Heat extend qualifying offer to Joel Anthony


According to Ira Winderman, the Miami Heat have extended a qualifying offer to 27-year old defensive specialist Joel Anthony. Anthony averaged 2.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 16.5 minutes per game last season. 

The Heat now have the right to match any offer given to Anthony. If Anthony does re-sign with the Heat, he would join Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers as the only players the Heat currently have under contract. 
The Heat obviously have more than a few eggs in the free-agency basket at the current moment; it’s no secret that the Heat are looking to re-sign Dwyane Wade and add two other major free agents, namely LeBron James and Chris Bosh. 
This move ties up $1.06 million of cap space for the Heat. If they re-sign Wade to a max contract and Anthony ends up signing for the $1.06 million, they would be left with approximately 26.07 million dollars of cap room. That’s a lot of money, but not enough to offer both James and Bosh max contracts. There would also be the matter of how the Heat would fill out the rest of their roster if they gave the full $26.07 million to James and Bosh. The Heat don’t lack for ambition, but they will probably need to find a sign-and-trade taker for Michael Beasley if they want their outlandish plan to work. 

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

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.