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Heat Reluctant to Pay Luxury Tax

Ira Winderman addresses the Bibby-to-Miami rumors in terms of the impact of the Heat's luxury tax situation in a post for his South Florida Sun-Sentinel blog.

The Miami base of Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Antoine Walker, and Jason Williams is slotted for $56 million next season. Winderman estimates the luxury tax to fall around $68 million.

With Walker untradeable, and Haslem/O'Neal/Wade basically untouchable, it doesn't give the Heat much wiggle room. They could pull off a Williams/Dorell Wright/Michael Doleac for Bibby deal that would sneak them under the tax next year assuming they don't give Jason Kapono more than $5 million. But the tax situation in 2009 would be bleak.

How bad does a) Pat Riley need a guy like Bibby?, and b) how bad do Riley and owner Mickey Arison want to win another title? That could decide whether the Kings get to rebuild now or later.