After three years of preaching patience in the face of uneasy failure, it would now appear that Heat President Pat Riley is the mastermind behind the most brilliant plan in NBA history, as well as the architect of the most cap friendly dynasty-caliber roster in NBA history.
Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh will all be wearing a Miami Heat uniform in October, a trio of All-Stars and Olympic teammates that rivals anything from Magic, Kareem and Worthy days of the “Showtime” Lakers to Bird, McHale and Parish of the Celtics. All within the confines of a $58.044 million salary cap.
The past three seasons have been a monumental struggle. Heat management stood idly by as a once-proud roster was slowly and effectively depleted of its talent. Dwyane Wade was unhappy. Fans were angry. After all, the plan was a monumental risk.
And Pat didn’t always execute it perfectly. Mistakes were made along the way. So many mistakes, in fact, that certain bloggers were calling for his head. James Jones. Daequan Cook. Michael Beasley. A seemingly consistent pattern of failure left many of us wondering whether he was fit for the position of team president. But, often in the face of overwhelming adversity, he always found a way to fix his mistakes. Quickly. Efficiently. And with class.
As is always the case, there was an element of luck involved. This would not have been possible had the salary cap come in as originally forecasted one year ago, when Commissioner David Stern warned that the lingering effects of a troubled international economy could manifest itself in a 2010-11 salary cap as low as $50.4 million. It may not have even been possible just two days ago, when the salary cap was projected at $56.1 million.
But against all odds, Riley stood firm, resolved in his objective to land three max contract free agents. The rest of us were less demanding. Two max contract players were enough. Speculation gave way to desperation as Wade took a second meeting with the Chicago Bulls late last week. That was then. This is now. Read more…
Rampant media speculation about the future of Lebron James seems to have given way to a harsh reality for several team owners across the league. The overwhelming consensus is that Lebron James will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as a member of the Miami Heat.
His recent actions, and those of Heat president Pat Riley, support such a notion. But the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks all remain hopeful.
The moment of truth is now upon us. James is scheduled to announce his decision as part of an hour-long ESPN special that starts tonight at 9:00 pm. The decision is expected to come within the first ten minutes.
What do you think?
I, for one, think Lebron James will choose the Miami Heat.
It appears as though Michael Beasley may not be part of Pat Riley’s vision for the future of the Miami Heat organization.
Sources say that a four-team trade scenario between the Heat, Raptors, Bobcats and Rockets hatched on the eve of LeBron’s hour-long “Decision” special on ESPN would enable Toronto to bring back an asset or two in the wake of Chris Bosh’s departure but also avoid taking back Beasley. Which is believed to be the only sort of sign-and-trade that the Raptors would consider.
The proposed deal, sources said, would send Beasley and Rockets forward Jared Jeffries to Charlotte, land Bobcats center Tyson Chandler in Houston and create sufficient cap space for Heat president Pat Riley to offer max-contract money to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James.
The Heat and Raptors engaged in discussions for several hours after Bosh and Wade announced that they were committing to Miami in a package about the various sign-and-trade options. Discussions were serious enough Wednesday night, according to two sources, that Heat officials told Beasley to start preparing to relocate.
Such a transaction would be contingent on the approval of Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo which, despite significant financial rationale, has yet to be given. The Raptors appear unwilling to play a part in any transaction that would make Bosh’s departure more lucrative as well as aid the Heat in the possible acquisition of LeBron James.
If the Raptors ultimately consent to a sign-and-trade, Bosh would be able to sign a six-year max contract with the Heat worth approximately $125.5 million, and Wade and James could secure maximum contracts as well. As of now, if the trio split the shortfall equal, they would each fall $937,452 short of maximum dollars, which equates to $7,101,099 over the life of a six-year max deal utilizing full Bird rights and $5,437,222 over the life of potential five-year non-Bird max contract.
Toronto, meanwhile, would come away with a combination of Rockets personnel set to make at least $3.1 million in salary in the coming season as well as a trade exception as large as $13.5 million. Alternatively, the Raptors could secure Beasley and a trade exception worth more than $11.6 million in a direct Heat-Raptors sign-and-trade scenario. It is yet to be determined whether any additional considerations (potentially up to $3 million in cash and/or draft picks) would be included by the Heat in any such package.
