Miami Heat Signs Forward Shavlik Randolph

July 27th, 2010 No comments

Pat Riley apparently felt the need to throw away some of owner Micky Arison’s money away in celebration of landing the Big Three.

The Heat on Tuesday signed free agent forward Shavlik Randolph to a two-year minimum salary deal.

Randolph, who had two brief stints with the Heat this past season, becomes the 14th player under contract for 2010-11, but unlike the previous 13 players signed, did not receive a fully guaranteed contract. The first season is only $250,000 guaranteed, becoming $500,000 guaranteed on opening night. The second year is fully unguaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed if not waived on or before June 30, 2011.

Randolph is the fourth power forward under contract, joining Toronto Raptors free agent Chris Bosh, Portland Trail Blazers free agent Juwan Howard and returning Heat free agent Udonis Haslem.

Randolph has no realistic shot at making the regular season roster. The Heat has therefore, in effect, thrown away $250,000. Or, if you’d prefer to look at it differently, they’ve paid Randolph $250,000 to participate in training camp.

Randolph has appeared in 95 career games over five seasons, making seven starts, averaging 2.4 points, 2.4 rebounds in 8.3 minutes while shooting .447 from the field.

The Duke product was previously signed September 28, 2009 by the Heat, appearing in two games before he was waived on December 14. He was then signed by Portland on December 30, appearing in three games for the Trail Blazers. He re-signed with the Heat on April 6, 2010 for the balance of last season, appearing once, in the regular-season finale against the New Jersey Nets. He appeared in six games for the Heat and Blazers overall this past season, averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8.8 minutes.

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Heat sign Juwan Howard

July 20th, 2010 22 comments

It took 14 years, 7 teams, 4 trades, 3 free agent signings, 2 repeat pit stops, 1 buyout and 1 outright release, but he has finally found his way back to Miami. Roster spot number twelve belongs to Juwan Howard.

The union brings full circle the most agonizing and controversial contract situation in the history of Miami’s basketball franchise. Howard officially joined the Heat on Tuesday, signing a one-year minimum salary contract that will pay him $1,352,181. David Stern won’t raise any red flags this time around.

Fourteen years ago, when the Heat signed and subsequently lost Howard due to alleged salary cap violations, an incensed Pat Riley declared:

The day that Juwan Howard signed a contract with the Washington Bullets is the day I hit a new low in my 30 years in the NBA. I knew that once he signed that contract, we would probably never get him back, even if we took it to the Supreme Court and won it, because he wanted to stay in Washington. It’s very disconcerting to invest $100 million in a player, to go that far, know that you’re going to fight to keep him, and they just run to another deal.

Apparently, all is forgiven. Today, a more even-tempered Riley commented:

We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complementary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.

Over his issues or not, this is still a questionable signing. The Heat needs to get youngster, faster and more athletic. Howard is old and slow and has a rapidly declining skill-set. He can’t rebound. He can’t defend. If he doesn’t knock down his line-drive jump shot, he serves no real purpose on the court.

Barring injury, he’s not going to see any time on it anyway. He’ll be the third option at best at both spots in the power rotation.  Read more…

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Matt Barnes to Toronto Makes No Sense… Technically

July 19th, 2010 No comments

Despite what Matt Barnes reported on his own Twitter account last night, I can’t see how he’ll be heading to Toronto. Somewhere along the way, Barnes, his agent, the Raptors and the Magic are making a horrible miscalculation.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Barnes has agreed to a two-year deal to join the Raptors that will pay him nearly $10 million, the second year being a player option.

However, the Raptors don’t have the means to offer such a contract.

What appears to be happening here is that Barnes, his agent, the Raptors and the Magic are confusing the basics of the salary cap rules. It’s actually quite embarrassing.

The Raptors are currently over the salary cap. The fact that they received a $14.5 million trade exception in the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade should make that obvious to everyone.

Therefore, the only means they have to to offer Barnes, a free agent who last played for the Magic, a contract would be via their mid-level or bi-annual exceptions or via the minimum player salary exception.

