Blog Entry

Summer League Buzz

Posted on: July 16, 2010 9:56 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 10:38 pm
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LAS VEGAS -- If members of LeBron James' entourage get hired by the Miami Heat, the NBA wouldn't rule out opening an investigation into possible salary-cap circumvention, a high-ranking official familiar with the league's thinking told CBSSports.com Friday.

While league officials are not actively pursuing any tampering charges related to James' decision to sign with the Heat -- and, in fact, have received no complaints that would trigger such a probe -- it wouldn't be surprising to see an investigation related to any jobs given to people in James' circle of advisers. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the league would not need a team to lodge a complaint to launch such an investigation.

In a detailed account of the Heat's nearly two-year effort to recruit James to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, Yahoo! Sports on Friday quoted an NBA front office executive who said he wants the league to examine whether Heat president Pat Riley promised jobs or other benefits to members of James' camp as part of his recruiting pitch.

 “You can’t promise jobs or preferential services outside of a contract or a job for a friend," the team executive told Yahoo! Sports. "If that’s part of the deal, it’s a violation.”

The penalties for such side deals designed to circumvent salary-cap rules are severe. In 2000, the Minnesota Timberwolves were fined $3.5 million and lost three draft picks after disclosure of a written deal with free agent Joe Smith. The arrangement called for Smith to play under three consecutive one-year contracts, after which it was agreed that the team would use his Bird rights to sign him to a multi-year deal to make up for the money he'd left on the table. Owner Glen Taylor and then-GM Kevin McHale agreed to leaves of absence in order to get back two other draft picks that had been taken away as part of the penalty. In addition to forfeiture of draft picks, league rules call for a maximum fine of $5 million, voiding the contract of the player in question, and up to a one-year suspension of any team officials involved.

One impediment to prosecuting such a case against the Heat -- if and when members of James' camp are hired for any jobs -- is that it will be difficult to prove it is any different from what the Cavs did to appease James when he played for them. One member of James' circle of friends, Randy Mims, was employed by the Cavs as a "player liaison." The hiring was never investigated, and the Cavs were never subject to any punishment for the arrangement.

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While the Hawks have ruled out paying luxury tax to sign Shaquille O'Neal -- or any other free agent, for that matter -- the organization hasn't shut the door completely on bringing Shaq to Atlanta, a person familiar with the team's thinking told CBSSports.com. If O'Neal were to lower his asking price from the mid-level exception -- starting at about $5.8 million -- to the bi-annual exception of about $1.9 million, the Hawks would be interested in exploring such a signing. Atlanta would be able to pay O'Neal the bi-annual exception -- or a portion of its mid-level -- and avoid paying luxury tax. But the current ownership group has never paid luxury tax and doesn't plan to begin paying it now. Also, the Hawks haven't discussed -- nor are they interested in -- a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Cavs that would cost them a piece of their young core, sources say.

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The Raptors continue to explore several potential trade scenarios involving point guard Jose Calderon, who was going to be dealt to the Bobcats earlier this week before Charlotte owner Michael Jordan backed out of the deal. Interest from potential trade partners has been lukewarm, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. ... Wizards assistant GM Tommy Sheppard and Kings assistant GM Jason Levien will interview for the Hornets' GM opening, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com. Hornets president Hugh Weber already has spoken with Spurs executive Dell Demps and plans to speak with former Trail Blazers execs Kevin Pritchard and Tom Penn, as well as former Suns exec David Griffin, sources said. Weber, according to one of the sources, is hoping to have the process wrapped up quickly, perhaps as soon as Sunday. ... Demps has spoken with Suns officials about that team's opening for a personnel man to work under incoming team president Lon Babby, a former player agent.



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Comments

Since: Jul 19, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:19 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

Uhm, did you read the article? The investigation is that he may not have taken less money. The Heat may be paying it to his friends.



Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2010 10:08 am
 

Summer League Buzz

Cleveland supports 3 major sporting teams 2 minor and not to metion AA baseball and single A baseball small market my ass we are the ones who flipped the NFL on it's back and smacked there ass and got our browns back this has never been done small market or big one. Our basket ball team finished with the best record 2 years in a row were where the big market teams looking up....Surprised 



Since: Mar 14, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2010 9:05 am
 

Summer League Buzz

HEY MORON...err Lunatic....good name....

Clevelandhas sold out very game practivally for the past 7 years....
you guys had wade and RATRELY had sellouts..... just SAD!

the Florida marlins couldnt even sell out for playoffs and world SERIES games, whereas the cleveland indians have the major league record for most consecutive sellouts (mid 400s)

get a life and get a CLUE if you want to talk about cities and fan support you brainless bumpkin!

Miami has more crime than any city around. stay there and "KEEP"  THE QUITTER with you!



Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2010 3:23 am
 

Summer League Buzz

You are so right about these guys making more money in Florida then they would have somewhere else.  Also if they win a championship how much more money will they make off that.  It's complete ignorance that fuels these supporters of the Heat and not to mention the morons that actually believe these athletes when they say it's not about the money, it's always about the money.  Always has been and always will.  By the way, I don't see this team winning any championships in the next three years, but guarantee if they don't they won't give a penny of their earnings back to the Heat.



Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: July 19, 2010 3:11 am
 

Summer League Buzz

Poor poor Cleveland, Lebron put it in without no lube and then left without saying goodbye, didn't he.  That bastard, he doesn't deserve you.  Now go out and give it up to anyone who will have you and make sure to send Lebron the pictures you take of your new flings in a text saying "you have been replaced".  Just think of all the draft picks you have to look forward to, and all the money you will save without Lebron's stupid baby powder majic show before the start of each game. 



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

Berger is a Piece of Work. Did he not hear MrMoronSterns on this matter and that all was LEGAL? He's just a Sh**Starter! This Issue is Not an Issue!



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

You're a 1st rate Moron! 



Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: July 18, 2010 1:15 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

Riley had nothing to do with it.  This was all james bosh and wade playing it up so their egos can implode to maximum levels.  Riley helped but was in no way or form responsible.  They had this planned since the olympics.  The decision was just hoople to get wined and dined and all the attention  on them which really makes no sense because it was going to be already!!  I love his game but Lebron's Demigod alter ego has ruined his shine for me. 



Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: July 17, 2010 7:37 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

Are you really that dumb J.R.?  You really think that Pat Riley pulled this off legitimately?  If you do then you are not a real smart person. Berger may or may not have ulterior motives but there were shaddy deals involved with Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all signing with the Heat and taking less money to do so.  It may never be proven but it did happen! As for the best chance to win a championship, the Miami Heat was not the place for James to go.  His best chance would have been to stay in Cleveland or go to the Bulls. The Heat will not be a dynasty just a very good team that may not win a thing.  By the way, why have the Heat not signed every free agent out there for the league minimum?  Why did Raja Bell sign with the Jazz instead of the Heat if the Championship is guaranteed?  Mabe because it isn't!



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 17, 2010 4:00 pm
 

Summer League Buzz

 Hey Mel, you might want to focus on your own life, and it's problems,then on the people in LeBron James' group!
I don't know that I would call his "crew" goons, maybe mis-informed young people. LeBron is only 25 and has been given ANYTHING he wants since he was around 12 years old, just because he can play basketball so great. Dan Gilbert also gave LeBron anything he asked for, his "crew" wanted jobs....DONE,he wanted a fantastic new training facility close to home in Bath township....DONE,he wanted to team up with Shaq....DONE. No one has challenged LeBron in any of his decisions, maybe that is the problem with his ever growing EGO.
 So Mel, fix your own problems at home before bashing other millionaires. Oh yeah, quit being such a racist wife beating moron!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com