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Miami Heat Trade Joel Anthony in Three-Team Deal

January 15th, 2014 No comments

The Miami Heat have traded center Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics, as part of a three-team deal, in exchange for guard Toney Douglas from the Golden State Warriors.

The Heat also sent the Celtics $1 million in cash and a pair of draft picks to complete the deal: A 2016 second-round pick and a lottery protected first-round pick originally acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers that will become a pair of second-rounders in 2015 and 2016 if the Sixers fail to make the playoffs this season and next.

The trade isn’t about Joel Anthony and isn’t about Toney Douglas.

It’s also not about Greg Oden, who appears to be on the verge of moving into the Heat’s rotation, or about Andrew Bynum, and how money freed up from today’s trade might make such a signing more financially palatable.

The trade is, more than anything else, a continuing recognition that the harshest elements of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will take its toll on how the Heat do business.

This past summer, it was the amnesty release of Mike Miller. Then it was declining to utilize the mid-level exception. Now it’s moving Anthony’s untenable contract off the books, a move, when accounting for his 2014-15 salary will save the Heat at least $20 million.  Read more…

Miami Heat Are Talking Trade, But With Limited Assets to Offer

January 12th, 2014 4 comments

Update (12/16): What many fans aren’t appreciating is the critical nature of moving the contract of Joel Anthony. Without removing that contract, given the introduction of the repeater tax, it will not be financially reasonable to expect Heat owner Micky Arison to keep and improve upon the current roster next season. And, for those that are assuming so, he cannot rely upon any of the Big Three opting out of contracts over which he has no control. The Heat therefore needs to stay as flexible in maintaining is assets as possible. While using a draft pick to attract Jordan Crawford, who could be a nice fit, might seem like a nice addition, it will not happen unless the Heat can part with Anthony in the trade, whom the Celtics will absolutely not take. It is realistically not worth contemplating trades that involve the Heat surrendering non-player assets in trades that do not unload Joel Anthony. 

With every game Dwyane Wade misses due to his balky knees, the Miami Heat struggle to win, in part because they don’t have much depth at the shooting guard position. With that in mind, Miami is reportedly talking with other teams about a possible trade.

The more significant aspect to the Heat’s struggles is the lack of a defensive anchor and a rebounder at the center position. The Houston Rockets are telling other teams that they intend to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik by December 19. Asik would look very nice opposite Chris Bosh on the Heat front line if the Heat is able to put forth a compelling trade package and, at the same time, stomach the massive payroll and tax implications.

The Heat’s most likely chips in any trade are forward Udonis Haslem and center Joel Anthony, who both have fallen out of the rotation but also carry the drawback of time on their contracts beyond this season. Anthony, making $3.8 million this season and owning a player option for the same amount in 2014-15, has zero trade appeal to other teams. Haslem, making $4.3 million this season with a player option for $4.6 million in 2014-15, doesn’t figure to have a whole lot more appeal (his contract also contains a 15% trade bonus which, by league rule, he cannot waive, but would nonetheless only apply to this season).

The Heat could presumably also look to trade anyone else, other than the Big Three and Ray Allen, if the right deal came along.

Beyond player assets, the Heat could also offer up to $3.2 million in cash, the maximum annual cash limit for the 2013-14 season.

Finally, they can offer draft considerations. But, given the pick obligation they still owe to satisfy the LeBron James sign-and-trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, any pick trades would be severely limited at this point.

The trading of N.B.A. draft picks is restricted by a series of intricate rules that have been put in place in order to protect teams that are trading away the picks from themselves. History suggests that teams need these protections so as not to unwittingly destroy their own franchises.  Read more…

Joel Anthony Trade Would Make Financial Sense

July 29th, 2013 2 comments

The speculation surrounding the fate of Greg Oden is intensifying.

One microfracture surgery is usually enough to scare most teams off, let alone three in less than five years. But the former No. 1 pick is not short of suitors as he attempts his latest comeback.

The 25-year-old worked out for Miami, San Antonio, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Sacramento in Indianapolis last week. He reportedly looked “lean” and moved “quite well.”

Teams will be asked to make formal offers early this week.

Oden is thought to be favoring Miami and New Orleans. New Orleans can offer as much as the $2.474 million remaining of its Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception. The Heat can offer up to the $3.183 million Taxpayer Mid-Level exception.

Miami would love to get him for the minimum, but they may be required to match a potential Pelicans bid. In Miami’s case, the actual cost would be much more than for the Pelicans. A $2.474 million offer would cost the Heat $8.659 million when considering the tax.

New Orleans could further attempt to out-muscle Miami by offering a guaranteed two-year contract. It would be a calculated gamble for the Pelicans, at a total cost of $5 million. For the Heat, the addition of a second year at those levels would cost, at the very least, another $10 million under the current construct. That’s two years and roughly $19 million.

