Posted on: July 18, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 6:37 pm
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Posted on: July 13, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: July 13, 2010 11:54 am
Posted by Royce Young
Well, according to rapper Flo Rida and friends they are. For instance, a choice set of lyrics from his new song, "We Already Won":
We already won
We already won
Ain't no need to play no more games
We already won
We already won
We got LeBron James it's already done
After listening to this song and watching the "welcoming" last Friday that looked more like a title celebration, you'd think the Larry O'Brien Trophy has already been handed out. Actually, are we completely sure it actually wasn't?
So go ahead and start printing shirts and hats, NBA marketing people. Have no fear about them winding up as an airdrop in a third world country. The Heat are your champs. You heard the man. Ain't no reason to play no mo games.
Posted on: July 12, 2010 11:05 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 11:22 pm
Posted by Royce Young
With information beginning to surface on how things went down in Miami, the first thing most likely thought was, "Wow, that's crazy stuff." And after that, some probably thought, "Hey, isn't all that like tampering or something?" David Stern said it was not, even though Ken Berger thinks differently .
You know the word. You've heard it. But what really is "tampering"?
Basically, teams can't talk about players on other teams until July 1, the day free agency negotiations begin. Some even dubbed this the "LeBron James Rule" because that's really where most the fines stemmed from, especially recently. However, some form of tampering goes back as far as 1984 , where the NBA investigated illegal contact between teams and college stars Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. So while the current definition really involves the media, tampering is essentially teams talking when they shouldn't be.
For instance, a couple cases from this offseason: Mark Cuban was famously fined $100,000 for what some might have perceived as innocent comments about LeBron; former Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations Steve Kerr was fined $10,000 for comments he made in a radio interview with Dan Patrick about LeBron; and Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon, Jr. was fined $25,000 for comments he made to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about James.
To spare you a Google search, here's what the three said:
Cuban : "Come July 1, yeah, of course. Anybody would be interested in LeBron James and if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing … which is say ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance."
Kerr : "Well, if he'll take mid-level, we'll give it to him." "What's mid-level?" Patrick said, referring to the mid-level exception for teams exceeding the salary cap. "About five and a half million," Kerr said. "I think he'll take it, don't you think?"
Gearon : "If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But am I going to do that for Ilgauskas? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O'Neal? I don't think so."
All three didn't seem like much. Kerr's were very clearly a joke. But that's exactly what the NBA anti-tampering rules try and prevent: whimsical, supposedly innocent comments to the media about potential free agents still under contract with another team. The rule appears simple. But as seen with Cuban's recent frustrations over the policy , it's not so black and white.
In 2008, the league sent a memo to the 30 NBA teams detailing specific guidelines when discussing potential free agents with the media.
The memo read: "If a member of your organization is asked by the media about a potential free agent prior to the July 1 following the last season covered by the player's contract, or about any other person under contract with another NBA team, the only proper response is to decline comment."
Penalties outlined in the memo could include suspension, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, forfeiture of draft picks and individual and/or team fines of up to $5 million. But obviously, tampering extends past the media. It's about messing with other team's players period, whether that's through the media or through direct contact.
Other owners clearly feel like what Miami did was tampering . Meeting with players to talk about the future, mid-season, even if it's just supposedly about uniform numbers, feels like a violation of the rule. Or players meeting with players to discuss the future for that matter, though Stern said differently on Monday. But even if the league determined it was and levied the maximum $5 million fine against the Heat, I'm thinking Pat Riley would write that check with a big grin on his face. Small price to pay for the King I suppose.
(Read more about the theoretical case against the Heat from Ken Berger here .)
Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:30 pm
Posted by Royce Young
If you recall, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $100,000 for comments he made back in May in regards to LeBron James. The league determined his comments fell under the anti-tampering policy.
So with word out about Pat Riley and the Heat's escapades to bring Dwyane Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh to Miami, Cuban is obviously peturbed .
"I'm going to bring it up to the league that we really do have to re-evaluate the issue of player tampering," Cuban said. "Who knows what will happen? But I have to suggest it to them because there has to be more definitive rules ... It’s not just the Cavs. It could be any team. It could be the Heat in a couple years. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But there has to be a way to keep these guys away from each other for the last week anyway.”
