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NBA Team Reportedly Open To Trading 3 Of Its Best Players

A general view of the Miami Heat's arena.

MIAMI, FL - MAY 13: A general view ahead of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 13, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are in a weird spot. The team has probably overachieved for three straight seasons, heading to the playoffs twice in that stretch.

And yet, the Heat don't have a true superstar player. It is also in the luxury tax, thanks to a number of pretty big deals to solid if not great players.

A few of those guys could be on the move at some point, however.

Miami Herald columnist Barry Jackson writes that the Miami Heat are open to trading three of the team's top talents: Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Tyler Johnson.

Those three were among the top six in scoring average for the Heat last season.

Still, Jackson says that the team is open to moving one of them for some contract relief. From his column:

We’ve been told by two NBA general managers that the Heat has made Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters available in trade talks this summer.

The Heat’s best hope of getting back under the tax threshold might be trading Tyler Johnson for a worse player earning a few million dollars a year less. Such a deal could be appealing to a team not up against the luxury tax.

Jackson went on to say that the Heat haven't found a buyer, though there was a trade rumor for Johnson and the Houston Rockets.

A few days ago on his podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe said that Houston is looking for wings, and Tyler Johnson could be a target.

Bazemore was rumored today. I think the package would be Ryan Anderson and their first round pick. Ryan Anderson has two years and $21 (million) a pop left, Bazemore has two years and $18 or $19 (million), he’s a better player, so they’ll say ‘Hey, salaries are about the same, you’re taking on a little more. Is the 29th pick, or whatever it’s going to be, is that enough?.’

I think they’ll kick that around. I’ve heard they’ve talked to the Heat… I could see Tyler Johnson, same package, same idea: two years of salary left at about the same number. One guy’s a better fit for the Warriors, one guy’s not.

Ryan Anderson for Johnson straight up might not work if Miami is serious about getting under the luxury tax, as he makes a few million per year more than Johnson. Miami is current $3 million over the threshold and could bring back franchise stalwarts Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem.

As of now, it sounds like Miami will probably enter the season with the team it has. Depending on how it starts the season, and how realistically it thinks it can compete in the playoffs, they may become sellers again ahead of the deadline though.

[Miami Herald]