That’s a lot for Miami to spend on a man who has thus far only ever proven that he is very tall, that he is very talented, and that his body has been unable to withstand the rigors of NBA play. There’s simply no way the Heat is going to offer it up without some key protections — among them that their obligations be reduced in the event of re-injury and that Oden be unable to opt out after just one season. But even if they do get those protections, even if they do offer up the contract, even if Oden does accept, and even if he does prove healthy, it’s still monumentally expensive for an owner trying desperately to keep his team together.

The more likely scenario for the Heat is a one year minimum salary offer. But, even still, the Heat’s team salary would reach an all-time record $107 million.

There is one clear way in which to lower the team’s total cost no matter what type of contract the Heat offer – trade Joel Anthony.  Read more…

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Could Marcus Camby wind up with the Miami Heat?

July 8th, 2013 No comments

The Miami Heat are reportedly interested in trading for Marcus Camby if they fail to re-sign Chris “Birdman” Andersen.

Camby was dealt to the Toronto Raptors as part of a trade sending Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks. The deal can’t be completed until July 10, but Camby has already told the Raptors he wants to be moved or released. He wants to play out his remaining years on a contending team.

The Raptors have already begun to shop him. There’s at least one contender he can’t play for – the Knicks. The CBA prevents him from being dealt back to his original team. That leaves the Heat as an ideal trade partner.

Whether a 39-year-old, oft-injured, 17-year veteran coming off his worst NBA season has anything left to offer a two-time defending champion is subject for considerable debate.

But here’s the thing: Trading for Camby makes a great deal of sense for the Heat. Whether or not Birdman is re-signed. And it has nothing to do with his potential contributions on the court.

To see just how valuable Camby could become for the Heat would require some salary cap sophistication.  Read more…

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For the Heat, Amnesty is a Big-Money Decision

July 7th, 2013 No comments

This post is an elaboration of a June 23 post regarding the fate of Mike Miller. It details the calculations supporting the conclusions that were drawn — that, despite public comments by Pat Riley to the contrary, Mike Miller will be amnestied — so that readers can appreciate the complexity of the situation and decide for themselves the appropriate course of action. 

Wednesday is a key day in the NBA.

It’s the league’s equivalent of National Signing Day – the day in which new contracts can be signed and trades can be executed. After more than a week of furtive negotiating, non-binding agreement, and heart-palpitating waiting, everything becomes official.

It’s also the start of the amnesty waiver window, a seven-day period that this year runs from July 10 to July 16, when eligible teams may designate eligible players for amnesty release.

Amnesty was added to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that ended the 2011 lockout. Because of the new, far more onerous luxury tax consequences that will be fazed in starting next season, teams have been allowed to designate one player for waiver in a manner such that his remaining salary would not count against the salary cap and luxury tax. While amnesty eases salary-cap and luxury-tax concerns, teams still have to pay out the player’s remaining salary, including any remaining option years.

Teams are only allowed to make such designations each offseason during a one-week window starting the day after the moratorium ends. When that happens, all other teams are immediately notified by the league. They are then allowed place a claim in order to acquire the amnestied player, but only if they have the necessary cap space to do so. Teams can make either a full or partial waiver claim.

When a team makes a full waiver claim it acquires the player, assumes his full contract, and pays all remaining salary obligations; the waiving team has no further salary obligation to the player. A partial waiver claim is a bid for a single dollar amount. If no team makes a full waiver claim, the player is awarded to the team submitting the highest bid in a partial waiver claim; the amount of the partial waiver claim is then subtracted from the waiving team’s continuing obligations to their amnestied player. The minimum possible bid a team can make is the minimum salary applicable to the player for all remaining guaranteed seasons of his contract.

Fifteen of the league’s 30 teams have already utilized their amnesty provision in previous seasons. An additional one has no remaining players who qualify for amnesty.

Which brings us to the Heat, one of the remaining 14 teams yet to act.  Read more…

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…

Heat signs Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman

July 16th, 2010 9 comments

One hour ago, the Miami Heat did not have a single center on its roster. Now it has two.

Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman have each signed contracts.

Joel Anthony

Anthony, soon to be 28 years old, has accepted a five-year, $18.25 million deal.

He will add value to the organization as a defensive and shot-blocking specialist. But the deal is too rich, and far too long.

Anthony is a 6-foot, 9-inch power forward playing out of position at center against a league of giants due to extreme offensive deficiencies. He is perhaps the single worst offensive player in game today. His inability to catch the basketball invites double teams toward his more talented teammates. When he does catch it, he’s often utterly confused as to what to do with it. When he’s on the floor, the Heat effectively plays offense four-against-five.

Even more troubling is how shockingly poor he is at rebounding. He seems to lack both the instincts for finding the ball and the coordination to grab it when comes his way. Oftentimes, any value he creates on the defensive end is entirely offset by his inability to capitalize on it by grabbing a rebound.

If you’re a wildly undersized center who can’t play offense and can’t rebound the basketball, it’s difficult to justify a contract greater than the minimum salary.

Read more…

Heat Extends Qualifying Offer to Joel Anthony

June 29th, 2010 6 comments

As expected, the Miami Heat has extended a qualifying offer to backup center Joel Anthony.

