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Tag:CHris Bosh
Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:09 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Southeast Division

Posted by Royce Young



Talk of losing an entire season is a bit ridiculous to me. There's just way too much at stake. Money, momentum, fan support, money, loyalty, money -- it's just hard to imagine losing any games much less a whole season.

But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise. Let's start with the Southeast Division.

ORLANDO Magic
The biggest question hovering over the Magic isn't about wins and losses or if Gilbert Arenas should stop tweeting. It's all about Dwight Howard's future and July 1, 2012. That's when Howard will become an unrestricted free agent. General manager Otis Smith has already said he won't trade Howard, but that could just be talk. Howard has said he wants to be in Orlando, but hasn't committed, turning down a three-year extension.

But if NBA offices are shut down and all transactions are halted, Howard might be forced to stay with the Magic all season -- except he won't play a game. Meaning Orlando could lose out on A) having a team good enough to convince Howard he wants to stay because he can win there; B) the Magic won't have an opportunity to trade Howard and get a Carmelo-like deal where they can restock the roster instead of letting him walk with nothing in return; or C) the Magic miss out on at least one more year with Howard meaning they miss out on a chance of having a good team that can compete. That's a lot to think about if this lockout starts stretching into 2012.

MIAMI Heat
It's simple and very obvious for owner Micky Arison and the Heat: Lose the 2011-12 season and that's one less year you have of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. That's one less year of the spotlight, the attention and all that money funneling right into South Beach. That's one less shot at a title. That's one less season of constant sellouts, through-the-roof merchandise sales and huge TV ratings.

Basically, it's one less season of $$$$$. And one big reason for Arison to be an owner willing to bargain.

ATLANTA Hawks
The Hawks are in pretty solid shape right now. After the 2011-12 season, they only have six players under contract, including all their big names (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and uh, Marvin Williams I guess).

But a prolonged lockout could simmer the momentum built from last season's deep playoff run. The roster still isn't quite there and a resolution on what to do with Smith has to be figured out. The earlier he's traded means the more he's worth. Losing that opportunity is bad news for the Hawks, even if they choose to keep Smith.

But on the bright side, it is one less season of overpaying Joe Johnson.

CHARLOTTE Bobcats
The Bobcats aren't really going anywhere this year, or even next year. The roster needs work. It needs more talent, more ability and better structure.

But the Bobcats used two lottery picks on Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker, meaning there's a little jolt of young talent on the roster, which is exactly the direction Rich Cho is looking to take them. Younger, faster and a path to building, not just hanging on with marginal veteran talent.

A year without basketball for the Bobcats means a year of stunted growth. These guys need to play together every second they can and I don't just mean on a blacktop in Greensboro. Even if they lose 60 games, that's progress. But they need to be on the court to even have the chance to learn through losing.

Michael Jordan was a player (if you didn't know). I don't know if that means he's on the players' side because I'm sure he also wants a system that helps his franchise competitively and one that helps him make money, but at the same time, I think he cares more about winning and playing than all the rest.

WASHINGTON Wizards
It's the same story for the Wizards too. John Wall, new pick Jan Vesely, Nick Young and JaVale McGee are all young guys that just get better every night they play.

The bright side though is that Rashard Lewis is owed $21.1 million next season and that could be money well not spent. Which is why Ted Leonsis, an NHL owner who has been through an extremely painful lockout, probably isn't all that worried about things like stunted growth when there's money to be saved and made. The Wizards aren't on the path to prosperity right now and are likely one of the teams hemorrhaging a little dough. The Wizards risk setting back their development, but I think that's a price Leonsis would be willing to pay.
Posted on: July 6, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:15 pm
 

NBA locking out Stephen Curry's wedding?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry says that the NBA might prevent team officials from attending his wedding. Posted by Ben Golliver. stephen-curry

The NBA's lockout is a literal term: players are physically locked out from team facilities and cannot have direct contact with team officials. The league has scrubbed its website and threatened to fine teams that contact players, even through social networking sites.

