Blog Entry

Free-Agent Buzzer

Posted on: June 29, 2010 12:43 am
D-Bron-Bosh on the same team? No. Dear Basketball Gods, no.

That is where the speculation headed Monday, the first work day of the week for most Americans but just another day in the Summer of LeBron rumor mill for the rest of us. At this point, it’s impossible to pinpoint where this particular rumor started, and far be it from me to squash it now. Why spoil everybody’s fun? But it’s worth noting that a reputable writer from a legitimate news organization, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel , has a person in Dwyane Wade’s camp saying the Heat guard believes Pat Riley is about to make the Earth explode. Well, not exactly. He’s about to make my head explode by pulling off the unthinkable: pairing Wade with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in South Beach. The top free agents signed, sealed and delivered to Miami.

So, if that happens on the first day of free agency, does that mean we can all go back to our lives?

I don’t believe it’s going to happen. For reasons I detailed here , I believe James – and probably Wade, too – have a keen enough understanding of what’s good for the NBA being good for them not to sign up for such an apocalyptic scenario. And this would be very bad for the NBA.

It’s not that it can’t happen. Miami would sign Wade first, then quickly get commitments from James and Bosh while Riley worked out a deal to send Michael Beasley and his $4.9 million salary to Siberia. Or Sacramento, Minnesota or Oklahoma City – all teams with cap space that could absorb Beasley without sending any salary back and take a chance on the former No. 2 pick. Or Toronto, in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, whom Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has twice acknowledged this week is likely gone. But the latter scenario creates issues because Bosh would get more money under the CBA via a sign-and-trade than James would get in a straight-up signing with the Heat. Not going to happen.

The other idea would be to trade James Jones and his $1.8 million salary to a team that’s also under the cap, paying that team $3 million and maybe a draft pick for its trouble. Then, Miami could give LeBron a five-year max deal starting at $16.6 million and give Bosh a little less – which would be right, except with Bosh. These are all professionals involved, so I’m sure they could work it out. But they shouldn’t.

Do you mean to tell me that the Big Three of 2010 waited three years for this landmark opportunity to reshape the NBA landscape forever, and all they could figure out was to play for the same team? How boring. How shortsighted. How bad for business.

And hopefully, nothing more than a pipedream.

As we hear the buzzer on Day -2 of free agency, here’s some of what was learned from agents and front office sources with (at this writing) less than 48 hours to go before the negotiating period begins:

• Amar’e Stoudemire and his agent, Happy Walters, have “further conversations” scheduled with Suns officials before free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, though it’s unclear whether Phoenix owner Robert Sarver will step up with a last-ditch max offer to keep the prolific power forward. It’s a bizarre situation, with outgoing GM Steve Kerr and assistant David Griffin out of the loop at a critical time for the franchise. Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry will be the point men for the meeting with Stoudemire in Los Angeles, and it would seem to be a foregone conclusion that a max offer is the only hope Phoenix has of keeping Stoudemire from testing the free-agent waters. And even that might not get it done.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has yet to receive the full green light from doctors to coach again next season, but a person with strong ties to him said Monday early indications are that Jackson’s postseason physical went fine. If that’s the case, health won’t be the reason Jackson, 64, retires if that’s what he decides to do. The gut feeling with the source, who is familiar with Jackson’s thinking, remains that the 11-time champion will be back on the Lakers’ bench next season. As for the money required to keep Jackson there, that is expected to be worked out once Jackson indicates his willingness to return for an attempt at his 12th championship and third in a row. Two men affected by Jackson’s decision, Byron Scott and Brian Shaw, are in the running for the Cavaliers’ head coaching job. Shaw, a Lakers assistant, was in Cleveland Monday to speak with Cavs officials.

• Still no word from Celtics coach Doc Rivers to some of his closest confidants as to whether he will be back on the Boston bench next season. Vinny Del Negro, who along with Dwane Casey is a finalist for the Clippers job, is on the Celtics’ short list of candidates to replace Rivers if he steps down to spend more time with his family.

• A common misconception about the start of this historic free agency period is that rosters and cap space are stagnant until free agents begin making their decisions. Not so. For example, the Knicks are believed to be continuing to explore moves that would clear the extra cap space to retain unrestricted free agent David Lee while adding two max free agents. The only move that would do it is almost impossible, according to one rival executive, but that doesn’t mean Knicks president Donnie Walsh won’t try: trading Eddy Curry and his $11.3 million contract. To do so, Walsh would have to incentivize another team that’s under the cap to take Curry. The price for such trouble would almost certainly be 2009 No. 8 pick Danilo Gallinari ($3.3 million). The problem would be that Gallo is the most attractive existing Knicks to prospective free agents. This might result in an unusual conversation in the Knicks’ recruiting visits with James and other free agents: Who would you rather play with, Gallinari or Lee?

• As for developments in front-office free agency: former Cavs GM Danny Ferry has emerged as the top candidate to replace Kevin Pritchard in Portland; Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey and Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien, whose contract is up Aug. 31, have spoken with the Suns; and Thunder GM Sam Presti will be pursued by the Nets if team president Rod Thorn sticks with his decision to step down July 15.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2010 12:26 pm

whos the boss

Is this what "the King" has to do to beat Kobe, seems like he doesnt believe in himself enough to win a championship.
Sure, who wouldn't want to live in South Beach, but that itself sounds like the reason for going to the heat. thats anouther distraction
I dont like. other teams will build. this will not ruin the NBA. (not at all) the heat will make a lot of money... but I cant say that three egos, who are all the man on their teams now are to gell with each other and make a championship..

