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Multiple Sources Suggest LeBron to Choose Miami Heat

July 8th, 2010 2 comments

Per Newsday’s Knicks beat writer Alan Hann:

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?

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Heat Extends Qualifying Offer to Joel Anthony

June 29th, 2010 6 comments

As expected, the Miami Heat has extended a qualifying offer to backup center Joel Anthony.

The move allows the Heat to match any outside offer for the restricted free agent, but also ties up an additional $1,060,120 against the Heat’s salary cap. The Heat will enter the off-season with salary obligations to four players (Beasley, Chalmers, Jones’ buyout and Anthony), in the amount of $8,376,749.

A qualifying offer is essentially a contract offer, which prevents the Heat from not offering Joel a contract and waiting to swoop in when he tries to sign elsewhere. It counts against the Heat’s salary cap as soon as it is offered. The Heat could withdraw its outstanding qualifying offer at any time, in which case Anthony would become an unrestricted free agent. The qualifying offer cannot be withdrawn after July 23 without the player’s consent.

Should the qualifying offer be withdrawn on or before July 23, the Heat would continue to hold Bird rights on the third year player, and he would continue to be charged against the cap at a reduced $854,389. Because Miami would retain his Bird rights, it would be able to utilize all of its cap room on other players and then come back to Joel. At that point, Miami would be able exceed the cap to offer Joel whatever salary he wants – all the way up to a maximum contract for a player with less than seven years of experience. If the Heat preferred to utilize the cap space elsewhere, Anthony would need to be renounced and his Bird rights lost.

If the qualifying offer were to be withdrawn after July 23, which would require mutual consent, Joel would be automatically renounced and the Heat would lose its Bird rights on the player.

While the qualifying offer remains outstanding, Joel has the right to accept it at any time in lieu of continuing to test the free agent market. Read more…

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Joel to Decline His Player Option

June 24th, 2010 4 comments

Anthony was due to earn $885,120 with the Heat next season if he had exercised his option

As expected, center Joel Anthony has elected to forgo the 2010/11 player option he held with the Heat. Anthony faces a midnight Thursday deadline on his decision, with his inaction making him a free agent. The announcement cannot be made official until that time.

The decision frees up an additional $885,120 in spending money for Pat Riley’s ball club. The Heat now has just two players with guaranteed contracts, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, and a total guaranteed payroll (which assumes James Jones will be bought out by June 30) of $7,672,629. With the cap projected at $56.1 million, Miami figures to have some $48,427,371 of available room.

The decision to opt out makes Anthony slightly less expensive to the Heat if the team hopes to retain him. With Anthony having played just three NBA seasons, the Heat can choose to make him a restricted free agent, which would afford the right to match any outside offers. To do so, Miami would be required to extend a qualifying offer of $1,060,120, which would reduce the team’s available room. However, the qualifying offer can be rescinded at any time prior to July 23, at the team’s sole discretion. If no qualifying offer is extended, or if it rescinded prior to July 23, Anthony would count $854,389 against the 2010/11 salary cap.

Independent of whether or not a qualifying offer is extended, the Heat would continue to retain Joel’s Bird rights until he is officially renounced.

Despite the decision by Joel to test the free agent waters, the Heat still has the clear inside track to retain him. In fact, the decision may have been mutual between player and team, and could pave the wave for Anthony to receive a substantial raise at little cost to the Heat.

For a list of all the Heat’s available options with Joel, click here.

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Heat Picks Up Option on Mario Chalmers

June 17th, 2010 1 comment

The Miami Heat has picked up its team option on guard Mario Chalmers.

And now there are three.

Point guard Mario Chalmers has become the third Miami Heat player secured on the books for 2010-11. The Heat has picked up its third year option on his three-year contract. The team had until June 30, the official end of the 2009-10 season, to make its decision.

Chalmers now joins Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook as the only Heat players locked into 2010-11 salaries.

Still to be determined are the $885,120 player option held by center Joel Anthony, who faces a June 24 deadline, the $17.1 million player option held by Dwyane Wade, and the Heat’s buyout decision on the final three years of the contract of James Jones.

Both Wade and Jones are expected to become unrestricted free agents, with the decisions on those matters due by June 30, a day before the N.B.A.’s free-agency negotiating period begins.

Upon acquiring Chalmers in the second round of the 2008 draft, the Heat extended the former KansasUniversity standout a three-year contract that included a team option for the final season. Chalmers, who earned $756,000 this past season, is now guaranteed $854,389 for what will be the final season of his contract. Because the option has been decided, he also is now eligible to be traded.

With the N.B.A.’s salary cap, which will be announced just prior to the July 8 start of the offseason signing period, expected to fall at about $56 million for 2010-11, the Heat, with Beasley, Cook and Chalmers, now has $8.0 million in committed salary for next season. Factoring in the $1.9 million Jones would receive if he were waived, as a partial guarantee on his $4.7 million 2010-11 salary, it would put the Heat at roughly $9.8 million in committed payroll.  Read more…

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Joel Anthony to Decline His Player Option

May 13th, 2010 2 comments

Joel Anthony will reportedly decline his $885,120 player option, and test free agency.

This is good news for both the Heat and Joel.

The Heat now recovers up to $885,120 in additional spending money (or $411,516, net of the incremental $473,604 roster charge for having fewer than 12 players on the roster).

