Miami Heat: Waiving Mike Miller Was A Mistake

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Some can easily understand why the Miami Heat waived veteran guard Mike Miller. Look at it from owner Mickey Arison‘s view: release Miller under the NBA‘s amnesty provision and save nearly $17 million in luxury tax. Heck, $17 million is a big chunk of change and Miller has battled numerous injuries over his three seasons with the Heat. So, it is understandable why Miller was let go, but I am not easily convinced.

Arison and Miami still own Miller $12.8 million over the next two seasons as part of the contract he signed in 2010. On top of letting Miller go and still owing him a sizable piece of dough, GM Pat Riley signed the brittle Greg Oden and underachieving Michael Beasley. Besides $17 million, what did Miami and Arison gain from waiving Miller? I’d say a whole lot of nothing.

The defending champs would have been much better keeping Miller. Although he has been plagued with back problems and other injuries, he has been a vital piece in earning back-to-back rings. He provided a great spark off the bench against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 Finals, and dropped a cool 23 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder to clinch the 2012 title.

Miller’s sharp shooting and rebounding abilities were a crucial contribution during the playoffs the last two seasons. He always seemed to come up big whenever the team needed it, and I even considered him to be Miami’s “X-factor.”

It seems that the release of Miller was all about financial gain. Arison did not want to part ways with $17 million, but had no problem letting go of a savvy veteran. Will it be worth the headache of a trouble maker in Beasley or watching a 7-foot giant huddled on the bench in street cloths?

It may have seemed like the right move, but come playoff time when the “Big 3″ are looking for a spark, who will Erik Spoelstra turn to? It sure won’t be Oden, Joel Anthony or Rashard Lewis. Spoelstra will be standing around with his hands on his hips, while Riley looks at Arison and says, “I told you so.”

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  • Jared Doyle

    I disagree. Mike Miller was just one of many three point shooters the Heat have at their disposal. The off-season moves they made this summer were to address their frontcourt issues.

  • Shad

    you gotta be kidding the only thing mike can do is shoot threes, he cant put the ball on the floor and no one respects his defense, besides he barley played the whole year and the heat still won 28 games straight so i think they can manage without him

  • Eric Cutler

    The only thing foolish is the topic of this article. Mike Miller had far too many games where he couldn’t make a shot, but some choose to focus on the few games where he made a lot of threes even though that is the only thing that he contributed.
    The heat identity is a fast paced team with great defense! Mike Miller is neither of these. He’s always the slowest heat player on the court (even when he’s healthy) and when he’s on D he can’t cover his own shadow. Whoever he’s guarding was always the one who got open. Go watch a few games, I found it amusing to watch how easily his man would shake him and get open. Opposing teams knew this and exploited it, but that overpriced weakness is now gone! :)

  • Shane Phillips

    everyone is titled to their opinion. I don’t believe waiving Miller and signing Oden and Beasley is much of a step up. Oden has never proved anything and the only thing Beasley proved was that he doesn’t want to grow up. Miller was a better option than those two, that is the way I see it.