Report: LeBron wants 1-2 year deal at max; Bosh five years starting at $11 million, Wade four-years starting at $12 million; agent denies


UPDATE 5:01 pm: As you might expect, the CAA agent for Bosh and Wade doesn’t like the suggestions his players would take a massive pay cut. He denies it.

Everybody is likely spinning a little here. You can be sure that Miami’s “big three” gave Pat Riley some kind of salary framework for him to have an idea what he could spend in free agency. The numbers below may or may not be exactly accurate, but if they are not close Riley is not going to have his hands free to upgrade the roster in the way LeBron (and Heat fans) want.

It also is possible that this is the lowest the Heat players go and if Riley doesn’t use all that money Bosh and Wade will soak it up.

3:40 pm: LeBron James does not want to take the pressure off Pat Riley and Miami Heat management — not this summer, not when it’s over. However, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are making the sacrifices to both give LeBron his cash and give Heat president Pat Riley room to maneuver.

We knew LeBron, Bosh and Wade presented their plans to Riley, providing a financial framework of what he would have to spend.

Now we have an idea what that is that is, thanks to John Canzano of the Oregonian.

That’s some big per-year sacrifices from Wade and Bosh, both of whom could have made $10 million more a year for the next two years (but do get more guaranteed money in the long run). Zach Lowe of Grantland said he heard flopped numbers — Wade $12 million to start, Bosh $10 million to start — but it seems in the same ballpark.

[MORE: The Top 50 free agents for summer of 2014]

If this report is accurate what does that mean for Riley? What can he spend?

He has $12,918,609 in cap room below the projected cap of $63.2 million to spend, according to PBT’s own Dan Feldman who ran the numbers.

That accounts for LeBron at his max ($20.7 million, although he may take a little less), Wade at $12 million, Bosh at $11 million, Norris Cole who is on the books already, the rookie contract for Shabazz Napier and seven minimum-salary cap holds.

Riley could use all or almost all of that to go after one big player — Kyle Lowry or Luol Deng, although neither is willing to take a discout to come to South Beach — or he could divide it up into two or three players at and try and fill a few needs with quality players. After using up that cap space Miami would still have a $2,732,000 exception, which could be useful for Udonis Haslem (it can only be a two-year deal but Haslem isn’t playing longer than that anyway). After that it is all minimum contracts.

The ball is in Pat Riley’s court — he got a healthy chunk of cap space thanks to player sacrifices. Now he has to do something with it.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Don’t expect more wins in Toronto

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After winning the Atlantic Division then getting thumped in the playoff two years running, the powers that be in Toronto decided it was time for a change.

The added DeMarre Carroll and made shifts to make this a more defensive-minded team, all because of dreams of playoff success (which for the Raptors would be making the second round). What this changeover is not going to mean is an improvement off the 49 regular season wins the Raptors had last season — they sacrificed some scoring to get this defense, and there is a trade-off.

That said, I still expect the Raptors to win the Atlantic. Maybe they make the second round of the playoffs (way too early to make that call).

How many regular season wins they get — and if they win a postseason series — for me is going to come down to if Jonas Valanciunas takes a step forward. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will be strong, Carroll is an upgrade, but the big man in the middle will be the hinge for everything.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
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The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.