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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra admits waiving Rodney McGruder was one of their ‘toughest business moves’

Heat, Erik Spoelstra, Rodney McGruder

On Sunday, the struggling Miami Heat made the tough decision of waiving guard Rodney McGruder. The 27-year-old wasn’t producing as hoped in his third NBA season, all with the Heat. He was claimed by the Los Angeles Clippers earlier Tuesday, which put the Heat beneath the luxury tax threshold.

While this might have been the smartest financial decision for the Heat, it wasn’t easy. As head coach Erik Spoelstra explained, it was one of the most difficult the team has ever had to make. Via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Twitter:

McGruder went undrafted out of Kansas State in 2013. He bounced around various G-League teams and even spent some time in Europe before catching on with Miami in 2016. McGruder struggled as a semi-regular this season, averaging just 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 40.3%.

The Heat were competitive for much of this season, and did what they could to get McGruder going. But eventually, when their playoff hopes had nearly evaporated, they decided to cut bait and avoid the luxury tax.

For his career, McGruder has averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 162 games (112 starts). He will take a bench role with the Clippers.

While the Heat technically remain in postseason contention, it would take a miracle. At 38-42, Miami is tied with the Charlotte Hornets for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are a full game behind the Detroit Pistons with two left to play.

Everything would need to break perfectly for the Heat to make the postseason in star Dwyane Wade’s final season.