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Heat waive Mike Miller using amnesty provision

Jul 16, 2013, 4:01 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 7 Getty Images

The reality of the new collective bargaining agreement is that with the far more strict financial penalties in place for teams in luxury tax territory, most are going to try to cut costs whenever possible.

And that includes the back-to-back champion Miami Heat.

Mike Miller has been waived via the amnesty provision, the team announced on Tuesday. The move will cut the Heat’s luxury tax bill by $17 million for next season.

As a reminder, players are still paid out the remainder of the money remaining on their contract once they’re amnestied. Those dollars owed come off the team’s salary cap and are removed from luxury tax calculations, but the checks to the player are cut nonetheless. In this case, Miller will still be paid a total of $12.8 million, the total of what his deal would have been for the next two seasons.

The move comes as a mild surprise, only because Heat executive Pat Riley was on record recently saying that there were no plans for the team to use the amnesty provision on any of its players, and that unless there was a mandate from ownership, it wasn’t something that he would consider.

Miller started the last four games of the NBA Finals for the Heat, and played an important role in his team’s late comeback in Game 6 — Miller tracked down the offensive rebound on the play that led to a LeBron James three that kept Miami’s hopes alive.

Miller has value and can still play, but injuries have limited him severely in recent years. He appeared in just 59, 39, and 41 regular season games for the Heat in each of the last three seasons.

John Schuhmann of NBA.com notes that this will have little overall impact on the Heat’s rotation next season, when Miami will return 94.9 percent of last season’s minutes — 10 percent more than any other team.

Miami may look to fill Miller’s now-vacant roster spot a number of ways. It could make a Greg Oden signing easier, or they could use part of their tax-payer’s mid-level to chase someone such as Lamar Odom. There also is rookie James Ennis of Long Beach State, whom they picked up with a late second round pick in this year’s draft following a trade with the Hawks. It would be a minimum, non-guaranteed deal, providing very little overall risk — financial, or otherwise.

“I understand the business side of basketball,” Miller told Tim Reynolds of 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.”

  1. dls612 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    On behalf of all true heat fans thanks mike! LET IT FLY !

    • spthegr8 - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      ^^^^^^Their is ONLY a handful of them, so you better yell that pretty LOUD!!!! ^^^^^^^

      • dls612 - Jul 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        Shouldn’t you be somewhere asking ” does that complete your order”

      • spthegr8 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        @dls
        I wasn’t expecting a response because I heard the bandwagon didn’t have Wi-fi!! Your probably one of those fans that left game 6 early!!

    • hehateme2 - Jul 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      What a shame but the money was crazy to keep him. Thanks for all the memories Mike. Let it Fly!!

  2. boltokmymaster - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Smart move by Yao Ming.

  3. bucrightoff - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    You know who loves 3-point shooters? The Spurs. You know who manages old guys minutes well? Gregg Popovich. Just throwing it out there.

    • soflasfinest - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      If he goes there great. He’s a great teammate and great unselfish, all out player for the team. Thanks for everything Mike! You’ll be missed down here. Let it fly!!

    • spursareold - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Pop and RC have gone away from old guy role players since maybe about 2009. The last one that was slated for the rotation was probably McDyess, signed that summer.

      With their core players aging, they can’t afford to have aging slow role players any more. It’s worked, too. Since that disasterous 2011 Grizz massacre, they have successively gone to the WCFs and then the NBA Finals, hopefully with the cherry on the top trophy next summer for Duncan.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      I would be very happy for Mike if he landed with the Spurs. He deserves another first-class organization, and San Antonio is surely that.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Memphis.

    • stayhigh_247 - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      yeah but he’s American, Pop’s mostly favors foreigners.

  4. brutl - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Mike deserved more than an amnesty… sad.

    • albertmn - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Sorry, I don’t get why he “deserved” more. He got two rings, he still gets paid, and he can still move on and play elsewhere. There are hundreds of guys that have played in the NBA and never had made the Finals, much less won a ring. He is a good outside shooter and contributed on a team that got two rings. He should be thankful and move on. Why are people “sad” for him?

      • zeedoubleyou - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        What David Lee did in this year’s playoffs was MM in 2012. He played through multiple injuries that each would normally end a player’s season.

