Posted on: May 31, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 9:48 pm
MIAMI -- In addressing the media 45 minutes before tipoff of LeBron James' first NBA Finals game with the Heat Tuesday night, commissioner David Stern is prepared for an abundance of labor questions and also, an inquiry that has particular relevance to this series: What happened to the Cleveland Cavaliers' plans to investigate possible tampering charges related to James' decision to sign with Miami?
There isn't much to address yet, according to a person with detailed knowledge of league operations who told CBSSports.com that no formal complaint has been filed.
"The answer is no," the person said.
In his annual pre-Finals media address Tuesday night, Stern said he has not received any correspondence from the Cavs or their legal representatives. Asked after his Q&A with reporters before Game 1 if he considers the matter closed, Stern said, "It was never open."
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declined to comment Tuesday night on his team's ongoing legal probe.
In December, Yahoo! Sports reported that Gilbert had hired a law firm to build a possible tampering case against Miami, which signed James and Chris Bosh as free agents to pair with Dwyane Wade last July. The fruits of LeBron's decision are on full display, with the Heat advancing to the Finals against the Mavericks after running through the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the 76ers, Celtics and Bulls.
At the time, Gilbert was incensed by meetings that involved high-level representatives of James and Wade in Chicago last June, when they were still under contract with their teams. Also, published reports indicated that James was involved in a meeting with Heat president Pat Riley and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan last November during a Cavs trip to Miami. That report came from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which also reported in July that Wade and Bosh flew to Akron to meet with James at his home a month earlier -- before the beginning of free agency July 1.
Stern has previously defended players' rights to discuss future plans among themselves, but stated during a playoff appearance in Philadelphia last month, "If there was tampering that someone could prove, that would make my blood boil.”
The NBA does not investigate possible instances of tampering without a formal complaint from a team.
Posted on: April 8, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: April 8, 2010 7:59 pm
Chris Bosh is out for the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery to repair a facial fracture suffered on the other end of an inadvertent elbow. No, you are not the only one wondering if the All-Star power forward has played his last game in Toronto.
First of all, the Raptors will have a tough time making the playoffs without Bosh, so the remaining four games could be all that's left of their season. Of more concern is the fact that team executives I've spoken with recently continue to believe that Bosh is the most likely of the highly regarded free agents to change teams this summer.
Like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Bosh signed his most recent extension with the intention of testing the unrestricted free agent market this summer; each has a player option for the 2010-11 season. All three turned have turned down extension offers since last summer, with Bosh the most recent prospective free agent to say no. The Raptors relayed an extension offer in January, and Bosh's position was that he wanted to play out the season and deal with the contract afterward.
Injury aside, Toronto's inability to make significant improvement this season despite the addition of free agent Hedo Turkoglu has frustrated Bosh to the point where people close to him believe he is the most motivated of the Big Three to seek a new address this summer. In all likelihood, the Raptors would try to accommodate his wishes via a sign-and-trade so they can avoid losing him and getting nothing in return.
It has been long speculated that Bosh, a Texas native, would seek a return to his home state. Conveniently, there are three teams located there, all of which might be enticed to explore a sign-and-trade. The Rockets are in desperate need of star power, the Spurs are aging, and the Mavericks are always game for splashy, big-ticket moves.
One thing's for sure: It's gotten a lot easier over the past 48 hours to imagine Bosh wearing another uniform next season.
As for the Raptors' battle for the eighth playoff spot in the East with Chicago, the Bulls got another break Thursday night -- also at the hands of the Cavs. LeBron James was inactive for Cleveland's game in Chicago, giving the Bulls a chance to move ahead of Toronto with four games to play for each team. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker and have the easier schedule: at Atlanta, at Detroit, and home to New York in addition to hosting the Bulls on Sunday. Chicago is at New Jersey Friday night and finishes the season against two playoff teams: home to Boston and at Charlotte.
Posted on: February 13, 2009 8:06 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2009 10:53 pm
PHOENIX -- Dwyane Wade views the trade Friday that sent Jermaine O'Neal to Miami as a move that could propel the Miami Heat to a long playoff run. Chris Bosh sees it as what it is: maneuvering for the future.
Whether Bosh will be a part of that future remains to be seen.
"I have mixed emotions," Bosh said Friday. "I like J.O. He’s a great person and a great player. But I guess things weren’t working out the way he wanted them to. I hate to see him go, but it’s a business move that was made and we have to accept it and move on. G.M.s have to think about the future. There’s so many different scenarios you have to consider. It’s just all about making the correct moves for the future right now. It’s tricky. Hopefully it’ll help you right now, and it’ll give you flexibility later on."
