Biggest Questions and Answers for the Miami Heat This Offseason
There won't be a lot of money thrown around this offseason for the Miami Heat. With three superstars on the roster, Miami has almost no financial flexibility.
But there are still plenty of decisions that Miami will have to make this summer that will affect next year's team.
Change could happen: There are team options, player options, unrestricted free agents and a potential amnesty clause.
So, let's look at how the Heat should handle these possible changes.
Should They Amnesty Mike Miller?
Miami has yet to use its amnesty clause and Mike Miller is the perfect candidate.
Miller is on the books for $6.2 million in 2013-14 and $6.6 million in 2014-15. That makes him Miami's fourth-highest paid player (behind the Big Three) for the two seasons.
That's way too high of a price to pay for someone who barely gets off of the bench. Miller has played in just half of the Heat's 10 playoff games this season, topping 10 minutes in a game just once.
Miller can still play in this league, but he's expendable on Miami.
At this point, Miller is basically just someone who can stroke it from beyond the arc. The Heat have plenty of talent at the wing positions, including those who can shoot the ball well and help in other areas of the game, and Miller hasn't and won't get playing time over them.
While Miller has done everything in his power to be helpful to the Heat, it's best for Miami to move on.
Will Ray Allen Exercise His Player Option?
The Heat have two players with the ability to exercise player options this offseason: Ray Allen ($3.2 million) and James Jones ($1.5 million).
Jones has already said he will be back next year, so the only mystery now is Allen. However, expect Allen to return as well, especially if the Heat repeat as champions this season.
Allen has had to enjoy his first year with Miami.
For one, there's been plenty of winning. But also, Allen has about as great of a job as a player like him can have in the NBA. He gets to shoot open three-pointers created by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Allen has hinted at retirement, but I don't see him turning down another opportunity to be a part of one of the best teams in NBA history.
Should They Exercise Their Team Option on Mario Chalmers?
Mario Chalmers has a $4 million team option for next year and Miami definitely should exercise it.
While Chalmers has struggled for much of the postseason, and been severely outplayed at times by backup Norris Cole, he's still an improving and contributing player.
Plus, $4 million is a completely fair price. To put the $4 million price tag in perspective, potential free agent D.J Augustin made $3.5 playing for the Indiana Pacers this season. Chalmers is a far better player than Augustin.
Chalmers has developed into a really strong outside shooter and shot a career-best 40.9 percent on three-point attempts this year. He's made great strides as a defender and he posted his best assist-to-turnover ratio in the previous four seasons.
Should They Re-Sign Chris Andersen?
Miami signed Chris "Birdman" Andersen for the veteran's minimum midseason, and it's paid huge dividends.
In all likelihood they won't be able to get such a bargain on Andersen's services next year; however, the Heat should still bring him back. Miami can use its $3 million taxpayer mid-level exception on Andersen, and he's worth it.
"Birdman" has been outstanding for the Heat this season, especially in the playoffs.
He's played a pivotal role in the Heat's rebounding ability improving, as he has been the Heat's top rebounder per 36 minutes. He's also been a physical presence on the defensive end, consistently blocking and affecting shots.
Plus, Andersen is more than competent offensively, which the Heat haven't often been able to say about their centers throughout the Big Three era. He's scoring 7.9 points on 82.9 percent shooting in the playoffs.
If he will sign for $3 million, bringing back Andersen is a no-brainer.
What Position Do They Most Need to Sign in the Offseason?
If the Heat are to do what's suggested in this article, then Miami is going to be limited to veteran-minimum type contracts.
Even with Andersen on board, the Heat should look to snatch up a veteran center that's willing to take a discount at a chance at a title.
Miami has enough wing players and their point guard play is improving, so there's not much need elsewhere. And it never hurts to bring in an extra big body as injury insurance that can grab rebounds.
Best-case scenario for Miami is they are basically the same team as they were this year because, you know, they're on the verge on winning a title. So, bringing its own contributors back and using veteran-minimum contracts on free agents is the best strategy.
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