Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

UPDATE: Dwyane Wade’s has signed two-year contract with Heat


UPDATE 4:43 pm: The Miami Heat have made it official, Wade has re-signed in Miami.

“Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago,” said Heat President Pat Riley in a released statement. “He has shown his commitment to the Heat many times over the course of his career and has always been willing to sacrifice in order to help build this team into a champion. This time is no different. I am ecstatic to have him back in the fold and I am confident that Dwyane, as always, will be leading this team as we look to contend for NBA Championships.”

“I am proud to have spent every single day of my career as a member of the Miami Heat and to have brought three championship titles to this great city,” Wade said in his statement. “I’ve been here through the good times and the hard times. I have confidence in the Miami Heat organization and the team they are building. To all the Heat fans, in Miami and around the world, I know you will continue to show support for our team.”

Wade’s deal is two seasons starting at more than $16 million per year, with a player option on the second year.

2:23 pm: Dwyane Wade made the announcement himself on Instagram, in a way to contrast it from the guy who bolted town.

Home Is Where The Heart Is… My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer

We told you Wade was close to a deal with the Heat. Multiple reports confirm the deal is now done.

The deal appears to be for two years at $15 million a year, with a player player option after the first year.

Is Dwyane Wade and his knees worth that kind of money now? In the strict “would I pay a free agent from another team that?” sense no. Wade still produces when on the court, scoring 19 points a game with a very good .588 true shooting percentage and a PER of 22. But he only played in 54 games last season as part of a “knee maintenance program” and he still was slowed by the Finals, his explosiveness gone.

But it’s not about on the court, it’s about him being the face of Heat basketball for more than a decade. It’s about loyalty. It’s about rewarding/thanking him for that service. It’s about taking care of family. For the Heat and Pat Riley, they believe that if you take care of players like this other players (and their agents) see that and want to be part of that kind of organization. It’s part of what is behind Kobe Bryant’s contract with the Lakers (although the money he still draws in there impacts that decision as well).

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

Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.