It's obviously possible that Cuban will file his own charge. But with the deals already done, it's unlikely the NBA will take action right away anyway.
I'm sure the league just can't wait to talk to Cuban. But he's got a point. Cuban is fined six figures for a seemingly harmless comment in a newspaper. Riley is meeting with players. Wade is organizing summits. Discussion about moving teams is reportedly happening mid-season and in the playoffs for crying out loud. There's some real gray area in the rule and Cuban doing what he does best : making some noise
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 11:32 am
Posted by Royce Young
The Heat are wasting no time in filling out the active roster. Late Thursday night (or early Friday morning, depending on your location) news broke from Mike Miller's dad that the Heat were intending to sign Mike Miller .
Miller is from South Dakota, so I guess that's where we send his Luckiest Basketball Player in the World Award.
After shipping Michael Beasley to Minnesota for basically nothing, the Heat had a little cap room to play with. And Pat Riley and Miami wasted no time whipping out the checkbook. According to the report, Miller will sign a five-year, $30 million deal.
Miller also had offers from New York and the Clippers, with the Clipper offer being worth a significant amount more, the report said. Also, mentioned, Miller won out over Kyle Korver and Rasual Butler, mainly because of an endorsement from LeBron.
But Miller is just the beginning for the Heat. Since they moved Beasley, but now added Miller, the Heat have five players on the active roster, sans Joel Anthony who has a qualifying offer of about $1 million. Miller's $6 million a year will eat up virtually all of Miami's remaining cap space. That means a bevy of veteran minimum salaries are about to be handed out and as Ira Winderman mentioned in his story, the list isn't that long or that sexy.
Among the names available still: Raja Bell , Larry Hughes , Flip Murray, Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Devean George , Brian Skinner , Damien Wilkins, Trenton Hassell , Jarvis Hayes, Jason Williams, Keyon Dooling , Eddie House , Etan Thomas and Ime Udoka.
Of course Miami still has its three second-round picks it could sign (Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da'Sean Butler) and as Winderman says, could re-sign some lesser Heat players from a year ago (Shavlik Randolph, Kenny Hasbrouck). Finally, there are still undrafted players to be had, like Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek of Duke, Art Parakhouski from Radford, Denis Clemente (a native of Miami) from Kansas State, Scottie Reynolds from Villanova and Matt Bouldin from Gonzaga, among others.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 1:02 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Chris Bosh was quick to get on Twitter and express his happiness about LeBron James choosing the Heat.
Bosh was rumored to be wanting to be featured as a centerpiece, but in the end, he becomes the third option. He'll certainly have a chance to get more exposure now, but he will not be the first one mentioned. The names will be James and Wade... and Chris Bosh. But in the end, Bosh chose the place that gave him the best chance to win a championship. And now he's going to be a part of something really special. He has the best teammates he could ask for. He has a piece of the spotlight. And when he tweets, the whole world will listen, now.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:18 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:51 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
The Miami Heat are doing some interesting things as we inch closer and closer to LeBrocalypse tonight at 9 p.m. ET. KB reports that the Heat are trying to move Michael Beasley as part of the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade. Simultaneously, Jeff Goodman of Fox reports that the Heat have offered shooting wing Mike Miller a five-year deal worth between $27 and 30 million with a deadline of tonight. Presumably that means that if LeBron James doesn't go with the Heat, unless all three of the Triumverate are willing to take massive paycuts .
The two reports indicate that whatever happens tonight, the Heat plan to be busy. The Heat may be trying to add Miller as a final bit of leverage with James to show him that they can build a championship around the three of them even with little cap space. Miller is a terrific shooter, or at least he was, until he was sent to Minnesota and inexplicably stopped shooting. I'm not saying he stopped shooting well. I'm saying he stopped shooting. He started passing up open looks. Miller said earlier this year that he wanted to play for a contender. Well, if the Heat get LeBron James, I think you can definitley call them that, but then Miller can't join them. Without James, thoughthey're still probably a high favorite in the East, though probably not moreso than the Magic or Celtics, yet.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:56 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are teaming in Miami . That piece of the puzzle has been placed. That means the Miami Heat currently have four players on the roster, not counting the Joel Anthony. I'm no James Naismith here, but from my knowledge of basketball, I think it takes at least five to field a team.
