As we've said before, if LeBron James does go to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, that most likely means the Heat can only fill out their roster with veterans minimum contracts. That's what makes this report from FOX Sports' Jeff Goodman so confusing.
Source told FOXSports.com Miami Heat have offered Mike Miller 5-year deal worth 27-30 million with deadline tonight.
Miller has been told by Miami that the team is "confident" LeBron is coming. Miller could likely earn more money with New York Knicks.
How, exactly, does Miami have this salary-cap money to offer Miller this contract? Answer: they probably don't, at least not right now. There are two ways they might, though.
- They are offering this contract to Miller as a fallback option in case LeBron changes his mind. If LeBron does indeed sign with the Heat, they'll just take it back.
- LeBron, Wade and Bosh are taking much less money to fit Miller in.
How much less money would they have to take? The salary cap is $58,044,000, and the Heat currently have Michael Beasley ($4.96 million), Mario Chalmers ($854,000) and the remnants of James Jones' partially-guaranteed contract ($1.9 million) on their payroll. Subtracting those players puts us at $50,371,371. Assuming Miller makes $5 million in year one (a guess), that puts us at $45,371,371. Divide that by three, and you get $15.1 million each for LeBron, Wade and Bosh. The first-year value of a maximum contract is $16.324 million, according to Larry Coon, so to make this work, all three players will have to give up $1.2 million per season.
That's not as much as I expected, but that's just to slot in Miller. To slot in more players, they'd obviously have to give up more.