Miami Heat amnesty Mike Miller
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
After Miami Heat president Pat Riley said he saw no need to use the amnesty provision on forward Mike Miller, the Miami Heat did exactly that and waived the veteran forward on Tuesday.
“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,” Riley said in a statement. “Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami Heat; helping us to three finals appearances and winning back-to-back world championships. This was a very difficult decision for me personally, the Arison family, Erik and the entire Miami Heat organization. Mike was one of the best we have ever had here, and will be sorely missed. We wish Mike, his wife Jennifer and their family nothing but the best.”
The Heat’s decision to clear Miller’s salary from salary cap figures (though Miller will still be paid the 12.8 million he is owed came nearly three weeks after Riley said, “We don’t feel like it’s necessary” to amnesty Miller.
However, economics ruled the decision. Removing Miller’s $6.2 million salary for 2013-14 will save the Heat more than $16 million in luxury tax payments under the new, more punitive tax rate that kicks in next season.
Miller wasn’t oblivious to the amnesty possibility. After hitting 3-for-3 on three-pointers against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Miller addressed amnesty.
“One thing I’ve learned through 13 years of basketball is the business side of it, and I completely understand it,” Miller said. “But I’ve got a lot of basketball left. This is the best I’ve felt in five years and that might have something to do with the fact that I haven’t played (much). Sometimes, there’s light at the end of the tunnel even when you’re frustrated.”
Miller, who averaged 5.4 points and shot better than 40% on three-pointers in his three seasons with the Heat, played a pivotal role in Miami’s back-to-back championships. In Game 5 of the 2012 Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miller put on a shooting show, making 7-for-8 on threes. He had 23 points in … [For more on Miami Heat amnesty Mike Miller, click here.]