- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
A little over 16 years ago this summer, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce entered the NBA as the rare swingmen to build around. Though it would take them over seven months to make their NBA debuts following the 1998 NBA draft, by the second week of the season anyone that was closely following the NBA (to say nothing of the technical – don’t get into that fight with Golden State fans – four teams that passed on Carter and nine teams that passed on Pierce) were wondering why in the world these two weren’t taken first or second overall in that draft.
By 2014, it’s become clear that Dirk Nowitzki was the proper first selection in that draft, but that doesn’t mean Pierce and Carter haven’t enjoyed storied, Hall of Fame-level careers in the NBA. Both endured their fair share of criticism for moping while slogging their way through lottery seasons in Toronto and Boston, but in the years since the duo has rebuilt their reputations, and rightfully earned the ability to stand as coveted free agent pickups even at an age where some ex-superstars consider retirement.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
On Friday, in the wake of LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Devine passed along the borderline-stunning Saturday front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, complete with an evocative portrait of James surrounding a telling quote from the essay he explained his (lower case) decision with.
Not to be outdone, those flashy sorts at the New York Times put together their own masterpiece, surrounding James’ free agent move. Scope this beauty out:
Need a closer look?
(Not to call into question the Old Grey Lady's standards and practices, but we've been reminded that James, technically, has not "signed" with the Cavaliers. He's merely agreed to return to the team, and the terms of his contract have yet to be officially signed upon.)
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Cleveland’s biggest basketball-related mistake in the summer of 2010, in the weeks following LeBron James’ departure, was acting as if LeBron James hadn’t departed at all. The team’s then-general manager Chris Grant, in his first year on the job, hired a win-now coach in Byron Scott, decided against trading away older players who served little purpose on a James-less team, dealt for Ramon Sessions, and went into 2010-11 fully expecting to make the playoffs.
Which was daft, as we found out. The Cavs struggled to a 19-win season, and the team hasn’t sniffed a .500 record since despite repeated strikes of great luck (three top overall picks, the amnesty provision that made the partial-year rental of Baron Davis no big deal).
Miami isn’t in as bad a position as Cleveland was, as it waves goodbye to LeBron, what with a capable personnel boss in Pat Riley in charge and scads of immediately available cap room alongside a pristine South Beach setting. Frighteningly, though, the Heat may be working through the same bit of post-LBJ denial that Cleveland suffered its way through. The Heat are bringing back free-agent forward Chris Bosh, but is this the right way to start things over?
You’ve gotta love it when a plan comes together.
The Los Angeles Lakers need warm bodies to fill up a 2014-15 roster that is woefully short on active contracts in the wake of a miserable 27-win season. They need someone to push the ball in what could be Steve Nash’s last season, assuming the Lakers don’t waive him this summer, and as Kobe Bryant creakily works his way back from an Achilles tear and broken leg. The team has plenty of cap space, an unending series of cap holds, and after missing out on Carmelo Anthony, it wants to retain flexibility as it heads into the 2015 offseason.
The Rockets? They want to win, now. And they’re set to pounce on the crackling remains of Miami’s former Big Three.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s infamous 2010 rebuttal to LeBron James’ move to Miami made the move from meme to legend within the course of an evening. If you scour Twitter during any part of the 2014 machinations that led up to James’ eventual return to Cleveland, jokes about the Comic Sans font Gilbert used to pen the embarrassing diatribe abounded. Even news that the letter still exited on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ official website until recently, when the Cavs seemed to pull ahead of the aging Miami Heat as favorites to land James, was met with more than a few smirking responses online.
Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is no stranger to putting his foot in his mouth over the internet, but his Twitter response to James’ move back to Northern Ohio was classy and dignified in 140 characters or less.
This is not what Dwyane Wade had in mind when he opted out of the final two years of the six-year, $107 million deal he signed in the summer of 2010. This is not what he thought was going to happen when he willingly passed on a guaranteed $41.8 million, spread out over two years, earlier this summer. This is not the fallout that he expected after dragging his bum knees up and down the court during last month’s fruitless Finals trip.
There is a very real chance, now that LeBron James has moved onto the Cleveland Cavaliers, that Dwyane Wade will be staring down the same mess that he had to preside over in Miami from 2007 until James and Chris Bosh came to South Beach in 2010. Save for the part about Dwyane Wade being, at worst, the second best shooting guard and fourth or fifth best player in the NBA during that term. Yes, the Miami Heat will have cap space after they presumably sign Wade back to the only NBA team he’s ever known, but for whom?
LeBron James has announced that he is returning to Cleveland. Sometime later this week, or even later this month, Carmelo Anthony will decide which team he wants to play for next. They will sign contracts ranging from one to five years, numbering in eight-figure yearly payouts that will ease them into their 30s. Should they decide to take a four or five-year deal, despite their relatively young age and brilliant basketball gifts, this contract will be the last massive deal they’ll sign as peak performers.
LeBron took and Carmelo is taking his time, refusing media attention, and carefully considering options in regards to their families, their choice of home, and the work setting that they’ll be dealing with over the next several years. There have been no press conferences, no showy proclamations, and has been no social media sizzle associated with either camp’s various accounts.
And for some reason, people are upset at this.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 days ago
The Houston Rockets haven’t struck out yet, there is always the chance that LeBron James does return to northern Ohio and that the Rox can nab Chris Bosh in the wake of that decision, but this is as uneasy as the franchise has felt in years. Chandler Parsons made that happen, the result of the Rockets taking a calculated gamble that showed a lack of recognition of just how heavily a player’s market this is.
Don’t tell that “player’s market” crap to LeBron, who will never make his true market value per year, or Dwyane Wade, who is set to give back tens of millions of dollars for the betterment of his team’s roster. Don’t tell that to Bosh, who will also give back money wherever he goes, or to Carmelo Anthony, who will rightfully ridiculed for choosing money over winning when he decides to stay in New York.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 days ago
So, remember this?
Shelly Sterling, looking very distraught, just went over and spoke to Donald. It was a compassionate moment btwn them.
Off the court record, likely banished from evidence that the judge can actually use, here’s what happened as the Los Angeles Clippers owner and Shelly Sterling warred in court on Wednesday in the former’s attempt to prove that he is mentally competent in his leadership over the Sterling family trust; and, by extension, the Clippers. A role that the trust’s bylaws can preclude him from continuing if it is proven that he cannot handle the role, as Shelly Sterling has attempted to document.
He was followed to the witness stand by Shelly Sterling, who declared her love for him, but says she was convinced he needed to be examined for Alzheimer's disease
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 days ago
While everyone waits for those oft-referenced LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony dominos to drop, for someone like Hayward to take advantage of what could possibly be characterized as a frustrated and impatient free agent market and make a maximum salary that large. It shouldn’t be infuriating, but it should raise eyebrows and give a come-hither stare to further inspection.
The Charlotte Hornets are tired of waiting, they’re tired of waiting on you (read: LeBron, Carmelo, Bosh, Hinrich), and they decided to move on and make what on the surface looks like an absolutely indefensible offer to current Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward. The former Butler product is currently a restricted free agent, after turning down a reported four-year $52 million deal from the Jazz last fall, and he’s coming off of his toughest year as a pro.