Greg Oden's discount contract is the latest example of a player willing to make a financial sacrifice to join the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh set the tone with their deals in 2010, and Oden, Ray Allen and Chris Andersen followed this summer. The loss of a little extra cash or flexibility for Oden, Allen and Andersen means much greater gain for the Heat, who have the luxury tax to worry about. Winderman has more on the champs, as we detail:
- Some agents are hearing that the Heat plan to carry only the minimum 13 players this season. That could spell trouble for Jarvis Varnado, whose deal is non-guaranteed for this season, and Eric Griffin, a training camp invitee, since Miami already has 13 guaranteed contracts.
- Winderman suggests that the Heat are already thinking of retaining the D-League rights of a few camp cuts — teams are able to do so with three players they let go before the regular season, sparing those guys from the D-League draft. So, perhaps the Heat will make sure Varnado and Griffin wind up with their affiliate in Sioux Falls.
- The revelation this week that Oden's deal doesn't include a second season means the Heat only have to pay him the two-year veterans minimum, instead of the five-year veterans minimum, with the league compensating Oden for the difference. That's a $143,131 difference for Miami, an amount that will be magnified when it's subtracted from the team's tax bill at the end of the season.
- Even if James Jones doesn't wind up running for union president, a candidacy that LeBron would reportedly get behind, he'll remain secretary-treasurer for another three years, since his term isn't expiring, Winderman points out.
- Just how steep a paycut Wade and Bosh are willing to take in their next deals, if they're willing to take paycuts at all, will be a central question for the Heat going forward, as Winderman opines in his latest mailbag column.