It has also been suggested that the Heat may have alternative plans for the cap room a Beasley departure would free up. Mike Miller has reportedly been offered a five-year deal, worth approximately $27 million to $30 million. If Miller were to accept the offer, his contract would likely have a starting salary of between $4,655,172 and $5,172,414 in the coming season. Beasley is set to make $4,962,240.
I try never to post unfounded speculation. But I must admit I am caught in a wave of emotion, and with now less than seven hours to go until the last of the max free agent trio makes his decision, I find myself in the unique position of doing just that.
Source told FOXSports.com Miami Heat have offered Mike Miller 5-year deal worth 27-30 million with deadline tonight.
Miller has been told by Miami that the team is “confident” LeBron is coming.
The two sentences would at first seem counter-intuitive. If the Heat were confident Lebron was coming, which by no means should be misconstrued as a certainty, James would likely require virtually all of the team’s remaining cap space.
So what could this mean?
Now, with the new cap number, if the Heat were to keep Beasley and Chalmers, and split the remainder of its cap room between the big three, each would have a starting salary as high as $15,631,456, which is just $937,452 short of a max.
If the Heat were to offer Miller a five-year, $27 million contract, it could cost as little as $4,655,172 next season. Adding him into the mix would require the triumvirate to take more substantial $2,331,309 pay cuts. Over the life of a six-year contract, that equates to a $17,659,663 give-back. That stretches the realm of believability.
Another possible alternative is that the Heat has found a trade partner for Michael Beasley. If so, the supposed Miller contract offer would serve largely as a replacement for that of the departed Beasley, which would bring the roster to five total players – Wade, Miller, James, Bosh and Chalmers – and require total pay cuts of as little as $835,097.
It is conceivable that Wade would agree to play the point guard position in such a scenario, with Miller, James, Bosh and a center to be named later rounding out the starting rotation. Such a lineup would certainly have its weaknesses, but it would concurrently provide coveted outside shooting and among the league’s best rebounding foursomes.
Whether the rumor is true, and what Pat Riley’s logic could be if it is, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it’s out there. And so it warrants some consideration.
The Toronto Raptors have signed Lenis Kleiza to a four-year, $20-million offer sheet.
While this means very little by way of increased competition for the Miami Heat next season, it has far-reaching implications for both its All-Star power forward and its potential future Hall-of-Fame small forward.
At the start of the free agent signing period at 12:01 this morning, the Raptors had total maximum available room of $9,782,964 under the salary cap. The team also had a pending commitment to Amir Johnson on a 5-year, $34 million contract. The first year salary on such a contract, by league rule, can be no less than $5,619,835.
As you undoubtedly know by now, an accepted offer sheet is a binding contract between player and team. Therefore, when a team puts forth an offer sheet, it must have reserved the requisite room within the confines of the salary cap. In the Raptors’ case, the offer sheet to Kleiza would start at no less than $4,716,981, making it ethically impossible utilizing the team’s cap space (i.e., impossible without reneging on Johnson).
What does this mean?
It means the Raptors have chosen not to maximize cap space. It means the Raptors have instead decided to enter free agency over the salary cap threshold. It means Johnson will be signed utilizing the team’s Larry Bird exception. And it means Kleiza’s offer sheet was extended by utilizing the vast majority of the team’s mid-level exception.
Best of all, it means the Raptors have now completely lost all leverage in a potential sign-and-trade transaction with the Miami Heat.
If Toronto elects not to engage in such a transaction, it will have virtually no additional room with which to add any outside free agents (its $2.1 million bi-annual exception, as much as $1.1 million remaining of its mid-level-exception, and as many minimum salary contracts as its collective heart desires) for at least the next seven days. The team’s free agency period would, barring any unforeseen trade with seemingly undesirable trade pieces, effectively be over.
