Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: February 8, 2009 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2009 12:09 am
 

Amare talks heating up (UPDATE)

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 9:37 pm
 

O'Neal still in limbo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jermaine O'Neal smiled when I asked him where things stand with you-know-what.

"You mean the Miami thing," he said before the Raptors played the Nets Wednesday night.

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
 

Riley acknowledges Marion-O'Neal talks

After the Miami Heat finished paying tribute to Alonzo Mourning Thursday, it was on to more pressing NBA business: Shawn Marion for Jermaine O'Neal.

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
 

O'Neal must get healthy before trade (UPDATE)

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.

 

Posted on: January 3, 2009 9:53 am
 

Marbury Musings

An ESPN.com report that Stephon Marbury prefers to play in Boston has created a bit of a stir this weekend, and a delayed reaction. We've discussed here several times that Marbury's two preferred destinations are Boston and Miami -- partly to stick it to the Knicks, partly because the situations would be oustanding for him.

The problem is that Marbury having a preference about where to sign once the Knicks set him free is only half the equation. It takes two to Starbury, and neither team has expressed anything other than morbid curiosity about Marbury and his impending availability.

The Heat, for one, are slightly over the luxury-tax threshold and are trying to avoid paying tax this season. So if they signed Marbury to the $1.2 million veteran's minium, they'd have to shed a player to satisfy that goal.

As for Boston, president Danny Ainge, of course, has been doing his due diligence on Marbury. Boston's recent stumbles only underscored concern about lack of depth with the departure of James Posey for New Orleans and retirement of P.J. Brown. According to a person familiar with the situation, Ainge feels strongly that Marbury was not at fault for the way his Knicks career has ended. He doesn't blame Marbury for balking at a chance to play after being told he wasn't in the team's plans. But Ainge also has concerns about where Marbury is physically after sitting out the entire regular season and the last two months of 2007-08 following foot surgery.

Ainge confided recently that he doesn't fully understand what transpired between the Knicks and Marbury over the last couple of years; it's been a complicated relationship, with plenty of blame to go around. Basically, Ainge has an open mind about Marbury, with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The facts are these. Ainge would not add Marbury to the locker room unless the following conditions were met:  1) He's healthy and in good enough shape to help the team; 2) The coaches want him; and 3) The players want him.

Although Marbury is in excellent condition, he hasn't played competitive minutes in months. The other two conditions are tossups. Doc Rivers isn't afraid of coaching difficult players, and there is a feeling on the coaching staff that the departure of James Posey has left Boston's bench with a critical flaw -- no dependable sixth man providing instant offense on a nightly basis. Posey's contribution wasn't just on the offensive end, though; he provided defense and intangibles, two things Marbury doesn't offer. Marbury can be a decent on-the-ball defender when he's committed, but the last few years in New York he was an awful help defender.

Anyway, all of this most likely would be a moot point once we get to condition No. 3 -- the players. There have been conflicting reports about whether Garnett would block a Marbury signing. To me, the fact that he hasn't openly endorsed adding a player he was teamed with so famously in Minnesota says everything you need to know.

It's fun to talk about, though. And it was fun to see this photo resurfacing with the ESPN followup item. Yes, that is yours truly locked in an uncomfortable embrace with Marbury at Knicks media day before the season. It's a long story, one that is far from over.

 

Posted on: December 21, 2008 12:06 am
 

Wade passes on extension talk

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With ice packs adorning his legs and a box of protein drink in his hands, Dwyane Wade sat at his locker and deferred credit to his teammates for his 43-point night. Earlier, he'd deferred to his teammates on the floor, finding Daequan Cook for a clutch 3-pointer late in the Miami Heat's 106-103 victory over the Nets.

A frigid, icy New Jersey night awaiting him, Wade also was in no hurry to accelerate speculation about his plans for the free-agent summer of 2010. Even though everybody else is doing it.

A few nights ago in the hallways of this very arena, Utah's Carlos Boozer caused quite a stir when he said he has decided to decline his player option for the 2009-10 season and weigh his options. On Saturday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that LeBron James -- who has consistently fanned the flames of his impending free agency -- is considering signing an extension with the Cavaliers after the season. Such a move would signal James' contentment with the Cavs' plans to build him a championship team. It also would make July 1, 2010 -- when James has the right to decline his player option and become a free agent -- a moot point. A few weeks ago, James himself called that date "a very, very big day."

Wade, too, has a right to become a free agent in the summer of 2010, along with the likes of James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, and Paul Pierce. Unlike Boozer, whose player option comes a year early, Wade isn't ready to announce his intention to test the market. And unlike James, he isn't ready to say he'd consider re-signing with Miami next summer, either.

