The Miami Heat and Mike Miller are no longer a thing after the amnesty clause being used on him, and considering that after two NBA titles the veteran will probably look to sign with a contender, the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers all seem like teams that could make a move for him.
By using the amnesty clause on Miller, the Miami Heat give up his $12.8 million salary for the next two years, a move that should save them around $17 million in luxury taxes this season, as they were projected to have a tax bill of just under $33 million going into next season.
In 2012-2013, Miller played the most he has since the 2009-2010 season, featuring in 59 games, averaging 15.3 minutes a game. He played a bit less in the postseason, until the finals that is, suddenly thrown into the starting lineup and delivering a dose of three point shooting and rebounding to help the Miami Heat win the NBA title.
Trying to trade him didn’t work, so the Heat decided to break up a piece from their championship team, hoping they can find a way to make up for Miller’s departure. Still, with four surgeries since signing with the Heat, his salary, tax issues and age just didn’t add up for the Heat, trying to keep a team together without paying too much for it.
So now the question that was hanging over his head last year returns – does he retire? Miller was at his healthiest last season, or the healthiest he’s been in quite a while, which means he should be looking for at least one more season in the NBA. He didn’t sound like someone retiring after the announcement – I understand the business side of basketball. 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.
However, words are wind in professional sports, and Pat Riley constantly said he wasn’t going to use the amnesty clause. Maybe the ownership decided to force him into it, but that’s not very likely. However, this does mean a team the Heat see as their rival pick him up – Miller can still provide excellent shooting and hustle, and when it comes with his experience and for a minimum salary, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him playing for one of the above-mentioned teams next season, trying to win a title without the Heat.