Early signs are pointing to the Heat holding on to Chris Andersen and Ray Allen for the 2013-14 season.
Ray Allen can opt out of his contract in the next two weeks and Chris Andersen is now a free agent, but there were significant hints on Monday at the Heat's championship rally at AmericanAirlines Arena that both players wanted to stay in Miami for another run. Andersen said he wanted to help "get a three-peat next year," and Chris Bosh said he expects Allen to remain in Miami.
How exactly those things happen are unclear, however, and it's going to take some work by the Heat's front office to make it happen. Andersen can either sign with another team, sign with the Heat for the mini mid-level exception or sign with the Heat for another veteran's minimum contract, that would come with a slight raise in pay. Meanwhile, Allen has the option to either opt in for another year at the mini mid-level rate, opt out and re-sign with a 20-percent raise or opt out and go elsewhere for more money.
“I think we have all the influence,” Bosh said of the Heat's Big 3 appeal. “Guys want to come back. I don’t think it’s any situation in the world better than what we have right now and I think that’s speaks for itself, really.
“We have guys that are going to have to make decisions and we know that, it’s a part of the business, but guys want to come back.”
Haslem went to work on Allen immediately after Game 7 while the two players were washing away the championship champagne in the team's facility.
“I told him, ‘I’m not going to put pressure on you, I’m not going to ask you what you going to do, but just know I’m thinking about what you going to do,” Haslem joked after Monday’s championship parade. “That’s all I told him…and I just left it at that.
“He didn’t say nothing. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”
Bosh doesn’t think it’s good or bad. He thinks it’s a pointless discussion. In Bosh’s opinion, Allen has no choice but to return.
“We can make quotes all day, but he’s coming back,” Bosh said. “I mean, there’s really nothing to say. We respect each other’s space, but there’s one decision to make. So, it’s easy.”
As for Andersen, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra indicated that Birdman wanted to return.
“He loves it here,” Spoelstra said. “He’s been embraced by the team, by the fans, by the organization. We wanted Chris for several years and he knows that. We tried for the last four or five years.
“The most important part is both sides want each other. The other aspect will be on Andy Elisburg’s desk of being creative and making things happen.” Elisburg, the Heat’s assistant general manager and senior vice president of business operations, is the team’s numbers cruncher and it’s his lofty task of making it all work for next season. Meanwhile, Haslem will be busy working on the Heat’s retention rate.
“I’m going to be in [Andersen’s] ear but at the end of the day, ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to him,” Haslem said. “And whatever he has to consider, I’ll fully support that decision, but I want him back, we want him back. He was a tremendous boost for us and we’re probably not sitting here without the addition of Birdman.”