG: Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Avery Bradley, Gabe Vincent, Goran Dragic
  • SF: Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, Max Strus, Andre Iguodala, Trevor Ariza
  • PF: Kelly Olynyk, Nemanja Bjelica, KZ Okpala, Andre Iguodala, Trevor Ariza
  • C: Bam Adebayo, Precious Achiuwa, Kelly Olynyk, Udonis Haslem

Depth chart via ESPN.com

Bjelica is suffering through a tough 2020-21 season so far. 

A regular member of Sacramento's starting rotation, he has moved down to the bench and watched his minutes fall from 27.9 per game to 16.9. That might help explain why he's shooting a career-low 29.3 percent from beyond the arc. When a player grows used to being a starter, finding a rhythm can be difficult when he has to adjust to life as a reserve.

For the time being, that problem could remain for Bjelica. But, by the time the deadline passes, his situation may have changed:

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz

Bjelica deal confirmed, per source. Heat has another stretch PF option. Allows Miami to trade Olynyk today if he's needed in a deal.

In general, one would expect the 32-year-old's performance to regress to the mean. He's a career 38.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc, so his production now is deviating significantly from the norm.

Going to Miami also represents an upgrade in not only teammates but also coaching. Head coach Erik Spoelstra might be able to put Bjelica in a better position to succeed than Luke Walton could.

This isn't a move that drastically improves the Heat but provides them with another solid floor-spacer and rebounder.