Heat re-signs Jamaal Magloire

July 19th, 2010 1 comment

Jamaal Magloire has been notoriously known for executing his signature no-look dunk throughout his career.

Jamaal Magloire will be returning to South Florida for a third straight season with the Miami Heat. Magloire signed off on his third straight one-year minimum salary contract, this time paying him $1,352,181.

Magloire is a 32-year-old, 6’11″ wide-body who uses his brute force to attack the glass and snatch down rebounds.

The former All-Star no longer possesses the skills of his younger days. He is now largely relegated to the role of enforcer. He is a strong locker room presence and a role model for younger players.

But the reality is that he’ll never play. He now becomes the Heat’s fourth center under contract, a uniquely large total for a normal roster construction, joining Cleveland Cavaliers free agent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, fellow Heat free agent Joel Anthony, and second-round pick Dexter Pittman.

Not one of the four is a deserving starter on a title-contending team, yet all four have contracts that are fully guaranteed for the coming season, and one of them will be gifted the role. It won’t be Magloire.

With Pittman likely to be relegated to the Heat’s N.B.A. D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the majority of the season, Magloire figures to be the Heat’s third string center, and may not even be a lock to make the regular season rotation if a better option comes along. Read more…

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James Jones to re-sign with the Heat

July 19th, 2010 1 comment

Jones’ shooting stroke could be valuable for the Heat this season

James Jones has agreed to re-sign with the Heat on a one-year minimum salary deal worth approximately $1.15 million, with a player option on a second year, after being waived just three weeks ago.

Jones was not worth the three years and $14.91 million remaining on his previous contract, which would have paid him $4.65 million in the upcoming season, particularly to a team in desperate need of the added cap space to achieve far bigger goals. And so, the Heat elected to waive him in favor of his reduced $5.952 million partial guarantee.

However, Pat Riley did one better. He was able to recover an extra $1.0 million through an agreed-to buyout, which will count $1.544 million against the cap next season.

Why Jones, about to be no longer affiliated with the Heat, surrendered the extra million remains unclear. The Heat surely weren’t seeking to reduce their financial obligations to the sharpshooter but rather to recover much-needed cap space. The give-back created an extra $311,828 of cap space, which doesn’t sound like much but was critical at the time; it made it technically possible for the Heat to offer three max contracts at the then-estimated $56 million salary cap.

When the finalized cap number increased to $58.044 million, the gesture lost its significance. But not its awe-inspiring selflessness. The Heat returned the favor by giving him his entire $4.952 million buy-out up front.

It was also speculated that Riley may have offered a quiet guarantee to return the gesture by promising Jones a minimum salary contract after the Heat’s cap space was all used up.

This is exactly how events ultimately transpired. 

While Jones was not worth his original $4.65 million salary, he is most certainly worth a minimum salary contract. Jones figures to be a valuable addition to a team in desperate need of the long-range shooting both he and Mike Miller provide. His corner three-point shooting touch will space the floor both vertically and horizontally, opening up lanes into which Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will drive. He may not play very much, but he’s more than capable of blowing a game wide open if he gets a few open looks.

Read more…

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Dwyane Wade the Victim of Salary Cap Mistakes By His Agent and Team

July 18th, 2010 No comments

Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley and salary cap expert Andy Elisburg have been widely praised not only for their ability to recruit LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to join Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem in South Florida but also for their ability to structure their contracts to fit within the confines of a $58.044 million salary cap. Wade, however, has reason to be less than thrilled – with the Heat organization but, more importantly, with agent Henry Thomas.

Wade, James and Bosh were all eligible to receive maximum contracts with a starting salary of $16,568,908. However, in order to accommodate the contracts of Miller and Haslem, each graciously took less. The first year salaries in the contracts of James and Bosh have been finalized at $14,500,000, while the first year salary for Wade has been finalized at $14,200,000.

It remains unclear as to why Wade took a bigger discount than his Big Three cohorts. What is clear, however, is that it was unnecessary. The Heat had the ability to create the necessary room to allow Wade’s contract to match that of James and Bosh, with room to spare, without impacting the contract of any other player. The $300,000 discrepancy will wind up costing Wade $2,272,500 over the life of his deal.

