The Miami Heat haven’t even been fishing for two days and 2014 free agency news is already rolling in. Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen will reportedly opt of his contract and become a free agent this offseason, which technically begins in a couple of weeks.
Why would Birdman be opting out of a contract with a team that just made it to four straight Finals? As much as some people will want to read into his decision and connect the dots to the Big Three situation, there’s no evidence to support that it has anything to do with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. Birdman is what you could call a huge bargain at this point, only slated to make $1.45 million in 2014-15 under his current deal.
So while he might know something we don’t about the future of the Heat, that potential knowledge isn’t the main driving force behind his free agency decision to opt-out.
For a guy who was basically picked up off the street two years back, this is a great situation to be in because he’s played well enough to earn a raise. If the Heat aren’t willing to give him one, he’ll more than likely accept an offer from the team does that does offer him one.
You can definitely say that losing Andersen would be a minor blow to the Heat. They lack presence down low, and Birdman has played the role of rim protector and garbage man to tee over the past season and a half.
But how much can Miami afford to pay him with the looming Big Three contract situation? Probably not too much, which means that Birdman could be the one taking his talents elsewhere next season.