Dorell Wright has evolved into the best small forward on a Miami Heat team headed to the playoffs. A team that needs to show free agent to be Dwyane Wade that they are committed to winning.
Wright is also the easiest to trade player on the roster, and moving him would bring the Heat under the luxury tax threshold. That would mean about $6.5 million– the salary, tax on that salary and the payment the league would send the Heat for being under the tax.
It’s a tough choice. But Ira Winderman thinks he has a third option.
The simplest solution might be to package Wright in a trade, and therefore create the appearance that he simply had to be included to serve the greater good. Then there would be no issue with the approach, just as there wasn’t when Caron Butler was included in the Shaquille O’Neal trade.
What about for Antwan Jamison? Reports out of Washington are that the Heat have stepped up to the plate as a suitor for Jamison, and the expiring deal of Wright could be a fit in that move.
Wright is owed what is left of his $2.7 million deal this year, then is a free agent. In the Heat’s last 10 games he has averaged 7.6 points per game with good shooting, including 41% from three.
Normally, you might say Wright is an expendable player for Miami, but these are not normal times in Miami.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.