In order to return to the NBA Finals the Miami Heat are going to have to, as Pat Riley said, “retool.”
Retooling to a championship caliber team means opening up the wallet and paying, at least some, luxury tax.
In the 2014-2015 the salary cap will be $63.2 million and the luxury tax level is projected to be $77 million.
If the Miami Heat’s trio decides to exercise their player options, $61.2 of the Heat’s $63.2 million of cap space will be spent.
Even if the trio opts out of their current contracts and resign, the cheapest the Heat can hope to sign the three for is about $36 million. Still over half of the team’s salary cap.
The only way the Heat can be contenders in the 2014-2015 season is paying at least some luxury tax. Which brings me to Miami’s midlevel exception (MLE); the Heat will be a repeat luxury tax paying team, which limits their MLE to $3.09 million a year for up to three years.
What free agent targets might take a minimal discount to play for Miami’s MLE?