Tag:Dwyane Wade
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:56 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: Where do the Heat go from here?

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.



Posted on: July 8, 2010 9:13 am
Edited on: July 8, 2010 8:02 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: Cleveland, the sleeper pick?

Posted by Matt Moore

In yesterday's episode of LeBron-o-rama , we saw that New York was the heavy favorite. That was soon to be overridden by late last night's report that the Heat had become the front-runners to court a King. But the real answer to this riddle? No one knows where James is going. Probably not even LeBron.

 Throughout this entire process, James has kept his thoughts and feelings close to his vest. While Dwyane Wade spoke more openly about what he was feeling and thinking, and Bosh let it be know through various leaks, James has been a sphinx. Silent, unmoving, a riddle in statue form. The news that's come out about his thoughts or preferences? They've all been concepts that come from "sources" close to the situation. You know who's close to the situation? James. That's it. The whole kit and kaboodle.

And most strange in all of this? There have been no leaks that put him back in Cleveland. Not the location of the announcement . Not the movement of his tax documents . And not the prospect of the super team. It's all leaning away from Cleveland.

Why?

Why in a time when there is abject speculation from every angle and degree, where every person with an agenda for James going to his or her city, is there no significant word about Cleveland?

And again, the reporter who's followed his entire career, who's been a step away from him from the time he hit high school, that guy isn't hearing anything ? A guy who's as widely respected in NBA media circles as anyone and who has had the, er... mouth of LeBron James (since if he had his ear LeBron would be listening to him, and that's not really, you know, let's just move on), that guy has heard nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

Something's up.

Now, it could be that James is trying to downplay the devastation he's about to wreak on the city of Cleveland and state of Ohio. Both financially and personally, a whole bunch of Ohio folks are about to be crushed if he has in fact decided to bolt. It would make sense to put distance between James and Cleveland publicly.

Plus, Cleveland just doesn't have the media to drum up rumors. And the media they have won't do it. So we're left with silence about Cleveland. And it could be that that silence says more than anything. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. We'll know tonight. But the one thing I am sure of?

The only person who knows what's going on has "Chosen One " written on his back.
Posted on: July 7, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 5:59 pm
 

LeBron announcement may have New York ties

All of Cleveland, I want you to click away. Go read KB talking about Kevin Durant. Or the Browns. Something. But you don't need to read this, it will do you no good, and probably doesn't mean anything anyway.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has indicated that where LeBron James holds his announcement about free agency tomorrow night will not be an indication of his decision . That said, along side the information about New York rising up the chart we brought you earlier, there's been an interesting wrinkle come out of the woodwork.

Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reports an uncomfirmed rumor that James is making the announcment from the home of Alan Houston. This vibes with what Windhorst also tweeted today about the announcement coming from Greenwich, Conneticut (Houston lives in Greenwich). Greenwich, if you didn't know, it widely considered a New York suburb.

UPDATE: Allen Hahn of Newsday reports the same .

If James were returning home, why would he make the announcement from the home of a former Knicks? Even if an alternative rumor Isola suggests, that the announcment is coming from a Boys and Girls Club in town, is correct, why would James announce from a New York suburb that he's returning to Cleveland? Why not stay home and make the announcement from Akron? Or if he's headed to Miami, why not from South Beach in Dwyane Wade's home?

Maybe just to mess with us.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that James is dropping hints to throw people off. There have been no indications outside of these types of ancillary indications that James is considering anything but Miami or Cleveland, and mostly just Cleveland. Throw in the fact that Windhorst also reported (again, via Twitter) that James is filming segments around Akron for part of his website, and you have a perplexing look at what's going on.

James may have a plan in place, a decision made, he may not. But the way things are shaping up, one thing's certain. The speculation won't end until 9p.m. EST tomorrow night.

-Matt Moore



Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:59 pm
 

Wade to Heat fans: "I'm back."