For Joel, it is a chance to get a bigger payday. Joel’s statistics don’t immediately jump off the page. In his sixteen minutes of action per game, he displayed limited – though improving – scoring touch. But he’s a scrappy kid who hustles after every ball and is a shot-blocking force on the block. He finished with the 15th most blocks in the league. His 3.96 blocks per 48 minutes is seventh-best among all players.

Teams looking to strengthen their interior defenses may take a look at the 6’9″, 245-pound Canadian-born, three-year veteran.

But Miami will have the clear inside track to retain him.

Why?

First, the Heat can choose to make him a restricted free agent, which would afford the right to match any outside offers. To do so, however, the Heat would be required to extend him a qualifying offer of $1,060,120. The qualifying offer is essentially a contract offer, which prevents the Heat from not offering Joel a contract and waiting to swoop in when he tries to sign elsewhere. This amount would count against the Heat’s salary cap as soon as it is offered, and Joel could then accept it at any time in lieu of continuing to test the free agent market. And while it would be more than the original $885,120 salary Joel opted out of, the Heat would be able withdraw its outstanding qualifying offer at any time if it so chose, in which case the charge would be wiped away and Anthony would become an unrestricted free agent. The qualifying offer cannot be withdrawn after July 23 without the player’s consent.

If Miami chooses not to extend Joel a qualifying offer, his cap hold to start the off-season will be the minimum salary applicable to a three-year veteran less the amount that would be reimbursed by the league, or $854,389. Note that this figure is $30,731 less than the $885,120 salary he opted out of. So, Miami would get an instant cap savings, albeit tiny. The risk to this approach would be that Joel could simply sign a contract with any team he wants any time he wants, and Riley would be powerless to stop him.

Second, and more important, is that the Heat will hold Joel’s Bird rights (whether or not a qualifying offer is ultimately extended). Because Miami will retain his Bird rights, it will be able to utilize all of its cap room (less the $1,060,120 cap hold if a qualifying offer is extended or the $854,389 cap hold if it is not) on other players and then come back to Joel. At that point, Miami will be able exceed the cap to offer Joel whatever salary he wants – all the way up to a maximum contract for a player with less than seven years of experience.

Extending Joel a qualifying offer appears more likely at this point than either keeping him unrestricted or cutting ties with him outright. Why? Because there is absolutely no drawback to keeping his qualifying offer on the books right up until the second Riley would rather use the cap space elsewhere.

The most likely course of action will be as follows. The Heat will extend Joel a qualifying offer by June 30, which will count $1,060,120 against the salary cap. Prior to July 24, however, it will be rescinded. When it is, his cap hold will be reduced to $854,389, giving the Heat an additional $205,731 to spend on its outside free agents. At this point, the Heat will still retain his Bird rights (and he will be unrestricted). Once the team’s entire cap space is used up, the Heat will then utilize Joel’s Bird rights to replace his $854,389 cap hold with the significant raise he deserves, allowing the Heat to legally exceed the salary cap.

So, at least for now, Joel doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

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NBA Ticket Sales Beating Forecasts, Could Impact 2010 Salary Cap

January 23rd, 2010 No comments

Attendance across all N.B.A. franchises has reportedly dropped far less dramatically than originally projected over the summer.

The league had initially expected a 6% to 7% drop in attendance but, according to the New York Times, there has only been a 1.7% drop to date. League-wide, arenas are filled to 89% of capacity on average. Attendance is flat or ahead of last season’s pace in the majority of N.B.A. arenas. The Nets and Pistons account for most of the small overall decline.

With attendance so far beating forecasts, the league’s salary cap projects to drop far less significantly less than first feared.

The salary cap is set by calculations based on projected amounts for revenue and benefits for the upcoming season. Barring any adjustments that are necessitated, they typically use the set amount for national broadcast rights (which is determined in advance), plus the revenues for the previous season (other than national broadcast rights), increased by 4.5%.

The cap calculation takes 51% of the league’s projected revenue, subtracts projected benefits, and divides by the difference by the number of teams in the league. Adjustments are then made if the previous season’s revenues were below initial projections.

Therefore, as gate receipts for this season increase, so too do salary cap projections for next season.

The N.B.A. sent a memo to teams last July warning of a potential decline in the salary cap to a figure between $50.4 million and $53.6 million for the 2010-11 season. But, given the unexpected over-performance in gate receipts thus far this season, league insiders are now projecting a cap between $53 million and $54 million.

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Dywane Wade Named All-Star Starter

January 21st, 2010 No comments

Dwyane Wade, All-Star starter for the 6th straight season

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has been selected by fan vote to start in 2010 N.B.A. All-Star game.

Wade finished fourth overall in fan voting with 2,327,550 votes, behind Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Wade will start alongside guard Allen Iverson, forwards LeBron James and Kevin Garnett and center Dwight Howard for the Eastern Conference. West starters include guards Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, forwards Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan and center Amare Stoudemire.

That makes six times Wade has made the All-Star team in his seven year career. It also means he has surpassed Alonzo Mourning for most appearances by a Heat player. In his five previous appearances, Wade has averaged 15.2 points, 3.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals.

The game will be played on February 14 at Cowboys Stadium.

While the Heat’s success this season will have very limited impact on the summer ahead, one Heat president Pat Riley hopes will drastically reshape the franchise, Wade’s performance individually — including his performance at the All-Star game, during which all of the Heat’s free agent targets will be present — will be vital to the team’s recruitment efforts.

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