The Raptors utilized all but $770,000 of their mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza to a four-year, $18.8 million contract. Neither the remainder nor the full value of the bi-annual or minimum salary exceptions could possibly produce a contract that pays out $10 million over two years. Read more…

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Keyon Dooling signs with Milwaukee

July 19th, 2010 No comments

Well, there goes one backcourt option, and perhaps the most versatile option at that. Keyon Dooling has agreed to join the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dooling signed a two-year, $4.3 million deal and will serve as a backup to Brandon Jennings at the point after former Buck Luke Ridnour agreed to a contract with the Wolves.

Apparently, Dooling was forced into accepting the offer after Pat Riley displayed only limited interest in the 30-year old combo guard from Fort Lauderdale known primarily for his strong perimeter defense.

Of course I wanted to play at home. The opportunity to win a championship was down there. Just being from South Florida, it was logical for me. My agent spoke with the Heat a couple of times, but we never got an offer. We never got past the courting stage or anything like that.

Pat has done a great job of putting together a dream team, so I’m quite sure they had a lot of people knocking their doors down. I could ill-afford to pass up good opportunities waiting for them to potentially call me, and then they might not call me.

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Heat re-signs Jamaal Magloire

July 19th, 2010 1 comment

Jamaal Magloire has been notoriously known for executing his signature no-look dunk throughout his career.

Jamaal Magloire will be returning to South Florida for a third straight season with the Miami Heat. Magloire signed off on his third straight one-year minimum salary contract, this time paying him $1,352,181.

Magloire is a 32-year-old, 6’11″ wide-body who uses his brute force to attack the glass and snatch down rebounds.

The former All-Star no longer possesses the skills of his younger days. He is now largely relegated to the role of enforcer. He is a strong locker room presence and a role model for younger players.

But the reality is that he’ll never play. He now becomes the Heat’s fourth center under contract, a uniquely large total for a normal roster construction, joining Cleveland Cavaliers free agent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, fellow Heat free agent Joel Anthony, and second-round pick Dexter Pittman.

Not one of the four is a deserving starter on a title-contending team, yet all four have contracts that are fully guaranteed for the coming season, and one of them will be gifted the role. It won’t be Magloire.

With Pittman likely to be relegated to the Heat’s N.B.A. D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the majority of the season, Magloire figures to be the Heat’s third string center, and may not even be a lock to make the regular season rotation if a better option comes along. Read more…

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James Jones to re-sign with the Heat

July 19th, 2010 1 comment

Jones’ shooting stroke could be valuable for the Heat this season

James Jones has agreed to re-sign with the Heat on a one-year minimum salary deal worth approximately $1.15 million, with a player option on a second year, after being waived just three weeks ago.

Jones was not worth the three years and $14.91 million remaining on his previous contract, which would have paid him $4.65 million in the upcoming season, particularly to a team in desperate need of the added cap space to achieve far bigger goals. And so, the Heat elected to waive him in favor of his reduced $5.952 million partial guarantee.

However, Pat Riley did one better. He was able to recover an extra $1.0 million through an agreed-to buyout, which will count $1.544 million against the cap next season.

Why Jones, about to be no longer affiliated with the Heat, surrendered the extra million remains unclear. The Heat surely weren’t seeking to reduce their financial obligations to the sharpshooter but rather to recover much-needed cap space. The give-back created an extra $311,828 of cap space, which doesn’t sound like much but was critical at the time; it made it technically possible for the Heat to offer three max contracts at the then-estimated $56 million salary cap.

When the finalized cap number increased to $58.044 million, the gesture lost its significance. But not its awe-inspiring selflessness. The Heat returned the favor by giving him his entire $4.952 million buy-out up front.

It was also speculated that Riley may have offered a quiet guarantee to return the gesture by promising Jones a minimum salary contract after the Heat’s cap space was all used up.

This is exactly how events ultimately transpired. 

While Jones was not worth his original $4.65 million salary, he is most certainly worth a minimum salary contract. Jones figures to be a valuable addition to a team in desperate need of the long-range shooting both he and Mike Miller provide. His corner three-point shooting touch will space the floor both vertically and horizontally, opening up lanes into which Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will drive. He may not play very much, but he’s more than capable of blowing a game wide open if he gets a few open looks.

