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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

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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.

Interesting video: Every LeBron James paint bucket in the 2017 playoffs

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Yes, the video is a little long, more than eight minutes. Have you watched LeBron James these playoffs?

LeBron has been the best player in the postseason and one of the reasons — along with his hitting threes and great passing — has been how often he got into the paint and scored buckets. He has taken advantages of mismatches (and there may be only one defender in the league who is not a mismatch) and attacked the rim, getting into the paint and finishing impressively.

JM Poulard, who has written for a number of good NBA blogs over the years, compiled this video and it’s interesting to watch. Both in terms of how LeBron is getting his buckets inside, and to just marvel at the greatest player of his generation.

Warriors’ co-owner Joe Lacob hopes team sees Cavaliers in Finals due to “unfinished business”

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It’s easy for him to say, Warriors’ co-owner Joe Lacob doesn’t have to set foot on the court in the next round and see LeBron James on the other side.

However, I bet a lot of Warriors’ players feel the same way.

Lacob spoke to some reporters after the Warriors swept their way into the playoffs. He suggested the Warriors would prefer a rubber match, a trilogy with the Cavaliers. Here are the comments, via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.

Honestly, I don’t really care who we play (shoots a sly grin). Ok, maybe a slight preference for Cleveland. Only because I feel we have some unfinished business from last season…

“I think (this team is better than last year’s). Honestly. I think we’re better. It’s hard not to be better when you have a guy as good as Kevin Durant on your team. We were awful good last year. The one difference is Steph was hurt, as we all know. How much we can debate. But he was not what you see out there now. Then of course we had some other issues in the Finals. With Kevin, this is a very, very good team. The opposition is going to be good in the Finals. So not taking anything for granted.”

These Warriors create new challenges for how the Cavaliers attacked them last postseason, particularly offensively because of Durant’s ability to score one-on-one. But we’ll get into a lot of that over the next eight days until the Finals begin.

Just don’t doubt the Warriors would like a little revenge.

Steve Kerr “uncertain” if he will coach in NBA Finals

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The Warriors have gone 12-0 through the playoffs, the first team to sweep the first three rounds of the playoffs since the NBA went to a best-of-7 in all three rounds (a couple Lakers teams did it when the first round was best-of-5).

That doesn’t mean they haven’t missed Steve Kerr as coach, but they haven’t needed him. Yet. Mike Brown has done the job quite well.

Will Kerr be back for the NBA Finals? He told Marc Spears of ESPN he doesn’t know.

Kerr had back surgeries two summers ago, and that caused him to miss the start of the 2015-16 season (Luke Walton ran the show). Kerr coached through pain caused by a slow leak of spinal fluid until nausea and pain became too much at the start of this postseason. Kerr has had a new procedure — one that is apparently promising, one that we hope works to end the leak — but he’s understandably cautious about jumping back in.

That said, the next round, against the Cavaliers (barring the most improbable comeback in NBA history), is when the Warriors will need Kerr’s creative mind and solutions to the challenges Cleveland presents.

He’s also got more than a week to decide since the Finals don’t start until June 1.

Manu Ginobili receives standing ovation upon exiting what may be his final game

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Manu Ginobili is a four-time NBA champion, a two-time All-NBA player,  two-time All-Star, and a Sixth Man of the Year.

He’s also the most popular Spur of his generation — walk around San Antonio, even at the peak of the Spurs runs, and you saw more Ginobili jerseys than Duncan or Parker or Robinson or anyone else. Ginobili is beloved.

When he was taken out near the end of Game 4, maybe his final game as a Spur, the fans erupted into a standing ovation (joined by Stephen Curry, who stepped away from the free throw line to let the moment happen).

Ginobili hinted during the season this would be his last, but has said repeatedly during the playoffs he didn’t know what he would do during the season. He said that again after the game, via ESPN.

“I do feel like I can still play,” Ginobili said. “But that’s not what is going to make me retire or not. It’s about how I feel — if I want to go through all that again. It felt like they wanted me to retire, like they were giving me sort of a celebration night. And of course, I’m getting closer and closer. There is no secret, for sure. It’s getting harder and harder. But I always said that I wanted to let it sink in for three weeks, four weeks, whatever, and then I will sit with my wife and see how it feels.

“Whatever I decide to do, I’ll be a happy camper. I have to choose between two wonderful, truly wonderful options. One is to keep playing in this league at this age, enjoying every day, playing the sport I still love. The other one is to stay at home, be a dad, travel more, enjoy my family. Whatever it is, it’s two unbelievable options. So there is no way I can be sad, because whatever I decide, it’s going to be great.”

 

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