The Miami Heat must think outside the box to maximize their limited cap space. With its front-office team and All-Star Chris Bosh ($52 million over the next two seasons) still looking for a resolution on their contractual dispute, general manager Pat Riley is heading into one of the most frantic off-seasons in his executive career.

Cap space situation and incoming free-agents:

With its cap-space set at $30MM, Miami is going to have a hard time retaining the services of Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Willie Reed and Luke Babbit. All of these players rightfully deserve a salary spike after they put up strong numbers for the Heat team that almost secured a playoff spot.

According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, Johnson, Waiters, and Reed are the players Riley wants to keep for next season’s grind. Unfortunately, re-signing them to contract worth between $10MM to $ $15MM per season would only mean the team has already given up on signing Utah Jazz’s swingman Gordon Hayward in free agency.

“James Johnson, Willie Reed (player option) and Dion Waiters (player option) aren't a part of the Heat's projections. Each played well enough to earn a sizable raise in free agency. Including their non-Bird holds is pointless. All three will command more than the 20 percent increases those would reflect,” Favale noted.

Outside free-agency targets

Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz) – The small forward tops the Heat’s free-agency wish list for a number of reasons.

Hayward, who averaged 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 34 minutes per game during the regular-season, is viewed as a nice fit in Erik Spoelstra’s offense because of his ability to create his own shots and knock down long jumpers.

Signing Hayward to a max deal worth $25MM per year would force Riley to let Waiters, Johnson and Reed walk away in free-agency.

The Heat’s bench would sure look depleted if he pursues that deal, but NBA insiders believe Riley can fill in the void by convincing several veterans to accept the league’s minimum contract worth $1.5MM. For the Heat, the main goal this summer is to bring in another All-Star caliber talent to play alongside Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic.

Dwayne Wade (Chicago Bulls) – Believe it or not, the Heat has a realistic shot at Wade this off-season, provided he opts out of the second year of his current deal ($23 million). Barry Jackson of Miami Herald reported that Wade’s camp has not ruled out a potential reunion with the Heat. He added the former NBA Finals MVP is even willing to take a bench role and reduced salary under the right condition.

“The Heat will have $38 million in cap space and is expected to pursue a small group of elite, in-their-prime free agents or trade targets and try to resign James Johnson and Dion Waiters before considering players such as Wade if Wade exercises his opt-out,’ writes Jackson.