Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh

Agent for Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade says “nothing has changed” in free agency


Another day, another non-update “update” on the Miami Heat and free agency.

While rumors fly the camps of the actual players in question — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — have been very quiet. The agents have taken meetings and had some preliminary talks from teams, but they are not making commitments and have not been the sides leaking/talking. (If you hear something, assume it’s from a team and take with the appropriate grains of salt.)

For Wade and Bosh, it’s a waiting game — see how Pat Riley does restocking the team, see how LeBron reacts to it (and how they feel about it) then make their next moves. Michael Wallace of ESPN spoke to Wade/Bosh’s agent who said it is status quo right now.

The agent for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh said his clients continue to sort through their options and that “nothing’s changed” in their approach since the July 1 start of free agency….

“They appreciate what they’ve done in Miami those four years together, and they want to make sure they have a chance to have that same success the next four (years),” said Thomas, who attended Sunday’s games at the Orlando Pro Summer League. “With Dwyane, he’s been there his entire career, so he’s in a unique situation. Chris has made it known how he’s felt about being in Miami these four years.”

Wallace summed up what is going on with the Heat well.

Riley is trying to work his magic, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Williams is an interesting fit with the Heat, guy with all the physical tools and a very laid-back, passive game. If LeBron and company could light a fire under him it could be a great signing (and ease the burden on Wade), but more likely this is Michael Beasley 2.0 (with fewer off the court issues).

LeBron has all the reasons in the world to be patient. The same is true for Wade and Bosh. Pat Riley is getting a sense of who he can and can’t sign, but until he has firm financial requests from Wade and Bosh he doesn’t know specifically what he can offer. This could be the case where all of the “big three” sign just after the 10th somewhere then a host of quick moves come to grab guys happens.

Or, maybe it goes sideways.

Most people around the league still think it’s the former, but nobody is betting the rent on it.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
Leave a comment

A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

Leave a comment

With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.