The Miami Heat almost got exactly what they wanted last season, coming up two games short in the NBA Finals. But all in all, not a bad debut for the super villains, right? With the major splashes out of the way (we think), it's time to turn the Heat into a championship winning team. Let's see what they have.
Here's a look at the Heat's salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
The Heat will be over the luxury tax line in 2012 and for eternity. When you have three max players who took small paycuts to play together, there's simply no way around it.
Heading into free agency, the Heat have a cap figure of $65 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million. That should allow Miami to offer the full mid-level exception, depending on what the team does with the amnesty clause and a couple of key free agents.
The Heat's free agents are:
Chalmers should be an easy, small contract to lock in, assuming the Heat don't want to waive the team's right to match offers on him. Jones is the most important veteran free agent, and he should be relatively cheap as well. Beyond that, it shouldn't matter in the grand scheme whether any of them come back.
The Heat have been mentioned with names like Nene and Samuel Dalembert, who would seem to be out of Miami's pay range. I have learned not to question Pat Riley, however. Mike Miller sounds like a guy who plans to not be waived under the amnesty clause, and Udonis Haslem will be sticking around. It'll be interested to see when the first Chris Bosh trade rumors pop up. Neither LeBron James or Dwyane Wade are going anywhere. But in the quest for championships, would either put up a major stink if Riley looked to swap out Bosh for a more interior-based big man?
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