The move allows the Heat to match any outside offer for the restricted free agent, but also ties up an additional $1,060,120 against the Heat’s salary cap. The Heat will enter the off-season with salary obligations to four players (Beasley, Chalmers, Jones’ buyout and Anthony), in the amount of $8,376,749.

A qualifying offer is essentially a contract offer, which prevents the Heat from not offering Joel a contract and waiting to swoop in when he tries to sign elsewhere. It counts against the Heat’s salary cap as soon as it is offered. The Heat could withdraw its outstanding qualifying offer at any time, in which case Anthony would become an unrestricted free agent. The qualifying offer cannot be withdrawn after July 23 without the player’s consent.

Should the qualifying offer be withdrawn on or before July 23, the Heat would continue to hold Bird rights on the third year player, and he would continue to be charged against the cap at a reduced $854,389. Because Miami would retain his Bird rights, it would be able to utilize all of its cap room on other players and then come back to Joel. At that point, Miami would be able exceed the cap to offer Joel whatever salary he wants – all the way up to a maximum contract for a player with less than seven years of experience. If the Heat preferred to utilize the cap space elsewhere, Anthony would need to be renounced and his Bird rights lost.

If the qualifying offer were to be withdrawn after July 23, which would require mutual consent, Joel would be automatically renounced and the Heat would lose its Bird rights on the player.

While the qualifying offer remains outstanding, Joel has the right to accept it at any time in lieu of continuing to test the free agent market. Read more…

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Joel to Decline His Player Option

June 24th, 2010 4 comments

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.

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Joel Anthony to Decline His Player Option

May 13th, 2010 2 comments

Joel Anthony will reportedly decline his $885,120 player option, and test free agency.

This is good news for both the Heat and Joel.

The Heat now recovers up to $885,120 in additional spending money (or $411,516, net of the incremental $473,604 roster charge for having fewer than 12 players on the roster).

For Joel, it is a chance to get a bigger payday. Joel’s statistics don’t immediately jump off the page. In his sixteen minutes of action per game, he displayed limited – though improving – scoring touch. But he’s a scrappy kid who hustles after every ball and is a shot-blocking force on the block. He finished with the 15th most blocks in the league. His 3.96 blocks per 48 minutes is seventh-best among all players.

Teams looking to strengthen their interior defenses may take a look at the 6’9″, 245-pound Canadian-born, three-year veteran.

But Miami will have the clear inside track to retain him.

Why?

First, the Heat can choose to make him a restricted free agent, which would afford the right to match any outside offers. To do so, however, the Heat would be required to extend him a qualifying offer of $1,060,120. The qualifying offer is essentially a contract offer, which prevents the Heat from not offering Joel a contract and waiting to swoop in when he tries to sign elsewhere. This amount would count against the Heat’s salary cap as soon as it is offered, and Joel could then accept it at any time in lieu of continuing to test the free agent market. And while it would be more than the original $885,120 salary Joel opted out of, the Heat would be able withdraw its outstanding qualifying offer at any time if it so chose, in which case the charge would be wiped away and Anthony would become an unrestricted free agent. The qualifying offer cannot be withdrawn after July 23 without the player’s consent.

If Miami chooses not to extend Joel a qualifying offer, his cap hold to start the off-season will be the minimum salary applicable to a three-year veteran less the amount that would be reimbursed by the league, or $854,389. Note that this figure is $30,731 less than the $885,120 salary he opted out of. So, Miami would get an instant cap savings, albeit tiny. The risk to this approach would be that Joel could simply sign a contract with any team he wants any time he wants, and Riley would be powerless to stop him.

Second, and more important, is that the Heat will hold Joel’s Bird rights (whether or not a qualifying offer is ultimately extended). Because Miami will retain his Bird rights, it will be able to utilize all of its cap room (less the $1,060,120 cap hold if a qualifying offer is extended or the $854,389 cap hold if it is not) on other players and then come back to Joel. At that point, Miami will be able exceed the cap to offer Joel whatever salary he wants – all the way up to a maximum contract for a player with less than seven years of experience.

Extending Joel a qualifying offer appears more likely at this point than either keeping him unrestricted or cutting ties with him outright. Why? Because there is absolutely no drawback to keeping his qualifying offer on the books right up until the second Riley would rather use the cap space elsewhere.

The most likely course of action will be as follows. The Heat will extend Joel a qualifying offer by June 30, which will count $1,060,120 against the salary cap. Prior to July 24, however, it will be rescinded. When it is, his cap hold will be reduced to $854,389, giving the Heat an additional $205,731 to spend on its outside free agents. At this point, the Heat will still retain his Bird rights (and he will be unrestricted). Once the team’s entire cap space is used up, the Heat will then utilize Joel’s Bird rights to replace his $854,389 cap hold with the significant raise he deserves, allowing the Heat to legally exceed the salary cap.

So, at least for now, Joel doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

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