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Heat prepared to enter 2018-19 season with only 14 players on roster

Heat

The Miami Heat will head into the 2018-19 season with a simple mindset — if you have a guaranteed contract, it’s yours to keep. The Heat only have 14 guaranteed contracts at the moment and are likely to keep it that way until the season-opener, already loaded with both two-way players Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, which will not impact the roster limit, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

There are four players remaining on the preseason roster and all will have the option to report to the team’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, unless one is retained or signed by another NBA team if released from the roster.

The Heat are in deep waters when it comes to the luxury tax, making it the reason they’re choosing to carry only the NBA minimum of 14 players, thus avoiding extra tax dollars.

Players under a minimum contract (including Dwyane Wade’s max of the veteran’s minimum) only count at $1.48 million for purposes of the salary cap. But even by adding another minimum contract, the deal would cost the organization roughly $4 million due to luxury dollars. Carrying an additional player could also hinder the Heat’s chances to get under the tax by the end of the season, when the tax is officially computed by averaging what is owed and what was paid out.