View Full Version : Anthony Carter Makes Miami a new player in Free Agency

Tony tha Mavs fan
07-04-2003, 11:56 AM
Carter's oversight may allow Heat to pursue major acquistions

By Ira Winderman
Staff Writer
Posted July 4 2003

A shocking oversight by Anthony Carter suddenly has established the Heat as a major player in NBA free agency, one now with the salary-cap space to sign the likes of Jason Kidd, Jermaine O'Neal or Gilbert Arenas.

The staggering lapse by the veteran point guard effectively terminates the Heat's financial obligation and unexpectedly has it in position to spend as much as $11 million this summer on upgrades.

Instead of settling on a mid-level acquisition to help reverse its slide to last season's 25-67 record, the Heat either can offer a maximum contract to a single All-Star or afford two mid-level free agents, such as P.J. Brown, Gary Payton, Brad Miller or Lamar Odom.

Holding a player option on the third and final year of his contract for $4.1 million for the coming season, Carter merely had to inform the Heat by Monday's deadline that he would remain under contract.

Astonishingly, that deadline was allowed to pass without any communication to the Heat by Carter or his representatives. As of the close of business Thursday there still had not been any contact between the parties.

"Somebody just mentioned this to me," agent Bill Duffy said when contacted Thursday evening before abruptly ending the phone call. A call to Carter's South Florida home was answered and then hung up on. A return call was answered with a response that the guard had stepped out.

The result is the Heat has eliminated one of its most significant salary-cap headaches. On the open market, Carter does not figure to merit more than the $688,679 NBA minimum this season for a player with four seasons of experience.

The Heat had the opportunity to release Carter before the end of the season and challenge his right to therefore invoke his 2003-04 option. But coach Pat Riley said he did not believe such a gambit was ethical, nor could he be sure the maneuver would be allowed.

Carter was signed to the three-year, $12 million contract July 19, 2001, after agreeing to play 2000-01 at a minimal wage as part of the Heat's restocking with Eddie Jones and Brian Grant.

The option year was included at the end of the deal in case the statistics of the 6-foot-2 guard merited a raise after two seasons. But Carter shot a dismal 35.6 percent this season and was benched for 20 games.

The wording of Carter's agreement stated he had to "opt in" for the third year of the contract by June 30. There is not believed to be any recourse in such a deadline situation.

The Heat entered the July 1 start to free agency under the impression it could have as much as $7 million to spend on an additional player.

At that figure, there was some thought the Heat would save the cap space, wait for Carter's contract to expire next summer, and then make its move on the open market.

Instead, the Heat finds itself amid the heavy hitters in the league's offseason bidding derby. The only other teams in position to offer a maximum contract to a single player are the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.

However, Utah and Los Angeles would be removed from that group if the Clippers re-sign Elton Brand and the Jazz brings back Karl Malone.

By being freed of its commitment to Carter, the Heat is in position to overhaul its alignment at point guard.

Travis Best, last year's starter, is not expected back as a free agent. Mike James, who emerged at the top reserve at the position last season, is a free agent and is at the Indiana Pacers' summer camp.

Eddie House, the undersized shooter who also has played point guard under Riley, was not extended a qualifying offer by Monday's deadline and is a free agent. It's possible he now could return with a roster spot no longer required for Carter.

Ira Winderman can be reached at iwinderman@sun-sentinel.com.

07-04-2003, 12:10 PM
I saw this on the LMF board.

What a mistake by Carter and his agent while making the Heat very fortunate.

Tony tha Mavs fan
07-04-2003, 12:53 PM
I wonder if this changes the Zo situation with the Mavericks any?

07-04-2003, 02:45 PM
maybe because now that the heat really have a good chance to rebuild they really don't want to keep an aging, ill center. but i don't think they wanted to keep him anyway.

07-04-2003, 06:09 PM
I wonder if Mr. Carter will be seeking alternate representation.

07-04-2003, 09:18 PM
Mourning is no longer a Heat. Props to Carter.