Additional room can only come from engaging with the Heat in sign-and-trade discussions. That means the Heat can now basically dictate its terms to Raptors’ general manager Bryan Colangelo. That means no first round draft picks will need to be surrendered. That means Michael Beasley’s salary can be jettisoned, unless you feel that Toronto would be willing to forgo the second year talent and an $11,606,668 trade exception, and instead lose its best trade asset for nothing.
That means Pat Riley can now threaten the man who just two days ago was rumored to have threatened to derail the Bosh-to-Miami scenario by refusing to engage in such sign-and-trade discussions. Payback is a five-letter-word.
That means, if Riley chooses to exert his leverage over an outmatched Colangelo, the Heat can produce the required cap space to offer three max contracts.
Two are reserved. All common logic would now suggest that Lebron will take the third. We’ll find out at 9:00 pm.
After more than two years of planning and preparing, of salary dumping and cap-carving trades and wishful thinking, the Knicks may well find out that it was still not enough to land LeBron James.
According to multiple NBA sources, the two-time MVP Thursday night is expected to choose the Heat, where he would join fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Did you ever dream of a scenario so absurdly wonderful?
As we were all calmly processing the news that Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade here in Miami, and as we were all eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the Lebron James saga, Commissioner David Stern shocked us all by announcing Wednesday night that the salary cap for next season will be $58,044,000, nearly $2 million more than was projected just two months prior.
The new number, although a considerable increase from initial doomsday projections of $50.4 million issued one year ago, hasn’t created much fanfare around the league. That’s probably because it has absolutely no effect on 2/3 of its teams. But it could very well have a major impact for the Heat in its off-season planning. Read more…
Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics have agreed upon a two-year, $20 million deal, his agent Lon Babby confirmed. The second year of Allen’s deal is a player option.
It was widely hoped that Allen would consider accepting a minimum contract in order to join a Wade-James-Bosh trio in South Florida. At one point, it was speculated that LeBron James had contacted Allen about the possibility of doing just that.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported on June 30:
LeBron James is calling the possible union of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and himself, “Dream Team.”
Those were the words James used when he reached out to another free agent in the past 10 days and pitched the idea of joining them.
He said, “Would you be willing to take less to join Dream Team?” the player, who did not want to be identified, told the Daily News. He said his people were putting it together.
The Miami Herald’s own Jorge Sedano followed it up with:
I’ve come across a source who has told me that free agent player could be Ray Allen. The source tells me that Allen has spoken to James and his preference is to remain with the Celtics, but that’s predicated on Paul Pierce remaining with the team. The money is not a huge factor. Winning more championships is the most important factor.
According to the source, Allen has spoken to James and would consider joining said, “Dream Team.” Along with possibly taking less money if it was the perfect opportunity.
Apparently, it wasn’t the perfect opportunity. Oh well.
Mere hours after Chris Bosh committed to the Miami Heat, the Bulls secured their consolation prize – locking in Carlos Boozer to a long-term deal.
Carlos Boozer is the latest domino to fall, agreeing to a five-year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher on Wednesday.
Boozer follows agreements by premier free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, Amare Stoudemire with the Knicks and Joe Johnson in Atlanta.
The 5-year, $80 million contract equates to an average of $16 million per season. For Boozer, it was approximately $11.4 million short of the maximum.
Boozer represents a nice back-up option for the Bulls. He’s certainly not to be mistaken with a member of the Trifecta, but he’s an ambidextrous scorer at the rim and a fierce rebounder at both ends of the floor. Of course, he’s also a man who has missed the season opener in three of his eight NBA seasons, and one who doesn’t much like to defend.
One can’t help but take notice at how his contact breaks out. It was likely structured with the maximum 8.0% annual raises, which would make his 2010/11 salary $13,793,103. That’s not a random number. The Bulls now have committed salaries totaling $36,644,079, enough, after incorporating roster charges, for a full maximum contract player (with $45,389 to spare at current cap projections).
Lebron’s mind is likely already made up. Anecdotal evidence suggests he has chosen Miami, the third part of the coveted holy trinity. If there remains any doubt, however, the Boozer addition in Chicago could make things interesting.