        The guy couldn’t even sit on the bench without his back going into traction yet somehow hit 7 threes in the clincher.

        A true professional.

      • badintent - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        NOt about $$, even rings. He was a true pro , played through a lot of injuries that other players would not have. Great team mate and solid citizen. A true pro and class act. Not a Heat fan. A Miller fan.Not the beer , the man.He will go right to national TV or PR/front office if he wants it.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:15 AM

        “sad” may be a little dramatic, agree…but it is disappointing he cant stay on…he was an integral cog to their 3 title trips. he will go into the “pantheon of awesome playoff shooters” where horry, saxon, kerr, etc…will greet him with open arms.

  5. bleedtwincitiessports - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Not sure about this. I mean, I’m pretty sure the Heat WOULDN’T be champs if miller didn’t shot like he did the Finals! Dude was clutch.

  6. dolphindubs - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    We’ll never forget Game 5 of the 2012 Finals when you put on a shooting showcase!

    Good luck to you Mike!

  7. leoimpr - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I saw it comming when Arison stepped down as a CEO of Carnival. Tough times are coming for the Heat. Next year we will try to be under the cap. Hope we can win this year, but losing Mike for me will take us from being at the top of the EC, now we are one of the best teams, not the best. Allen showed he was slowing down considerably at the end of the season, Battie may not give us such a magic year again, Rashard is a non factor, UD will have a disaster of year as he cannot do it anymore, and James Jones and Joel Anthony are just practice players. Unless Wade’s knees are magically cured, and Bosh man’s up, this will be the end of the Big 3 era, we cannot win if we don’t improve our team, and we just became worst.

    • leoimpr - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      I can’t believe how YOU people disagree with me, are you saying that the Heat are better now without Mike??? Oh, James Jones is going to fill his minutes, will shoot his clutch shotes, yes sir.

    • miamatt - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      Are you for real? Releasing Mike Miller drops the Heat from the best to just one of the best? I’m not going to say we are better today having cut Miller but c’mon, your reaction is a bit panicky. The biggest factor for Miami moving into next year is Wade, whom you mentioned- if he is a superstar, Miami is simply the best. If Wade is only a superstar 2-3 times in a 7 game series, Miami is potentially the best, but things get much tighter. The Heat still have good depth, this might open the door for Rashard Lewis to be that “emergency” shooting option (he looked to be healthy when given a chance to play) and makes keeping rookie James Ennis closer to being a reality.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        Rashard Lewis actually had a pretty good year when he played. I know it wasn’t a lot, but if you look at the stats, he was pretty solid. He could easily step into Miller’s role and provide 5 points and 4 rebounds a game.

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    MM33 will never have to pay for a drink in this town. Thanks Mike

  9. parasolmonster - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Today I tape all of my fingers to honor Mike.

  10. skinsfanwill - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Why the heck didn’t they amnesty Joel Anthony. He got used to the zero power all year. That would have made more sense to me. especially since they are making a run at Oden. No need for Anthony to even be on the team. I would take Mike Miller over Ray Allen all day long. Outside of that one basket, he stunk the place up pretty bad. Can’t defend a sneeze much less an opposing basketball player. go back to Boston, please.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Look for Allen to have a better year this year. Miller struggled his first year with the Heat and Battier also struggled his first year. I think it takes a while to get into the flow of their offense. I may end up eating my words, but I think Allen will have a much better year.

  11. 13arod - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Heat just made me mad i know they wanted to save money and were trying to amnesty miller or joel miller was the reason why the won the finals in 2012 and joel doesnt even play what the f*** miami

    • spthegr8 - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      ^^^^^^^ Joel Miller is the reason they won the 2012 Finals???? First off all, who in the Blue HELL is Joel Miller and you do realize this a Basketball website??? Cuz whatever sport your watching AIN’T basketball!! SMFH!!!!!

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        I think it was supposed to be another sentence? Maybe punctuation isn’t his thing…

  12. cantonbound13 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Hahaha! So much for that “family” nonsense the Heat try to get people to buy into. Bosh is next after the 3 opt out.

