Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:18 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:51 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: What's Miami up to?

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 3:20 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 4:41 pm
 

What the Bosh S&T proposal means for the Raps

Posted by Matt Moore

KB informed us that the Raptors are inching closer to a sign-and-trade agreement for Chris Bosh to Miami. The deal has now grown to include Houston and Charlotte, primarily from the Raps end so that they don't have to take on a player. The deal they're pursuing would get back their first round draft pick they traded to Miami, along with a massive trade exception for 2011, and a player from Houston, ideally.

This move signals that the Raptors are not pursuing a strategy of trying to make the current roster contend, but instead abandoning ship on the team as it was built. A full rebuild is underway. It's a perilous approach considering how much money the Raptors sank into contract last year in order to keep Bosh around, without any real indication he would be staying in Toronto. Bryan Colangelo will essentially be moving to undo all the decisions he's made, and that's the kind of process that's painful and often costs GMs their job.

Getting the pick back and taking the trade exception is a great start, though, and not having to absorb the risk of Michael Beasley is a huge upshot. The team may be back in the lottery again next year, and they'll want a shot at franchise savior Harrison Barnes. Not taking on any more contracts will make it easier for them to try and shave salary from trades, and this should be viewed as an open invitation that the Raps are open for business.

Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu are the two biggest albatrosses, and while there are elements of each's games that could attract teams, the contracts Colangelo gave them in a failed attempt at a contender will likely make them near immovable. They may be forced to take on deals like the ones New York had to endure the last two seasons in order to unload them.

Someone had to lose out this summer, many teams did. Unfortunately it looks like Toronto may be in for the roughest turn.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 4:23 pm
 

What the Bosh S&T proposal means for 'Cats

Posted by Matt Moore

As KB dropped on us a few minutes ago , the Charlotte Bobcats have been pulled into talks with the Heat and Raptors about the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade. With Miami clearing space to try and land you-know-who, the Bobcats have been pulled into talks to take on a player, which Toronto is unwilling to do.

(Read about the whole deal here from KB .)

The Cats would be taking on Mike Beasley under the proposed deal, one that is curious in many ways for Larry Brown's team. It means ditching Tyson Chandler leaving them perilously thin at center, and adding another SF/PF combo in the same vein as Gerald Wallace, only not as versatile, complete, or basketball-intelligent. It also may likely end Tyrus Thomas' time in Charlotte, though a combo of the two would be interesting... in a lot of ways.

Beasley is considered nearly radioactive at this point, but so was Tyrus Thomas when Larry Brown decided to bring him into the fold. This move echoes a continuing sentiment that Brown is undertaking players who are thought to be lost causes, players who he himself had no time for a few years ago. Ditching Chandler would clear quite a bit of space for the Bobcats who are up against the luxury tax wall pretty hard and getting shaken down, all for a roster nowhere close to title contention.

Beasle's a high-risk, low-reward type player from a basketball standpoint, but clearing Chandler may also leave them the ability to pursue a younger, more athletic center like Joel Anthony for a much lower price.

One thing's for certain. The Bobcats are continuing full-force with their reformation-through-trade strategy if they can worm their way into this deal.



Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 3:11 pm
 

KB Updates: Lee-Randolph, Amar'e S&T, Cats moves

Posted by Royce Young

A few interesting things from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:

  • The Heat are actively trying to clear Michael Beasley and his $4.9 million off the books in order to complete its dream team. Right now, Miami is talking a three-way trade that involves Charlotte and Houston. Beasley would go to Charlotte, with the Rockets getting something from the Bobcats.
  • Amare Stoudemire's move to New York was actually done as a sign-and-trade, Berger reports. The deal is five years, $99.9 million. The Knicks save about $800,000 on next year's cap as a result of it and the Suns get a trade exception and conditional future pick.
  • The Bobcats are in serious talks to offer either Luis Scola or Tyrus Thomas a contract. Both are restricted free agents and Berger says that Houston owner Leslie Alexander is determined to match any offer on Scola.
That's it for now, but obviously, much more to come.

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 1:24 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:57 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: Dolan challenges/takes shot at LBJ

Posted by Matt Moore

 Alan Hahn was at the presser for the introduction of Amar'e Stoudemire today in New York, and caught this very interesting comment from James Dolan:

Dolan: "It takes courage to play where the lights shine brightest."

Maybe that's just a benign soundbite to fill the time. Or maybe it's a challenge to LeBron to accept his fate as the biggest star in the world and that he should embrace the responsibility of being that star. Or, it could be that Dolan expects him to go elsewhere and wants to get a potshot in at James for not opting for the Big Apple. Oh, what a tangled web you weave, Knickerbockers!



Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:58 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: The circus comes to Greenwich

Posted by Matt Moore

The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich is having itself quite the day. Fox CT in Conneticut is there filing live reports and the sattelite trucks are already jamming the parking lot. Fans have arrived. I'm pretty sure I saw an elephant tap dance through one of the live shots. I thought I saw the bearded lady, but it turns out it was just Drew Gooden. (It was not Drew Gooden, I just made that up. See? That's how easy it is to start a LeBron rumor.)

ESPN has hired 10 off-duty cops for security . I'm sure that's going to be a fun job. If I'm the greater Greenwich area and I have access to either bottled water or cold beer, I'm heading down there to make a profit.

It's a ridiculous scene that we had to expect. I would anticipate we'll start seeing other news organizations filing reports from Greenwich soon. What would be great is if ESPN had a crew outside reporting from the scene outside of the scene that they themselves are hosting inside. It's meta, man. So meta.

Please make this day end soon. The hype is going to devour us all.



Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 1:13 pm
 

Report: Jermaine O'Neal shipping up to Boston

Posted by Royce Young

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Jermaine O'Neal, most recently of the Miami Heat, will sign with Boston .

O'Neal is a 13-year veteran that averaged 13.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game last season in Miami. He'll add a lot of frontcourt strength to the Celtics, who need help after Rasheed Wallace announced his retirement. Currently, O'Neal will team with Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett on the front lines for Boston.

O'Neal is a former All-Star that's most known for his interior defense and shot-blocking, though he's never been a bad offensive player by any means. Plus, he's a little on the rugged side, so he'll likely fit right in to Doc Rivers' physical defensive system as an enforcer.

Terms of the deal haven't been released yet.


 
 
 
 
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