There are going to be heartbroken fans in free agency. It's part of the process. There are Knick fans who love David Lee, Jazz fans that love Carlos Boozer, even Milwaukee fans who love Luke Ridnour. Really. and Lee and Boozer may return to their home, just as LeBron James may come back to the loving arms of Cleveland. But someone is going to get hurt. It's part of sports.

It will not be Heat fans.

Dwyane Wade is coming back. And lost in the throes of glee that he's brining Chris Bosh (and possibly LeBron James?) with him is that Wade didn't abandon the team that drafted him (unlike Bosh...sorry Toronto). Wade was drafted by the Heat out of Marquette and immediately put the Heat on the map. They had been just years removed from playoff contention but had never made the Finals. Wade changed all that. And the first player to take you to the promised land is always special. Wade said all along that his heart was in Miami. Today he put his money where his mouth is.

Then he took to YouTube to share his decision with the fans. It's yet another example of how 2010 is the year of the athlete controlling the message :




-Matt Moore
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 2:11 pm
 

Bulls have moved on from the Big 3

Looks like Chicago, along with New Jersey and the Clippers, will be the big losers from this monstrous free agency period.

With Chris Bosh headed to Miami to join Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James apparently having narrowed his choices down between Cleveland and the Heat, the Bulls no longer look to be in contention to sign a free-agent. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports via Twitter that the Bulls have moved on from the Big 3 and will "turn their attention" towards other lesser free agents like Carlos Boozer and David Lee among others, as well as pursue trades.

It's going to be a disappointing year for Bulls fans who will wonder what could have been. Dwyane Wade said in an interview on ESPN's SportCenter that he thought heavily about Chicago and that it was a "very difficult " decision. But now the Bulls are moving on with the prospect of only adding a second-tier player to their roster. Granted, the Bulls are a team on the rise having made the playoffs the past two years with a new coach in Tom Thibodeau. But they could have been a favorite to win the title. They moved salary, cleared space specifically to land both James and another max free agent and they will miss on all of them. That's a pretty crushing blow to a franchise that legitimately seemed in the front of the pack going into last weekend.

There were signs, of course. Rumors that the Bulls had moved up their Saturday meeting with James to try and get him to commit to a deal before the end of the day. A risky proposition, and if the rumors were true, one that may have cost them. Bulls management has long thought to be too brusque, too bullish, and may not have put their best foot forward, even with a great market, the lure of playing in Jordan's town, and the best assembled roster of any of the suitors for the Big 3's services.

Losing Wade doubly hurts as his divorce settlement gave even more reason for him to sign with the hometown Bulls. But this is where they are, and they have to go forward.

Boozer and Lee are both good options, though Lee is likely a better value and does more of what they need without Boozer's considerable baggage. They're not elite, but they could help the Bulls to be a better team. At this point, the future of the Bulls will rest squarely on Derrick Rose's shoulders. The team can add other free agents to help out (a significant offer for sharpshooter Anthony Morrow would be a great start), but at the end of the day, Rose will have to ascend to superstardom in order for the Bulls to contend. This is especially taxing considering how the East is now shaping up, with the Celtics making at least one more run, Orlando with a strong core, the Cavaliers possibly returning most of their 60+ win team, and Miami coming on as a contender for the title.

The Bulls may have been the frontrunners at one point, and had a legit shot at returning to the top of the NBA empire. Now they're just another franchise trying to add pieces, fighting for their stake of the middle ground behind the elite, populated by the players they just missed out on.

-Matt Moore


Posted on: July 7, 2010 11:51 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:54 am
 

Is the Triple Superstar team becoming reality?

About  an hour ago, Ken Berger reported that the Miami Heat, having locked up Chris Bosh as their power forward of the future next to Dwyane Wade, have turned their attentions to LeBron James in an attempt to create what can only be termed a "superteam." The prospect of the three playing together in Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, Timbuktu or the moon is the kind of concept that leaves every other general manager in the league waking up nights in a cold sweat. And according to the sources in KB's story, the push is hard.

