The back-to-back champion Miami Heat have somewhat of a strange offseason ahead of them. They enter it without picks in the upcoming draft and are extremely limited financially.
Primarily due to its Big Three core, the Heat are over the tax and already have $75,547,200 guaranteed of salary next year, which is excluding the players who have team or player options.
Guaranteed salary players: LeBron James ($19,067,500), Dwyane Wade ($19,067,500), Chris Bosh ($18,673,000), Mike Miller ($6,200,000), Udonis Haslem ($4,340,000), Joel Anthony ($3,800,000), Shane Battier ($3,270,000) and Norris Cole ($1,129,200).
If the players with options come back, the total jumps to $86,464,629.
Five players have options for the 2013-14 season for Miami.
Players with a player option: Ray Allen ($3,229,050), James Jones ($1,500,000) and Rashard Lewis ($1,399,507).
Players with a team option: Jarvis Varnado ($788, 872) and Mario Chalmers ($4,000,000).
There's strong reason to believe that the majority of these players will be back, and the Heat will be around $86,000,000 before even signing a player.
Jones has said he'll be back next year. Rashard Lewis has hinted that he'll also exercise his player option.
Some offseason housekeeping: Rashard Lewis says he is leaning toward opting-in but not 100% sure. James Jones jumps in: "He's coming back."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 19, 2013
There has been no indication either way from Allen, but after this season ended and the role he played in the title win, expect him to be back.
Ray Allen: "This is the way to do it." Says he needs a little time to think about what he'll do next season.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 21, 2013
It's a foregone conclusion that the Heat will exercise Chalmers' option. $4,000,000 is a bargain for a starting point guard. Also, he's an improving player, he's been in the system for the past couple of years, and the Heat love his big-game ability.
Varnado is the most likely to be gone, as he sparingly played this season, but it's not like the Heat are saving much money there.
Regardless, due to the Heat being over the cap, Miami will have the taxpayer's mid-level of about $3,200,000. It can be used for one player or split between two players.
If the Heat want to re-sign Chris "Birdman" Andersen, which is likely after his performance in the 2013 NBA playoffs, it will probably take the full amount of that exception.
But other than that exception, the Heat will only be able to offer minimum contracts.
Miami's salary-cap situation will almost certainly lead to the 2013-14 Heat looking very similar to the 2012-13 Heat. Considering the Heat are the 2013 champions, that's not such a bad thing.
All salary information gathered from HoopsWorld.