Monday, June 30, 2014

NBA Notes; Draft & Opt Out Thoughts

Why will the Miami Heat will stay together? Salary Cap Circumvention

It made zero sense for Udonis Haslem (34) and Dwyane Wade (32) to opt-out of their contracts. Haslem, coming off his worst season as a professional opted out of a $4.6 million dollar player option. Wade, clearly on the decline and unable to stay healthy after 11 grueling professional seasons, opted out of a contract which would have paid him $41.8 million dollars over two seasons. Joining teammates Chris Bosh and LeBron James (both of whom have already opted out), Haslem and Wade have now created a record setting $55-million dollars in salary cap space. Really?!? Wade, Haslem, LeBron, and Bosh have already
agreed in principle to return to the Heat and with their agents have most likely already worked out the money. How do we know this? The Heat traded for Connecticut champion guard Shabazz Napier during Thursday nights draft, LeBron's request - the worst kept secret during draft week. Then Chris Bosh got on a plane and took off with his family on vacation, not something you're doing days before you become a free agent and need to be scheduling visits with other teams. I'd love for Adam Silver to look into an agreement which has Wade and Haslem opting out of favorable contracts for the good of the team, when they've already acquired multiple NBA Championships and have their retirement(s) looming sooner than later. See Joe Smith and the Minnesota Timberwolves if you're looking for precedent. When Haslem becomes a consultant to the Miami Heat after his retirement, I'd like to see what his salary looks like then.
It could be worse, you could be a Philadelphia 76ers fan.

Last years lottery selection, 6'11 Kentucky big-man Nerlens Noel, and this years lottery selection, 7'0 Kansas big-man Joel Embid, could potentially be one of the biggest, most dominant front courts we've seen in recent years, if we actually get to ever see it. After sitting out the entire season in 2013-2014 with a torn ACL, Noel should be making his 'Sixers debut this season. Embid on the other hand is a completely different story. Injuries to both his foot and back should keep him out for what would be his entire rookie season of 2014-2015. The 'Sixers don't get desirable free agents to come to Philly, they just finished a season with the second-worst record in the entire league, and were possibly shopping their reigning rookie of the year, guard Michael Carter-Williams. I get looking toward the next season, or a player in the upcoming NBA Draft, or a year when you have more cap-space than other teams, but which one is it? For a team that doesn't acquire many landmark free-agents, and spent an additional high-first round pick on a player who is under contract in Turkey for another three years, I really don't understand what Philadelphia is doing, other than doing absolutely nothing, extremely well.

Derrick Rose doesn't want to recruit, I'm cool with it.

At what point in his NBA career did you all look at Carmelo Anthony and say, his ownership hasn't brought in anyone to support him to win an NBA Championship? When Derrick Rose isn't rushing into the facility to meet with Carmelo and his people, when Derrick Rose decides he would rather NOT shoot a text to 'Melo to gage his interest in joining the Bulls, and when Derrick Rose doesn't feel it is his responsibility to recruit 'Melo specifically, I kind of agree. Yes, Carmelo Anthony's specific type of skills definitely give the Chicago Bulls a better shot at winning in the Eastern Conference. Sorry, but Carmelo Anthony has made some money in this league, he has played in the situation in New York where he thought was a better fit for him than in Denver, and now he has the ability to find a place where he's happiest and what is the best situation for him, so no I don't feel like Derrick Rose should have to run out and beg him to play with him. If Carmelo Anthony wants to win in this league, if Carmelo wants to play with top talent in this league, if Carmelo wants to play with a team that is committed and has a coach that is equally committed, then he should be begging Chicago to let him join their team, not the other way around. Remember who Derrick Rose is, while he has been injured for the last two seasons, he's still an alpha-dog, take charge, team leader, he's not someone who thinks he needs Carmelo Anthony to win, he someone he thinks he needs to be healthy to win.

Lastly, (2) Things that have really angered me this weekend.

1. Jason Kidd and the Milwaukee Bucks - Rather than remembering you were almost fired last winter and should be grateful that the Brooklyn Nets gave you an opportunity to coach in the NBA with no coaching experience, you looked around and saw Fisher and Kerr getting paid and decided to try and force the hand of Brooklyn ownership by requesting a title promotion when arguably you were one of the worst five coaches in the NBA just a season ago. Didn't work, Brooklyn was ready to part ways with you, and you went to people you knew and worked out a deal which would have you coaching in Milwaukee. The Bucks fired Larry Drew after publicly embarrassing him by going to work out the Kidd deal prior to actually letting him go. Here's what is going to happen, the Bucks will continue to be bad, they're too young right now to bail out Jason Kidd's poor coaching, and both Kerr and Fisher would be better coaches and deserved the money they got. There is a reason I've never been a Jason Kidd fan, because he's a jerk.

2. I want Kevin Love in a big market. Come on Minnesota, make one of these deals, send the guy to Boston. Completely for selfish reasons, because I didn't even want the C's to make a 1st round pick, I just want Kevin Love to play with Rondo and help find a third piece. Look, the NBA would be much better served with the Lakers and Celtics being competitive. Like the Spurs, but let's face it, 90% of us cheering for San Antonio were cheering for LeBron to lose more than anything. My friends kept telling me after the draft, 'Lynchy, this is a really good draft for the Celtics, and everyone is saying it.' However, i would much rather have some established player, in Boston, playing with an outstanding point guard in Rajon Rondo. Is that too much to ask for?!

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