Apparently, weddings are off-limits too, at least without official clearance from the league office.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Warriors guard Stephen Curry is about to get hitched and isn't sure whether Golden State employees will be able to attend.
Curry also has some other plans for July: He and his fiancèe, Ayesha Alexander, are getting married in Charlotte at the end of the month. He expects eight Warriors teammates, other NBA players like Rudy Gay, Ronny Turiaf and Corey Maggette and members of former Warriors coach Keith Smart’s staff to attend. He’s still waiting to see if Warriors’ front office officials and Bobcats assistant coach Stephen Silas, a former Golden State assistant, can get cleared by the NBA to go. Miami Heat officials were recently given permission to attend Chris Bosh’s wedding.

“They all sent their regards and petitioned the league to come to the wedding, so they’re not breaking any rules,” Curry said. “As of right now, they can’t come. I don’t know how the process is going. If they show up, they show up. If not, I understand why.”
Poor Curry thought it was bad when he needed to ask the bride's father for his daughter's hand in marriage. Now he needs to turn to NBA commissioner David Stern for a second level of permission.

"Does anyone here object to this union? Speak now or forever hold your peace."

"I do," shouts Stern as he emerges from underneath a pew in the church's fourth row. "Silas just slapped Curry's back and whispered 'congratulations' in his ear. That will be one million dollars! Please make the check payable to Adam Silver."

OK, OK, it's not quite that ridiculous. Given the recent, clear precedent established by the Bosh wedding, Curry's nuptials should come off without a hitch and with the entire invited guest list in attendance.

Still, what a hassle. Requiring that these players and coaches formally request permission without rubberstamping it? Terrible. As if newlyweds didn't have enough to stress about.
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:48 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 2:50 pm
 

The lockout could really sting the Heat

Posted by Royce Young

Some owners are reportedly just fine with losing an entire season of basketball to get a favorable deal. That's not a good thing for players because not only do they miss out on their paychecks, but it also hurts players who had to postpone their free agency and are now a year older.

And think about teams that have superstars players in the final year of their contracts: Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard could all potentially walk from their current teams without ever playing another game for them. And not only that, but because the lockout halts all business, the Hornets, Nets and Magic wouldn't even have an opportunity to pull a Carmelo-ish trade and try and get something in return.

Definitely a little something for those owners to think about, especially when time starts to run out.

But think about how a lockout could affect the league's most visible team. Via the Miami Herald:
"If next season goes by the wayside, that means (Heat owner) Micky Arison has only two more seasons guaranteed with the Big 3 under contract. What could happen after that is too scary to even consider right now. Put yourself in Arison's shoes, and you would be walking to the negotiating table right now to make sure a deal gets done in time."
James, Wade and Bosh all gave themselves early termination options after the 2013-14 season. A lost season would definitely make winning not one, not two, not three, et cetera, et cetera, much more difficult.

So that's four teams that have a little different perspective as negotiations continue on. Of course the Hornets are owned by the NBA so that's awkward, but for the Magic, Nets and Heat for sure, there's some incentive in making sure 2011-12 happens. Making money is always the top goal for the owners, but having a winner and/or star players typically helps that.

And watching Howard, Williams or Paul walk without anything in return could damage some bank accounts. Same with Arison and the Heat. That team, while the most polarizing in the league, is also a lightning rod of popularity. Everyone watches the Heat. Arison would be missing not just one extra shot at a title, but another season of consistent sellouts and crazy merchandise sales.

Something to think about, at least.
Posted on: July 4, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 9:37 am
 

Hard cap could mean hard times for small markets

Posted by Royce Young



NBA owners want a hard cap. It's probably one of the three biggest reasons we're stuck in a lockout right now. Owners want a hard cap, or at least one they're trying to disguise by calling it a "flex cap," and the union has basically said they will never, ever accept a hard cap.

And when the hard cap topic is brought up, people always wonder how a $55 million hard cap would affect a team like the Miami Heat. Between Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, those three soak up about $47 million on the Heat payroll. And that's just for 2011-12. In 2013-14, that number will be about $58 million, so even the suggested $62 million "flex cap" the league talked about would leave the Heat only $4 million to fill out their roster.