Read more…

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Dwyane Wade the Victim of Salary Cap Mistakes By His Agent and Team

July 18th, 2010 No comments

Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley and salary cap expert Andy Elisburg have been widely praised not only for their ability to recruit LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to join Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem in South Florida but also for their ability to structure their contracts to fit within the confines of a $58.044 million salary cap. Wade, however, has reason to be less than thrilled – with the Heat organization but, more importantly, with agent Henry Thomas.

Wade, James and Bosh were all eligible to receive maximum contracts with a starting salary of $16,568,908. However, in order to accommodate the contracts of Miller and Haslem, each graciously took less. The first year salaries in the contracts of James and Bosh have been finalized at $14,500,000, while the first year salary for Wade has been finalized at $14,200,000.

It remains unclear as to why Wade took a bigger discount than his Big Three cohorts. What is clear, however, is that it was unnecessary. The Heat had the ability to create the necessary room to allow Wade’s contract to match that of James and Bosh, with room to spare, without impacting the contract of any other player. The $300,000 discrepancy will wind up costing Wade $2,272,500 over the life of his deal.

Understanding how this would have been possible necessitates an understanding of certain league rules.  Read more…

Rockets to sign Brad Miller to three-year deal

July 17th, 2010 3 comments

Any visions of seeing Brad Miller in a Heat uniform next season are now official over. The Houston Rockets have come to terms with Miller on a three-year deal worth nearly $15 million.

Miller had been pursued by Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Miami. But in the end, he chose to play with long-time favorite head coach Rick Adelman.

The 34-year-old did some of his best work in a Sacramento uniform with Adelman at the helm.

Said Miller:

It was too good of a deal to pass up. It’s my favorite coach I’ve ever played for. I know Kevin (Martin) real well from our Sacramento days. (Luis) Scola had a heckuva year. And I finally get to play with Yao (Ming) instead of guarding his big butt. The team is pretty solid.

Read more…

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Miami Heat makes Zydrunas Ilgauskas signing official

July 17th, 2010 4 comments

Big Z is surely excited about the chance to play for a title

For Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, the first priority of the summer was the big moves, and with headline names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mike Miler and Udonis Haslem they got it done.

It’s been all about big men since.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has become the third center to sign with the Heat in less than 24 hours, completing a deal he agreed in principle to about five days earlier. On Friday, the Heat completed contracts with returning Miami veteran Joel Anthony and rookie draft pick Dexter Pittman. And Miami’s next move is expected to be the re-signing of another 7-footer, Jamaal Magloire.

That’s roughly 28 feet of centers in all, with the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas standing taller than everyone else on Miami’s now-bursting, though questionable, depth chart at center. The Lithuanian — who was drafted by Cleveland in 1996 and has never suited up for any other N.B.A. club — is 12th among all active players with 1,269 blocks, and 21st among current players in rebounds with 5,904.

Saying he’s chasing a dream to win an N.B.A. title, Ilgauskas left a contract offer from the Cavs on the table to accept a two-year minimum salary contract that will pay him $1,352,181 and $1,399,507 for this season and next, respectively. The second year will be subject to a player option.  Read more…

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Everything is Done: How Did It All Happen?

July 17th, 2010 5 comments

The Miami Heat finished last season with 16 players under contract and a team salary far in excess of the salary cap. They then created enough salary cap room to sign everyone who is on the roster today. Now they are far in excess of the salary cap once again.

So how did it all happen? How did they manage to get so far below the salary cap and then above it again all in the same season? With creative financing!

Everything has now been finalized. It’s done. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown.

(Note: The actions below, in some cases, may be out of order. They have been structured so as to make evident the Heat’s thought process along the way, as well as to promote ease of reader comprehension. Full comprehension also requires an understanding of cap holds and roster charges, which are described in detail here.)

This is a snapshot of the Heat’s salary cap situation at the end of last season:

Read more…