Understanding how this would have been possible necessitates an understanding certain league rules.  Read more…

Rockets to sign Brad Miller to three-year deal

July 17th, 2010 3 comments

Any visions of seeing Brad Miller in a Heat uniform next season are now official over. The Houston Rockets have come to terms with Miller on a three-year deal worth nearly $15 million.

Miller had been pursued by Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Miami. But in the end, he chose to play with long-time favorite head coach Rick Adelman.

The 34-year-old did some of his best work in a Sacramento uniform with Adelman at the helm.

Said Miller:

It was too good of a deal to pass up. It’s my favorite coach I’ve ever played for. I know Kevin (Martin) real well from our Sacramento days. (Luis) Scola had a heckuva year. And I finally get to play with Yao (Ming) instead of guarding his big butt. The team is pretty solid.

Read more…

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Miami Heat makes Zydrunas Ilgauskas signing official

July 17th, 2010 4 comments

Big Z is surely excited about the chance to play for a title

For Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, the first priority of the summer was the big moves, and with headline names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mike Miler and Udonis Haslem they got it done.

It’s been all about big men since.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has become the third center to sign with the Heat in less than 24 hours, completing a deal he agreed in principle to about five days earlier. On Friday, the Heat completed contracts with returning Miami veteran Joel Anthony and rookie draft pick Dexter Pittman. And Miami’s next move is expected to be the re-signing of another 7-footer, Jamaal Magloire.

That’s roughly 28 feet of centers in all, with the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas standing taller than everyone else on Miami’s now-bursting, though questionable, depth chart at center. The Lithuanian — who was drafted by Cleveland in 1996 and has never suited up for any other N.B.A. club — is 12th among all active players with 1,269 blocks, and 21st among current players in rebounds with 5,904.

Saying he’s chasing a dream to win an N.B.A. title, Ilgauskas left a contract offer from the Cavs on the table to accept a two-year minimum salary contract that will pay him $1,352,181 and $1,399,507 for this season and next, respectively. The second year will be subject to a player option.  Read more…

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Everything is Done: How Did It All Happen?

July 17th, 2010 5 comments

The Miami Heat finished last season with 16 players under contract and a team salary far in excess of the salary cap. They then created enough salary cap room to sign everyone who is on the roster today. Now they are far in excess of the salary cap once again.

So how did it all happen? How did they manage to get so far below the salary cap and then above it again all in the same season? With creative financing!

Everything has now been finalized. It’s done. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown.

(Note: The actions below, in some cases, may be out of order. They have been structured so as to make evident the Heat’s thought process along the way, as well as to promote ease of reader comprehension. Full comprehension also requires an understanding of cap holds and roster charges, which are described in detail here.)

This is a snapshot of the Heat’s salary cap situation at the end of last season:

Read more…

Heat signs Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman

July 16th, 2010 9 comments

One hour ago, the Miami Heat did not have a single center on its roster. Now it has two.

Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman have each signed contracts.

Joel Anthony

Anthony, soon to be 28 years old, has accepted a five-year, $18.25 million deal.

He will add value to the organization as a defensive and shot-blocking specialist. But the deal is too rich, and far too long.

Anthony is a 6-foot, 9-inch power forward playing out of position at center against a league of giants due to extreme offensive deficiencies. He is perhaps the single worst offensive player in game today. His inability to catch the basketball invites double teams toward his more talented teammates. When he does catch it, he’s often utterly confused as to what to do with it. When he’s on the floor, the Heat effectively plays offense four-against-five.

Even more troubling is how shockingly poor he is at rebounding. He seems to lack both the instincts for finding the ball and the coordination to grab it when comes his way. Oftentimes, any value he creates on the defensive end is entirely offset by his inability to capitalize on it by grabbing a rebound.

If you’re a wildly undersized center who can’t play offense and can’t rebound the basketball, it’s difficult to justify a contract greater than the minimum salary.

Read more…

Matt Barnes to decide today

July 16th, 2010 18 comments

Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes is close to finalizing a contract that could send him to South Florida for next season.

