This summer LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out in Miami and the smart money says they all will, looking to get longer deals. Odds also are very good LeBron doesn’t go anywhere — look at the teams going after him, you think he wants to go to the mess in Cleveland or get second billing to Kobe’s farewell tour? — and Dwyane Wade is going to play for Miami his entire career. Whatever condition his knees are in.
Bosh on the other hand…
I’d say better than 50/50 he stays too. Miami is not going to do better (we’ll get into that in a bit) and they want him back, the question will be price. Other teams are going to target him, too.
The Dallas Mavericks will have cap space and some star power but league executives expect them to target another Heat free agent, Dallas native Bosh.
Going to play at home might well be a pull for Bosh, but it wasn’t in 2010. So would the thought that in a couple years Dirk Nowitzki will retire and the Mavericks would become Bosh’s franchise to lead.
But Bosh and Nowitzki — to stretch bigs who like to play outside the paint — would be an odd and awkward pairing. It doesn’t strike me as a good defensive pairing. Frankly it doesn’t strike me as something Mark Cuban would go hard after.
But it’s out there being discussed.
In the end I think Miami ponies up to keep Bosh. Tell me where Miami is going to get a better elite power forward who can stretch the floor for the max $10 million they could spend on another free agent (and that’s how much they have only if they let Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and other role players walk). For all the holes we can pick in the Heat roster, they are the two time defending champs and will remain contenders for as long as that “big three” are healthy and LeBron is near his peak.
But it’s something to watch, Dallas may have Bosh in their sights.
LeBron James says he doesn’t see Cavaliers-Warriors as rivalry
“We don’t look at it as a rival,” James said. “They’re a great team. They’ve been the best team the last couple years, last three years.”
“It’s just the next game, it’s Golden State,” James said. “They’re a helluva team, like I said the best team in the league and they’ve been that way the last three years, four years, however long it’s been, I’m not quite sure. But, listen, you guys know, we don’t put all our eggs in one basket for one game.”
LeBron just doesn’t want the Cavs to become comfortable. They’ve beat Golden State in four straight games – the last three of the 2016 Finals and on Christmas – and could extend the streak to five today. Beating a rival that frequently is a cause for celebration, and celebration leads to contentment. LeBron would rather keep Cleveland focused and hungry. Hence, saying the Warriors aren’t a rival.
Andre Drummond hits 3-pointer from inside Pistons’ own 3-point arc (video)
But Booker’s last four – which put Phoenix up for good – came directly after incorrect calls, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
First, Booker drew a (legitimate) foul on Pau Gasol with 1:08 left and made both free throws. The problem: One second before that, Suns center Tyson Chandler should have been called for offensively fouling Tony Parker, according to the league:
Chandler (PHX) sets the screen on Parker (SAS) and makes leg to leg contact that affects his ability to defend the play.
That would’ve ended Phoenix’s possession rather than allowing Booker to get to the line.
The other missed call in the two-minute report is trickier, because it directly benefitted the Spurs but indirectly benefitted the Suns.
Manu Ginobili got away with travelling with 59.1 seconds left, according to the league:
Ginobili (SAS) moves his pivot foot.
But he coughed up the ball moments later anyway, and – thrilled to gain possession with a live-ball turnover rather than a dead-ball turnover – Booker turned the miscue into a fastbreak dunk.
Rather than debate how to evaluate San Antonio getting away with a travel and it ultimately helping Phoenix more, let’s stick to just the uncalled Chandler offensive foul. That netted the Suns two points. Their lead when the Spurs began intentionally fouling? One.
Russell Westbrook puts up 20th triple-double of season, lifts Thunder past Kings (VIDEO)
Through 41 games — half the season — Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists a game. Those numbers are insane, particularly considering his 42 percent usage rate. He has to put up numbers and do so fairly efficiently or the Thunder stand no chance of winning — and he has the Thunder on pace for 48 wins this season.
The Thunder picked up another of those wins Sunday night knocking off the Sacramento Kings behind Westbrook’s 20th triple-double in 41 games — 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. The video highlights are above.
It’s going to be fun watching him and James Harden go back-and-forth in the MVP race for the next few months.