Now, Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports via Twitter that a conference call was held this morning between Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and James. The call had been previously reported by several outlets. But the key is that Ford reports the three discussed the exact scenario Berger laid out. If Wade and Bosh were able to make a successful pitch, when combined with Pat Riley showing James his ring during their meeting to drive the point home, then it's actually possible.

You know.

LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh. Together. (Along with Mario Chalmers or Michael Beasley, depending on who winds up in a sign-and-trade, but let's try and ignore them for now.)

The idea is terrifying. It would realign the NBA for the next five years. The Heat could literally drag 10 guys off the D-League and contend very seriously for a championship. (I can even give you names.) The Lakers and possibly the Celtics would be the only teams with a core built to overpower them, provided the three trying to play together wasn't an outright disaster. They would create matchup problems every single time down the floor and the marketing possibilities are endless. With Bosh as a low-post passer and scorer, Wade running the system and James doing everything he does, it would be the most terrifying combination of talent we've seen since the heydays of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers dynasties of the 80's.

There's a lot that would need to happen and the possibility is still remote of it occurring. Financially, logistically, practically, the chances of this occurring are not high. But there's been significant movement in the past 24 hours to suggest the conversation is on the table and being heavily considered by all parties involved.

For James, it would require a massive step down from the lofty porch of being the one-and-only top dog. He would be coming to a situation where one or all of the Big 3 are going to take a pay cut, and it may end up being him based on Wade and Bosh getting their deals done first. It would also mean going into a town where Wade is King, heavily involved in the community at both a service and business level, embedded in all marketing extensions of the Heat. But it wouldn't take long for revisions to take place to start pushing the three as an independent entity, capable of individual deals and combination partnerships and sponsorships that might dwarf anything James could get on his own, no matter the zip code. People love winners, and by all accounts, that team would win a lot .

It's a shattering concept that could shape the fact of the league for years to come. It's still a remote possibility, with Cleveland firmly the front-runner to bring the King back home. However, if I'm a rival GM in this league, I'm praying to whatever deity I subscribe to that this doesn't happen.

A Triple-Superstar Heat team?

That would be the biggest bang of all in a free agency period full of them.

-Matt Moore



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:02 am
 

If Bosh goes Heat, what does LeBron do?

If the numerous reports out there are accurat e, and they've been confirmed by just about every major outlet on the planet, then Chris Bosh is joining Dwyane Wade on South Beach for one heck of a party. But as the tango starts up in Miami (it takes two, you see), we're going to have to turn our attention almost immediately back to where our eyes have been glued all along.

What does LeBron James do now?

With both of the significant power forward options off the market assuming Bosh is a done deal, James' decision becomes somehow simpler and more complicated. Our own Ken Berger reports that he's a near-lock to announce he's returning to Cleveland tomorrow during his one-hour ego boost. But James has to be taking a good long look at his options before committing to anything.

LeBron was expected to be the catalyst, but instead Joe Johnson recommitted to the Hawks first, then Amar'e Stoudemire didn't wait for James to decide where he was headed before jumping into the center of MSG. Now Bosh is teamed with Wade. James may want to return to Cleveland, to stay home, to be the hero, but he's got to look at a roster that won 120 games plus over the past two years and still didn't make the Finals and get a little nauseous thinking of having to compete with Orlando, Boston, and now Miami and whatever the Knicks pull off (if anything). Which means James' camp has to be exploring his options, which right now are thus:

Take less money to join Wade and Bosh in Miami. Wade and Bosh are almost definitely assured the max deals (Wade from Miami, Bosh in a sign-and-trade). So it's natural for them to take those deals which means James capitalizes on his enormous celebrity and forms a super-team the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades in the NBA thanks to the salary cap. He guarantees himself multiple rings but also sacrifices home court advantage in terms of market and under the circumstances, looks like the third wheel. James is no third wheel. As important as winning is to James, not giving up his leverage in his attempt to become a global icon is more important, and going to Miami would mean sacrificing stock in that. Still, the allure of a super team has to weigh heavily, especially when combined with the beach and tax situation in Miami.

