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Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

Everything is Done: How Did It All Happen?

July 17th, 2010 5 comments
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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…

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

July 15th, 2010 No comments
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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.

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 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.

Wade’s $300,000 shortfall will wind up costing him $2,272,500 over the life of his deal.

Wade took less than his Big Three cohorts in order to accommodate Haslem. But part or even all of that sacrifice 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, through the utilization of some creative maneuvering.

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

A Story of Sacrifice for the Miami Heat

July 15th, 2010 No comments
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The contracts are all signed. The final numbers are all in.

We now know exactly how much each member of the Big Three sacrificed, why exactly they sacrificed, and where exactly the savings went.

Each member of the Big Three was eligible for a maximum salary of $16.6 million in the first year of any new contract signed, whether it was with their prior teams or with anyone else. But while the starting salary was to be the same no matter where they signed, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement gives the home team a financial advantage when it comes to re-signing its own players. The home team is eligible to offer his player one more year (six instead of five) and bigger annual raises (10.5% of the first year salary instead of 8%).

Sign-and-trade transactions capitalize on this concept, in that they allow the to-be-traded player to be technically signed by his home team, and then be immediately traded to his new team. Pat Riley structured sign-and-trade transactions with both the Raptors (for Bosh) and Cavaliers (for James). No maneuvering for Wade was necessary because the Heat is already his home team.

The Heat’s trade partners were willing to accommodate the Heat, but only at a very steep cost. To the Raptors, the Heat sent its 2011 first round pick and returned the first round pick previously acquired from the Jermaine O’Neal trade in February 2009. To the Cavaliers, the Heat sent its 2013 and 2015 first round picks, gave Cleveland the option to swap first round picks in 2012, as well as a pair of second round picks. In total, the Heat surrendered four first round picks and two second round picks over the next five years to make the sign-and-trades happen.

The sign-and-trade approach increased the total potential value of the contracts of each of Bosh and James. Without the sign-and-trade approach, each would have been eligible for a five-year contract, starting at $16.6 million with annual raises of up to 8% of the starting salary, totaling $96.1 million. With the sign-and-trade approach, each player, and Wade, became eligible for a six-year contract, starting at $16.6 million with annual raises of up to 10.5% of the starting salary, totaling $125.5 million.

Each player then gave back a portion of that increase to accommodate the contracts of Miller, Haslem and other such things. The Big Three took discounts in order to accommodate the following:  Read more…

LeBron’s National Ire Continues Unabated

July 11th, 2010 6 comments
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I continue to read stories from across the nation vilifying LeBron James for his decision. While I tend to try to remain largely objective in my writing, I will offer my own retort.

James has certainly fallen from the greatness upon which he was once bestowed, reduced to the ranks of the most condemned among professional athletes. The events of Thursday will undoubtedly leave him forever mired with infamy.

The method in which he chose to communicate his “Decision” was shockingly cold-blooded and cruel – live and before a televised audience, without so much as a reasonable period of notice, and without a sense of true recognition for what he was doing.In deciding to leave, he had already driven the knife through the collective heart of the city of Cleveland. There was simply no need to twist it from within.

In that respect, Dan Gilbert had it right. This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports, and probably the history of entertainment.

But don’t confuse Gilbert’s anger. His anger is not one of narcissism and self-promotion. James surely did not become a narcissistic self-promoter on Thursday night. It was an attribute that has been ingrained within Gilbert’s former star since an early age. Greatness often breeds arrogance. Read more…

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It’s Official!!!

July 10th, 2010 15 comments
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With 13,000 Miami Heat fans anxiously waiting in AmericanAirlines Arena to welcome its newest trio of superstars, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh were upstairs finalizing their contracts. Minutes later, they emerged from a cloud of smoke, along with some unexpected news: They all took discounts large enough to accommodate the potential signings of both Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem in the days ahead.

James and Bosh signed matching six-year contracts, which start at $14.5 million and pay out a total of $109.8 million. Wade took an even bigger discount to stay in Miami, signing a six year deal which starts at $14.2 million and pays out a total of $107.6 million. They could have received $125.5 million apiece if they had demanded the maximum value allowed under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Each was eligible for a maximum starting salary for next season of $16.6 million, whether it was with their prior teams or with anyone else. But while the starting salary was to be the same no matter where they signed, league rules give the home team a financial advantage when it comes to re-signing its own players. The home team is eligible to offer his player one more year (six instead of five) and bigger annual raises (10.5% of the first year salary instead of 8%).

