As if trading Daequan Cook for virtually nothing wasn't enough, the Heat is still finding ways to free up cap space in time for July. Earlier today it came out that Miami is working on a buyout for the contract of James Jones, who signed with the Heat two summers ago. Jones is set to make $15.5 million over the next three seasons but only a part of that money will be guaranteed if the Heat waives him prior to June 30th.
If they are able to finalize such a deal then there would be another $2.8 million to spend next month. We may not hear about the Heat completing the buyout until the 30th though. Miami is still trying to find a team willing to trade for J-J but it seems nobody wants to take on his contract, and I cant say I blame them. You can blame injuries or whatever you want, but the bottom line is that he hasn't done anything in his 2 years with the Heat to justify making what is contract is worth.
Jones isn't the only player making a little news today, as Joel Anthony has decided not to pick up his player option with the Heat for the 2010-11 season. The move will be official at midnight, which is the deadline for Anthony to pick up his option or not. Had he chosen to stick with his contract then he would have made around $885k, but now he'll make a little bit more.
The Heat now has to extend a qualifying offer of roughly $1 million for 2010-11 in order to match outside offers. In addition, until such a qualifying offer is accepted, Anthony would count at double his 2009-10 salary against the 2010-11 salary cap.
Considering how productive Anthony is off the bench, I'd say there is a good chance the Heat will pay him the $1 million to keep him around. It's funny how Joel makes much less then Daequan Cook ($2.16 mil) and James Jones ($4.6 mil) yet he has shown to be much more valuable to the team over the past couple years.
With the NBA Draft coming up tonight, the Heat are still supposedly active in looking for a trade partner that would take Michael Beasley and his $4.9 million contract for next season. I seriously doubt that Pat Riley would make a move with Beasley like the one he made with Daequan Cook yesterday; they will want to get something in return for the 2nd overall pick just two summers ago.
The key will be acquiring someone for Beasley who either has a very small contract or at least one with partially guaranteed money. If a move like this gets pulled off, it will be pretty incredible to think about the absolute house cleaning that the Heat went through this summer.