The super-together, we're-a-real-team Mavericks? Yeah, their total payroll added up to nearly $90 million last season, third highest in the league. That's about $30 million over the current salary cap but because it's a soft cap, it was fine. (Fine in the sense it didn't break any rules, but still, pretty outrageous.)

The feeling though with this hard-cap business is how much it'll affect teams like the Lakers, Heat, Bulls and Knicks. Now their greatest assets -- money and market -- don't mean as much because in a hard-cap system, signing multiple big contract stars just isn't an option. Victory for the small markets, right?

I'm not so sure about that.

I wonder about a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the smallest-market teams in the league. The feeling is that a hard cap would help smaller markets compete because talent would get distributed a bit more evenly throughout the league. With teams unable to pay a bunch of guys on the roster $15 million or go $30 million over the cap line, either players would have to take a serious pay cut or go somewhere else.

Except in the case of the Thunder, a straight hard cap would destroy them.

Kevin Durant just signed a five-year extension that will pay him around $16 million a year. Russell Westbrook, an All-Star point guard at the age of 22, is eligible for an extension and would probably have it if there weren't a lockout. He's probably a max player or close to it. So that would be another major mark on the cap for the Thunder. Then the other guys -- Serge Ibaka, James Harden, Eric Maynor -- are all eligible for extensions next summer.

If the league has a stiff cap of even $60 million, how can the Thunder dream of re-signing these guys and keeping the core intact?

Answer: They can't.

That has been Thunder GM Sam Presti's plan since Day 1, though. He wanted to draft a bunch of young guys and let them grow together. Let them progress, develop and become a team all together. And when they did, lock them all up long-term and have yourself a contender for the next decade. It has worked. The Thunder just went to the Western Conference finals with one of the youngest teams in the league and should be in the mix for at least the next five.

Unless of course they have to let a couple of their big pieces walk.

Last season the cap was set at $58.04 million and the Thunder were one of only five teams under that number. While a lot of smaller markets prefer not to bust into luxury tax territory, most likely OKC would be there after those key pieces were extended. So while they're under now, that probably wouldn't be the case in the future.

Reality is, a hard cap might have more of an affect on the little guys, which is who the league wants you to think it desperately wants to protect. But basically, with a hard salary cap system, building through the draft and letting a core grow together is no longer the way to go. Put together a roster with five good players that need extensions and you're out of room after three. Maybe you can get four, but how do you add another nine guys to fill out a 13-man roster?

What we might see is the Maverick Plan instituted as the way to win in the NBA. Now again, they totaled nearly $90 million, but I just mean the idea. Grab one star player and fill in the rest with a couple rookie-level contracts and a bunch of aging veterans willing to take $5 million or less. The Mavs had one star and everyone praised them for it. But in a hard-cap world, that might be best philosophy.

Because a team of Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka probably can't exist just as one of LeBron, Wade and Bosh can't. Doesn't exactly seem right, does it? The idea is a hard cap would help restore some competitive balance and the bigger markets wouldn't be able to just dwarf the small ones by going $30 million over the cap like the Mavericks did. The Thunder would never do that.

At the same time, while the playing field might be leveled in terms of payroll, it could come at the cost of breaking up the band and redefining how a small-market team must build.

Every team that's using the draft to build -- which is the sound and socially blessed way to structure a team -- would have to reconsider. The Cavaliers might've just committed 80 percent of their future cap to Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson if those two pan out. Same for the Jazz with Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. The future for those teams might be just enjoying the four years you get with them on their rookie contracts and then choose one to keep. I don't really think that's what the NBA has in mind, but that's going to be what happens. Small markets probably will take the brunt of a hard cap much harder than the big ones. Or at least the good small-market franchises that understand how to build.

Who knows what the NBA landscape will look like when the dust clears in this lockout mess. The players have taken a hard line on a hard cap and supposedly will refuse to back down. The owners though are committed in their efforts to get one. Yeah, it'll reduce salaries. Maybe the system will stay the same but just instead of Harden getting a $10 million-a-year extension, he would get $6 million. That's possible.

