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Heat complete buyout of James Jones' contract

The Miami Heat continued their diligent work to free up as much cap space as possible when they completed a buyout for the last three years of James Jones' contract earlier today.  This comes as no surprise because we knew the Heat were trying to get rid of the salary of Jones, who really didn't play all that much during his two seasons in Miami.

Pat Riley and the Heat had until Wednesday to complete the buyout of James Jones' contract.  If they hadn't then Jones full salary for 2010-11 would have been guaranteed, which would have been a huge $4.65 million mistake.  Instead, the Heat are now paying Jones $1.86 million this year (and a similar amount in the next two seasons as well) to simply walk away from the Heat as an unrestricted free agent.

Of the $1.86 million that the Heat are paying Jones for the upcoming season, only $1.5 of that will count against their cap space.  Not a huge difference, but every little bit helps.  So now the Heat have just Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley signed for next season, with Rio set to make $847,000 and Beasley $4.96 million. 

The talk now is that Miami might be looking to move Super Cool Beas in order to maximize their cap space and make the dream of Wade/LeBron/Bosh an even more possible reality.  I'm not saying they have to move Beasley in order to sign the studs, but they will have to take less then the max if the Heat still have Beas' contract to pay.

With Dwyane Wade, Beasley, Chalmers and now the $1.5 mil they owe to James Jones all counting against the cap for next season, Miami would have around $30 million left to operate under the cap.  My math says $33.4 but that is based on the $57.5 cap from last year and signing Wade for around $17 mil next season; all of those numbers are likely off by a little bit, but this is just to give us an idea.

The max free agent salary for the players the Heat are looking at is going to be around $16.5 million, which is what LeBron and Bosh are expected to be offered by any teams who can afford it.  The Heat will be close, but they also want to have a little cash left over to fill up the rest of the bench. 

Shifting back to James Jones as we wrap things up, in a similar situation to with Daequan Cook, Jones was making way more then he was worth to the Heat.  Now he can hopefully catch on with another team and steer clear of the injury bug that hindered him during his latest tenure with Miami. 

In his two seasons with the Heat, Jones played in 76 regular season games (7 starts), averaging 4.1 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists in 14.9 minutes, while shooting 36.6% from the field, 37.6% from downtown and 83% from the foul line.  In the post season he played in 8 games (7 starts), averaging 8.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists in 30.5 minutes, while shooting 51.5% from the field, 47.8% from beyond the arc and 92% from the charity stripe.