Miami Heat Rumors: Greg Oden Still Top Free Agent Option As LeBron James and Company Facing $33 Million Tax Bill With Chris 'Birdman' Andersen Return

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Jul 12, 2013 12:15 PM EDT
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (L) and Chris Andersen
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (L) and Chris Andersen celebrate after the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in overtime in Game 6 of their NBA Finals basketball playoff in Miami, Florida June 18."

The Miami Heat are repeat champions of the NBA after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games last month and while the team is thrilled about back-to-back titles, they will be facing a steep tax bill for their cap situation after bringing back star Chris 'Birdman' Andersen.

The team knew that it would be facing a high price and now according to, the franchise will have a high tax bill of over $33 million since they have 14 of the 15 players from last season's team under contract. The team signed Birdman to a one-year, $1.7 million deal and now they have an $88 million payroll for 2013-14 and the main issue for the team is the new formula that goes into effect starting this coming season for the tax and since they are $16 million over the $71,748,000 luxury-tax threshold set Tuesday by the NBA, their number will be over $33 million.

The team paid $13.3 million for last year's roster and now the tax bill will be double due to the new rules. The team could make some moves with the amnesty clause, but so far that has not been a true option that Pat Riley has considered. Mike Miller or Joel Anthony could get it, but so far the team has been cautious while trying to figure out what moves to make. Shane Battier and Ray Allen were added using exceptions and other players have come in on minimum salaries as well.

Andersen said he was excited to return and the fan favorite comes back after averaging 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds off the bench in 42 regular season games and being a force in the playoffs. He added 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 81 percent from the field during the playoffs and he was an important piece for the championship. The team wanted to bring Andersen back, but the tax issues made things move slower than expected.

The Heat are still looking at adding Greg Oden as their final player and that could come in the next week or two if he wants to sign there. The Mavericks have also shown interest in the 25-year-old former number one overall pick and after playing just 82 games in his career due to knee injuries, he appears finally healthy. He has career averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks and is now the top center after Dwight Howard and Andersen signed.

While Oden's injuries were more serious than Bynum's, the fact that he got a contract bodes well for the former number one overall pick and he could fit on the bench in both Dallas and Miami. Oden looked like a sure thing coming out of college, but looking back now, the Blazers clearly made a mistake in taking him over Durant, the reasoning being that they had Brandon Roy at the time, who ironically now is done with knee injuries.

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