But this is the NBA and just because a new salary system is in place doesn't mean the league doesn't have impulsive general managers that are ready to snatch away a player like Harden and give him that $10 million a year simply because they know the Thunder can't go that high. That'll be the world teams operate in. One where the Thunder Way is no longer the blueprint for small-market building success.

Maybe the players have a point, huh?
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 5:48 pm
 

How the lockout almost messed up Bosh's wedding

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA is serious about this lockout stuff. So serious, that reportedly the league will fine teams $1 million if there is contact between them and a player.

Which created an odd situation for Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Via the Sun Sentinel:
Under lockout rules, the NBA has banned contact between players and team officials or coaches. Bosh, however, already has several such Miami Heat members on his invitation list.
Uh oh. That could be awkward. So Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra might have to show up and completely ignore Bosh? Kind of like the regular season! But evidently, the league will make exceptions in extreme circumstances, one being a wedding I guess.
While the Heat declined comment Friday, citing league guidelines, the team apparently has already cleared the appearances of management and the coaching staff at the power forward's nuptials through the NBA.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Friday, "There are exceptions to the general no-contact rule in special or unusual circumstances."
I wonder though if when Spoelstra's going through the wedding line to shake Bosh and his bride's hand if he's going to try and cram in a two-hour conversation in a 15-second window. Or maybe he'll slip him a little note with offseason ideas.

You know teams aren't going to entirely follow the no contact rule. Some will break it. It's just a matter of not getting caught and getting creative. One way? A wedding. Good thinking, Chris.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 11:08 am
 

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Charles Barkley says it will take a "miracle" to avoid an NBA lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver charles-barkley

The latest dispatch on the NBA's labor negotiations from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger doesn't sound particularly promising. Berger writes that the two sides will need to feel "the pain of a work stoppage" before negotiations pick up and notes that a source involved in previous NBA labor negotiations says, "It's going to be ugly." One person who would co-sign all of that: television commentator and Naismith Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. In an interview with ESPN Radio New York, transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, Barkley forecasts doom and gloom, and blames the Miami Heat.
"I’m not saying this because I’m in the NBA, if you go back and look, David Stern has been the best commissioner in sports the last 25 years. It would take a miracle on his part not to have a lockout and I truly believe that. I think there’s going to be a lockout, I think the owners are dug in, I think they want to send a message to these players.

"I think they’re really upset by this LeBron James / Chris Bosh situation, because their teams don’t have to be really good, but I feel like if they have a star in their market they can make some money. And if all the stars want to play together… we’re almost becoming like baseball where you’ve got a few good teams and the rest of them stink."
It's difficult to buy everything that Barkley is selling here.

There's no question that limiting or restricting star player movement is a top priority for the owners. If a few more major free agency classes go the way of the 2010 class, the NBA could really be staring at a monumental divide between the haves and have nots.

But we're not there yet. We just wrapped up the most exciting playoffs in ages, when upstarts like the Memphis Grizzlies arrived on the scene, young, small-market teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder did major damage, and a carefully constructed roster of veterans, the Dallas Mavericks, took home the crown. The star-swamped New York Knicks were swept out of the first round, the Heat collapsed in the Finals and the Los Angeles Lakers embarrassed themselves after getting eliminated in the second round. A huge number of teams (Chicago, Boston, Miami, Dallas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Los Angeles, maybe even Orlando) entered the playoffs feeling as if they had a legit shot to win a title. Prognosticating for next season, it's similarly wide open. At least seven or eight teams have a decent shot at winning it all.  

To summarize: player movement isn't yet at a crisis point, but it's smart for Barkley and others to look further into the future. The NBA, like most professional sports leagues, is a copycat league. The Heat's blueprint worked flawlessly right up until they choked two games short of the title. They'll be in the championship mix for at least the next five years. That's a plan worth emulating. Establishing some stiffer checks and balances, given that set of circumstances, is logical and prudent.
Posted on: June 26, 2011 3:53 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Reports: Miami Heat to work out Eddy Curry again

The Miami Heat will reportedly work out free agent center Eddy Curry. Posted by Ben Golliver. eddy-curry

Back in April, much to everyone's surprise, the Miami Heat reportedly considered signing free agent Eddy Curry.

