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Riley says Heat have no plans to use amnesty clause

Jul 13, 2013, 1:41 AM EDT

Pat Riley Reuters

As of right now, the Miami Heat have a payroll just above $87 million — that is $28 million over the salary cap and $15.6 million over the luxury tax line.

Which will mean about $30 million in taxes on top of the existing salary load — a $117 million bill total. Maybe the Nets wouldn’t balk at that number, but basically everyone else would.

The Heat could shave $10 million or more off that bill by using the amnesty provision on a player such as Joel Anthony or Mike Miller, but they don’t plan to do it team president Pat Riles said, reports the Associated Press.

Heat President Pat Riley said Friday that the team does not currently plan to use its one-time amnesty option as a way of lightening its looming tax load, with the team’s focus instead being on simply finding ways to get better.

“Right now, we’re not using amnesty, no,” Riley said….

“We want to win and we want to win again next year and we’re going to try to do everything we can to do that,” Riley said. “What I said at the end of the season is what I meant. I want to try to keep this team intact as long as we can because we have a championship basketball team here and continuity being, I think the most important thing to when it comes to winning championships … I would hate to break it up.”

Pat Riley is smart enough to know that this roster, as constructed, is not going to win three years from now. He knows some big changes are coming.

But you don’t break up a team that is back-to-back NBA champs and has been to two straight finals. Look for the Heat to start making changes a year from now, a discussion that Riley will involve LeBron James in (to help keep him). But for right now he is bringing the band back together.

  1. atlsage - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    I think you mean three straight finals appearances.

  2. mitchem85 - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Miami has actually been to 3 straight finals, winning 2 of them..

    They would be contending for a 4-peat if they had beat Dallas the first year the “big 3” were brought in.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      or you could say 4 NBA Finals in 8 years and 3 NBA Campionships in 8 Years …… We’re getting really really close to the D word!

  3. bleedtwincitiessports - Jul 13, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    I miss a league that had its star players spread out across the league! The salary cap should be the total amount aloud, not “hey spend what every, just pay more tax”… These new age stars are a bunch babies! Real champs win WITHOUT 3 max deal players! Cam you imagine Malone and Stockton joining Jordan and the Bulls just to get a ring! Go T’Wolves!

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      When was that exactly? Go back to the 1960s and go forward and you see a handful of talent heavy teams. Today’s NBA is no different than the 80s Lakers/Celtics or 90s Bulls and so on.

  4. silverandblackfan77 - Jul 13, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Keeping James in south beach is the key whatever they have to do to keep him past 2014 they should do

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 13, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Continuity in management and coaching, and being able to “take care of business” without the distraction of ongoing media circuses, should count for a lot for someone so focused on winning as LeBron is. The Heat have done well with free agents and with finding good prospects late in the draft; the preparation and execution to get James Ennis, whether that pans out or not, shows that they’re not standing pat by any means, so a possible issue there doesn’t exist. The coaches have been a factor in LeBron’s improvement of his game, so we have that positive factor as well.

      I’m not saying his staying is a slam dunk, but some other team is going to have
      make a mighty big impression to entice him as against what will have been his four years with this organization. One thing we do know – fortunately – is that it will not be about the paycheck.

      • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        You know I don’t know how we got here….but at least NBA wise….I gotta say there are three franchises that have their sh#t together………Presti has done an incredible job with OKC……Then there’s San Antonio….but leading it all is the Heat.

        As a Heat fan I’m little scared by the Thunder. Pairing Lebron with Durant and Westbrook who will both be 25 ………..May be really really tempting.

        Face it LeBrons money is in endorsements..not salary. The longer he stays on top the better for him both legacy and money wise.

  5. daddyghi - Jul 13, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    additional $30 mil is not even a fraction of what the Heat earns every time they reach the finals.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Dave Hyde made a great point in the Sun Sentinel the other day. Just about every player on the Heat has sacrificed millions (and some more than 10 million) to be on this team. Mickey knows this. Mickey’s not going to forget it.
    Mickeys goingvto sacrifice for the team too.

    That being said, wouldn’t be shocked if Anthony gets traded for a 2025 2nd round pick

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Micky has billions. Not that anyone would want to part with 30 Million but Micky could afford it. I worked for Carnival in the early 90’s and I remember going to Los Angeles because Carnival for the first time was repositioning a ship there. Flew on the now defunct Carnival Airlines and Micky was on that flight. That flight and the entire Pre-Innaugural weekend to showcase the ship – All Micky wanted to do is talk Basketball. This was right after he bought the team. He gets it. If you look at all of the moves while he’s been in stewardship of this franchise. He really really gets it.

      Other factors in play:

      Winning franchises make money. He’ll recoup the 30 Mil if they keep winning championships.

      There is a conversation that Micky will have to have in a little under a year with a certain someone. He needs to deliver the message that he and the Heat organization are in the best position to continue to evolve the legacy of that certain someone. His not going to let 30 Million get in the way of that.

      He’s grooming Nick to take the reigns in the next few years and he will set him up to succeed. Not going to let 30 Million get in the ways that either.

      The Heat are on the verge of the Riley Dynasty vision. 30 Mil a year won’t get in the way of that either.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Nice post

      • brokerhenry - Jul 13, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        @Scorpio: Like ’72 said, nice post. I only wish Mickey could purchase the Marlins. I wish one could own teams in different sports. Since moving here, I purchase the season’s pass to football, baseball and basketball. I swear I have not watched more than 5 Marlins games in 2 years of living in Australia. I used to yell at my wife and kids because the Marlins suck so much. One day, I just said to hell with the Marlins. I hope Mickey would buy the Marlins. He gets sports. Jeffrey Loria does not. Stupid doofus!!!

