The Miami Heat had a relatively quiet offseason in terms of making major additions to the roster, as signing former Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk was their most significant signing of the summer. Instead, the Heat have chosen to move forward with the roster as is and re-sign current players to new deals and extensions to see if they can capitalize on the momentum they built towards the end of last year, narrowly missing out on the playoffs.
Dion Waiters and James Johnson each received large multi-year contracts from the Heat to go along with Olynyk, Hassan Whiteside, and Goran Dragic as players making more than $10 million per year. Next year, Tyler Johnson’s extension will kick in at $18 million per, adding him to that list and on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported guard Josh Richardson will join that group with a new four-year, $42 million extension.
Richardson averaged 10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game last season. This brings the Heat well above the projected cap for next year, and it’s a risky move banking on continued improvement from the current roster that, while it got hot last year, is still a projected middle of the pack team in the Eastern Conference.
Miami’s insistence on re-signing players and keeping the current core together — from top to bottom — is reminiscent of how the Blazers went about things last summer, which has resulted in cap problems for Portland and them needing to ship out contracts like Allen Crabbe this summer to avoid being a tax team barely scraping into the playoffs.