The massive center -- who reportedly weighs well above 300 pounds and has dealt with financial problems off the court -- has played in just 10 games combined since the 2007-2008 season. He's a giant red flag in every sense of the word.

Nevertheless, on Sunday, HoopsWorld.com reported and the Sun-Sentinel confirmed that the Heat will give Curry another look in a workout this week.
A source familiar with the situation confirmed Sunday to the Sun Sentinel that veteran center Eddy Curry has been working with the Miami Heat in recent days, as the Heat look at free-agent options.

By league rules, teams cannot currently work out free agents who finished the season on an NBA roster. Workouts of those types of free agents cannot begin until July 1, when a lockout is expected to be imposed, shutting down all league activity. 
Given the expected turnover on their roster, the Heat, despite coming within two wins of the 2011 NBA title, are beggars when it comes to the center position and can't be choosers. They must explore all options -- including Curry -- as they look to address a frontline that was filled with aging vets last season.

Aside from Joel Anthony, who was solid once he took on the starting role in the postseason, the Heat have 36-year-old Zydrunas Ilgauskas and rookie Dexter Pittman on the roster for next season. Ilgauskas recently exercised his option to return next season but is closing in on retirement quickly. Pittman played just 11 minutes for Miami this season, although his role is sure to increase, at least to some degree, next season.  

Complicating matters is the uncertain nature of the NBA's labor situation. If Miami knew for sure that there will be a mid-level exception in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, they could be reasonably certain of acquiring a solid center in free agency. Those details are up in the air, though, and with so much money committed to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat are left to explore every possible veteran's minimum option in the even the league does move towards more of a hard cap system.

That's where Curry comes in. A cast-off and laughingstock for years now, it would be nice to see him add another chapter to his NBA career. More importantly, he would be a great new character in the South Beach sitcom/soap opera.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Riley may have exaggerated a bit with the Big 3

Posted by Royce Young



Some of the biggest issues with the Miami Heat this past season included arrogance. The lack of self-awareness. The ego. The taunting, the preening, the crowing. The Heat threw itself a celebration party before the players even had a practice together, and they started talking about seven championships and basically acted like they'd obliterate the league.

That's why this Pat Riley quote today from his exit interview wrapping the season should come as absolutely no surprise.

"The greatest thing in the history of South Florida sports was those guys coming together," Riley said. "With the exception of the [undefeated 1972] Dolphins. Maybe."

"Those guys" obviously being LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. (Not Erick Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire, if you were wondering.)

Clearly, Riley might have exaggerated a bit here. He might have overstated the importance of those three players, just a tad. Possibly, there's a hint of hyperbole here. Especially when he corrects himself momentarily by saying the exception is the '72 Dolphins, then uncorrects himself by adding, "maybe."

Maybe? Maybe the greatest team in professional sports history was a bigger deal than three players deciding to play together? I don't know Pat, do you think the moon landing was a bigger deal than Justin Bieber's debut album? Maybe the fall of the Berlin Wall was a little greater than the return of the McRib. I'm not sure though.

What about your 2006 NBA title, Pat? Did you forget about that one? Or the other Super Bowl the Dolphins won? Or maybe the two World Series trophies the Marlins won? Or even the five national championships the Miami Hurricanes won in college football. (Though maybe those weren't so great. We all saw The U.)

And note this as well: Riley didn't say, "Them winning will be the greatest thing in South Florida sports history." He simply said just them playing together is. That statement sums everything up about the Heat better than anything. Celebrating something before the work is done. Lifting up a free agency period as a championship.

I get that people tend to speak in hyperbole ("Transformers 2 was the greatest movie ever!") but you'd expect someone as deft and smooth as Riley to keep himself in check. The arrogance that leaks from the Heat is repulsive. They just can't shut up.

I agree with Riley too -- they're going to have their time. That roster is too talented not to win. In the end, the signing may indeed be the best thing ever. Maybe they will win four, five, six, seven championships. But don't count your chickens, Pat. Let your game do the talking. For once.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com