Since: May 26, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2010 11:15 am

Free-Agent Buzzer

It is amazing to me that as "free agent day" draws closer and closer, more and more fans seem to have all the answers and think that all of the sports writers, who do this stuff for a living, have no idea what they are talking about.  Most of the time the sports writers are not just making stuff up.  They may speculate a little based on conversations they have or research they have done but they don't usually just make things up to get all of us fans excited.

The start of the free agent period is just a little over 12 hours away and I think it is pretty safe to say that the free agents themselves don't know where they are going, let alone the agents, NBA executives, sports writers or us fans.

It is fun to think, as a Bulls fan, that Lebron and Bosh are coming to Chicago.  And it is fun to make arguments why I think Chicago is the best fit for Lebron and Bosh.  But I don't understand the people that think they have it all figured out and just start stating facts:  Lebron is going to NY because it's the best city, if Bosh goes to Chicago the Heat will get Boozer, team A is getting these players so team B is getting these players so team C is getting these players, etc.  But my favorite has been that Lebron won't go to Chicago because he will always be in Jordan's shadow.  Some would argue that he might be in Jordan's shadow wherever he plays.  Lebron will not be in Jordan's shadow any more than he would be playing anywhere else because Chicago fans love to win and would embrace Lebron to the point that he would practically forget about Jordan.  Heck, the city is still in a buzz over the Blackhawks championship victory from 3 weeks ago.  The Lakers had several thousand people at their championship celebration, the Blackhawks had over 2 million!

Come to Chicago, Lebron and bring Mr. Bosh with you and you two along with Derrick Rose and company will turn this NBA upside down!

Yeah!!!  I can't wait for midnight to get here.

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2010 10:15 am

Free-Agent Buzzer

See the superstar sleeper that may have the biggest influence on LeBron's decision, hint it's not Bosh or Wade 

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2010 9:39 am

Free-Agent Buzzer

So lets say that Bosh and James do go to Chicago...which wont happen. James wants to win and be his own man. Will always be known as lil mike in chi town. Miami would work fine, wade would take less numbers if it meant a ring. Shaq was the man on the title team. YES, Wade put up better numbers and carried them in the playoffs but it was SHAQ's team. So why would he not be ok being the #2 guy again?? But back to what i was saying...if Chicago gets Bosh and them a big 3 of Rose, James and Bosh....Miami would respond with Johnson, Wade and Stoudamire...or starting 5 would be something like...Chicago- Rose, James, Bosh, Noah and Gibson....Miami- Wade, Chalmers, Johnson, Stoudamire and...hell i dont know who the C would be...lets say Shaq...i think he would take the vet min to win another ring...he loves Miami...close to wade....that would make the Eastern conference finals the true NBA title game...Lakers are good...but not good enough to beat either of those teams!

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2010 7:19 am

Free-Agent Buzzer

Well said and not to mention to all the Bulls fans and next season you will have to EXPLODE your cap space to try and resign both Noah and Rose as their rookie contracts would be ready to expire. No one talks about that.

Since: May 31, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2010 11:25 pm

Free-Agent Buzzer

Why listen to all the talking heads on ESPN,  they have changed their stories daily to keep the non-sense going.  By the way did I mention the Steven A. Smith is a moron.  This is simple Lebron is not going anywhere, its not about this year but the future.  The cav's can stay very competitive while unloading salaries over the next year and add players to bring cleveland the championship.  Ego...why go play where he's not the number 1 man...sorry Miami.  He's not going to Chicago either,  they play in the same division and he would never do that to the cleveland fans.  The knicks just suck and the nets don't don't have as good as roster as cleveland.  Gilbert has deep pockets and lebron knows he has done everything to win and keep him...he stays in cleveland.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2010 8:53 pm

Free-Agent Buzzer

chicago has 2 three-peats, not 6 in a row, and Their last one was what, a decade ago?  those championships have nothing to do with the bulls today, they are not the yankees, lakers or celtics...Miami at least has wade (with a ring, no less) and no income taxes, something chicago new york and cleveland do have...LJ and CB are going to pass up on 7-10% of their earning potential because the bulls won some championships a decade ago?....LA has a better chance of having a football team next season...

Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2010 7:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2010 5:38 pm

Free-Agent Buzzer

well said!

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2010 5:35 pm

Free-Agent Buzzer

So here's what I think about the whole Bosh, LeBron, and Wade getting together and dominating the's not going to happen.  LeBron James wants to have his own imprint in the NBA and on a team that wants to win a title with him.  He wants his "Brand" on the title.  Just like when Jordan and Pippen's Bulls teams in the 90's dominated the NBA, they were "Jordan's titles," not Pippen's.  All of this media hype generated is just sensational.  I bet all of these players are just laughing at all the speculation running rampant over news wires all over the U.S.  There was no summit in Miami because Wade and Amare Stoudamire was in Chicago...Miami fans and media need to look to that tandem first and foremost because LeBron and Bosh will eventually end up in Chicago where the balance of power in the NBA will now focus back to the Eastern Conference.  It will be good for the NBA once Miami and Chicago renew their rivalry from the 90's...The team who loses out is the Knicks.  I think they end up with Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer by drastically overpaying for them.  The Kickerbockers just don't have the pieces to win right now. 

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