Intent on shedding long-term contracts, the Miami Heat appear to be facing an uphill battle during the free-agency period.
The Heat have a lot of money tied up the next several seasons after signing the majority of their rotation players to four-year deals in the past few offseasons.
Whiteside, for instance, went from a minimum-contract player who couldn't stay in the NBA prior to joining Miami to signing a four-year, $98-million deal in 2016. His contract includes a player option in 2019-2020 worth a whopping $27 million that he's expected to exercise - especially considering his inability to stay on the floor last season.
Johnson is on the books for a massive pay increase the next two seasons after the Heat matched a four-year, $50-million offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets in 2016. The first two years of the deal were worth less than $12 million combined, but the "Gilbert Arenas provision" allowed the third and fourth years of the deal to skyrocket, with Johnson set to make more than $38 million over the next two seasons.
Miami will struggle to find trade partners for its long-term deals, and with the franchise now stuck with several more after last summer's spending spree, it will need to get creative to avoid luxury-tax territory.