The Miami Heat have waived guard Mike Miller per the NBA’s amnesty provision, the team announced.
“After many discussions internally and a sincere effort to explore the trade market, we made a very difficult decision to use our Amnesty provision on Mike Miller,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami HEAT; helping us to three finals appearances and winning back-to-back World Championships.”
This comes after the news was originally reported by the Palm Beach Post’s Ethan Skolnick.
This may come as a shock, as this is very different than reports we have heard recently of keeping the team together. Miller played a huge role in each of the last two NBA Finals. Against Oklahoma City two years ago, he hit a bazillion three’s in the closeout game to open up a blow out win against the Thunder for the title. This past season against the San Antonio Spurs, Miller started multiple games to space the floor for LeBron James.
However, the Heat had to decide if Miller was worth what he is being paid. Miller is set to $6.2 million next season. He will keep the remaining money in his contract if he is released ($12.8 million total) plus whatever he makes on his next contract. The Heat will avoid the luxury-tax bill of a reported $1.50 on every dollar on his contract if they amnesty him before the deadline tomorrow.
It was no secret that Miller was well-liked in the Miami Heat locker room. He becomes the first major casualty during the Big Three era. His fellow Gator-alum didn’t take the news well, according to Skolnick.
Miller was extremely well-liked in the locker room. I’ve been told that Haslem didn’t take the news especially well.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 16, 2013
The cut comes this late likely because the Heat were trying to find a trade partner. Miller shouldn’t have a hard time finding a team to play for, as the money has been going to three-point shooters this offseason. That’s if he decides to sign somewhere else. After back problems and a special run with Miami, Miller could decide to hang them up and collect nearly $13 million on the golf course.
Miller appeared in 59 regular season games, starting 17, with the HEAT last season. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.3 minutes.