Chris Andersen’s signing, announced Wednesday, means the Heat has 14 of the 15 players from this past season’s championship team under contract for 2013-14, with Juwan Howard the only exception.
The question is whether that number will shrink by one in the next week.
With the Heat facing a huge bill for exceeding the luxury-tax threshold, it could be tempting to use the one-time amnesty provision on Mike Miller or Joel Anthony. The Heat can use the provision anytime between Thursday and July 17 or wait until next offseason to use it.
The Heat has a payroll of $87.3 million — it’s just above $88 million counting Jarvis Varnado’s non-guaranteed deal — which is well above the $71.758 million threshold.
Under the new incremental tax system, which increases the penalty based on how much a team exceeds the threshold, the Heat would faces a tax bill of at least $33 million if it keeps the roster intact, assuming the Heat fills its final two roster spots with minimum-salary players and does not use its $3.18 million mid-level exception that is available to teams that are taxpayers.
Using the amnesty provision on Miller would save at least $17 million, based on the Heat’s current tax standing. Using it on Anthony would save $10 million. And dumping Anthony and Miller — one by trade, one by amnesty — would save $23 million.
Heat president Pat Riley said in his season-ending news conference that he was disinclined to use the amnesty provision on Miller unless owner Micky Arison mandated him to do so. He was not asked about Anthony.
The Heat paid $13.3 million in taxes for this past season, second in the league behind only the Lakers.
• Andersen’s deal will pay him $1.7 million for next season, with a $1.8 million option for 2014-15. “We are ecstatic that Chris has decided to stay,” Riley said. “We would not have won the championship without him, and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year.”
Andersen said he was “excited” to be back, adding: “I believe we have an opportunity to repeat, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
• In the latest twist in the legal battle betweenDwyane Wade
and his ex-wife, The Chicago Sun-Times reported that
filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Wade is violating the terms of an agreement that requires his endorsement deals be fully deposited into a joint account they both control.
Wade’s attorney, James Pritikin, said the lawsuit has no merit and expects it to be dismissed. Two years ago, Wade was awarded sole custody of his and Funches-Wade’s two sons.