Currently, the Heat have only about $11 million on the books including Anthony's million dollar qualifying offer. Assuming Wade signs a max deal, that number goes to something like $28 million. Bring in Bosh in a sign-and-trade (or just a regular free agent deal) and you're looking at something a little under $45 million. And with the cap rising to over $58 million, which was entirely unexpected, things look a little better for the Heat. However, still with the current contracts on the books, the Heat don't have enough cap room to offer LeBron , Wade and Bosh all max deals. They'll have to take a paycut , of about $1 million. So instead of making $16.5 million, they'll make $15.5. How terrible for them.
Now of course a way around that would be by unloading Michael Beasley to someone for little or nothing. That would be enough to free up for three max deals, however, that's one more roster spot that needs filling, plus the Heat probably won't get a player of Beasley's caliber to fill it.
So what do they do after that? They've maxed out their cap room, yet have to fill seven more roster spots, if you assume the Heat match Anthony's qualifying offer. The NBA requires 13 players on an active roster, and if the Heat sign the big three, that'll give them six players (Mario Chalmers, Michael Beasley, Wade, Bosh, LeBron and Anthony). Since the Heat will be at the cap threshold, they've have to fill out the depth chart by signing minimum salary players - seven of them - to field a legal team.
The first and most obvious option is for Miami to sign its second-round picks . The Heat took Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Vanardo and Da'Sean Butler in the second round. So there's a center, a power forward and a small forward right there. See, this is all working out! But those second rounders wouldn’t require a bunch of money and would serve as some nice depth on the back end of that roster. Those three guys aren’t bad players by any means. So now they're lacking just four more players.
They could re-sign James Jones (who they bought out just a month ago) to veteran minimum deal. And then go grab three more veteran players that might be looking to latch on to a team just to sit on the bench and make a championship run. Dan Marino and Karl Malone are listening intently right now.
Honestly, the Heat could make this work. I don't know how realistic a chance of winning this kind of make-shift roster would have, but it definitely could work.
But what if that doesn’t happen and LeBron goes elsewhere? Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday that if the Heat can't lure LeBron , they'll immediately look at other options, one being a deal for Andre Miller and/or Rudy Fernandez. The Heat talked with Portland since before the draft about a deal sending Chalmers and a first-round pick to Portland for Fernandez, but as Wojnarowski reports, those talks possibly have expanded to include Beasley and Miller.
That is an immediate upgrade for the Heat and gives Wade and Bosh a pedigreed creator and distributor for them. But what other alternatives are there, other than just saying forget it and playing with four?
The Heat could l ook at the remaining pool of free agents . They'll have about $15 million to play with and they surely don't want eight minimum players to play with Bosh and Wade. And lucky for them, there are still good options out there. Brendan Haywood is available, but he's going to want somewhere in the ballpark of at least three years, $10 million. Zydrunas Illgauskas, Shaq or Luis Scola are still out there too.
Raymond Felton would be a fit at point guard and likely won't sign for more than the MLE. Also, there's Nate Robinson who's unrestricted. The Heat could re-sign Udonis Haslem , who is an excellent role player and would probably fit well next to Bosh. Small forwards like Matt Barnes or Josh Howard would fit. All those would surely sign under the MLE, so that'd be something like $4-5 million. Mike Miller doesn't have a team yet and he wouldn't require a ton of money. There's still a number of players out there to be grabbed. Heck, maybe bring Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning out of retirement, I don't know. The thing is, Miami doesn’t want to spend big here, but surely want a contributor. The Heat aren’t building for the future – these moves are to win now .
The Heat won't be dead in the water without LeBron . Bosh plus Wade, plus a cast of quality role players can surely be a winning combination. Lots of reports say LeBron is leaning towards joining forces with Wade and Bosh in Miami, but we’ll have wait until “The Decision” to find that out.
The third option would be... um, third... well, I guess utilize the D-League, sign some 10-day contracts and just play out 82 games that way. The roster has to be filled out somehow. The NBA requires at least 13 active players. Right now, Miami has two/three including Anthony. After Bosh and Wade officially sign, four. And after The Decision, maybe five. Regardless, I'd say they have some work to do yet.