"I don’t know," Wade said. "I'm not concentrating on that right now. I'm not concentrating on my contract or talking contracts. I'm trying to help this team get to the playoffs and that’s all I'm worried about."

Like me, Wade didn't think Boozer's comment Wednesday night was anything controversial or surprising. Top-tier players with capable representation made sure they negotiated for the ability to sign a new contract -- with their current team or another one -- before the collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011. With a new deal between owners and players coming, who knows if the money will be there in 2011 or '12? It probably won't.

"I think it’s just giving yourself flexibility," Wade said. "And I think [Boozer] just came out and said he’s going to use his flexibility come next summer. I don’t know how it’s perceived out there, but that’s all it is. He gave himself flexibility and he gets to use it."

On Saturday, James spoke for the first time about re-signing with Cleveland next summer rather than waiting until 2010.

"You play out this season of course; I will consider it," James told the Plain Dealer. "The direction we are headed is everything I expected and more."

I asked Wade if he'd heard about James' comments.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "I'm sure he has a great opportunity in Cleveland, where he’s building a championship team. Just because you signed a three-year deal doesn't mean that you won't sign an extension beforehand."

James signed a three-year, $60 million extension with Cleveland in 2006, turning heads by turning down the team's five-year, $80 million. Wade did the same.

"The deal that was signed by everybody was just to give themselves flexibility and options," Wade said. "And he can sign a longer deal this summer and be in Cleveland a long, long time."

At some point, maybe Wade will be ready to say the same thing. Not yet. He is leading the league in scoring and having a season worthy of MVP consideration. On back-to-back nights, he scored 35 to topple the Lakers and equaled his season high with 43 to turn back the Nets. 

But unlike the dominance he displayed at the Olympics, Wade's excellence comes on a team that has a long way to go before it can even talk playoffs, much less championships. In that respect, Wade's situation is most similar to Bosh's in Toronto. Both need to see how things play out before they commit to anything.

"I'm under pressure to do well and to see what decision I'm going to make," Bosh told me recently. "And the organization is under pressure to bring this team around. We want to win now."

So far, Wade is content to walk the walk, rather than talk the talk.

 

Posted on: December 18, 2008 10:47 am
 

Marion trade rumor shown on Pat Riley's TV

It was just another day in Shawn Marion's trade rumor-driven world. That is, until he attended the team Christmas party at Pat Riley's house, where the latest trade rumor was televised on the news scroll of a popular, widely viewed entertainment and sports programming network.

Though a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Miami and Cleveland haven't held any trade discussions in months, reports of a possible deal sending Marion to Cleveland for Wally Szczerbiak and Anderson Varejao were nonetheless the talk of the party at Riley's house Tuesday night.

 "What am I going to do? I'm going to sit there and panic every time somebody says something?" said Marion, whose $17.8 million expiring contract -- and 12.4-point scoring average -- will have him front-and-center of trade talk between now and the Feb. 19 deadline.

 

Posted on: December 18, 2008 10:09 am
 

Suns have "zero" interest in Marbury

While Stephon Marbury has been given permission to seek a deal with a new team, no new talks are scheduled between the Knicks and Marbury's representative from the NBA Players Association to extricate him from New York.

According to a person with close ties to Marbury, the banished point guard is seeking to sign with a "playoff, championship caliber team." The source declined to discuss which teams Marbury is targeting, but didn't shoot down  Boston, Miami, or the Lakers as options. One team Marbury won't be signing with is the Suns. Phoenix contributed $500,000 to Spanish club Tau Ceramica to buy out their second-round pick, Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic, and team president Steve Kerr said Wednesday he has "zero" interest in Marbury. Kerr was in Denver Wednesday night scouting a point-guard matchup between Smush Parker and Eddie Gill in a D-League game, and vice president of basketball operations David Griffin plans to work out 4-6 point guards -- possibly including Damon Stoudamire and Troy Hudson -- on Monday. The Suns have until Wednesday to add a player to reach the NBA roster minimum of 13.

Miami is close to the luxury tax threshold and would need to trim a player to make room for Marbury, even if he signed for the veteran's minimum of $1.2 million. Dwyane Wade likely would have to sign off on adding Marbury, given his substantial baggage. A person familiar with the Celtics' thinking said the team would investigate Marbury when he became available, but the signing would have to come with the approval of the coaching staff and key leaders in the locker room.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh and NBPA attorney Hal Biagas, who is representing Marbury, "check in with each other periodically," but have held no further substantive buyout talks and have none scheduled, the source said.

 
 
 
 
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