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Heat Comes to Terms With Free Agent Swingman Mike Miller

The Miami Heat has taken another major step forward in its attempt to build out its championship-caliber roster, agreeing to a five-year, $29 million contract with Wizards free agent swingman Mike Miller.

Miller, 30, is one of only two NBA players (Steve Nash) who shot better than 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 80% from the line while averaging at least 30 minutes of playing time this past season. He has quietly developed into one of the most versatile and efficient offensive players in the game today. Miller is a multi-faceted offense threat: he can shoot, he can drive, he can pass and he can rebound. He often plays more than one position during the course of a game, including a point-forward type role in some stretches. Miller is best suited as a complementary piece, where his overall floor game can benefit his team greatest.

Miller, perhaps the game’s ultimate floor-spacing wing player, figures to get big minutes alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and an as-yet undetermined center. If the Heat elect for a small-ball approach, Bosh could slide over to center and James to power forward, allowing Mario Chalmers onto the floor at the point. That could produce some of the greatest offensive basketball this game has ever seen.

Wade and James need little else beyond just the floor space with which to maneuver. Chalmers, Miller and Bosh could provide them just that. Simply by camping out along the perimeter, these players present their defenders with the following dilemma: should they sag into the paint and prevent Wade or James’ penetration and risk a kickout, or should they stick to their men and leave the driving player unattended?

That’s a tricky proposition made nearly impossible by the fact that James and Wade are perhaps the two best finishers at the rim in the game, and Miller and Bosh are two of the best perimeter jump shooters in the league. Chalmers, despite his regression last season, is advancing in his role as a three-point threat and could be in line for a breakout season.

Miller was reportedly seeking a multi-year contract above the mid-level exception valued at $5.8 million a year for up to five seasons. The 6’8″ ten-year veteran was being courted by several teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, each of which stood to offer him substantially more money. Miller now becomes the fourth Heat player who has taken fewer total dollars in exchange for the prospect of winning multiple NBA titles.

The contract status of Wade, James and Bosh can now be finalized. Miller’s contract will start at $5.0 million, with 8.0% annual non-compounding raises. That would leave enough room under the $58.044 million salary cap for each member of the trifecta to sign a contract with a 2010-11 starting salary of $15,423,364, a $1,145,544 discount from the max.

After they do, Miami will have five players under contract – Wade, Miller, James, Bosh and Chalmers – and no additional room under the salary cap with which to operate.

A Miami Heat dynasty is currently in formation.

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  1. Julian
    July 9th, 2010 at 02:13 | #1

    Albert, there have been reports that Lebron will possibly start at point guard. What’s your opinion on that?

  2. July 9th, 2010 at 02:27 | #2

    @Julian
    I am not sure the classifications matter all that much. LeBron and Dwyane will undoubtedly share the ball-handling duties. The defensive assignments will be dictated by the opposition’s roster. In any event, I believe Chalmers will get significant minutes at the point.

  3. B.C.
    July 9th, 2010 at 02:40 | #3

    Albert: I’ve suspected Anthony would come back after the qualifying offer, and it sounds like maybe you think so as well. Do you think he will be the starting C, or have we approached other defensive-minded big men out there that might be willing to take the minimum?

  4. Krave182
    July 9th, 2010 at 03:01 | #4

    Great for Mike, he wants also to tase a ring, truning down more payout for the other teams..

  5. July 9th, 2010 at 03:21 | #5

    @B.C.
    I suspect that Joel will be back.

    I do not think Joel will be the starting center. I believe the Heat may make a play for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He’s a close friend of James’ and would be a decent fit for a 25-30 minute role.

    But Ilguaskas, just like Anthony, has his severe weaknesses. Therefore, should the Heat elect to employ a traditional rotation, the battle for minutes at center should be interesting. The Heat just doesn’t have a quality alternative under contract, and there’s not much out there on the free agent market that’s any better.

  6. Vincent
    July 9th, 2010 at 09:13 | #6

    not so fast my brother….

    IT’s vinny…..

    Albert ,Do the Heat receive the TPE for Beasley…..lol

    If we sign Wade 1st..Then LBJ,Bosh
    after signing the 3 king then sign Miller

  7. pj
    July 9th, 2010 at 09:22 | #7

    @Vincent
    Yeah but the TPE will be exactly the amount we have under the salary cap, and we can’t use both a TPE and cap space.
    After Miller signs, we will only havve the minimum to sign other players.
    Hoopnotes says Udonis will be back, is it really possible ?? I don’t think so but the starting five would be amazing : Bosh-Haslem-Bron-Miller-Wade

  8. Jon
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:07 | #8

    Terrific addition. It would be nice to have a PG that could knock down the three, too.

  9. Vincent
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:30 | #9

    Bron willl play the point….
    Think about it….
    4th quarter line-up

    PG Bron
    SG WADE
    SF Miller
    PF Bosh
    C Mickey Mouse

  10. July 9th, 2010 at 11:01 | #10

    @Vincent
    The Heat will not receive a trade exception for Beasley. Trade exceptions are generated for teams that are over the salary cap.

  11. Vincent
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:40 | #11

    thk Albert..

  12. Jorge
    July 9th, 2010 at 14:26 | #12

    Albert…is the Miller signing a done deal?

    I saw a report that the Clips offered him 5 years $50M.

  13. July 9th, 2010 at 15:05 | #13

    @Jorge
    It is an agreed-to deal. Miller, Wade, James and Bosh are all expected to sign their contracts today.

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