Later on will be here sooner than Bosh thinks. By unloading O'Neal's $23 million contract for next season, Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo has some flexibility to go free-agent shopping this summer. He also maintains cap flexibility in the summer of 2010, when Bosh can become a free agent by declining his player option for the 2010-11 season.
So can Wade, and Miami will have as much cap room as any team in the NBA in '10. In the meantime, Wade thinks the addition of O'Neal and Jamario Moon will help.
"I think it gives us an opportunity right now to really compete in the Eastern Conference," Wade said. "In the first part of the season, it was throw the ball up and let’s see what happens with the team we have. But now you look at it and say, 'OK, we’re in fifth place right now, and if we mesh the right way with Jermaine and with Jamario, then we could do something."
UPDATE: This is important, Heat fans. Before you rip this trade, you should know that Miami received a $4 million trade exception as part of the deal. That's because Marion-for-O'Neal straight up satisfied the 125 percent rule for salaries matching up in trades. Toronto used a minimum-player exception to send Moon to Miami, and the Heat get a $4 million trade exception for the difference between Marcus Banks' salary and Moon's. The exception expires in one year.
Posted on: February 8, 2009 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2009 12:09 am
CLEVELAND -- The Phoenix Suns have engaged in trade talks with at least five or six teams, including the Pistons, Bulls, Nets, and Warriors, in their efforts to find the best offer for Amare Stoudemire, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.
In the past 48 hours, the Suns' posture on Stoudemire has advanced from accepting calls to placing them, an indication that they've accelerated efforts to pull off sweeping changes before the Feb. 19 trade deadline.
The Pistons view Stoudemire as a good fit, according to a person with knowledge of the dialogue between the teams, and have the kind of assets Phoenix would be interested in -- large expiring contracts (Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace), young players with reasonable contracts (Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson), and draft picks (three extra second-rounders and an extra first-rounder acquired in other trades).
Chicago also is a desirable destination, and the Bulls could offer Larry Hughes' $13.7 million deal expiring after next season. Plus, Chicago has the largest expiring trade exception ($5.2 million) in the league. The Nets have three first-rounders in upcoming drafts, but don't seem convinced that Stoudemire is the right fit, which would be a key component of any deal. Since Stoudemire has an early termination clause after the 2009-10 season, any team that acquires him would have to view him as its max free-agent signing in the summer of 2010.
UPDATE: Golden State also has had discussions with the Suns about Stoudemire, a person familiar with the talks said Sunday night -- although the Bay Area doesn't seem to be a likely destination.
"You'd have to have a deal in place to re-sign him," one rival executive said. "You'd have to have great interest and think he’s the guy for you."
Other teams believed to be in the mix for Stoudemire are Miami, Dallas, and possibly the Raptors, who are looking for other avenues to unload Jermaine O'Neal's $22 million contract for next season after talks with Miami about an O'Neal-for-Shawn Marion swap fizzled.
UPDATE: Several curious teams have called Toronto about Chris Bosh, two people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday night. But it's not clear whether the Bosh talks have involved Stoudemire, and to this point, Toronto's response has been that Bosh is not available.
As CBSSports.com first reported Friday, Phoenix also is seeking offers for Shaquille O'Neal, whose resurgence has not stemmed the Suns' inconsistency under first-year coach Terry Porter.
Posted on: January 28, 2009 10:53 pm
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Chris Bosh didn't need to put on a cowboy hat or make a video to stump for All-Star votes this time around. He still wants to be included in the festivities when All-Star reserves are announced Thursday.
"That's one thing that I don't take for granted," Bosh said Wednesday night after the Toronto Raptors nearly squandered a 13-point lead with 4:46 left and survived Devin Harris' missed pullup jumper at the buzzer to beat the Nets 107-106. "I want to play like an All-Star every year. I feel I am one in my heart, but unfortunately it's not up to me. I just have to let things happen, sit back and watch and enjoy the show."
There's little doubt Bosh will be named to his fourth All-Star team Thursday (he started the last two) in voting by all 30 head coaches. But it's refreshing to see how much one of the stars of the game values the honor, even after winning the gold medal with Team USA in Beijing last summer.
"It means a lot," Bosh said. "The starters are well-deserved. They're All Stars. For the guys who make it, it's a big accomplishment. It's something I look forward to. Hopefully (Thursday) I'll get some good news."
Some better news: The Raptors have won three in a row following a seven-game losing streak to stay two games out of the eighth playoff spot in the East. Maybe -- just maybe -- the Raptors are gaining momentum heading into next week, when they face Orlando, Cleveland, the Lakers, and New Orleans.
