Heat waive Miller
Heat waive veteran Mike Miller
Updated: July 16, 2013, 3:36 PM ET
By Brian Windhorst | ESPN.com
The Miami Heat waived veteran guard Mike Miller via the amnesty provision ahead of Tuesday's deadline.
Miller's agents already have begun reaching out to other teams who may have interest in Miller, according to sources.
The move will save the Heat nearly $17 million in luxury taxes this season and reduce their expected tax bill, projected to be $33 million, by half. The Heat still owe Miller $12.8 million over the next two seasons as part of a contract he signed in 2010.
"I understand the business side of basketball," Miller told The Associated Press. "It's a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I've had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I'd love to have been a part of it."
The decision reveals a bit of a split in the Heat front office. Team president Pat Riley said several times since the end of the Finals that he didn't want to use the amnesty on Miller and he wanted to bring the back-to-back champions back intact for another run next season.
"After many discussions internally and a sincere effort to explore the trade market, we made a very difficult decision to use our Amnesty provision on Mike Miller," Riley said. "Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami Heat; helping us to three finals appearances and winning back-to-back World Championships. This was a very difficult decision for me personally, the Arison family, Erik and the entire Miami Heat organization. Mike was one of the best we have ever had here, and will be sorely missed. We wish Mike, his wife Jennifer and their family nothing but the best."
Riley went so far as to say "we're not using the amnesty" in a conference call with reporters last week.
"I want to try to keep this team intact as long as we can because we have a championship basketball team here," Riley said. "I would hate to break any part of it up, that is productive and leads to winning."
Riley said the choice on Miller, though, ultimately would be an ownership decision. It appears principal owner Micky Arison and his son, team CEO and part owner Nick Arison, decided to overrule Riley with the huge tax bill the facing the Heat. For the 2012-13 season, the Heat paid $13.3 million in luxury tax, the most Arison ever has paid and more than twice what he paid when the Heat won the title in 2012.
It is possible the Heat released Miller to set up another deal. They still have their $3.2 million mid-level exception and are one of the teams interested in free agent center Greg Oden.
Miller, who has been a playoff hero for the Heat during their past two championship runs, has battled numerous injuries. He had four surgeries after signing with the Heat to his thumbs, shoulder and to repair a sports hernia. Miller also has had back problems. He averaged 46 games played over the past three regular seasons.
But 2012-13 was his healthiest year. He played in 59 games but averaged career lows in points (4.8) and minutes (15.3). He played in all seven games in the Finals, starting the last four games, averaging 5.3 points and shooting a remarkable 61 percent on 3-pointers.
No Mike Miller and Heat may have NO trophies...he was huge in both Final appearances.
Too bad they didn't amnesty him earlier.
I will buy that for a dollar
Maybe Riles is clearing space for Oden and Mo Williams.
for some reason, i think spurs are better equiped to handle big lineups, than small ball heat style...
We may be better equipped to handle a bigger lineup, but this gives them (if he's healthy) an elite level big man in the middle to clog the lane. This would not be good for us.
Whatever the case its a Heatwave that Miller could have done without this summer
That's a move for saving some money from luxury tax. Miami is going to pay 16M less luxury tax by that move. That's a big money.
And I don't believe that they're going to use 3.2M tax payer's MLE, that will cost them much more than 3.2M when we think the luxury tax.
Mike Miller clears waivers; Spurs, Thunder, Grizzlies and Rockets reportedly interested
Dan Feldman, Jul 18, 2013, 5:43 PM EDT
Brian Windhorst ✔ @WindhorstESPN
Mike Miller cleared amnesty waivers & is a free agent. Spurs, Thunder, Grizzlies & Rockets among teams with interest in signing him.
4:07 PM - 18 Jul 2013
I fail to understand why teams aren’t more aggressive with bidding on amnestied players. Miller, who has battled injury, has played just 59, 39 (of 66), 41 and 54 games the last four seasons, so you can’t count on him. But to get him for two years on a minimum contract? I think the reward outweighs the risk.
Anyway, the teams with cap room – the only teams permitted to bid on him – disagreed, and now Miller is an unrestricted free agent (though he can’t sign with Miami).
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Miller’s shooting makes him a good fit with any of those contending teams, none of whom had cap room and, therefore, the ability to bid on Miller. I’d be particularly intrigued by Miller returning to Memphis, where he played from 2003-08. With Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, shooting is a premium there, and though Tayshaun Prince is a better defender than Miller, Miller would prove an element Prince lacks.
Link to story: Mike Miller clears waivers; Spurs, Thunder, Grizzlies and Rockets reportedly interested | ProBasketballTalk
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