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  • NBA

    Heat designate Miller as amnesty player

  • MIAMI — Mike Miller was a luxury that the Miami Heat decided they could no longer afford.
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  • MIAMI — Mike Miller was a luxury that the Miami Heat decided they could no longer afford.
    Miller was designated Tuesday as the team's amnesty player, a move that may save the Heat more than $30 million in luxury tax payments over the next two years and comes only a few days after team president Pat Riley said the two-time defending NBA champions were hoping to keep the core of the roster largely intact for next season.
    But with the team's tax bill set to be bigger than ever — depending on what the final payroll numbers are, the Heat could pay as much as $2.50 per $1 they are over the salary-cap threshold for this coming season under the league's new and more punitive rules — the team ultimately made the call to part with Miller, a move that he suspected was coming.
    "I understand the business side of basketball," Miller told The Associated Press. "It's a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I've had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I'd love to have been a part of it."
    Riley said the team tried to trade Miller, then had to make "a very difficult decision" to use the one-time amnesty provision on him. He said the team's managing general partner Micky Arison, CEO Nick Arison and coach Erik Spoelstra all struggled with the decision.
    Miller would have made $6.2 million this season, and $6.6 million next season. He still gets that money, but his salary will not count against Miami's cap, nor will it count against a luxury-tax hit that was in line to exceed $30 million this coming season alone.
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