The Miami Heat might have already settled their contract dispute with Chris Bosh, but the $36 million question still lingers: How can Pat Riley upgrade his current roster without losing Dion Waiters and James Johnson this summer? In an article by NBA insider Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald, he discussed the ramification of Bosh’s pact with the Heat and how it would affect the team’s plan in free-agency.

Still can't sign Hayward

Although Bosh’s impending release will permanently remove $52.1 million from the Heat’s books, Jackson explained that it has little effect on the team’s financial flexibility this summer.

$36 million is the projected starting cap space for the Heat this off-season, and the figure is expected to dwindle down once Riley works out new deals with Waiters, Johnson and Willie Reed.

“The removal of Bosh from the cap will leave the Heat with just over $36 million in cap space this summer, not counting Dion Waiters and Willie Reed, who are expected to exercise opt-outs, and Wayne Ellington, whose $6.3 million salary will be guaranteed only if he’s on the Heat’s roster after July 7,” according to Jackson.

The Heat’s limited cap space might very well put them out of contention for Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward, who is listed as the best free-agent small forward outside Kevin Durant this summer.

Gordon may have missed the All-NBA team, but he’s still eligible for a starting salary of $30 million per year. Obviously, the Heat doesn’t have the cap space to absorb such huge deal, but they can find a way to lessen their payroll through trades or waiving players via stretch provision.

Josh McRoberts’ case

Sr. NBA writer Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that McRoberts picked up his player’s option for the 2017/18 season worth $6 million.

The 30-year old McRoberts once again missed a major bulk of the Heat’s regular-season games last season due to a foot injury. He averaged 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22 games.

In an interview with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, McRobert’s agent Mike Conley said his client has long planned to opt in given the fact that he never had a chance to put up strong numbers for this year’s free-agency.

Out of the 246 possible regular-games since signing a three-year deal with the Heat in 2014, McRoberts only played 81 of those games due to various injuries.

Although a healthy McRoberts can provide quality minutes off the bench, Winderman believes the Heat will still waive his contract via stretch provision. By doing so, the Heat will get an annual cap hit of $2 million over the next three seasons and obtain an addition $4 million in cap space this summer.