"Next week is a tough week for us, so we have to win the games we're supposed to win," Bosh said.
Posted on: January 28, 2009 9:37 pm
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jermaine O'Neal smiled when I asked him where things stand with you-know-what.
Basically, O'Neal remains in limbo. He knows that Toronto would like to send him to Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks in a trade that would free up the Raptors' offense for Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. He knows Miami is watching him closely and studying his medical records to make sure his knees will hold up.
He knows it's nothing personal. No hard feelings toward Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo if the deal goes through.
"I'm just trying to get healthy, which has been the big issue for me the last couple of years," O'Neal said. The trade talk, he said, "doesn't bother me at all."
Colangelo is in wait-and-see mode, too. And he's not panicking. O'Neal has been effective coming off the bench the past three games after missing 11 of 12 to rest his bruised knee. Colangelo knows he has a valuable asset, because O'Neal's $23 million contract for next season expires in time for everyone to make a frenzied run at free agents in the summer of 2010. As of now, there's no deal with Miami. And while Colangelo waits for the Heat to decide whether to move forward with it, I'm told he's not actively shopping J.O. elsewhere. Two or three teams have inquired about him, and that only strengthens Colangelo's hand.
The Raptors are $222,000 under the luxury-tax threshold. Barring a trade proposal that blows Colangelo away, he's not inclined to push a team that entered Wednesday night 10 games under .500 over the punitive dollar-for-dollar tax.
In the meantime, O'Neal auditions for Miami and Colangelo smiles because he's contributing in a way that helps his team. And that only makes his $23 million expiring contract more valuable. At some point, something has to give.
Posted on: January 22, 2009 9:32 pm
A person familiar with the discussions put it this way to CBSSports.com when I asked where the proposed deal stands: "On the health of J.O.'s knee."
The person, who is directly involved in the process, confirmed that the Heat and Raptors have exchanged medical information on O'Neal and Marion -- usually the final step toward completing a trade. Marcus Banks also likely would be going from Miami to Toronto to make the deal work under league rules.
Riley, speaking with reporters after Mourning announced his retirement, essentially confirmed the talks.
"I value Shawn Marion immensely," Riley said. "He is a tremendous player. I'm sorry this is going on right now, but that's the NBA business."
If O'Neal's ailing right knee is healthy, he could help bring the inside presence that Miami has been lacking-- especially defensively. His $23 million contract coming off the books after next season also couldn't hurt in the bid to pair Dwyane Wade with a major free agent. Marion's $17.2 million contract expires after this season, allowing Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo to make a pre-emptive free-agent strike in an effort to pair and All-Star with Chris Bosh.
Posted on: January 19, 2009 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2009 5:51 pm
Trade rumors have been swirling around the Raptors' Jermaine O'Neal, and for good reason. O'Neal has been out with a sore right knee for 10 of the last 11 games, and the air was ripe for conspiracy theories Monday when he was held out of Toronto's game against the conference-rival Hawks. The Miami Heat, reported to be mulling a possible deal that would send Shawn Marion to Toronto for O'Neal, had a scout at the Hawks-Raptors game. That's standard procedure with the Heat scheduled to play the Hawks next Monday, but the O'Neal situation is sufficiently curious as to arouse suspicions. As Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel points out, O'Neal hasn't scored a single basket since Dec. 29.
Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo is said to be itching to complete a big trade before the Feb. 19 deadline. O'Neal is a likely candidate, with his $23 million expiring contract next season and with the emergence of Andrea Bargnani in O'Neal's absence.
O'Neal's agent, Arn Tellem, wouldn't discuss the likelihood that O'Neal would be dealt. But a person with direct knowledge of the Raptors' plans told me that O'Neal will stay right where he is until he can prove that his knee is sturdy enough for a playoff run with a new team. "Nothing can happen until he's completely healthy," the person said.
So the speculation will continue until O'Neal gets back on the floor and proves that he can help a team with playoff aspirations. No telling how long that will be.
UPDATE: Here is the latest, according to a source familiar with the situation. Miami wants O'Neal to prove he's healthy before trading for him. Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo, being the shrewd negotiator that he is, will likely call the Heat's bluff by trying to find another potential suitor for O'Neal. This ostensibly would force Heat president Pat Riley to decide whether he wants to pull the trigger on the deal before he's ready to. It's a poker game. A second source says Miami is definitely trying to add a big man. O'Neal would fit the bill. It'll be interesting to see who blinks first.