Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Two-time defending NBA champions Miami Heat have used their one-time amnesty clause to waive shooting guard Mike Miller, allowing them to avoid about $17 million in luxury tax.
A source said the Heat informed Miller’s agent of their move. They will pay Miller the remainder of his contract, worth $12.8 million for the next two seasons, either entirely by Miami or partially by the Heat and the team that picks Miller up on waivers.
If Miller clears waivers unclaimed and becomes a free agent, he could earn two paychecks for the next two seasons, although teams over the salary cap can only offer him a veteran’s minimum contract.
Before releasing Miller, the Heat were staring at a potential luxury-tax bill after next season for more than $30 million.
The decision to release Miller, a fan favorite and hero of Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals, was difficult for the Heat as they try to keep their championship team intact.
Miller signed with the Heat in summer of 2010 but his stint was beset by a series of injuries that limited his playing time. Freak injuries to his thumbs limited his shooting in 2011 and a nagging back problem reduced his effectiveness in the 2012 season.
However, Miller shined in the 2012 NBA Finals despite a bulging disc in his back that was so painful he chose to lie on the baseline during games rather than sit in a chair on the bench.
He shot 63.6 percent in the 2012 Finals and delivered one of the best shooting performances in Finals history in Game 7, making 7 of 8 attempts from three-point range to help the Heat clinch their first championship the Big 3 Era.
With the addition of Ray Allen for the 2012-13 season, Miller’s role was limited once again, but his inactivity allowed his body time to heal.
With the Heat needing a spark from the outside during the 2013 NBA Finals, Miller was inserted into the starting lineup beginning with Game 4.
In Games 1-3, Miller was 10 of 11 from three-point range off the bench. As a starter, Miller went 3-for-4 from three-point range in Game 6.