Mike Miller was a luxury that the Miami Heat decided they could no longer afford.
Miller was designated Tuesday as the team’s amnesty player, a move that may save the Heat more than $30 million in luxury tax payments over the next two years and comes only a few days after team President Pat Riley said the two-time defending NBA champions were hoping to keep the core of the roster largely intact for next season.
But with the team’s tax bill set to be bigger than ever — depending on what the final payroll numbers are, the Heat could pay as much as $2.50 per $1 they are over the salary-cap threshold for this coming season under the league’s new and more punitive rules — the team ultimately made the call to part with Miller, a move that he suspected was coming.
Riley said the team tried to trade Miller, then had to make “a very difficult decision” to use the one-time amnesty provision on him.
Miller would have made $6.2 million this season, and $6.6 million next season. He still gets that money, but his salary will not count against Miami’s cap, nor will it count against a luxury-tax hit that was in line to exceed $30 million this coming season alone.
Brooklyn Nets Coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge and was placed on interim probation a year after he smashed his Cadillac SUV into a utility pole on eastern Long Island.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Kidd agreed to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunk driving. If he fulfills his community service, his plea will be reduced to a violation, driving while ability impaired, when he returns to court Sept. 30.
The San Antonio Spurs agreed to a two-year contract with forward Jeff Pendergraph. The 6-foot-9 Pendergraph spent the past two seasons at Indiana, mostly in a reserve role. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season with the Pacers.
Martina Hingis to play at La Costa
Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis plans to come out of retirement and play doubles at the Southern California Open at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad. She will play with Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia.
The 32-year-old Hingis will be making her first WTA tournament appearance since September 2007.
The former No. 1 player in the world was often troubled by foot injuries. She retired for the second time in 2007, when she drew a two-year suspension for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. Hingis denied taking the drug but did not appeal the ruling.
The tournament is July 27-Aug. 4.
Top-ranked Serena Williams advanced to the second round of the Swedish Open at Bastad by beating Sesil Karatancheva of Kazakhstan, 6-1, 6-2. She will next face 104th-ranked Anna Tatishvili of Georgia, who beat 16-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Third-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain advanced to the third round of the German Championships at Hamburg by defeating Tobias Kamke of Germany, 6-3, 6-3.
Two other seeded players lost. Florian Mayer of Germany defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-4, and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia upset Jeremy Chardy of France, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
The Green Bay Packers signed safety Morgan Burnett to a long-term extension, reported by NFL.com to be worth $24.75 million over four years.
Andrew Wiggins, the Kansas-bound prep basketball standout from Huntington, W.V., was named the Gatorade male high school athlete of the year on Tuesday night at a banquet in Hollywood. Notre Dame-bound girls’ soccer standout Morgan Andrews of Milford, N.H., was selected the female athlete of the year.
Pete Accardy, who guided the Cal State Northridge men’s and women’s swim teams to 13 NCAA team titles during a 24-year coaching career, has died of cancer. He was 72. He died Saturday in Del Mar.