Mario Chalmers‘ days as the Miami Heat’s whipping boy have finally come to a close. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Memphis Grizzlies are sending backup point guard Beno Udrih and Memphis native Jarnell Stokes to the Heat in exchange for Chalmers. Here are more details from Woj:
Miami will save $6 million in luxury tax payments with the deal.
Memphis will use part of a trade exception to absorb Ennis into the deal. The exception came out of a deal that sent Jon Leuer to the Phoenix Suns.
The teams have scheduled a trade call with the NBA office on Tuesday to finalize the deal, a league source said.
In the final year of his contract, Chalmers, who was the starting point guard for two NBA championship teams in Miami, was no longer part of the Heat’s future plans.
Memphis has been desperately searching for answers after a disappointing 3-5 start to the season that included a humiliating 50-point loss to the Warriors and two other 20-point losses. Although Udrih had been a real sparkplug off the bench for the Grizzlies at crucial times over the past couple of years – particularly after Mike Conley went down in the playoffs last spring with a facial fracture – the 29-year-old Chalmers, a career 36 percent shooter from long-range, should ostensibly offer some sorely-needed outside shooting to the Grizzlies’ rotation. But his production off the bench for the Heat this season in limited minutes has been pretty dreadful.
Upon the arrival of Goran Dragic at least season’s February trade deadline, Chalmers had been relegated to a backup role after spending most of his seven seasons as a starter for the Heat. His departure also clears the way for the development of Tyler Johnson, the hyper-athletic second-year guard out of Fresno State who’s shown flashes of potential for the Heat.
Though Chalmers would be considered an upgrade at the reserve point guard spot for Memphis, he hardly solves the Grizzlies’ myriad problems. But as stated in the above report, this is a relatively safe move for both teams, both financially and basketball-wise.
After signing both Chris Bosh and Goran Dragic to huge contracts in the last year-plus, the Heat have the fourth highest payroll in the NBA, and they’ll still face the looming prospect of revisiting Dwyane Wade’s one-year, $20 million deal next summer. Shedding Chalmers’ salary saves them in luxury tax payments. In Udrih’s case, it’s purely about his expiring contract, and it’s looking more and more like he may never even end up in Miami.
(Via Yahoo Sports)