Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat want to bring back the entire team for a run at a three-peat next season. But, with a new luxury tax system in place, the question for the Heat is how much is Micky Arison willing to pay to keep the team together.
The Heat signed Chris Andersen Wednesday and that brought the payroll to between $87.3 and $88 million. The luxury tax threshold for the 2013-2014 season is $71.758 million, meaning the Heat are well into luxury tax territory.
Unlike past seasons, the NBA will have a more punitive luxury tax this year which penalizes teams even more for going past the tax. That means being roughly $16 million over the tax will cost the Heat an extra $33 million if it keeps the roster intact and fills out the roster with minimum salary veterans and doesn’t use the mid-level exception, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
According to the Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Heat could knock $23 million off the bill by either amnestying Mike Miller or Joel Anthony and trading the other could save up to $23 million.
Heat president Pat Riley said previously he’d rather not use the amnesty provision just yet, but that the ultimate decision will come from the man writing the checks, Micky Arison.
The Heat have until next Wednesday to use the amnesty provision this year, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
All the moves this year will be setting the team up for the 2014 offseason. It’s assumed that LeBron James will opt-out of his current deal with the Heat and either re-sign in Miami or look somewhere else for greener pastures.
Past LeBron, the Heat could also see Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade opt out of their current deals as well. However, if both stay on their current deal, the Heat will be up against the luxury tax again next season and don’t have much in the way of draft picks to move forward to restock the team, meaning the team will once again turn to free agency.
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