07-04-2003, 10:10 PM
i am still confused why that happened. it is the dumbest thing ever.

07-04-2003, 10:43 PM
i am still confused why that happened. it is the dumbest thing ever.

It's not like agent Billy Duffy is new to this stuff, how could he or Carter fall asleep on such a thing?

The Heat orginization must be grinning ear to ear.

07-04-2003, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by: Tony tha Mavs fan
I wonder if this changes the Zo situation with the Mavericks any?

Mourning will be renounced very soon so the Heat can sign a big time player. Zo will have to settle for the MLE - he won't get a sign and trade now. The Heat >might< have done a sign and trade before this situation came to light because $7M isn't good enough for a big time player and they might have gotten more value from a deal.

Who will Zo sign with now that it will only be for the MLE?

07-04-2003, 11:28 PM

Extra cap space puts Riley in 'a great spot'

By Ira Winderman
Staff Writer
Posted July 5 2003

With Anthony Carter officially listed by the NBA as a free agent, and with the Heat therefore relieved of the guard's $4.1 million salary for next season, the next question is the direction Pat Riley's team will take.

With Carter having forfeited the option year on his contract by missing the June 30 deadline to commit for 2003-04, the Heat could clear as much as $11 million in salary-cap space this summer.

That had the NBA taking notice Friday.

"It puts them in a great spot," Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said via e-mail. "I don't know if it has a trickle-down effect, because I don't expect there to be any bidding wars. There are more good players than there is cap room available."

Until Carter appeared on the NBA's official free-agent list Tuesday, the league had considered the Heat a secondary player in free agency, one with little more salary-cap room than the $4.8 million mid-level exception awarded to each of the NBA's 29 teams. Now, the Heat has moved to the forefront in a market that has Nets guard Jason Kidd, Warriors guard Gilbert Arenas and Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal among the top prizes.

"[It puts] Coach Riley in a great spot," Cuban said.

It also puts Riley and his front-office staff on the spot.

Before the team learned of Carter bypassing this coming season's $4.1 million by not opting in by the deadline, there had been thought of waiting until next summer to make a major splash on the free-agent market, when the final year of Carter's contract was to come off the books.

However, with the salary escalators in the contracts of Brian Grant, Eddie Jones, Caron Butler and Dwyane Wade to far exceed any year-to-year rise in the salary cap, this summer represents the Heat's greatest opportunity to operate so far below the team's salary ceiling.

The mother of Carter's son said the guard was traveling Friday to Atlanta. There Carter was expected to meet with Llew Haden, his long-time personal adviser and mentor.

Haden declined comment before speaking to the guard.

"There are some things going on that would make it inappropriate to comment right now," he said. "It's an awkward thing for me to speak about."

Asked if he had been in contact with Bill Duffy, Carter's agent, Haden said, "Bill and I speak on a number of issues on a regular basis."

Haden declined to comment on whether Carter's contract had been discussed in recent days. Duffy could not be reached for comment, despite several attempts by phone.

While Carter missing the June 30 "opt-in" deadline could have been a simple oversight, it is unlikely the Heat would forgo the opportunity to bolster a franchise that slipped to 25-57 last season.

Compassion likely will only go so far with a franchise that has been humbled by its own share of administrative missteps over the years.

Foremost, the league voided its free-agent contract with Juwan Howard in 1996 because of salary-cap intricacies.

Also, it was unable to re-sign Isaac Austin in 1998 because of arcane free-agency regulations.

In addition, it has been prevented from gaining significant salary-cap relief despite the illness that has sidelined center Alonzo Mourning for two of the past three seasons.

The Heat has declined comment on the Carter issue, with the team's front office expected to address the situation Monday, the day before the team opens a week of summer-league play in Orlando.

07-04-2003, 11:35 PM
hmmm doesn't really say what they are going to do with zo.

and does anyone else think it is weird that they quote cuban and not one of the heat officials??

