Miami Heat trade rumors about Mario Chalmers going to the Memphis Grizzlies have taken place. These Heat trade rumors indicate that the Grizzlies want to add a point guard after a rough start to the 2015-16 NBA season. A report from ESPN states that Chalmers has become expendable for the Heat after the team signed point guard Goran Dragic to a long-term deal during the offseason.
While no deal has taken place yet, the Grizzlies could use another veteran player and the Heat may want to get further away from the luxury tax penalties. As it stands, Miami is on the hook for just over $93 million in salaries during the current NBA season. That would put the team over the salary cap and into expensive luxury tax territory.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Golden State Warriors (119-69) on Monday, November 2, showing that the team might be in desperate need of an acquisition. There were no positive takeaways from the game, especially since the Grizzlies had already lost by 30 points in an earlier game this season. The two losses may have the front office willing to overpay a team. This lends more credence to the Miami Heat trade rumors, suggesting that a deal could be on the horizon.
Through the first three games of this season, Chalmers has only played 54 minutes total, showing that he is way down in the rotation. He has scored just 20 points on 12 field goal attempts, with a usage rate that continues to dip. Last season, he was averaging 29.6 minutes per game, but that has dropped to just 14 a contest this season. It’s a huge drop for a player that started every playoff game during the two recent seasons that the Heat won NBA titles.
Mario Chalmers will make $4.3 million this season in what is the last year of his current contract. With all the hefty salaries that the Heat has to pay out this season, including $22.2 million to Chris Bosh, $20 million to Dwyane Wade, and $14.8 million to Goran Dragic, he doesn’t make much. The bottom line gets hurt because the team goes over the cap, though, meaning the team could pay a lot of tax money on salaries. The current salary cap in the NBA is $69 million and the Heat owes just about $93.4 million in total salaries.
Currently, the Memphis Grizzlies is also slightly over the salary cap, meaning the team would have to weigh the risks of also having to pay cap penalties. After losing two games by 80 points total, including a 30-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home, the front office may be ready to take on that risk. Adding some significant depth behind Mike Conley in the rotation could certainly help a lot, but it all comes down to how much the team would have to give up in a Miami Heat trade.
Miami is currently 2-1 to start the season, with wins against the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets so far. The team plays again Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena. It’s a tough match-up, which could show just how much Heat coach Erik Spoelstra values Mario Chalmers on the roster. With a goal to have a consistent rotation this season, it could be interesting to see how many minutes he gets against a guard-heavy opponent.
Even if the Heat and Grizzlies don’t find a way to complete a trade, it doesn’t mean that this will end talks about Chalmers. As the season starts to wear on, there are likely to be more Miami Heat trade rumors involving the point guard. If the team starts finding a lot of success, though, maybe things will quiet down a bit.
[Photo by: Jason Miller/Getty Images]