HEAT Focus on Re-signing Chris Anderson
The prime internal free-agency concern is backup center Chris Andersen, whose “Birdman” infectiousness helped energize the HEAT during their franchise-record 27-game winning streak and throughout the playoffs.
Because Andersen did not join the HEAT until midseason, the HEAT are limited to a 20-percent raise above last season’s veteran-minimum salary, an avenue that would pay Andersen $1.7 million next season. Andersen also is eligible for the HEAT’s single-use taxpayer mid-level exception that would pay him $3.2 million next season. Outside teams not limited by the luxury tax and salary cap can offer considerably more.
Andersen has spoken of wanting to return, and teammates have urged him to do so. But he also turns 35 in August, making this potentially his final chance for another lucrative, multiyear contract.