The two-time defending champion Miami Heat are in line to foot a nearly $30 million tax bill next season, but Heat president Pat Riley said the team has no intention of using their one-time amnesty option to lessen some of the tax burden, according to NBA.com.
Veterans Mike Miller and Joel Anthony have been mentioned as amnesty possibilities. Both players have hefty contracts for guys who've seen their roles diminish significantly recently. Miller is slated to make $6.2 million next season with a $6.6 player option for the 2014-15 season. Anthony is owed $3.8 million next year with a player option of the same price the following season.
Riley, however, would rather add and not subtract from a team which has gone to the NBA Finals three straight years, with two titles to show for it. There's still an outside chance Heat management could change their mind by the amnesty deadline of July 16, but at this point in time, it looks unlikely.
Riley also revealed the Heat have tried to lure a perimeter player with the taxpayer mid-level exception, but nothing has panned out. He has also had discussions with Greg Oden about a possible return to the NBA.
Wolves, Pekovic still talking new deal
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been very busy this offseason, but the biggest move has yet to be finalized. The Wolves have been negotiating with restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic, and according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, the talks have been slowly progressing.
Minnesota and Pekovic are currently working "toward middle ground" on a new four-year contract which could be worth about $50 million. Wolves president Flip Saunders said there's no reason to worry about Pekovic going elsewhere and a deal should be done soon.
Wizards interested in Blair
The Washington Wizards have interest in free-agent big man DeJuan Blair, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. There have been sign-and-trade discussions with the San Antonio Spurs, but the Spurs reportedly haven't been enamored with the choices. SB Nation's Wizards blog Bullets Forever speculated on the possible options:
This is pure speculation here, but it's more likely than not that the choices in question would include one of Washington's players who are still on their rookie contract, more likely than not Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton or Trevor Booker, all of whom make roughly the amount in salary that Blair will command on the open market. Booker would make the most sense for both teams, since their skill sets are almost exactly the same.
Blair averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds last season as he fell out of the rotation in San Antonio. While Blair is a solid rebounder, his bad knees make him a question mark and Bullets Forever said anything more than a one or two-year deal would be a big gamble.
'Virtual certainty' that Wright returns to Dallas
The Dallas Mavericks are currently thin in the frontcourt, but they will get some help in the form of Brandan Wright. Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports it's "a virtual certainty" that Wright re-signs with the Mavs. The two sides are discussing a possible two-year deal in the $4 million a year range. Wright averaged 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds last year.