4 Routes the Miami Heat Could Take in Dealing with NBA Amnesty Clause
The amnesty clause should be a considered a second chance for many teams that have created questionable contracts and moves in the past few years.
Do you know who is the fifth-highest-paid player currently in the NBA? If you said Gilbert Arenas you are correct.
That's right, the loud-mouthed, gun-slinging point guard who averaged just eight points and 3.2 assists for the Orlando Magic last season. It's safe to say that they can't wait to rid themselves of such an outrageous contract.
Luckily for the Miami Heat, they do not carry any glaringly bad contracts. While they have little room to make improvement due to salary restrictions, Miami still possesses a rather talented roster that is ready to compete for a championship.
If Miami does decide to exercise the clause anytime soon, these are some possible scenarios that the Heat will take to improve the team.
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Mike Miller was supposed to be a huge part of an explosive Heat attack off the bench last season. He's got the size to play a small forward and the skills to be a valuable shooting guard, making him a valid substitution for stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
That being said, Miller turned out to be a disaster contract before he even stepped on the floor for Miami. Playing only 41 games due to injury, the sharpshooter only managed to score 5.6 points a contest and convert on 36 percent of his downtown attempts.
Miller is still a solid overall player and would be an asset off a sub-par Miami bench when healthy. He's a notable rebounder and defender, but most importantly can be a hot shooter once he hits a rhythm.
Coming off three surgeries in the last year, it's unclear just how good Miller will look once the season starts. A short time for team training camps will be an issue based off the lockout, but limiting Miller's minutes to start the season could prove to be helpful.
It isn't a must for Miami to cut the former Florida Gator, but his cut contract could open up plenty of opportunities for the team in free agency. If Miller struggles this year, look for him to be a prime candidate once again next year if they keep the amnesty clause stored.
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Like many Miami Heat fans, I absolutely loved what Joel Anthony brought to the team last year. However, I don't like it for the price tag it brings.
The truth is Anthony has no true basketball talents. He is a liability with the ball in his hands and cannot finish unless it's an open dunk. He often seems lost on the court and truly looks unpolished for a player at 29 years old.
Don't get me wrong, Anthony still brings a ton of heart and hustle with the ability to be a suitable bench player with a limited role, but he's still not worth the money.
Ridding themselves of Anthony would free up room to help bring in a legitimate starting center or perhaps be the money needed to re-sign Mario Chalmers to a contract. I'd love to keep seeing him in a Miami Heat uniform based off his assets, but in the end basketball is a business.
However, he still would not be the most logical player on the roster to use the amnesty clause on.
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Eddie House is a solid three-point shooter and a decent ball-handling option for the Miami Heat, however in the end, he is still Eddie House.
For reasons beyond me, it seemed as if House received many opportunities in clutch situations for Miami early in the season. Maybe it was a lack of chemistry or the shortage of aggressiveness from LeBron James, but House should still never see the ball in a big moment.
House is mainly known for his stroke from long range, hitting 39 percent of his three-point attempts last season. He will not bring you much else in normal situations, but his shot is safe in Miami for now.
It would be silly to use such a gift on cutting a player who becomes a free agent next season and doesn't command a face-palming contract as of now. I'll go ahead and say this will be House's last year in Miami either way, but he could be a possible trade option down the road.
Save It for the 2012-13 Season
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By far the best option the Miami Heat can use for the amnesty clause. Mike Miller deserves one more shot to prove his worth and Joel Anthony works way to hard to be cut. Waiting just one more year could open up a huge window of opportunities for the contenders.
If you want to check out a list of game-changing free agents, look no further than the pool available after this season. Along with Steve Nash, who could be on his last few runs, there are plenty of talented veterans and young players with great potential that Miami could look into.
With a Dwight Howard sweepstakes inevitably about to occur, odds are Miami could swoop in and grab a solid player or two.
Could a guy like Chris Kaman be the body needed in the paint to give the Heat a more balanced attack?
Or could a veteran point guard like Kirk Hinrich be inclined to sign with the Heat for a shot at a championship?
Honestly, these aren't even my favorite options, but the choices are endless when it comes to the possibility of finding a gem.
Miami is built to win right now. They have three stars in their prime years surrounded by a decent rotation when healthy. It's unfair to call this project a failure after one year considering they made it to the NBA Finals last year and there is no need to panic and rebuild.
With that in mind, it would be a shame for Miami to jump the gun and use such a valuable tool in the amnesty clause. If all else fails next season, consider either Mike Miller or Joel Anthony to be cut to make room to bring in some different faces.
Besides, the chance to see Steve Nash play one season for the Heat would be well worth the wait. LeBron James has teased it, and don't act like you wouldn't want to see it as well.