Trade Reaction: Miami Heat Will Send Moultrie To Sixers

Word is that some members of the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat are still a bit hung over—literally—after defeating the Oklahoma City for the NBA’s crown just one week ago today.

The Heat selected Arnett Moultrie, a 6’11” Power Forward from Mississippi State with their 27th overall pick in the draft, but they traded his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for the 45th overall pick, Justin Hamilton, and a future first round pick.

Moultrie is a long, athletic big that could probably help the Heat up front, but it seems as though they are cognizant of their luxury tax situation moving forward. What most fail to consider is that a first round selection has two guaranteed years of salary, even if the player rarely plays. And the salary in the third and fourth year of a first round draft pick’s contract are pre-set based on the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, a player selected in the second round usually gets an unguaranteed deal and will only make the minimum salary for each of their first two years in the league.

The league is moving toward a much more oppressive luxury tax, so it makes perfect sense that the Miami Heat, who already have about $80 million, $78 million, and $76 million respectively committed over the next three years, would defer a pick that will help keep their cap situation in check, at least for now. If the Heat keep adding to their payroll, they’ll routinely find themselves writing luxury tax checks in excess of $30 million, and we don’t know if Micky Arison is willing to shell out that type of money to keep his team intact.

For the 76ers, Moultrie should be able to provide them with some athleticism around the basket. Incumbent starting center Spencer Hawes is an unrestricted free-agent, and the Sixers aren’t expected to break the bank to retain him. With rumors continually swirling around Andre Iguodala’s availability, the Sixers may look to continue their youth movement, notwithstanding their success this postseason.

Moke Hamilton is a Senior NBA Columnist for Follow him on Twitter.


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