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.
Including the Dallas Mavericks, reports ESPN (hat tip to Eye on Basketball).
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.
The Chicago Bulls traded Derrick Rose to New York, in hopes that the locker room, “whose team is this?” drama would head East with him. This is Jimmy Butler‘s team, with Dwyane Wade now assisting.
But the drama isn’t gone yet.
On their way out the door, the camps around Rose and Joakim Noah tried to paint Butler as a Diva who was the real problem. When Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times asked Butler about it, he basically laughed off the idea.
“Am I a diva? I don’t call it that,’’ Butler said before Thursday’s 97-81 loss to Atlanta in their final preseason game. “My will to win rubs people the wrong way sometimes. I can blame it on that, but won’t apologize for it. Never will.
“As far as that talk goes, I don’t care. I’m going to keep working and if people don’t like it, people want to say what they want to say, that’s fine. I know, and I think these guys know, where my heart is and how I want to do right by everybody.’’
Rose and Noah thought Butler tried to jump the line to be the leader of the team, which they saw as still their right as the veterans. Butler didn’t care what they thought then, he certainly doesn’t now.
What matters more, Nicola Mirotic and Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis don’t care, and they are the guys still there.
Who will finish with the better record, Bulls or Knicks, is one of my favorite subplots of the NBA season.
The Spurs are counting on Danny Green to regain his top-flight “3&D” form this season and give them another defender and weapon when they go up against that potential juggernaut out West. And the Clippers, too.
But that comeback is getting off to a slow start, the team announced Friday.
This likely means a little more run for Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin to start the season, plus some funky lineups from Gregg Popovich.
Green played great defense last season but struggled from three (where 60 percent of his attempts are taken). Green shot 33.2 percent from deep on the season, which is well below his career average of 40.3 percent (and last year’s down numbers were buoyed by a red-hot January, he was much worse the rest of the season).
It’s something for Spurs fans to monitor, they need to get his legs right before his shot can return.
The NBA’s award season seems more wide open than ever.
Ben Simmons was going to enter the season as the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but with him out injured the door is flung open to a lot of players. Coach of the Year is always a game of “which coach exceeds expectations.” Even MVP seems more open with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — the award winners the past three seasons — teamed up in the Bay Area.
In this latest PBT Extra I throw out my predictions for the awards, but let’s get on with the games next week and see who earns them.
During the ProBasketballTalk podcast with Sixers coach Brett Brown, you could hear the frustration in his voice. He has all these talented young front line players — Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor — but he can’t begin to figure out how they all fit together if he can’t get them on the court at the same time.
That problem just got worse.
The Sixers announced that Nerlens Noel will miss time following surgery to deal with soreness in his left knee. Here is the word from the press release itself:
During the normal course of evaluation and treatment for his left adductor strain, which was identified on October 6, Noel reported localized soreness in his left knee. After consulting with multiple specialists, the source of the soreness was identified as inflamed plica. Noel has elected to address the injury via a minor surgical procedure in the coming days.
The team gives no timeline for Noel’s return. Soreness from the plica — a band of tissue around the knee that is not important following birth — happens in some players and can be fixed by an arthroscopic surgery that removes the area being irritated. While the surgery is minor, it usually takes around six weeks to bounce back from this.
That likely means a little more run for Jahlil Okafor (just coming back from an injury of his own) and Richaun Holmes. But it’s just another injury setback for a Sixers team plagued by them.
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless will not have surgery on his wrist, but will remain out and be evaluated in two weeks.