Two former Orlando Magic players were waived by their respective teams Tuesday via the amnesty provision in the collective bargaining agreement.
The Miami Heat waived swingman Mike Miller, while the Milwaukee Bucks waived power forward Drew Gooden. The players will be paid the remaining salaries on their current contracts, but their salaries no longer will count toward the Heat’s and the Bucks’ salary-cap and luxury-tax figures.
Miller, 33, was disappointed with the news. He won NBA titles in each of the past two seasons with Miami, and now the Heat will go for a threepeat without him.
“You're going to miss walking out that tunnel with these guys, collecting that ring next year with these guys,” Miller said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Those are tough things. Those are things you'll definitely miss.”
Gooden, 31, probably takes a different view about the Bucks’ decision than Miller takes about the Heat’s decision. The Bucks are headed for a dismal season in the year ahead.
Miller and Gooden likely will clear waivers, making them unrestricted free agents.
Just don’t expect the Orlando Magic to make any offers.
In 2013-14, the Magic want to allocate as much playing time as possible to young players such as power forward Andrew Nicholson, center Kyle O’Quinn, forward Tobias Harris, wing Maurice Harkless and guard Victor Oladipo.
Bringing in Gooden would cut into the minutes of Nicholson, O’Quinn and Harris.
Bringing in Miller would cut into the minutes of Harris, Harkless and Oladipo.
Plus, the Magic appear to be operating on the assumption that the worst spot for a rebuilding NBA team to be is in that mediocre area of eighth, ninth, 10th or 11th place in the conference standings. So why bring in veterans who can help?
Of course, that’s not to assume Miller and Gooden would want to return, anyway.
They should draw interest from contending teams. Miller helped the Heat during their playoff runs with his outside shooting, while Gooden could give a team some depth at power forward.
The Magic used the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft to select Miller out of the University of Florida. He was named the league’s Rookie of the Year his first season.
On Feb. 19, 2003, the Magic traded him, Ryan Humphrey, a 2003 first-round pick and a 2004 second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Gooden, Gordan Giricek and cash.
Gooden played a total of 98 games for the Magic.
On July 23, 2004, the Magic traded him, Steven Hunter and the draft rights to Anderson Varejao to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Tony Battier and second-round picks in 2005 and 2007.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.