Miami Heat: Pat Riley's Grease Fire

bowiac

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Not to say I'd make a different decision, but it seems clear from reports that the top of his list is getting the max salary. Then winning.
 
If he was willing to change the focus there, then Miami would have a lot more ways to make winning happen.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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bowiac said:
Not to say I'd make a different decision, but it seems clear from reports that the top of his list is getting the max salary. Then winning.
 
If he was willing to change the focus there, then Miami would have a lot more ways to make winning happen.
Fair enough.  But he has been underpaid for years now and even with the max salary there are strong arguments that he will continue to be underpaid.  There is nothing wrong in him cashing in on what might just be his last large contract.
 

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DeJesus Built My Hotrod said:
Fair enough.  But he has been underpaid for years now and even with the max salary there are strong arguments that he will continue to be underpaid.  There is nothing wrong in him cashing in on what might just be his last large contract.
 
Absolutely. And if he were to get that in Cleveland, and somehow lead Cleveland to a title, the major "blemish" on his legacy would be wiped away
 

Apisith

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He's won already so his legacy, to a huge extent, is secured. He will compete wherever he goes, so there isn't any reason why he would take less than a max.

If he goes back home to Cleveland, he gets to play with Kyrie, Wiggins and Bennett. They're not great players at the moment, but they're all young #1 picks who can develop. LeBron owns the team for a few years then can start to cede control to the younger guys when he's older a la Duncan in SA. It's a pretty good plan from my perspective.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Apisith said:
He's won already so his legacy, to a huge extent, is secured. He will compete wherever he goes, so there isn't any reason why he would take less than a max.

If he goes back home to Cleveland, he gets to play with Kyrie, Wiggins and Bennett. They're not great players at the moment, but they're all young #1 picks who can develop. LeBron owns the team for a few years then can start to cede control to the younger guys when he's younger a la Duncan in SA. It's a pretty good plan from my perspective.
 
Agreed with most of your post but if you think his legacy is secure, take a look at a few of the posts around this forum.  LeBron James, for all his talents, is a pretty polarizing player.  A lot of the ire towards him stems from The Decision and logic would dictate that he is aware of the blowback from that situation.  Only he and those around him know if the fallout really bothers him but if it does, going back to the Cavs and helping the youngsters learn the ropes en route to a Championship makes sense in terms of strengthening his legacy.  
 

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DeJesus Built My Hotrod said:
 
Agreed with most of your post but if you think his legacy is secure, take a look at a few of the posts around this forum.  LeBron James, for all his talents, is a pretty polarizing player.  A lot of the ire towards him stems from The Decision and logic would dictate that he is aware of the blowback from that situation.  Only he and those around him know if the fallout really bothers him but if it does, going back to the Cavs and helping the youngsters learn the ropes en route to a Championship makes sense in terms of strengthening his legacy.  
 
I don't think he's nearly as polarizing as it seems here, where the vast majority of posters are Celtics fans. The majority of NBA fans have gotten over any irritation they had about the way he handled his move to Miami, he's had the best selling jersey in the league for the last two years. People forget that Jordan had plenty of haters for most of his career also ("all he does is dunk"), you just can't worry too much about that. 
 

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jon abbey said:
 
I don't think he's nearly as polarizing as it seems here, where the vast majority of posters are Celtics fans. The majority of NBA fans have gotten over any irritation they had about the way he handled his move to Miami, he's had the best selling jersey in the league for the last two years. People forget that Jordan had plenty of haters for most of his career also ("all he does is dunk"), you just can't worry too much about that. 
 
Boston sports fans are the rules of Indig Nation
 

wutang112878

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knucklecup said:
Next season is when his contract jumps to $15 million, not the first year of the deal, and was ultimately why the Knicks weren't able to resign him without repercussions.
 
radsoxfan said:
 
Cap hit is the same every year (8-ish M).  But his salary in real dollars this season is 15M.  So if you take Lin, you are stuck paying him a ton for 1 year of work.  
 
Thats a lot of money, even if you have the cap space, for a likely late 1st round pick. I'm sure plenty of owners will say no thanks. 
 
I would assume Houston was always willing to pay him the $15M, and if they were ok with that then also including the max $3M in cash in the trade would reduce what the team is paying him to $12M which makes it a little better.  I'm really surprised Houston decided to move Lin 2nd (Asik was 1st) to create cap space because they seem a little more desperate this time around.
 