Sign-and-trade transactions capitalize on this concept, in that they allow the to-be-traded player to be technically signed by his home team, and then be immediately traded to his new team. Heat president Pat Riley therefore structured sign-and-trade transactions with both the Raptors (for Bosh) and Cavaliers (for James). No maneuvering for Wade was necessary because the Heat is already his home team.  Read more…

First Draft of Dan Gilbert’s Open Letter to Cavaliers Fans

July 9th, 2010 No comments
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Dan Gilbert Draft_Page 1Dan Gilbert Draft_Page 2Dan_Gilbert_Draft_Page 3

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Predictions

July 8th, 2010 4 comments
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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.

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Miami Heat Make Contract Offer To Mike Miller

July 8th, 2010 No comments
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The Miami Heat have reportedly offered Mike Miller a five-year deal worth up to $30 million, and have imposed a deadline of midnight for him to accept.

Anecdotal evidence is rapidly building that LeBron James will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Heat. James will announce his intention tonight during a one-hour special, “The Decision,” on ESPN tonight at 9 p.m. The offer to Miller appears to be a prelude to that inevitability.

The former University of Florida standout has James’ strong endorsement. The two have been good friends for years.

The friendship actually started when James was a rising prep phenom at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. While still playing with Orlando, which drafted him fifth overall in 2000, Miller attended a few of James’ games and hit it off with the future No. 1 overall pick. The bond grew stronger when they played together on Team USA during the qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics, where James later teamed with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to claim a gold medal in Beijing. Last season, Miller caused a minor stir by sporting James’ Nike Zoom Soldier shoes while playing for the Washington Wizards.

Miller is also close with Maverick Carter, LeBron’s best friend and business manager; Miller named his second son Mavrick in Carter’s honor.

As James explained last season, “Mike is a good friend of mine.”

Miller had talks with James during the NBA finals about free agency, and the reigning two-time MVP had a simple message for one of the league’s best shooters: “Sit tight,” James told Miller.

According to multiple NBA sources, two-time MVP is expected to choose the Heat, where he would join fellow All-Stars Wade and Bosh. The two Wednesday announced their commitments to the Heat but neither has agreed to terms, which suggests they are waiting on James, and possibly Miller, as third and fourth pieces.  Read more…

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Multiple Sources Suggest LeBron to Choose Miami Heat

July 8th, 2010 2 comments
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After more than three years of planning and preparing, of salary dumping and cap-carving trades and wishful thinking, it appears as if the Miami Heat will be paid off with the ultimate reward: LeBron James.

According to multiple NBA sources, two-time MVP is expected to choose the Heat, where he would join fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The two Wednesday announced their commitments to the Heat but neither Wade nor Bosh has agreed to terms, which suggests they are waiting on James as the third piece.

James officially will announce his choice during a one-hour special, “The Decision,” on ESPN tonight at 9 p.m. He will make his selection from a group of six teams – the Heat, Knicks, Nets, Cavaliers, Bulls and Clippers – that met with him last week during a three-day period of presentations and sales pitches.The show will be staged at the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn. Proceeds for the show will go to the Boys & Girls Club of America, a charity that is special to James.

If the Heat is, indeed, the choice, James, Wade and Bosh would form an unprecedented superstar trio that would instantly become a perennial NBA title favorite and mark the beginnings of a potential Heat dynasty.

Did you ever dream of a scenario so absurdly amazing?

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Heat now a frontrunner for LeBron James?

July 7th, 2010 1 comment
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Whether fans are sick of the LeBron’s self-glorification or not, he has done a good job of keeping people guessing.

It’s probably safe to eliminate the Bulls, Clippers and Nets from the running. Otherwise, the Cavs, Heat and Knicks are all still mentioned as viable candidates to sign the two-time MVP.

One theory has Cleveland emerging as the clear-cut favorite to retain James. The thinking would be that even he would have the nerve to break the hearts of his hometown Cavs fans in a grueling, one-hour ESPN special (Thursday, 9:00 pm). It just seems so unreasonably cruel. But then it was reported that James had long planned some kind of agreement with ESPN regarding his much-hyped free agency, well before the notion that James would even consider leaving Cleveland surfaced.

If LeBron’s sole focus is to win a championship, as he has so emphatically claimed it to be, signing alongside Wade and Bosh in Miami gives him the best chance to do it.

James tried desperately to recruit Bosh to Cleveland, with no luck. Maybe this was all a charade. Maybe it was all part of James’ exit strategy. He can now say to his hometown fans, “I did everything I could to bring an all-star caliber player to Cleveland, but it didn’t work out.”

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Official with team that made a formal presentation to LeBron tells Y! Sports: ‘It’s down to Cleveland or Miami for him.

Of course, this is only a theory.

Whatever the case, the Heat appears to be the clear-cut winners, as much for what it did get as for what its rivals did not, of the biggest free agency sweepstakes in league history.

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