League sources with knowledge of the Heat's thinking at this point suggested Friday that Riley has essentially abandoned any thought of addressing his lack of point guard depth through free agency.
With the Heat already about $3 million above the league's dollar-for-dollar luxury tax threshold of $69.9 million, any significant additions Miami might make to the roster would presumably come through a potential trades or sign-and-trade deals.
What that likely means is that Riley will pass on available playmakers such as Iverson, Jamaal Tinsley, Flip Murray or anyone who'd command more than the league-subsidized vet's minimum on a 1-year deal.
The Heat has expressed varying levels of interest in Iverson, Tinsley and Murray throughout the offseason. Riley even went as far as to inform Iverson's camp to hit up the Heat before the 10-time All-Star and former MVP decided to accept another offer.
A source close to Iverson confirmed that the Grizzlies have a standing offer, which reportedly is a one-year deal for the $3.5 million Memphis has left under the salary cap. Iverson's camp complied with Riley's request to get back to the Heat with Memphis' figures and is awaiting a response. Charlotte, reportedly, is also in the mix. But the math just doesn't make sense as far as Miami is concerned.
The $3.5 million Memphis has offered equates to just that: $3.5 million. That's how finances work for the very few teams out there that are below the $57.7 million salary cap.
Should Charlotte decide to match Memphis' offer, the $3.5 million or more chunk it would eat out of the Bobcat's mid-level exception would equate to just that. That's how finances work for team's that operate above the salary cap but below the punitive luxury tax.
And then there's Miami, where $3.5 million for Iverson would equate to $7 million, where even $1.5 million for Murray means $3 million on the expense account. We all know Miami has a tropical climate. But when you're making it rain to the tune of $23 million for Jermaine O'Neal and almost $3 million for Dorell Wright this season - eating up nearly half the salary cap right there alone - spending flexibility gets drenched.
That means the $5.9 million ($12 mil in actual cost) mid-level exception and the $2 million ($4 million) veteran's exception available at Miami's disposal probably won't get touched. And maybe not even the two trade exceptions ($4.2 mil and $800K) that have been available.
Money matters meant having to make a sort of mind-boggling move this week. The Heat shipped $1.5 million and a second-round draft picks to the Lakers to acquire Pat Beverley on draft night. But Miami then saved $1 million this week by not signing Beverley and allowing him to instead sign with a Greek team for this season.
Miami is no longer in the business of doing business straight up this summer. There can only be addition by subtraction. In theory, that brings Utah (Boozer), Portland (Blake, Bayless), the L.A. Clippers (Camby), New Jersey (Alston, Dooling) and a few other overstocked potential partners back into the mix.
Or maybe - just maybe - Miami goes into training camp Sept. 28 as is. Without The Answer or an obvious solution to its point guard depth issues.
Beasley update: Sources also confirmed Friday that forward Micheal Beasley moved from an out-patient to a more stringent in-patient program because of a violation of rules. Beasley remains in a Houston substance-abuse facility for treatment that was initially prompted by a violation during last summer's NBA rookie transition program. Beasley is still expected back for training camp, barring an additional setback.