|07.09.10 at 7:12 am ET|
According to multiple reports, the Heat were able to rid themselves of Michael Beasley when they agreed to send the 2008 No. 2 overall pick to the Timberwolves for a second-round pick and an exchange of first-round selections.
By virtually giving away Beasley, the Heat clear up more cap space so that they can complete the signings of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, as well as lure some other players to fill out the roster. Wizards sharpshooter Mike Miller reportedly is high on Miami’s list, and a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Friday morning indicate Miller is poised to sign a five-year, $30 million deal with the Heat.
The Clippers signed two free agents: forward Ryan Gomes and guard Randy Foye. Celtics fans remember Gomes, the Providence College product who was traded to the Timberwolves as part of the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007. Foye played last season in Washington after playing his first three years in Minnesota.
|07.09.10 at 6:45 am ET|
Gilbert told The Associated Press in a phone interview that James “quit” on the team during the Cavs’ second-round playoff series against the Celtics.
“He quit. Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.”
Gilbert also offered his opinion on why James decided to go to Miami and made a bold prediction.
“LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship,” Gilbert said. “We will win a championship before [the Heat] do.”
Added Gilbert: “It’s not about him leaving. It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.”
In Miami, Dwyane Wade said he was stunned by Gilbert’s comments.
“I think I’m happy that I have the owner that I have here in Miami,” Wade told the AP late Thursday night. “I’m happy Micky Arison is my owner. I couldn’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s very unfortunate and I think it makes LeBron that much better about his decision.”
Added Wade: “We knew ‘Bron would take some backlash. I told him he’s a strong man for it.”
Gilbert also took out his anger toward James by posting a letter on the Cavaliers website, calling LeBron’s actions “cowardly.”
“As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.” Gilbert wrote. “You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.” Read the rest of this entry »
|07.08.10 at 10:02 pm ET|
After an interminable half-hour of television that followed two years worth of hysteria and hype, LeBron James announced that was leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a new superteam.
In the end, we may never know the whole story on all the background machinations. Maybe there was a master plan all along. Maybe it was just a bunch of young men playing mogul.
Regardless of all the drama, both real and contrived, James joins Wade and Bosh as the single biggest free agent haul in the history of the sport. James will also have to live with the fallout for the rest of his career after he abandoned his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now that it is official, we can finally ask the basketball question: How good are the Heat? Good enough to instantly become one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference along with the Celtics and Magic, even with just five players and three second-round draft picks on the roster at the moment.
One of those players, Michael Beasley, is expected to be traded in a salary-cap dump, which leaves Mario Chalmers as the only other player with NBA experience on the roster. Pat Riley has his work cut out for him in shaping the roster.
They are over the cap now, which means they will have to entice a center and most of a bench with minimum contracts. What’s also unknown is how these three superstars will play together. [Note: An earlier version of this post noted the Heat’s interest in Mike Miller with the mid-level exception. They don’t have the MLE after these moves.]
This isn’t quite like the Celtics moves in the summer of 2007 when Danny Ainge added Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to Paul Pierce. Those were all veteran players hungry to win a championship and the better-than-expected young core of Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo certainly helped them attain that goal.
Wade, Bosh and James are at different stages in their careers and there is no one remotely as good as Perkins, to say nothing of Rondo on the Heat roster.
Ainge has brought the Celtics back together for one more run after a playoff run that saw them beat Wade and James’ teams, and it has been reported that Tony Allen will be as returning as well. Allen will have his work cut out from him when they play the Heat.
If nothing else, this move, and others in free agency, make the East much stronger. The Knicks added Amar’e Stoudemire and appear ready to try and play to win again, while the Bulls finally added a low-post scorer in Carlos Boozer.
The Celtics road to repeat as Eastern Conference champions just got more difficult, but not impossible.
|07.08.10 at 8:29 pm ET|
ORLANDO –Some highlights of Danny Ainge’s 10-minute sit down with the media on Thursday. Ainge was literally sitting down, as he occupied the last chair on the Celtics bench throughout the team’s summer league loss to the Pacers and spoke to the media at halftime of the contest.
Contract status of Jermaine O’Neal
“I’m going to do all that once it’s done. I’m not going to comment on anybody until it’s done. I can’t tell you ‘¦ I’m supposed to wait until the contracts are done. The moratorium today is the first day we can talk, but not until the contracts are done.”
Is there mutual interest?
“We intend to sign him. And I’ll talk about it when we do.”
“I can talk about it when it’s done, which is probably tomorrow.”
Assuming these deals will be done, are you happy with the offseason to this point?
“I think the priorities to start the offseason were obviously Paul and Ray and then to strengthen our center position in lieu of Perk’s injury. Those were our priorities right there. So hopefully by tomorrow we’ll have those three things taken care of and then we can continue to work on it.”
Status of Kendrick Perkins
“Perk is scheduled to have surgery on Monday (pushed back). I guess the philosophy is to get more range of motion and the swelling and strengthening. Just rehabbing before the surgery.”
Is it just the ACL for Perkins?
“I know there were injuries to the MCL and the PCL, but I don’t know to what extent they need to be surgically repaired. Those might heal on their own, as sprains or strains. But I do know that the ACL needs to be repaired.”
Any Rasheed Wallace updates?
“We like Nate and Tony and I’m sure that they are still looking at the market too. The market is pretty crazy right now so we’ll be patient and look at other options as well in case they go in another direction. But we do have interest in both of them. Always have.”
Can this team compete in what will surely be a much different Eastern Conference?
“Absolutely, yeah. We’re the Eastern Conference champions and we think we’re going to be better.”
After the first call to David Lee, was there any more contact during the free agency process?
“Yeah, yeah. We couldn’t compete [financially].”
|07.08.10 at 6:28 pm ET|
While all the fuss Thursday has centered on LeBron James‘ apparent decision to join the Heat, ESPN’s Ric Bucher recently posted on his Twitter account that the consensus among GMs, agents and league officials is that he will not be going to Miami.
James was, however, spotted Thursday at his basketball camp at Cleveland State University, watching high school stars play in front of college coaches. Those in attendance included Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Bob Huggins, to name a few. From there he is headed to the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn., where his hour-long special will air.
If he were to re-sign with the Cavaliers, rumors abound that it would be a three-year contract. And because of the firestorm James’ decision could have on the people of Ohio, there is reportedly going to be increased police activity in downtown Cleveland.
|07.08.10 at 5:02 pm ET|
Saying he believes King James will end up re-signing with Cleveland, Cuban explained, “The sports world is full of uncertainties. When in doubt, go for the love.”
James, who joined the Twitter world Tuesday afternoon, already has over 300,000 followers and gave his fans an update Thursday morning, encouraging them to send questions regarding where he will end up.
|07.08.10 at 4:25 pm ET|
In order to free up space to sign LeBron James to a max contract of nearly $130 million, the Heat reportedly have been in discussions about a four-way deal with the Raptors, Bobcats and Rockets.
According to ESPN.com, the complicated deal would have Michael Beasley and his $5 million leaving South Beach. Although the Heat could give near-max contracts to James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, getting rid of Beasley would go a long way toward helping reshape their roster.
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