Ummmmm Ok
07-10-2003, 03:35 PM
Riley might hang on to $11 million this season

By Ira Winderman
Staff Writer
Posted July 10 2003

ORLANDO -- In the wake of receiving untold riches to spend on the NBA's free-agent market, Heat coach Pat Riley responded Wednesday by uttering the seemingly unspeakable:

He may not spend any of the available $11 million on long-term solutions for a team that went 25-57 this past season.

Breaking his weeklong silence on the subject, Riley said even in the wake of adding an additional $4 million to his offseason flexibility, prudence will remain his watchword.

"There are five guys that I have really targeted," Riley said upon arriving at the Pepsi Summer Pro League. "I don't believe we are going to get any of 'em. And I'm not saying the next level is mediocre, but I'm not sure it's going to be the right player that's going to get us over the top.

"And I can't let anything get in the way of preserving the room to get the right guy."

Translation: Riley is not going to spend the money just because he has it, even amid the euphoria regarding the newfound wealth that came courtesy of a clerical gaffe by guard Anthony Carter.

With Jermaine O'Neal expected to return to the Pacers for more than even the Heat could offer, with Jason Kidd having narrowed his choice to the Nets or Spurs, with Tim Duncan remaining with the Spurs, the top of the free-agent class essentially has vanished.

Factor in Riley's reluctance to deal with restricted free agents, players whose current teams can match outside offers, such as Clippers forwards Elton Brand and Lamar Odom, and the Heat suddenly finds itself with money for nothing.

What could be left is an all-or-nothing run at Warriors free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas, but only if the asking price comes down to a level Riley deems acceptable.

"I can't strap the team again right now," Riley said, still dealing with the burdensome contracts of guard Eddie Jones and center Brian Grant, as well as an austerity plan recently imposed on the team's business side. "This is a different time, so the economics play a big part in it."

The Heat entered the offseason with little chance of being romanced by the darlings of free agency.

But once Carter forfeited $4.1 million for next season by missing a contract deadline, agents began seeking sweetheart deals.

But with a youthful core, Riley bypassed veteran free agents such as Gary Payton and Karl Malone.

And the coach has been unable to convince himself that second-tier options such as P.J. Brown or Juwan Howard would be worth long-term investments.

"We will continue to work," he said. "If something perfect happens, and I just have a feeling that it's not going to with the guys that I want, then we'll go to the second plan.

"We'll have to make some decisions there -- or we'll just preserve the room."

Next summer's free-agent class could include the likes of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Kenyon Martin. But each could sign extensions before getting to market or remain beyond the Heat's grasp, as has been the case this summer with Kidd and O'Neal.

Without further moves, the Heat will not have as much space below the 2004 cap next summer as it has under the 2003 cap today. However, Riley insists flexibility will be maintained.

That could rekindle discussion of dealing Jones to Minnesota for the cap space that would be gained by taking on sidelined guard Terrell Brandon.

"If we can't do something now, then we're going to make sure we're going to have at least as much next year -- or more," Riley said.

Riley insisted he was not hoisting a white flag. The interest in Arenas appears sincere.

Otherwise, there could be one-year contracts for the likes of Michael Olowokandi, Kenny Anderson or others snubbed elsewhere in bids for long-term contracts.

"If I don't get anybody this year," Riley said of an elite free agent, "it's going to be a bunch of one-year contracts."

Such an approach has failed the Heat the past two seasons, the only seasons Riley has missed the playoffs in his 21 years as a head coach.

One area that won't feature any backtracking is with Carter, who apparently will not be offered the opportunity to recoup his losses.

"I feel for the kid, I really do, but there's nothing we can do about it," Riley said. "It's one of the most bizarre things that's ever happened."

Would you be willing to send Raef/AJ to Toronto for Grant? Toronto would get another 3-5 million to throw with the 11 million they got now to give a max player in 2004. Right now, they are just under max money, AJ would put them into that Max Salary land in 2004.