Joel to Decline His Player Option

Anthony was due to earn $885,120 with the Heat next season if he had exercised his option

As expected, center Joel Anthony has elected to forgo the 2010/11 player option he held with the Heat. Anthony faces a midnight Thursday deadline on his decision, with his inaction making him a free agent. The announcement cannot be made official until that time.

The decision frees up an additional $885,120 in spending money for Pat Riley’s ball club. The Heat now has just two players with guaranteed contracts, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, and a total guaranteed payroll (which assumes James Jones will be bought out by June 30) of $7,672,629. With the cap projected at $56.1 million, Miami figures to have some $48,427,371 of available room.

The decision to opt out makes Anthony slightly less expensive to the Heat if the team hopes to retain him. With Anthony having played just three NBA seasons, the Heat can choose to make him a restricted free agent, which would afford the right to match any outside offers. To do so, Miami would be required to extend a qualifying offer of $1,060,120, which would reduce the team’s available room. However, the qualifying offer can be rescinded at any time prior to July 23, at the team’s sole discretion. If no qualifying offer is extended, or if it rescinded prior to July 23, Anthony would count $854,389 against the 2010/11 salary cap.

Independent of whether or not a qualifying offer is extended, the Heat would continue to retain Joel’s Bird rights until he is officially renounced.

Despite the decision by Joel to test the free agent waters, the Heat still has the clear inside track to retain him. In fact, the decision may have been mutual between player and team, and could pave the wave for Anthony to receive a substantial raise at little cost to the Heat.

For a list of all the Heat’s available options with Joel, click here.

4 Responses

  1. Jon says:

    This has nothing to do with your article, but I’m extremely nervous about the deal Chicago has in place with the Wizards (the Hinrich deal). If Chicago positions itself to be able to add two max free agents in addition to Rose and Noah, I don’t see any reason why the top-tier free agents would choose us over the Bulls. Assuming the aforementioned deal does happen, does Chicago have enough cap space for two max players? Also, I bet Pat Riley is pretty nervous about what Chicago is prepared to pull off. Free agency seems like it’s developing into a chess match between Miami and Chicago. With Chicago pulling off that trade, it’s Miami’s move. And to be honest, with a roster that currently consists of Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, I think the only move Riley has to sweeten the pot for free agents is to return to the sidelines. What are your thoughts, Albert?

    • Albert says:

      It isn’t yet clear what Washington would be sending back to Chicago in the trade. However, the Bulls have total guaranteed salary of $31,850,976 from six players. Subtracting Heinrich gives them $22,850,976 from five players. At this point, Chicago’s team salary, including seven roster charges, would be $26,166,204. Adding one max contract ($16,568,908) would take it to $42,261,508, which would leave enough room to offer $14,312,096 to a second player. Here is a detailed breakdown of all the scenarios for the Bulls.

      I will make a detailed posting on all the happenings of the day at around the time of the draft.

  2. k215215 says:

    Beyond that, I can’t for the life of me understannd why washington trades for a 3rd pg. It just doesn’t make sense.

  3. Vincent says:

    Gilbert will be leave soon.

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