The Miami Heat have traded guard Chris Quinn to the New Jersey Nets to create a roster spot and reduce their luxury-tax bill slightly before trying to re-sign the NBA's newest free agent: Rafer Alston.
The Heat sent Quinn, cash and a 2012 second-round pick to New Jersey in exchange for a protected 2010 second-rounder after the Nets completed their expected buyout of Alston.
The Nets used a trade exception to take on Quinn's $1 million contract and complete the trade. Two league sources told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan that Alston agreed to give back nearly $1 million of his $5.25 million salary to gain his freedom from the Nets.
The Heat, who have been searching all season for a proven ballhandler to play next to Dwyane Wade, are the front-runners to sign Alston after he clears waivers.
Miami also has to decide whether to keep or release veteran guard Carlos Arroyo, who must be waived by Wednesday to prevent his contract from becoming guaranteed Jan. 10.