    • zeedoubleyou - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      It must be hard for a Knicks fan to understand this while your team gives up a 1st round pick for a worse guy making more money.

    • miamatt - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      $40 Million in taxes over the next two years to keep Miller (on top of his regular salary) is steep for any team. I’ll admit I am surprised they amnestied him, but you’re the only one talking nonsense. I’m sure planning for summer 2014, and having maximum flexibility at that time was a factor in the decision.

      One thing we didn’t get on this is months of trade rumors or reports that the Heat were going to amnesty Miller (other than speculation based on the numbers, not “unnamed sources”). The story broke when it happened. Tough decisions have to be made sometimes; you can haha all day, but the champs will be ready to recruit and reload next year.

      • cantonbound13 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Ask Mike & Stan Van Gundy what they think of their “family”

      • miamatt - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:11 AM

        ^^^^
        ya got two guys from the last eight years? wow, what a burn…

    • doctordunkenstein - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      cantonbound, at first u were somewhat amusing in the past, but now that the heat are back to back champs, u just come off as a sad loser…

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Part of this is due to Miller’s contract extending through the 2014-2015 season. After this season the big 3 can opt out and the Heat will need as much money as possible to sign them to new contracts.

  14. kb2408 - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Why didn’t they amnesty that stiff Joel? I know he doesn’t make as much as Mike, but still. Without Mike and Shane the Heat wouldn’t be back to back champs. I’m sure another contender will pick him up.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Same reason the Lakers cut MWP. $$$

  15. jimmymarlinsfan - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I’m pretty sure that Mikey will retire. I just don’t think he has anything left in the tank beyond playing in about 40 regular season games and some minutes here and there in the playoffs. Thanks for the memories and best of luck in all your future endeavors.

    Canton, how about them World Champion Knicks? Oh, the Knicks didn’t win? MY bad douchebag

  16. the1whothinks - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Remember it’s a business decision Mike Miller did his thing and rained some threes but to say that over the course of 82 game season he more valuable than Ray or Shane is crazy. Also as much as I love Mike for his work on and off th court. IS HE REALLY WORTH 12 Million a year…

  17. jamieaadams - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    He was a lot of fun to watch in the finals, this year and last. Heck of a competitor.

  18. jzone954 - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Thank you Mike.

  19. miamatt - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    You earned the entirety of your salary in game 5 of the 2012 finals. This year was just gravy. Thank you, Mike! You will be missed, but I’ll root for you wherever you land!

    LET IT FLY!!!

  20. rodge1 - Jul 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Love what Mike Miler brought here: rebounding, defense, hustle, and those clutch 3’s… Good luck wherever you go Mike, you’re a class act!!!!

  21. zoomy123 - Jul 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I think people are really having selective memory. Mike Miller was NOT the reason why the Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship, although, he was a very important piece. Miami was already up 3-1 in that series when Miller hit 7 3’s in game 5.

  22. asuthyo - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I understand the money situation here and I get that Miller doesn’t play very often (specifically during the regular season) but, I really wish the Heat hadn’t done this. If the Arison’s felt he could contribute to the team making/winning a championship than that $17 million would have been more than recuperated.

    I truly don’t think the impact of this will be felt during the regular season- Miller never played much then anyways. Where I think it will affect the Heat (if it ends up doing so) is in the playoffs. This guy could not play for the first six games of a series and then come in during the seventh and knock down all his threes and play solid defense and good team ball. He’s always ready to play and always ready to make a contribution and the Heat could miss that come playoff time.

  23. allaroundsportsbuzz - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Mike Miller was so clutch for the Heat. Now he is gone but you kept Chris Anderson, Battier. Really Miami what are doing. Miller will come back to haunt the Heat.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      Andersen fills a different, and more important, position for the Heat. Battier is a little more healthy (knock on wood) and can play much better defense. Miller is clutch and has been an integral part of the Heat championships, but he’s expensive to keep and his role can be filled with what’s on the current roster.

  24. deavn - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I don’t feel sorry for millionaires. He’ll find a team soon. He’s a good shooter and can help space the floor for any competitive team. Spurs? OKC? who knows.

  25. silverandblackfan77 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    They needed more room to make a competitive offer to Oden(not sure he deserves it)

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