Head to New York to join Amar'e.
James comes into the world's biggest market as the difference maker alongside Amar'e Stoudemire. All of a sudden New York is the free-agent destination and the team can fill out the roster with quality players while working towards the future. Still, the core roster behind Stoudemire is as shaky as it is in Miami, only without the All-Star duo and only Amar'e instead. The money would be amazing, but the basketball might suffer. It would be an incredible risk, but one with a huge payout.

Head to Chicago with Rose and Noah.
The Bulls have the most ready team to compete over the next decade and with James they would elevate to a whole other level. Noah provides strength low and Rose is one of the most up and coming point guards in the league. He would have his name next to Michael Jordan, for better or worse, and operate in a major market. The team would be ready to contend and could likely snag Carlos Boozer or David Lee to help with low-position scoring. For whatever reason, the Bulls have slipped out of most talks.

Stay home.
The option most are predicting, and have from the start. Our own Ken Berger reports that's the most likely scenario . But James is looking at Antawn Jamison, who did not deliver last season in any way, shape, or form, and Mo Williams as his running partners while the rest of the league gets younger, the Heat become a powerhouse, Boston maintains, Orlando maintains, and the Lakers still rule the roost. But Cleveland is home, and James may feel that his presence will always generate the ability for teams to improve. Maybe the Cavs can pull a rabbit out of a hat. What's strange is the most likely scenario also seems like the most risky. The Cavs are a lock to not be terrible in the future. But they're also a heavy favorite to be not be considered a true contender unless significant changes happen.

Wade and Bosh may force James to reconsider his decision, either way. The options are largely the same as they've ever been, but the pieces have now moved into place. In a little over 24 hours, James will have to publicly declare what's most important to him , with the whole world watching.

-Matt Moore

(Graphic: Roland Liwag)
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 9:44 am
 

Reports: Bosh to Miami

The next significant piece may be falling into place, and it's good news for Miami.

Our own Ken Berger reported last night that an executive close to the talks between the Big 3 free agents (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) has indicated that Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade in Miami in a sign-and-trade. That's followed by a report from ESPN's Chris Broussard this morning indicating sources have confirmed Wade and Bosh announcing their decision to join the Heat Wednesday afternoon.

This will send tremors throughout the NBA as without Bosh, LeBron James will likely be rejoining a Cavaliers team that has won 60 games the past two seasons but has failed to win a championship and now returns with no significant changes to their roster outside of a new head coach in Byron Scott.

But more importantly, it signals Miami as a rising contender to the Eastern title. Miami will have enough room to sign auxiliary free agents to put support around the superstar duo. But the question will be how much. Miami will need to arrange for a sign-and-trade agreement that sends either Mario Chalmers or Michael Beasley out if they want to be able to have the flexibility to really improve the roster around this new monster combo to the point of contention. And as Ken Berger tells us this morning, that's not necessarily a done deal.

While the Raptors are prepared to move forward with sign-and-trade scenarios sending Bosh to Miami, the duo's agent Henry Thomas had yet to sign off on any finalized trade agreement as of Wednesday morning, two sources involved in the process told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger .

So now we wait to see how the rest of the pieces unfold. Will this deal get done, with Miami having one of the most formidable combinations in the league... and not much else? How will they put a contending support core around the two? What will James do, faced now with no significant superstar additions if he doesn't leave Cleveland? What else does Pat Riley have up his sleeve? Where does Chicago turn if they miss out on all three of the top free agents in this class, after working so hard to clear space, despite having the best collection of talent? The big questions are starting to be answered, which means the rest could be coming in a flood over the next few weeks.

-Matt Moore

 
 
 
 
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