With a $33 million luxury tax staring them in the eyes, the Miami Heat have decided to part ways with Mike Miller. The Heat will save around $17 million with the loss of Miller, almost cutting the bill in half. The Heat used their one time right to waive Miller through the NBA’s amnesty release program. The move made a little more noise than usual due Miami Heat President Pat Riley saying the team would bypass using the program just 4 days ago, and the popularity of Miller in the locker-room.
Miller made 7 3-pointers vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder that sealed the Heat’s 2012 NBA Championship. Miller also started Game 7 vs. the Spurs in this year’s finals. He made his living coming off of the bench and making timely 3-point shots, and now his time in Miami is over. Miller notes it will be hard to watch the guys coming out of the tunnel for next season, and him not being apart of it. Miller has been apart of all three NBA Finals runs for the Heat since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the squad, leading to back-to-back titles.
While his time in Miami may be over, Miller is not yet ready to hang up the sneakers for good. Look for the Los Angeles Clippers to make a move for Miller’s services. As for the Heat, they have been rumored to be involved with former #1 Draft pick Greg Oden. Oden has played only 82 games in the NBA, and has not seen time on the floor in 3 1/2 years. Oden has been marred by knee injuries since being drafted #1 by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007. The Heat, Spurs, Pelicans, Mavericks, and Kings have all reportedly expressed interest. If the Heat do not go with Oden, they may look to sign a younger player to replace Miller. With guys like Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, James Jones, Shane Battier, and Adonis Haslem not getting any younger, the Heat will need an influx of young talent to keep their place at the top of the NBA.