ElUno20

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Despite his new position in the sport and how great he is, lebron will be in the same situation as before in Cleveland. He will be unable to attract free agents there and have to rely on trades for role players and promising rookies. The problem, even with kyrie and wiggins, is that guys that young need to be baptized in the fire to get to that next level. That takes years. Those are years this idiot will be burning during his prime.

So while a lot of people are saying this may be the smarter move, its really ultimately about stroking his ego. He can go back home and be the hero, even in 2nd round exits. Players in their prime are not going to Cleveland.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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ElUno20 said:
Despite his new position in the sport and how great he is, lebron will be in the same situation as before in Cleveland. He will be unable to attract free agents there and have to rely on trades for role players and promising rookies. The problem, even with kyrie and wiggins, is that guys that young need to be baptized in the fire to get to that next level. That takes years. Those are years this idiot will be burning during his prime.

So while a lot of people are saying this may be the smarter move, its really ultimately about stroking his ego. He can go back home and be the hero, even in 2nd round exits. Players in their prime are not going to Cleveland.
So after landing the best ever free agent in his prime, Cleveland wont be able to land any other free agents? I think they'll live.
 

wutang112878

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ElUno20 said:
Despite his new position in the sport and how great he is, lebron will be in the same situation as before in Cleveland. He will be unable to attract free agents there and have to rely on trades for role players and promising rookies. The problem, even with kyrie and wiggins, is that guys that young need to be baptized in the fire to get to that next level. That takes years. Those are years this idiot will be burning during his prime.

So while a lot of people are saying this may be the smarter move, its really ultimately about stroking his ego. He can go back home and be the hero, even in 2nd round exits. Players in their prime are not going to Cleveland.
 
I dont know, I really Cleveland would be an intriguing choice.  In Kyrie I think they have an adequate scoring 2nd fiddle for Lebron and its probably a reasonable assumption that his scoring efficiency would improve if he wasnt the primary scoring option that opponents were determined to stop.  They have a pretty good set of bigs in Varejao who is a decent banger and energy guy, Thompson who seems to be developing and could probably be a decent 3rd scoring option.  Wiggins is immediately going to be an above average defensive player and will should have great versatility in who he is able to guard.  Add Lebron and those are your starting 5 guys.  Based on their youth and projection you cant really upgrade Kyrie and Wiggins, so maybe you look for an upgrade at your 4/5 spot and trading either of your starters with a future 1st could probably get you a decent upgrade.  Then next offseason you go grab a guy for the MLE and should be able to get a great role player to come off the bench.  Maybe next year that doesnt give him a better chance to win than Miami, but I'd say the 3 following years that Cleveland team would have a much, much better chance than the Miami team with Wade who is almost done and Bosh who will now be in his 30s.  That Miami talent core will be decaying while the Cleveland core should be improving significantly. 
 
Long term that really seems to be the better choice to me.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Apisith said:
He's won already so his legacy, to a huge extent, is secured. He will compete wherever he goes, so there isn't any reason why he would take less than a max.

If he goes back home to Cleveland, he gets to play with Kyrie, Wiggins and Bennett. They're not great players at the moment, but they're all young #1 picks who can develop. LeBron owns the team for a few years then can start to cede control to the younger guys when he's older a la Duncan in SA. It's a pretty good plan from my perspective.
 
Seems to me that with the way the new CBA is set up, in order to set up a perennial contender, you're going to need to either (I) get your stars to be woefully underpaid or (ii) get great production from rookie-year players.  Interesting how San Antonio has both.
 
CLE also has multiple first-round draft picks next year. 
 
From a purely basketball perspective, LBJ would be much better off in CLE than MIA pretty much no matter what Riley does unless he can convince Bosh, Wade, and Gasol to come play for under-market money.  And even if MIA got Gasol, I think their window would be shorter.
 
knucklecup said:
Stephen A ended his segment with, roughly, "Wade isn't going anywhere."

I would absolutely prefer Lebron, Melo, Bosh to Lebron, Melo, Wade.          .
 
Can't get LBJ, Melo, and Bosh under the cap.  Only way "big 3" works out is if Wade (and to lesser extent Bosh) take less money.
 

