Luxury Tax Reality: Heat Amnesty Miller





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat are not immune to the harsh economic realities facing the league’s biggest spenders under the new collective bargaining agreement.

The waiving of veteran shooter and surprise 2012 Finals hero Mike Miller via the amnesty provision this afternoon is proof. Miller joins Metta World Peace, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers and now a member of the New York Knicks, as the most prominent players to be amnestied this summer. The Charlotte Bobcats also used the amnesty provision on Tyrus Thomas last week.

(You can see all of the players who have suffered the same fate on NBA.com’s Amnesty Tracker.)

The move came as something of a surprise after Heat boss Pat Riley addressed the possibility of this happening by saying there would be no need for the Heat to use this one-time measure to clear salary cap space.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

This was a purely economical move for the Heat, who could save $30 million in luxury tax payments over the nest two seasons simply by removing Miller’s $12.8 million in salary from the books for the 2013-14 season and the 2014-15 season. The Heat still will have to pay Miller the salary he is owed but it won’t impact their own salary cap bottom line.

Miller, whose penchant for knocking down big shots at big moments in both of the Heat’s title runs, was clearly wounded  by the move.

“I understand the business side of basketball,” he 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.”

This is the strictly business portion of the program for veterans like Miller and World Peace, guys who helped their now former franchises to championships.

“I know I can be very, very productive for a couple years for sure,” Miller said. “But at the same time, it would be very difficult to go into a situation where you’re not competing for a title. So I’m going to have to weigh those things, and we’ll see how it plays out.”

Miller’s time in Miami was well spent. He leaves having been an integral part of a Heat crew led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that made three straight trips to The Finals and walked off with Larry O’Brien trophies in back-to-back years.

Heat fans will surely never forget some of his most memorable moments from the title runs, and that includes his shoeless 3-pointer from Game 6 of last month’s Finals and certainly the seven 3-pointers he made in the title-clinching Game 5 win over Oklahoma City in 2012.

“I love Mike. We all love Mike,” Wade told The Associated Press. “It’s tough to lose one of our brothers. But I think we all understand it’s not personal. It’s a business decision.”

It’s strictly business these days for the NBA’s biggest spenders.

38 Comments

  1. Let's go Heat says:

    Heat fans will never forget what Mike has contributed to the Heat’s back-to-back champions esp seven 3-pointers in Game 5 in 2012 Final…

  2. miketortak says:

    The Laker should amnestied Kobe since he was injured not World Peace… then resigned him the next year… this could bring them lesser Tax penalties.. or even being under salary cap. then they can use MLE exception of under salary cap. to a player like Samuel dalembert.

  3. wdrums0 says:

    Mike, you’re an awesome player. Your heart was always on display with the Heat and you do yourself, your family and your home city proud with your career. All the best for the upcoming season, whatever decision you make. MM’s the man.

  4. realist2013 says:

    They are already in the luxury with their big 3 and they are preparung for next summer when Lebron Wade and Bosh will be sought after by everyone. Mainly the deep pocket showtime Lakers. The end

  5. theking0522 says:

    This is why players shouldn’t care about teams. Only about themselves. I am a Miami Heat fan and I hate this move. Teams don’t care about players. This is a business. Look what Boston did to Pierce. I am glad Lebron left Cleveland. Teams are not loyal to anybody only to MONEY. Lebron, Pierce or any other player owe nothing to any team. Loyalty doesn’t exist in this business. Teams don’t care about players. Mike Miller gave us everything the last two years and look what happened to him. Players should care about themselves. Forget about teams and forget about the fans. Do you hear me Lebron? Do what is best for YOU in 2014.This is a business. Treat it like that.

    • theholyspectator says:

      it is sad that mike miller had to go, such a solid sniper shooter..however the heat need to get bigger, that is first priority..they have a gang of 3 point shooters …they arent gettin that hurt by loosin mike, pat riley is a smart man he knows what hes doing, having the best basketball player on mother earth and the best big 3 group any team has….he knows he can squeeze out another ring but we all saw miamis weakness this past season and pat knows that the big man spot has to be filled…a greg oden would be perfect for miami..or really any other solid big man..miamis biggest threat is indy and chicago…no one really in the west can contend with miami in the playoffs and beat em in a series, if spurs couldnt do it, no one can….and your right this is a business…its professional sports, what do you expect? theirs two things on any players mind when it comes down to it…winning a ring or getting paid..some players prefer the money others prefer a ring..and those who dont fall in neither of those categories will get shipped around and eventually dropped…nba its about winning, selling out arenas, tv progamming, selling jerseys and most of all gettin rings…loyalty is died, been dead for sometime

  6. celentano says:

    I heard or read about Mike has some issues with his back and other stuff,so Pat d’ont want to risk that much keeping miller because of his healt + money. It seems that the Heat are pulling like the lakers did (after back to back 2010>>>>>Sasha & Farmar) into rebuilding mode starting with the older Heat Mike.
    They are gambelling with it because they feel they can do without Miller (R.Allen) , enuff talent around + try to get a decent center. They c’ant keep staying on top with mostly run ‘n gun play, Wade, Lebron,Bosh is getting older.
    It’s a risk to do without Miller during the play-offs, we gonna see how it continues or not.

