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NBA Rumors: Paul Millsap to Miami? Heat forced to dump Dion Waiters and James Johnson

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PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks

Paul Millsap is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason after opting out of the final year of his contract with the Atlanta Hawks. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Miami Heat are one of the NBA teams who’s expected to express interest on Millsap in the upcoming free agency.

The Heat entered the 2016-17 NBA season with all their “Big 3” gone. They struggled in the first half of the season but managed to bounce back and almost earned a playoff spot. After successfully removing Chris Bosh’s salary from the book, the Heat are expected to lure big names in the 2016 NBA free agency who can help the immediately return to title contention.

NBA Rumors: Paul Millsap to Miami Heat

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report sees the Heat as the dark-horse destination for Paul Millsap. The 32-year-old power forward will undeniably be a good fit in Miami, pairing with Hassan Whiteside in the frontcourt.

“It’s difficult to see Riley sitting out this offseason when the Heat have almost $40 million in cap space, with a clear path toward more, and an ideal addition like Millsap floating around on the open market. They have an everyday opening at power forward, and the ceiling on a Millsap-Hassan Whiteside dyad jibes with the team’s devotion to disarming defensive stands,” Favale said.

However, the Heat should be willing to throw away a huge amount of money to add Millsap on their team. After opting out of his contract with the Hawks, Millsap will demand a max contract that could start at $35.4 million in the 2017-18 NBA season.

Though they have almost $40 million in salary cap space, the Heat will need to let go their own free agents like Dion Waiters and James Johnson. However, if Millsap agrees to sign for $30 million, they will have the opportunity to bring Johnson back. Waiters also expressed his intention to give the Heat a “hometown discount.”

NBA Rumors: Other offseason targets for the Miami Heat

Age proves to be a major concern for Millsap. He’s already 32 and on the downside of his career. Knowing Heat president Pat Riley, he will explore every option to make his team better this summer. Younger superstars like Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin are expected to be on the Heat’s radar in free agency. If Jimmy Butler or Paul George becomes available on the trade market, it will not be a surprise if the Heat will make a move.

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