Jacari McRae | Aug 22nd, 2019
As the Miami Heat continue to build around its new star player Jimmy Butler, there are two options the team is currently pursuing. Those options include trading for a star now (like Bradley Beal) or waiting until 2021 free agency when the team will have cap space to pursue a star free agent.
“Though [Andrew] Wiggins has been linked to the Heat at times, he’s due $27 million, $29 million, $31 million and $34 million during the next four seasons, which the Heat simply cannot afford when it wants to leave max room for a max player,” wrote Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Plus, there’s the issue of whether it would be wise to reunite him with Jimmy Butler.
“Booker is earning between $29 million and $36 million each of the next five years, so the comment about Wiggins holds true with Booker, too. Perhaps he becomes a trade option if the Heat strikes out in 2021 free agency, depending on Tyler Herro’s growth.”
Booker was a Heat target back in the 2015 NBA Draft. Instead of selecting Booker, the team opted to select Justise Winslow, who surprisingly dropped to 10th. Since being drafted, Booker has had career averages of 21.4 points and 4.2 assists per game. This past season, Booker averaged 26.6 points and 6.8 assists a game.
Despite these numbers, Booker has yet to make an all-star appearance with the Western Conference loaded with all-star talent. In addition, Booker’s team has failed to make the playoffs the past few seasons, which doesn’t help Booker’s all-star case.
The 22-year-old guard signed a max rookie extension with the Phoenix Suns last summer and will be under contract until 2024. As Jackson states, the guard will be making over 30 million per year until 2024. Should the Heat make a more for Booker, they’ll likely have to give up some assets and a huge salary filler to make an enticing offer.
But as of right now, the team continues to aggressively shop the trade market for star talent, with Bradley Beal being the number one target. The team is determined to add a second star before 2021 free agency to pair up with Jimmy Butler, who turns 30 next month.
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