The Miami Heat had less to offer via a sign-and-trade than most Chris Bosh suitors.
But like it or not, if the Raptors want something for Bosh, they will have to take what Miami is willing to surrender. Or they can let Bosh sign outright.
The most valuable thing Miami can offer Toronto is a traded player exception (TPE).
With a TPE, the Raptors would be able to trade for a player from a team looking to cut salary. A TPE does not count against the salary cap until it is used in a transaction. Teams get one year to use a TPE.
Teams cannot package a TPE with a player on the roster (so the Raptors won’t be able to unload Hedo Turkoglu or Jose Calderon by packaging them with a TPE), but they can get a smaller TPE back if they trade for a player making less than the full amount.
For example, if the Raptors obtain a $12- to 17-million US exception from the Heat (the amount will vary depending on if they take on Michael Beasley and/or Mario Chalmers), they can trade for a player making that much, or they can trade for a player making, say, $5 million and get back a TPE covering the difference, along with that player or players.
The Heat could also offer the Raptors draft picks. With Bosh and Wade on board, Miami’s first-round selections don’t carry much value since they likely will be in the 25-30 range, but Miami owns Toronto’s next non-lottery first rounder.
That pick is only protected for a few more years and if Toronto completely goes into the tank and misses the playoffs repeatedly, it could become a significant chip.
The Raptors have been offered the No. 2 overall selection in 2008, Beasley, but have shown no interest in adding the talented but lethargic forward to the roster. Beasley is a spectacular talent, who lacks the desire and mental makeup to be a star. He is also caught between the small forward and power forward positions and is non-existent defensively.
On the right team, one with strong-willed veterans, Beasley could still be productive, but he seems like a bad fit in Toronto.
Chalmers, the 34th pick in 2008, is a solid backup point guard. He is an excellent on-the-ball defender and can hit the outside shot, but like Beasley, has been questioned for his mental makeup.
The league announced on Wednesday that its salary cap will rise from $57.7 million to $58.044 million next season. It was a surprising development, considering the NBA had warned that the cap would be around $1.5 million lower than the 2008-09 figure.
The tax level for teams is $70.307 million and the mid-level exception will start at $5.765 million.