After winning their second straight championship last season, the Miami Heat weren’t exactly in a position to go out and reload in free agency, and in fact, it was actually a case of the opposite.
Miami cut ties with Mike Miller using the amnesty provision built into the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, and by doing so saved itself $17 million.
With guaranteed contracts on the books totaling over $81 million for next season, the only players the Heat may have been interested in would have been those willing to play for a veteran’s minimum salary.
Often times, a team’s star players will be involved heavily in recruiting free agents to their team, especially those that are veterans of the game who may provide an immediate boost off the bench. But given Miami’s salary situation along with the lack of game-changing options out there, Dwyane Wade was able to remove himself from that process this summer.
Among the rumors swirling during free-agency was a clandestine meeting involving Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley with Lamar Odom. Not only didn’t it happen, but Wade said he removed himself from the team’s free-agent recruitment this offseason.
“I left that all to them,” Wade said, aware of the luxury-tax limitations of the Heat’s efforts. “I got away, understanding that we have little that we can do. And Pat Riley is the best at what he does, so he’s fine. We all understand the nature of the beast, what we’re dealing with.”
What the Heat are dealing with, as Wade put it, is trying to win a third straight championship with a little less talent in place than was on the roster the past couple of seasons due to salary constraints.
A completely healthy version of Wade in the postseason would be a pretty substantial upgrade, however, and if Greg Oden can give them anything during a potential matchup against Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers, that might be enough of a combined boost to get the Heat back to the Finals — without any recruiting required.