Wednesday , Jan , 23 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Can the Miami Heat be ‘Fixed?’


Pat Riley said this week he will ‘look at all scenarios’ to fix his ailing franchise, including the unlikely notion of clearing big salary cap space to sign an elite free agent this summer — something Riley said ‘can be done’ but seemed skeptical about. If that doesn’t happen, Riley indicated he plans to use two cap exceptions this offseason (a biannual one for $1.9 million and a midlevel for about $6 million, but they can’t be combined). Riley said his ‘plan’ remains to have big  cap space in summer 2010.

Barring cap-clearing trades, Miami’s projected cap space — if it has any — would be so minimal that Riley would be better served using his exceptions. (And no, the Heat cannot use both its cap space and the exceptions — teams with space less than the value of the exceptions can use the exceptions instead if they choose.) Under contract for 2008-09: Shaquille O’Neal ($20 million), Dwyane Wade ($14.4 million), Mark Blount ($7.35 million), Udonis Haslem ($6.57 million), Smush Parker ($2.4 million/player option) and Daequan Cook ($1.2 million).Click here for more from the Miami Herald.