UPDATE: The official Twitter account for the Miami Heat confirmed that the team waived Mike Miller under the amnesty provision and was followed by an official press release.
"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 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."
END OF UPDATE
The Palm Beach Post's Ethan J. Skolnick tweeted today that the Miami Heat will likely use the amnesty provision to release Mike Miller. Shortly afterward, the Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman tweeted that Miller's agent was informed Monday that the team will indeed amnesty him. The move would save the team about $17 million in luxury tax payments for the 2013-14 season; Miller has two years left on his contract. This reporting contradicts Pat Riley's previous statements that he did not plan on amnestying anyone.
This instance would not stand as the first example in which Riley's words and actions have not met up perfectly in line, however. He said during the disastrous 2007-08 season that he was not interested in trading Shaquille O'Neal only to trade him to the Phoenix Suns at mid-season.
In an article I wrote July 11, I suggested that the Heat amnesty Miller instead of Joel Anthony. Although Miller has made strong contributions during the Finals for the last three years, his injuries and defensive limitations make him an overpaid reserve. For a team that already has Ray Allen, Shane Battier and even James Jones, Miller's high salary made him expendable.
He may end up signing with a competitor that needs shooting (perhaps a reunion in Memphis is in order?) but the significant monetary savings make it a common-sense move. Besides, Miller alone won't improve Memphis or any team that significantly. He's tough, but he's an injury-prone 33-year-old player who isn't much more than a standstill shooter at this stage of his career. It was the right move.
More from Hot Hot Hoops:
- Heat reaction after Mike Miller is amnestied
- NBA Free Agency: Heat still favorites to sign Greg Oden, but other teams scheduling meetings
- Miami Heat Player Countdown: #154-150
- Pat Riley: "Right now, we’re not using amnesty", seeks to use mini mid-level exception
- LeBron James and The Decision: Part Deux