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wutang112878 said:
 
I dont know, I really Cleveland would be an intriguing choice.  In Kyrie I think they have an adequate scoring 2nd fiddle for Lebron and its probably a reasonable assumption that his scoring efficiency would improve if he wasnt the primary scoring option that opponents were determined to stop.  They have a pretty good set of bigs in Varejao who is a decent banger and energy guy, Thompson who seems to be developing and could probably be a decent 3rd scoring option.  Wiggins is immediately going to be an above average defensive player and will should have great versatility in who he is able to guard.  Add Lebron and those are your starting 5 guys.  Based on their youth and projection you cant really upgrade Kyrie and Wiggins, so maybe you look for an upgrade at your 4/5 spot and trading either of your starters with a future 1st could probably get you a decent upgrade.  Then next offseason you go grab a guy for the MLE and should be able to get a great role player to come off the bench.  Maybe next year that doesnt give him a better chance to win than Miami, but I'd say the 3 following years that Cleveland team would have a much, much better chance than the Miami team with Wade who is almost done and Bosh who will now be in his 30s.  That Miami talent core will be decaying while the Cleveland core should be improving significantly. 
 
Long term that really seems to be the better choice to me.
They also still own a Miami first from the LeBron s&t. If LeBron and Wade leave, that becomes pretty damn valuable. You could package that pick woth Verajao, Waiters, Thompson, or Bennet and get a very good return.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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RedOctober3829 said:
Stephen A: Chris Bosh is holding this up.  If he decides he wants to go to Houston, it frees Miami up to offer Carmelo Anthony more money.  (also says Lakers are major players for Lakers but has to pass up $35 million.) It's not a long shot if Bosh leaves that Carmelo would be enticed to go there.  Nobody knows what LeBron wants to do.  He says LeBron might wait much longer to decide maybe a week or 2 weeks.
 
This is certainly a catch-22.  Bosh isn't going to decide anything until LBJ decides.  If LBJ waits for Bosh to decide, who breaks the logjam?
 
Maybe Bosh just signs with HOU so that LBJ can have the excuse that it wasn't him who jumped ship.
 
I have a feeling that in 15 years, no matter how many rings LBJ ends up with, all people are going to talk about is the Decision and this Indecision (and whatever happens five years from now.)
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
 
This is certainly a catch-22.  Bosh isn't going to decide anything until LBJ decides.  If LBJ waits for Bosh to decide, who breaks the logjam?
 
Maybe Bosh just signs with HOU so that LBJ can have the excuse that it wasn't him who jumped ship.
 
I have a feeling that in 15 years, no matter how many rings LBJ ends up with, all people are going to talk about is the Decision and this Indecision (and whatever happens five years from now.)
Superstars dont let their agents take meetings.
 

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bowiac said:
Not to say I'd make a different decision, but it seems clear from reports that the top of his list is getting the max salary. Then winning.
 
If he was willing to change the focus there, then Miami would have a lot more ways to make winning happen.
LeBron is going to win wherever he goes so this angle doesn't carry any weight. He already sacrificed to go to Miami while then watching the owner cut back costing his team a better chance at a 3rd Championship. If I were LeBron I'd have concerns about returning to Miami as well under those circumstances as the chances of winning moving forward are likely greater elsewhere.
 

RedOctober3829

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At the urging of LeBron James' agent, the Cleveland Cavaliers are pursuing a maximum contract salary slot to bring back the free-agent superstar, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Rich Paul, the president of Klutch Sports, has been funneling belief into the organization that the Cavaliers are in strong position to lure James from the Miami Heat, sources told Yahoo Sports.
For years, Paul has confided to people that bringing back James to Cleveland has been something of a mission for him, and he's encouraging Cavaliers officials to offer no restraint in the recruitment of James, sources said.
The Phoenix Suns remain determined to make a case to James, offering an excellent core of young players, a chance to bring a second max star with him, but everyone's at the mercy of Paul's agenda now. He's running James' free agency, and getting through to James won't happen without his childhood pal-turned-agent.
Paul will be joining James for a sit-down meeting with Miami president Pat Riley early this week, when there could come more clarity on James' future with the Heat. Riley has been recruiting free agents to join Miami, but has been limited in salary cap space to make competitive offers and limited in the ability to promise players they'll get to play with James  LeBron James is expected to soon meet with Heat president Pat Riley. (AP)
"LeBron is the ultimate recruiter, but he hasn't been any part of this process," a league source tied to the Heat's recruiting efforts told Yahoo Sports. "The first question they all ask is the same: 'Do I get to hear from LeBron? What's he going to do?' "
 
The biggest obstacle remains unloading the contract of Jarrett Jack. The Cavaliers have found a landing spot for Jack and his $6.2 million annual salary in the Brooklyn Nets, but only if the Cavs can find a third team to take on Brooklyn's Marcus Thornton, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
 
For now, the Cavaliers await the next directive out of Rich Paul, and perhaps will soon find out where an agent's agenda meets a superstar's intent.
 
