The Miami Heat officially waived Mike Miller via the amnesty provision on Tuesday afternoon. Although the veteran sharpshooter has had some highlight-worthy moments from beyond the arc in the postseason for the Heat, he was the fourth highest paid player on the team. Let that sink in for a second. Miller was earning more than double what Ray Allen earned in 2013. For a player that averaged just 4.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.7 APG, the $6.2 million he is due each year is not worth it.
With Miller being amnestied, the Heat will not only save $17 million in luxury tax this season, but also next season as well. You know why this is important? A certain player by the name of LeBron James will most likely be a free agent in 2014. Having as much free space in terms of even the luxury tax will allow Pat Riley and the rest of the Heat organization to bring in talent to convince James to sign another long-term contract.
Regardless of how James’s 2014 Free Agency plays out, the decision to use to amnesty provision on Miller is wise. The Heat are deep at the shooting guard/small forward position, so Miller’s loss won’t be too disastrous. If anything, the loss will be felt more for the fans of the game, and of the Heat. It will be hard to replicate some of Miller’s defining postseason moments, such as the epic three point shot he rattled in with only one shoe on in the waning moments of Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Even with his all his postseason glory, Miller had to go. It is about longevity with this franchise, and Miller just happened to be the casualty of it. In order to be competitive for other free agents, including James next summer, you have to sacrifice something. It is a shame to see Miller go, but with two championship rings in tow, and a guaranteed $12 million over the next two years from the Heat, I don’t think Miller is complaining.