Most Overpaid and Underpaid Players on the Miami Heat

Trent Stutzman@@trentstutzmanContributor IIISeptember 6, 2012

Most Overpaid and Underpaid Players on the Miami Heat

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    The harsh punishment the NBA enforces for overspending incentivizes teams to find bargains and spend with care. Some teams do. Some teams don’t. But pretty much all of them overspend in some cases and underspend in others.

    With the NBA salary cap set at $58.044 million for the 2012-2013 season and the tax level at $70.307 million, most NBA teams cannot afford to spend excessively. Any team that tops that tax level must pay one dollar of luxury tax for every dollar it exceeds $70.307 million.

    The Miami Heat have taken some wise steps to avoid the luxury tax, while also making some not-so-wise decisions.

    The following is my list of Miami’s most overpaid and underpaid players on the roster.

    (All salary numbers and stats credit to www.basketballreference.com)

Underpaid: Ray Allen (2012-2013 Salary of $3,090,000)

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    Allen going to the Heat was not only one of the biggest free agent signings of the summer, it was also the biggest bargain. He could have made six million per year had he stayed in Boston, and he would have had a no-trade clause.

    He should be making even more than that.

    He recently turned 37, so injury is a concern, but he shot a career-best 45.3 percent from three-point land in 2012. And really, that’s all he needs to do for this team.

    His lethal long-range shooting will be the perfect complement to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s slashing, which is worth more than three million per year.

Overpaid: Dexter Pittman ($854,389)

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    Yeah, he’s making the league minimum, but should he even be worth that?

    He’s only played in 37 regular season games and only three playoff games in his two career NBA seasons.

    The one time Spoelstra decided to start him in the playoffs for some reason (Game 3 against the Pacers), Pittman had his shots blocked by Roy Hibbert twice, committed one foul and was yanked after three and half minutes, never to return.

    Then in Game 5, he went all WWE on Lance Stephenson during garbage time and was subsequently suspended for three games.

    Maybe he’s making $854,389 too much.

Overpaid: Mike Miller ($5,800,000)

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    This one hurts me to say because the guy tries so hard, but he just can’t stay healthy.

    He’s missed 68 games over the past two years, and his play has mightily suffered because of it.

    Last year he only connected on 36.4 percent of his three-pointers and hit only 29.7 percent in the playoffs.

    Those dramatically rose to 45.3 and 41.3 percent, respectively, in 2012, but he could barely move because he was so hobbled. It took him two full years before he final turned in the performance everyone was waiting for in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

    He should be making a decent amount of money, but not the most of any non-Big 3 player.

Overpaid: Joel Anthony ($3,750,000)

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    Maybe if he could catch a ball, Anthony might be worth his nearly four million. He’s a terrific defender and supplies some much needed energy down low.

    But every time he’s on the floor, the Heat have to play four-on-five offensively.

    His inconsistency has resulted in Erik Spoelstra deciding to start him in some games, and play him less than 10 minutes in others.

    In a normal rotation, he’s really a ninth or tenth guy, basically one who rarely makes nearly $4 million.

Underpaid: Dwyane Wade/LeBron James ($17,182,000 and $17,545,000)

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    I put these two guys together because of the same reason. There really is no price too high to pay a combination like this. One is the best player in the world, and the other is top ten.

    On the court, they do just about everything. They score points. They rebound. They facilitate. They defend, and they’re incredibly smart.

    Off the court, their value is immeasurable. Think of all the jersey and ticket sales, advertising and TV deals as well as all the popularity drawn from the media and NBA fans in general.

    If there was no salary cap or maximum deal, both LeBron and Wade would be making a lot more money than they are now.