    • miamatt - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Spot on.

      There’s a lot more credibility behind it when Pat Riley looks a player in the eye and talks about sacrifice if the owner is doing the same. People tend to lump Miami in with big-market teams, but they are more Orlando than L.A. when it comes to market share; Arison may be wealthy but money isn’t unlimited.

      One thing a veteran player needs to know is that if he does decide to leave money on the table to join the Miami Heat, he’s not going to be twisting in the wind as trade rumors fly, and he’s not going to be embarrassed by being released even if he suffers injury (as in the case of Miller) or falls out of the rotation (as in the case of Anthony).

      All that being said, I’d imagine with another Finals run the Heat ought to be able to secure a more lucrative cable TV deal, one in which every Heat game is broadcast throughout the state of Florida, and perhaps even in other southeastern states.

      • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        You make a great point.

        The Dodgers… Just signed a 7 Billion….Yes with a B……. for the the rights to their games…

        And they haven’t won since 88.

  7. aerorocket - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Ennius is coming at a low salary for now, adding Gregg Oden to the mix will alleviate the center position woes for Bosh; Could you imagine joining a team and being fitted for a possible championship ring; Cole has been fitted more times than loudmouth Barkley. Let’s go Heat!!!

  8. rockthered1286 - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    What a joke the so called “salary cap” is in the NBA. You don’t need to be under it so what’s the point of it? I guess calling it a “suggested salary cap before acquiring financial burdens” was too wordy but realistically it’s all it is. No better than the capless MLB. Then again just like Yankee and Dodger fans in baseball, I’m sure the Hear fans don’t think it’s an issue as long as they win.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      I agree… there should be a hard cap where the only exception is for injuries or if a team’s roster isn’t full and even then all additional players can only be signed at minimum salaries. Problem is all the owners and fans would start bitching about how they couldn’t afford to retain their own players then the NBA would go back to allowing insane contracts to retain players that become just a huge contract the team later wants to unload.

    • miamatt - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Yankees and Dodgers? You couldn’t be more off base. Miami’s market ranking is somewhere between 14-16. They are in no way, shape, or form NY or LA. Moreover, there isn’t an owner in the league who isn’t a gazillionaire. And it’s not like the Heat are overpaying the top free agents year after year (like the teams you used as an example). Actually, they underpay them! In any case, if there is a time for a gazillionaire owner to spend away, it is when the championship window is open. Isn’t that what you would want the owner of your favorite team to do?

      • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Plus, the Dodgers haven’t won the series since 1988.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      It’s not “how much you spend” that matters. It’s “on whom do you spend” that matters.

  9. 13arod - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Just get rid of joel he doesnt play that much and miller actually plays and does good

  10. rhetoric1 - Jul 13, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    I think it’s a great idea to not use it this year, but rather, save it for next year. Dwade is a heat lifer and not going anywhere, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he opts out for less money but more years. The wildcard, really, is Bosh. If he opts back in, contingent on how the season goes, of course, Riles has the amnesty in his back pocket, free to pursue whoever LBJ feels would make this team better to make him stay and compete for the next few years.

  11. titansbro - Jul 13, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    The NBA has no salary cap.

  12. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I’d like the Heat to amnesty Joel Anthony but only if there’s a suitable center or backup PG available. Greg Oden is not a suitable anything.

  13. jzone954 - Jul 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Every team in the Nba can do what Miami is doing. Just are they willing to pay the luxury tax is the question? Arison is about the drop 30 mill just for the luxury tax. That’s a dude who wants to win and be a part of something special. Until Your owner does that…..stop complaining about the Heat

    • miamatt - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Find me the NBA owner who isn’t a gazillionaire.

      100% on the money- this team is about family, trust, and winning.

  14. soflasfinest - Jul 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    In Riley we trust!

  15. lacolem1 - Jul 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    “Pat Riley is smart enough to know that this roster, as constructed, is not going to win three years from now. ”

    No roster stays together that long, so this is an irrelevant concern. All that matters is the core, and if they can keep the Big 3 together, and rebuild the supporting cast with rookie contracts and amnestied/cheap veterans, they’ll be fine. They’ll still have Lebron, the one ace no other roster can trump.

  16. doug2626 - Jul 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Your inability to proof read or spell check is tiresome. I am going to stop visiting this site if it doesn’t get better.

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:45 PM


  17. dezglobal - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Trade Anthony for a 2014 second round pick.. Save the amnesty card for next season to chase someone new to team up with Wade and Bron for future seasons.

  18. illuminatedgenius - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I don’t really see what the big deal is about these luxury taxes. Mickey Arison the owner of the Miami Heat is a multi-Billionaire and can easily afford it. He should just invest in keeping the team intact and it could be for many years one of the greatest basketball teams in NBA history. The Miami Heat could be ranked in among the great teams of all time like the Los Angeles Lakers of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe and Shaq and Magic Johnson or Bill Russel’s Boston Celtics and even Michael Jordan’s world famous Chicago Bulls. LeBron should not stop at 6 titles in the NBA if he equals the feat MJ had with the Bulls as he should aim for breaking Bill Russel’s record and Kareem Abdul Jabbar scoring record. Without a shadow of a doubt, this team is the best sports team in Miami’s history and the greatest team South Florida has ever seen. No other professional sports team in Miami can say the same thing in relation to the Miami Heat.

  19. robjr50 - Jul 13, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    miami needs some size so if they do not win it next year 2014 they will do a major trade involving bosh.

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