Three players that were on the Heat's radar are choosing other teams for bigger paychecks instead of the veteran minimum and the chance for a ring in Miami. Raja Bell, the 33 year old former FIU star, is signing with the Utah Jazz, one of his former teams in a long NBA career. He signed a three year contract worth about $10 million which is far more than he could have signed here in Miami, though he had expressed a strong interest in playing for the Heat (even going so far as to say they were his first choice) earlier in the offseason before LeBron James and Chris Bosh were added to the roster. But with this contract in all likelihood his last one in his career the offers, including one from the Los Angeles Lakers, were out of the Heat's price range. Former Heat guard Keyon Dooling, who was born in Fort Lauderdale and played for Dillard, has joined the Milwaukee Bucks on a two year deal to be the backup to Brandon Jennings and is effectively replacing the departed Luke Ridnour. Though his name was thrown around as a possible addition for the Heat, it's hard to tell how much interest there was from both sides. His new contract is said to be at around $2 million a year, which is slightly more than what he could have earned in Miami. Finally, the curious case of Matt Barnes is still up in the air. First he broke the news on Twitter that he was playing for the Toronto Raptors:
Nxt season I will b playing for the Toronto Raptors. I wanted to thank the fans in orl you guys were amazing the way u guys exceptedHowever, his new team don't have the cap space to sign him outright to what was originally reported to be a two year contract in the range of $10 million. What complicates matters is that his former team the Orlando Magic must sign-and-trade him to Toronto and they don't have the money to sign him either. ESPN.com sheds some light on the matter: Sources told ESPN.com that the teams will resume discussions Tuesday, as planned all along, with the intent of landing Barnes with the Raptors via sign-and-trade. Yet no such deal could be assured as of midnight, raising the possibility that Barnes would have to accept new terms to sign with the Raptors or that other teams that have been chasing Barnes will get another shot at him if the deal collapses. Since Toronto recently spent the bulk of its $5.8 million mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza, it doesn't have the available funds to sign Barnes outright to a deal that starts in the neighborhood of $4 million. The Magic, though, are prevented by salary-cap rules from starting a sign-and-trade deal for Barnes at higher than $2 million, because Orlando doesn't have Barnes' full Bird rights after employing him for only one season. A sign-and-trade deal would also have to span at least three years, although only the first year is required to be guaranteed. So although it remains to be seen whether Barnes will actually sign with the Raptors, it's a fair assumption that if he doesn't join them he will seek a similar deal with other teams that still have money to spend. Miami is not one of those teams and can only offer the minimum to any free agent now. Although it would have been nice to have added him, the current roster is lacking guards, not forwards or centers.