Originally written on Pass The Pill  |  Last updated 10/20/14
On Tuesday, the Miami Heat made the decision to amnesty Mike Miller who had won over America’s heart by hitting a clutch three in Game 6 of the NBA Finals with only one shoe on. Well, maybe he didn’t win over America’s heart, but he did win over the hearts of Miami Heat fans, and in the process help the team secure a second straight NBA title. However, ESPN.com points out that this move makes sense from a business sense and that business is what ultimately prevails in the world of professional sports: The move will save the Heat nearly $17 million in luxury taxes this season and reduce their expected tax bill, projected to be $33 million, by half. The Heat still owe Miller $12.8 million over the next two seasons as part of a contract he signed in 2010 If the Miami Heat were going to amnesty anybody, Mike Miller was going to be the guy. There was talk about maybe  deciding to amnesty Joel Antony or James Jones, but those guys don’t combine to make the kind of money that the Heat were scheduled to pay Mike Miller (they actually still are scheduled to pay him, but it won’t count against their luxury tax payments thanks to the amnesty clause). image from aolnews.com As far as what this move does for the Miami Heat going forward it means that they need to find a guy who can come in and hit clutch threes at the drop of hat (or a shoe for that matter). His clutch shooting was especially crucial for them given that Rashard Lewis and James Jones were not giving them anything, and Shane Battier pulled a disappearing act from beyond the arc. Unless Ray Allen becomes even more of a factor for them next season, they will have to find somebody else to replace him. It’s unfortunate for the Heat that they didn’t make this decision a bit sooner given that long-range shooter Kyle Korver has re-upped with the Hawks and  3-point wizard J.J. Redick has split for Los Angeles to join the Clippers. The Heat are going to have a hard time replacing Miller’s production unless they make a move via trade (which is unlikely). That being said, this move does make sense given the kind of money he was making. No matter how valuable his timely shooting was in the playoffs, over the course of the regular season, he didn’t do a whole lot. He was hobbled all the time, only playing in 59 games, and he averaged a meager 4.8 points per game. That is over $1M per point per game!!! That simply isn’t good economically for the Heat to pay him that much money. While choosing to amnesty Miller seems cruel and harsh given his heroics in the Finals, it was the only sensible thing for them to do for their financial and basketball well-being. Another player was also amnestied before Tuesday night’s amnesty deadline. That player would be Raptors small forward Linas Kleiza, who was scheduled to make $4.6M next season. Via the Toronto Star: “We thought it was safer now to do it,” Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri said after Toronto’s 81-70 summer-league win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. “Sometimes with those things it’s on your mind the whole time and you don’t want to end up doing something funny or losing something because you’re trying to get under the tax later on.” Given that Kleiza has been plagued with injuries and that he has only been able to play in 108 games over the past 3 seasons, waiving him via the amnesty clause is really a no brainer for the Raptors. When healthy, is worth the amount that he is being paid, the problem is he doesn’t play, hence the need to amnesty him.  This move really is quite an easy one for the Raptors to make. He likely doesn’t give them much next season either due to his knees. It makes sense to part ways with him, bite the bullet by paying him the $4.6M, but at least not have it count against the luxury tax threshold. image from nba.com Unlike Mike Miller, who seems to have a little gas left in the tank, it seems highly unlikely that anybody will sign Linas Kleiza unless it is for the veteran’s minimum. Even then it seems unlikely. Chances are high his NBA career is over, or at least put into limbo for the next little while as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee. He did deny a report by the Lithuania Tribune back in February that his NBA career wasn’t over, but it is important to keep in mind that whether or not he plays again is dependent on some NBA team taking a chance on him, which for right now remains to be seen. —Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord  The post Heat Amnesty Mike Miller; Raptors Amensty Linas Kleiza appeared first on Pass The Pill - Kings of Hoops.
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