Kurt Helin

PBT Extra: More than money, Dwyane Wade chased respect to Chicago

13 Comments

Dwyane Wade is the greatest player in Miami Heat history.

But that wasn’t enough to keep him. It wasn’t just money, it was what the money represented — respect. Wade felt he had sacrificed for the Heat and wanted to be paid back. Instead, they offered him less and less (reportedly a one-year, $10 million offer was the first one on the table from Miami). So Wade is headed to his hometown of Chicago. I talk about it in our latest PBT Extra.

Also, I’d still rather be the Miami Heat going forward.

PBT Extra: Kevin Durant’s move to Warriors puts pressure on him to win

1 Comment

With his move to Golden State, Kevin Durant heard it all — he’s taken the easy way out, he’s weak for not leading his own team and joining forces, even people calling him a coward.

Durant did not take the easy way out — he put more pressure on himself.

Aside the fact championship are never given away or easy (ask the Steve Nash/Kobe Bryant/Dwight Howard Lakers superteam), Durant goes to a team that has already won a ring — if the Warriors don’t win it all next season, KD will take the blame. Not Stephen Curry. This is a very different roster than the failed Lakers or other big teams — this should be the best shooting team ever — but that doesn’t take the pressure off him.

I talk about all of it — and the plight of the Warriors — in this latest PBT Extra.

Report: Nets formally sign Tyler Johnson to $50 million offer sheet, Heat have three days to match

Getty Images
5 Comments

After losing Dwyane Wade to Chicago, it seems likely the Heat will match this offer sheet. But now they have to make the call.

As has been expected, the Brooklyn Nets signed Tyler Johnson to a four-year, $50 million offer sheet just after the NBA’s signing moratorium ended at midnight, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Heat have three days to match the terms of the sheet to retain him – or lose him to the Nets.

The deal includes $18 million-plus and $19 million, plus “poison pill” provisions in years three and four of the deal designed to severely puncture the Heat’s salary cap and dissuade president Pat Riley from retaining Johnson.

The details of the “Gilbert Arenas rule” deal are this (he can only get the mid-level for a couple years):

Yr. 1: $5,628,000
Yr. 2: $5,881,260
Yr. 3: $18,858,765
Yr. 4: $19,631,975

If Miami matches, its salary cap hit would be the numbers above. For Brooklyn, the cap hit would be $12.5 for each of the four years of the deal.

This was a smart gamble by the Nets, a risk worth taking.

Johnson showed real promise for Miami in his first two seasons, part of a young core with Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson that is now both the present and the future for the Heat. Johnson is very athletic — he has serious hops — and is a combo scoring guard whose shot is improving. He’s a pesky defender. There’s a lot to like; Miami just would have preferred to have him for a little less money than they will need to pay now.

But expect them to pay it.

Clippers’ C.J. Wilcox suffers broken hand, to have surgery

Leave a comment

C.J. Wilcox has played just 268 NBA minutes across two NBA seasons — not because Doc Rivers doesn’t like him, but a combination of injuries (shoulder right after his draft) and the Clippers having some guards that soak up a lot of minutes just didn’t let him get on the court.

This isn’t going to help. From Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:

This will limit him in the summer; it is not known yet if he will be ready by the start of training camp.

Wilcox is entering his third NBA season and needs to show what he can do — he shot 39.1 percent from three last season but just 39.5 percent from two — if he is going to stick in the league long term. He has looked pretty good in the D-League, but he needs to prove he can do that at the next level this season.

Brandon Rush leaves Warriors, reaches one-year deal with Timberwolves

Associated Press
6 Comments

Brandon Rush bounced back to give the Warriors some needed point guard depth last season. Finally seeming healthy after knee surgery three years before, his play got Klay Thompson some rest, and Rush shot an efficient 56 percent true shooting percentage (above the league average). He was a key part of the Warriors rotation (even starting 25 games).

Now he’s about to be the fourth guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, something confirmed by his agent.

This is a good get for the Timberwolves. Rush can be a solid fourth guard, playing off the bench behind Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio, pairing with Tyus Jones and sharing playmaking responsibilities. Plus he brings the veteran presence of a guy who has battled back from injury to win a ring.

I’m a little surprised the Warriors didn’t overpay a little to keep him, even if it was to be as trade fodder later. The Timberwolves will take it.