After being fairly convinced that Da’Sean would be left off the 2010 Miami Heat roster, I have found hope. After many a search, and even trying to read the CBA, I finally found a source that explaines everything going on behind the scenes. Here is the meat of the article from HeatHoops.net.
When a player is selected in the second round of the draft, he remains the property of the team that selected him until at the very least September 5. At that point, the team needs to make a decision.
In order for a team to continue to retain the rights to a player, it must submit a “Required Tender.” The tender needs to be extended no later than September 5 and affords the player until at least the immediately following October 15 to accept. The tender is an offer of a contract, typically for one year at the rookie minimum salary and not guaranteed. The tender can require the player to pass a physical examination as a condition precedent to the validity of the contract. If the player fails the physical, the tender is withdrawn, but the team still holds his rights.
The Heat will undoubtedly extend Butler a Required Tender in order to retain his rights. Remember again that while the Heat must trim down to a 15-player roster by the start of the regular season, it can hold up to 20 players during the off-season. Therefore, offering Butler such a tender is not in any way limiting to the organization.
If Butler does not accept the tender, he will remain the property of the Heat until the next NBA draft. Riley will have had up to a full year to evaluate the status of Butler’s left knee without the pressures of being required to offer a contract. If the two sides cannot agree to a contract at some point in that year, the Heat will lose its exclusive right to negotiate with Butler and he will then be eligible for selection in the 2011 draft. If he subsequently elects to play for a team in a professional league other than the NBA, the Heat’s exclusive negotiating rights will automatically be extended for one additional year after his obligations to that team terminate.
If Butler accepts the tender, he will be required to pass a physical exam. The tender will be offered on September 5 and will be withdrawn on October 15, which means Butler will need to be healthy enough to pass the physical by the latter date.
If Butler does not pass the physical, the tender will be invalidated and the Heat will, by default, retain his rights until the next draft (whereupon the same rules would apply as if he did not accept his tender). This, or a situation in which Butler does not accept his tender, would be something of a best-case scenario. For Butler, it would provide the time he needs to recover. For the Heat, it would afford the opportunity to keep a close eye on its potential star swingman.
If Butler does pass the physical, which seems unlikely at this point, he will be the property of the Miami Heat for the upcoming season on what will very likely be an un-guaranteed contract. At this point, he will become just like Kenny Hasbrouck and Shavlik Randolph. The Heat can elect to keep him through training camp, through the preseason, and even into the regular season if it is prepared to have him be the 15th and final roster player.
If Butler passes the physical, the Heat’s team doctor will have effectively declared him healthy. In such a case, he may well get that last spot – because if not, the Heat will lose its first round talent to free agency. Also keep in mind, however, that if he does pass the physical, the Heat can always waive one of its minimum contract players that has a guaranteed contract if it wants to make additional room on the roster.
It all means if the knee is healthy by October 15, the Heat will have to put him on the roster to prevent from losing him to free agency. If it is not, the Heat retain his rights for the remainder of the season, giving him time to finish his recovery. Even if the Heat do have 15 at the start of the year not including Butler, the team could buy out a minimum contract to make room for Da when healthy.
Rumors are starting to surface on various message boards that the Heat have offered tender, but I don’t see it becoming official news until that September 5th cutoff date. Overall it will be about two more months until we will know something concrete, I’m just pleased someone was able to explain the complicated situation better than I ever could have.