  7. Mr.Epal says:

    Not surprised at all with this move by the heat. This is all business. I think they are planning to retain the Big 3 after this coming season and get younger players.

  8. dave says:

    I think Mike Miller would have practically died for this organization. Who knows maybe he can take a break and get healthier, and come back in a couple of years

  9. Bobby says:

    Why couldnt they jus get rid of james jones? Mike is way better than jones! Or maybe even joel anthony? O well its to late now

  10. Casey says:

    They could just waive Bosh’s contract to get more money. He is inefficient anyways. Mike contributes better than Bosh.

  11. Timbo says:

    The Heat are probably making a push for Oden. Even though he carries heavy fears of being injured again, his upside for a Heat team without a dominate big man (Bosh being a face up guy), could keep them as a sure thing for another finals appearance.

  12. Ender(ger) says:

    smart move.just pump the money in your “little-big-man”,mr. 0 rebound aka Chris Bosh.

  13. Psymon says:

    Miami is a dead end they want win next season, so Mike should go to timberwovles

  14. APHX10 says:

    There’s no simple way to say it but Miller was the Ace up the sleeve aka X Factor. When Battier and Allen were struggling to find their shots, Miller was firing away and keeping the HEAT in the game. Yes Allen hit that clutch shot, but Miller was the adjustment Miami needed in the Finals when he was brought in to start.

    You don’t just amnesty the guy who contributed to your two championship rings more than any of the other guys. He deserved at least the respect and the chance to 3 peat and if necessary you amnesty him the following season.

    In the end I’m disappointed with the decision made, and I just wish Mike the best, and he’ll definitely be missed by all the HEAT fans.

  15. buttons says:

    heat should have amnesty lebron james man. then they can get D Howard to miami heat!!!

    go heat!

  16. J says:

    damn!!! he’ll be missed in Miami
    go to Memphis and start at SF or be the 6th man
    he should start somewhere

  17. Kevin says:

    Come to the Knicks (: .

  18. Dormin says:

    Why did he kept Anthony, Lewis and Jones? They are all bunch of useless players…Very bad move!

    • Bobby says:

      I Agree accept i’d prefer to keep lewis. He can be useful most of the time. And he a good pair with ray allen.

  19. LakersWillWin says:

    Business or not, I really don’t think Miami could have repeated this season without Mike Millers presence in the playoffs. Sure, he sat all season, but he performed when it mattered. What a terrible decision on Miami’s part.

  20. Baller says:

    but bad seeing leave

  21. Baller says:

    Miami still has a lot of chances to win an other CS

  22. earvin32 says:

    exactly who the lakers needed to claim off waivers. perfect fit

    #arewelucky

  23. Lakers4life says:

    *An NBA Title.

  24. Joe says:

    COME TO HOUSTON!!

  25. TheAll-Star136 says:

    I think Mike Miller should just retire and not play for another team. He will always be with the Miami Heat in the history books.

  26. Himel says:

    Very bad move by heat, they should have let James Jone, R Lewis or Anthony to go instead of Miller. Miami will regret this decision!

  27. lebr says:

    The owner(s) of a back-to-back champion team can’t sacrifice a little more of their money for a Guy who helped them so much + hurting chemistry with this all about money decision? Smfh…

  28. Saeed says:

    very big miss for Miami. I know nothing about what amnestying or “league’s new collective bargaining agreement” means but I guess simply they did not have enough salary cap or something to give Miller. I want to know that couldn’t they amnesty, say, Lewis? (I guess no because Lewis has a lower salary). I need clarification.

    • Van says:

      Lewis only makes the minimum 1 million. Mike makes 6.6 mil which is now 6.6 mil they can use to sign a player. They say they are saving luxury tax but I have a feeling that they are trying to get a really good player (probably a big guy) to sign. I doubt that they then will care about the luxury tax.

  29. Lakers4life says:

    Say goodbye to NBA Title.

  30. AJC says:

    OK , Joe D, this is your bench player for the Pistons as soon as you ditch Charlie V and Stuckey and possibly either Jerebko or Maxiell.

  31. rob says:

    Thanks for the memories and all the great and timely shots.

  32. YYY says:

    Really? They could save that much over the nest two seasons? Which seasons? And which birds are occupying the nest?