As midnight passed, so did the deadline for NBA teams to waive players via the amnesty clause. Two teams, the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks snuck in a couple of cuts before the deadline: Mike Miller and Drew Gooden.
Said the Heat of Miller:
"After many discussions internally and a sincere effort to explore the trade market, we made a very difficult decision to use our Amnesty provision on Mike Miller," Riley said. "Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami Heat; helping us to three finals appearances and winning back-to-back World Championships. This was a very difficult decision for me personally, the Arison family, Erik and the entire Miami Heat organization. Mike was one of the best we have ever had here, and will be sorely missed. We wish Mike, his wife Jennifer and their family nothing but the best."
The waiving of Miller and the $12.8 million makes sense.
His $6.2 million this upcoming season now comes off the cap, reducing the Heat payroll to $80.3 million. Even if they use their mini mid-level deal in a successful pursuit of Greg Oden, the $3 million in payroll savings translates to $7.5 million in tax savings.
So Micky Arison gets to keep $10.5 million in his pocket with this move. We all know how much rich people hate unnecessarily spending money, especially when you are a rich person whose cruise lines have not exactly had the best PR run lately.
The Gooden move saves the Bucks about $6.7 million from their official payroll number in each of the next two seasons. Keeping Brandon Jennings' deal factored into the mix for the time being, the move cuts the Bucks cap number to just under $40 million. Gooden's salary still counts against the payroll floor and so the Bucks will still have to spend between $2-3 million this offseason to make sure they get to that minimum salary level. But that number depends on what happens with Jennings.
Of course, this is the part where I remind you that both these guys will get all of their money somehow. They both enter a waiver process where under-cap teams can place a bid on them.
Wherever one of these guys goes, the difference between their new and old contracts will be paid by the waiving team. The benefit to the waiving team is the money comes off the official cap number, and a roster spot is opened.
And just to clear up a point of confusion for many fans, the only players eligible for amnesty are those who are with the same team under the same contract as they were before the lockout. That leaves the following players eligible for amnesty:
- Al Horford
- Rajon Rondo
- Carlos Boozer
- Joakim Noah
- Mike Conley
- Zack Randolph
- Nick Collison
- Kevin Durant
- Kendrick Perkins
- John Salmons
- Tony Parker
That is it.
Avery Bradley of the Celtics had been on that list, but he is a restricted free agent next season, so he came off the list when the deadline passed. If any of these guys get extended or traded at any point, they come off the list too. There might only be a few guys left on this list that will be legitimately considered down the line.