NBA Miami Heat

5 Moves the Joel Anthony Trade Set Up For Miami Heat

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Moves that the Joel Anthony Trade Set Up For Miami

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

So the Miami Heat take a trip to visit the leader of the free world, then finally get a chance to free themselves of a contract that they had been locked in to from the summer of 2010 when they had no big men?

Heat fans may rejoice for one reason or another, but the team’s front office has a myriad of reasons to celebrate the move of Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics. The main one being that the three-way trade that netted the Heat point guard Toney Douglas and the Golden State Warriors Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks, also saved the team a ton of money. So says ESPN writer Jeff Goodman:

“The trade will save the Heat about $7.7 million in salary and luxury taxes this season and frees them on the $3.8 million they owed Anthony for next season. Depending on the Heat's salary-situation for next season, this is a deal that could end up saving them more than $15 million in salary and luxury taxes…”

This amount of saving is slowly becoming the norm, for the team, as they gear up for the summer of 2014’s free agency run. Which is similar to the way that they salary dumped before signing the Big Three.

And we saw it start, this year, when Miami amnestied seldom-used small forward Mike Miller before the 2013-14 campaign. Only this time the player to lose his shot at a three-peat was one who rarely touched the court, besides practice and 37 minutes of garbage time.

Funny thing is, the residents of South Beach have plenty more reasons to exalt the exile of Anthony and we have them listed in the next five slides.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Salary Dump

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Saving on salary and luxury tax allows Pat Riley the option to find new ways to do magic with Micky Arison’s money.

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4. The Guard They Needed

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to's Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Miami is a great home for Toney Douglas because he’s an "awesome defender, [who] needs to play off the ball alongside larger playmakers."

It also doesn’t hurt that the Heat have been searching for an athletic guard who could step in when Dwyane Wade is out.

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3. Space For Greg Oden...

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The loss of Joel Anthony could be a good sign that Greg Oden is finally ready to step into the needed center role. After all, he will be traveling with the team on this road trip and -- according to Pat Riley -- will be active and in uniform tonight.

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2. ...Or To Welcome Andrew Bynum

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

"This trade gives us great flexibility moving forward in our journey to win an NBA Championship…"

The fact that Pat Riley neither praised nor referenced the addition of Toney Douglas could signal that another trade or release could be on the way -- possibly making space for big man Andrew Bynum.

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1. The Rebuild

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With Joel Anthony gone, Udonis Haslem, ChrisBirdmanAndersen and Norris Cole are now the only Miami Heat players under contract for next season once the Big Three opt out. Sounds like a perfect way to retool around the main stars.