Barnes said yesterday that he’ll announce his decision at some point today.

He posted the following message to his Twitter account yesterday afternoon: “2maro is the day. I will let my fans know where I’m going to sign. Its gonna SURPRISE you!!!! Keep it locked.”

Barnes, 30, has played for seven teams during his seven-year career and was initially looking for a long-term deal after opting out of his contract with the Magic. He had stated publicly in recent weeks that his first preference would be to return to Orlando, but that is now a practical impossibility with Magic general manager Otis Smith’s decision to match Chicago’s 3-year, $19 million offer sheet to guard J.J. Reddick. Orlando’s team payroll now exceeds $90 million.

Boston and Miami are the presumed favorites for his services, with Dallas and the L.A. Lakers also in the mix. The Mavericks could offer Barnes up to a full mid-level exception contract; the Lakers could offer a contract starting at $1.8 million; the Celtics and Heat could offer minimum salary contracts.

The Heat could certainly utilize Barnes’ skill set. Barnes is a scrappy, experienced combo forward who has found a home in the NBA thanks to the aggressive mentality he brings to the floor. He is lockdown perimeter defender capable of manning the two, three and four positions. He’s also evolved into an underappreciated but effective scorer from in close, who could provide an alternative source of scoring for the second unit. While he has the reputation for being a three-point shooting threat, his conversion rate has never been spectacular. Last season, he shot just 31.9% from distance.

The addition of Barnes along with the possible signing of three-point specialist James Jones would shore up the team’s need for depth at the small forward spot, and allow Pat Riley to focus on areas of greater need.

Barnes averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 26 minutes of action for the Magic last season, starting 58 games.

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Erick Dampier to the Heat?

July 15th, 2010 12 comments

The Miami Heat currently has a grand total of zero centers under contract.

The team does have a commitment from the oversized Zydrunas Ilgauskas as well as a right-of-first-refusal on the undersized restricted free agent Joel Anthony, but either is hardly a definitive answer to the team’s needs at the position. And the free agent options are dwindling.

The Heat is one of five teams currently pursuing Bulls’ free agent Brad Miller, a list that also includes Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Houston.

Miller appears to be fairly accommodating to the Heat’s financial situation. “I’m in a good situation and realistic about my worth. I’m not worried about having to chase money. I’ve had security for a long time,” Miller said. “I can go to the situation that’s best for me. A very big thing is location and the team.”

While his name has been mentioned as a possibility in South Florida over the past couple of weeks, if the Bulls make the right offer the veteran big man would probably take it. He loves the team, the team loves him, and the Bulls have the cap room to offer substantially bigger dollars that the two years and $2.5 million the Heat can shell out.

But there could be another, and potentially more intriguing, alternative for the Heat: Erick Dampier. Read more…

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Raja Bell signs $10 million deal with the Jazz

July 15th, 2010 3 comments

Raja Bell has agreed to a three-year deal with the Utah Jazz worth nearly $10 million.

Bell, who will turn 34 in September, played in only six games last season with the Bobcats and Warriors before undergoing surgery for a torn ligament in his left wrist. But he is a career 41.1% three-point shooter still capable of solid on-ball defense.

It was anticipated that he would play a big part on the Heat’s second unit next season.

Bell’s departure is certainly a loss. The Heat could use a floor-spacing shooter at the two guard spot, particularly someone also capable of playing strong perimeter defense. He is certainly aging and his athleticism is declining, but he nevertheless remains solid at what he does best. He figured to play significant minutes for the Heat as a potential as the only true reserve shooting guard on the roster behind Dwyane Wade.

The decision to join the Jazz is quite confounding in some respects.

Bell presumably wanted to play for a good team. With his track record, good teams certainly wanted him. That much is evident from the list of clubs after him, a list which reportedly included the Bulls, Heat, Lakers, Spurs, Trail Blazers and Jazz. If you’re 34 years old and looking to win your first championship before you hang it up, you can’t do much better than either the two-time defending champion Lakers or the future perennial favorite Heat. The Jazz doesn’t seem to offer the ten-year veteran an opportunity to win. Read more…

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