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-lebron-james--agent-has-given-cavaliers-hope-of-king-s-homecoming-082339828.html
 

DJnVa

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So, if LBJ's agent is telling them to clear the space, then they do that, and he doesn't sign there, well that's a big "F You" to the organization.
 

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This is just as big of a circus as the previous edition was.  The only difference is who is running the show.  LeBron's friend/agent wants him to go back to Cleveland presumably without the knowledge that LBJ definitely wants to.  OTOH, with as much that James cares about his image if he pulls the rug out from under Cleveland again he knows this is the point of no return.
 

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Grin&MartyBarret said:
They also still own a Miami first from the LeBron s&t. If LeBron and Wade leave, that becomes pretty damn valuable. You could package that pick woth Verajao, Waiters, Thompson, or Bennet and get a very good return.
 
Wow, totally forgot about that.  Lebron would really be setup for a solid future there.  This really seems like his best option hands down.
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
Maybe Bosh just signs with HOU so that LBJ can have the excuse that it wasn't him who jumped ship.
 
I have a feeling that in 15 years, no matter how many rings LBJ ends up with, all people are going to talk about is the Decision and this Indecision (and whatever happens five years from now.)
Your post is spot on.

Saying that Bosh is the domino that needs to fall is ridiculous...

We're all about to get a free lesson in PR, I'm just not so sure I agree with the manner LBJ's PR reps are handling this situation.
 

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The two other picks that CLE owns in 2015 are conditional, they easily could end up with just theirs if MEM makes the playoffs and MIA is bad:
 
2015 first round draft pick from Memphis
Memphis' 1st round pick to Cleveland protected for selections 1-5 and 15-30 in 2015, 1-5 and 15-30 in 2016, 1-5 in 2017 or 1-5 in 2018 or unprotected in 2019 [Cleveland-Memphis, 1/22/2013]
2015 first round draft pick from Miami
Miami's 1st round pick to Cleveland protected for selections 1-10 in 2015 or 1-10 in 2016 or unprotected in 201
 

DannyDarwinism

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I'm a Lebron fan, even though I dislike the Heat, so I'm rooting for the prodigal son returns angle. And I think he's reached the point where not returning after cockteasing Ohio would really damage the legacy he has built up since the Decision. I think he knows this, and so I think the return is happening. I mainly wonder now if Love will be joining him. Wiggins is a big chip for a team that will be in win-now mode.
 

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RedOctober3829 said:
This is just as big of a circus as the previous edition was.  The only difference is who is running the show.  LeBron's friend/agent wants him to go back to Cleveland presumably without the knowledge that LBJ definitely wants to. 
 
Well, it's not like this is not "out there". LBJ can certainly squash this.
 

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This has to be the first time I've ever seen reports that indicate the agent is the one leading the show of where the client ends up, at least in a situation where we know LeBron would have a few handfuls of teams offering to pay him the same amount. Are these reports LeBron's way to trying to recuse himself from responsibility? It's very odd.
 

TomRicardo

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I hope Pat Riley gives LeBron the Ari Gold sales pitch and loses him:

"Nike...Coca Cola...Mercedes...LeBron James"
 
Is John Henry going to be down there with him being Fenway Sports Group handles all of LeBron's Marketing?
 

DannyDarwinism

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Ed Hillel said:
. Are these reports LeBron's way to trying to recuse himself from responsibility? It's very odd.
There could be some of that, but Paul is a Cleveland guy, and Klutch Sports is still headquartered out of there, so it could be he an James are 80% certain on a return now, and Paul is just positioning himself as the local hero who brought Lebron back.
 

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Is there any chance LBJ is setting himself up to look even better by waiting until the last minute to take less than the max.  He could do this with either MIA or CLE as a way to show he's "only about winning".  ESPN would eat this up and lead the PR campaign singing the praises of King James.  There has to be a number for both destinations where he can be the highest paid, yet be just under the max that allows each team to make one more move or keep one more player.
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
I have a feeling that in 15 years, no matter how many rings LBJ ends up with, all people are going to talk about is the Decision and this Indecision (and whatever happens five years from now.)
Celtics superfans will talk about it. Maybe bitter OKC foreveralones will talk about it. I don't think the rest of the league really cares.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Ed Hillel said:
This has to be the first time I've ever seen reports that indicate the agent is the one leading the show of where the client ends up, at least in a situation where we know LeBron would have a few handfuls of teams offering to pay him the same amount. Are these reports LeBron's way to trying to recuse himself from responsibility? It's very odd.
 
I think LeBron is likely hiding behind the agent because of all the bad publicity from the decision. This way if it falls though, he can claim no responsibility. Let the agent be the bad guy to either Miami or Cleveland.
 
Kyrie, Waiters/Wiggins, LeBron, Varajeo, Zeller?
 
Anthony Bennett would seem to be a goner along with JAck. Miles, Deng and Hawes are already gone
 

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According to Wojo, while the Heat are publicly claiming that they have upwards of $12M in cap space, apparently what they are offering to free agents is a $5.5M first year salary:
 
There had been suggestions the renegotiated contracts of James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade could leave the space for a $9 million-$10 million annual salary slot, but the figure that Miami has floated to prospective players is a first-year salary in the range of $5.5 million and hazy suggestions about sign-and-trades that would ultimately be difficult to execute, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
 
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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DeJesus Built My Hotrod said:
On the surface, the Cavs thing seems pretty legit.  I am sure Gilbert has apologized profusely by now. 
 
Apparently, the Cavs finally took Gilbert's letter off the website last night.  https://twitter.com/barryap1/status/486130910375329792
 
Only took them four years.
 

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Four years. Jesus Christ, what a joke of an organization that they left the letter up for so long. Especially considering Gilbert guaranteed a championship before Lebron ever won one. That was a prescient call.
 

TomRicardo

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So in the Decision Part 2  does Gilbert knell down and kiss LeBron's ring as the clouds that continuously surround Cleveland part to shine a single ray of light on LeBron?
 

bowiac

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That Woj tweet makes a lot of sense. It's hard to believe LeBron would go back to Cleveland given how bad that team has been.
 

DJnVa

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bowiac said:
That Woj tweet makes a lot of sense. It's hard to believe LeBron would go back to Cleveland given how bad that team has been.
 
If that's the case though, I wonder what *exactly* the agent has said to Cleveland. He does speak for LBJ, so if he's telling them to clear space and LBJ is coming back then he's creating a huge mess.
 

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I'm not understanding the "mess" angle at this stage. Seems like wish-fulfillment on the part of those who want it to be more controversial than it is. The Miami 3 opted out; they have every right o seek new deals. Just because ESPN is going 24/7 with this, it doesn't mean it's a mess.
 
Be wary of believing that media-created and fed storylines are reality
 

Blacken

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I know, right? Who'd give a max player a max contract?

He is unquestionably worth it in a league where the max is as low as it is. If Houston hadn't offered a max, someone else would have.
 

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McRoberts has committed to the Heat instead of the Hornets, according to Marc Stein:
 
 
 
https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/486223420406136832
 
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Whoa, Houston just made a mess of Miami's plans.  There's no way Bosh takes $16M/year from Miami (which sounded reasonable as recently as two hours ago) after that offer.
 

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Blacken said:
I know, right? Who'd give a max player a max contract?

He is unquestionably worth it in a league where the max is as low as it is. If Houston hadn't offered a max, someone else would have.
 
Good fit too. Howard can handle anyone in the post. Bosh can stay where he's comfortable (elbows and 3) and do PNR with Harden. If he goes there, the HOU would be up there with SAN, OKC, and LAC. Maybe better?
 

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Clears Cleaver said:
I thought Houston was a smart, sabermetric team? $96M for Bosh?!?!?
 
Three things to consider.
 
1) Bosh is not an unfair comp to KG on offense. Through their respective age-29 seasons, KG was slightly better by the numbers, but he also was the only guy carrying his team on both sides of the ball. KG was +2 RB, +2 AST, but they have the same per-36 scoring. Not saying Bosh=KG, but he's definitely worth a max deal, and will probably be a very good player at the end of the deal.
 
2) Assuming this isn't a max 35% contract, but is instead fixed at max for 2014-15 with standard 4.5% risers, it probably shouldn't be a big worry. The cap is going to grow faster than 4.5% over the next 4 years to the point that 24M isn't prohibitive.
 
3) The amount of salary pressure this puts on Miami is huge.
 
In other words, I think this is exactly what a sabermetrically-savvy team might do, especially if it plans to clear Lin's contract.
 

Blacken

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Better than LAC, maybe. OKC, possibly. SA...wanna see it first. I don't know if Bosh can really deal with that trick-or-treat, streaky gameplay that Houston showed last year.