Tag: Miami Heat

LeBron James, Pau Gasol

Report: NBA Finalists Heat and Spurs court Pau Gasol


Pau Gasol has plenty of potential suitors. The most-mentioned teams – Lakers, Knicks and Mavericks – just aren’t going anywhere quickly.

Maybe – maybe – Dallas could win a playoff series next year. After all, the Mavericks will still have Dirk Nowitzki. But reaching the second round is unlikely, and the Lakers and Knicks face much steeper climbs.

So, Gasol – who played in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals – must at least listen when the two participants in the 2014 NBA Finals call.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent center Pau Gasol had a telephone conversation with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Tuesday and could talk again with the franchise in the near future, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

So far, Gasol is still pushing for a $10 million-$12 million annual salary, league sources said.

The NBA champion San Antonio Spurs have inquired with Gasol’s agent Arn Tellem, expressing an interest, sources said

The Heat could use Gasol’s size, allowing Chris Bosh to play more power forward and LeBron James more small forward. But that would really alter Miami’s small-ball identity. Then again, at some point, it’s worth adding talent when you can and crafting an identity around what’s in place.

If Bosh and Dwyane Wade are willing to take as small of contracts as reported, the Heat could give Gasol his desired salary. I’m not totally convinced Bosh and Wade would go that low, but it’s at least out there.

The skilled Gasol would be an excellent fit for the Spurs, but they can offer only a three-year, $23,650,910 contract based on my projections. To do that, they would have to renounce Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes. In that scenario, San Antonio could still re-sign those players, but it would have just the room exception ($2,732,000) and minimum-salary deals to offer.

I get that Gasol wants more money, but I doubt he gets $10 million per year. Maybe the Lakers offer it. Maybe The Mavericks do. The Knicks certainly can’t, and I doubt the Heat can either.

Once Gasol explores his options, he might find San Antonio and Miami tempting destinations with decent-enough salary offers.

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.

Report: Luol Deng will not take pay cut to join Heat

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors

The question becomes, “what does Pat Riley have to spend?”

LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade agreed to a framework that gives the Heat president some money to recruit players to join them. PBT heard the Heat were talking $6 million or so when talking to Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (and that may have been less and been the mid-level exception).

That’s not going to be enough to get an All-Star quality player such as Luol Deng, one of the Heat’s top targets but one who isn’t playing at a discount, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.

The same appears true for Kyle Lowry, a Heat target where the bidding starts at four-years, $48 million and goes up from there. Marc Stein of ESPN:

With what they apparently have to spend, who are the Heat apparently looking at? How about guys such as Shawn Marion, Isaiah Thomas (who may be too expensive), Vince Carter, Marvin Williams, Trevor Ariza, DeJuan Blair, Spencer Hawes, Channing Frye, and Steve Blake.

Not exactly eye popping names. A couple of them with the current Heat core may very well be good enough to get through the Eastern Conference again. Could that team beat the Spurs? Thunder? Clippers?

There’s this kind of hanging expectation that Pat Riley is going to pull a miracle out of his back pocket, but this remains a business. If the money is close then guys start to look at how good the team is, lifestyle, weather and the rest — but only after we talk money.

And the money the big three left Pat Riley may not leave room for a miracle. Maybe some singles and doubles, but not a home run.

Union for players advises them to receive checks over 18 months instead of 12 to prepare for possible lockout


When the NBA owners have locked out the players to negotiate more favorable terms under a new collecting bargaining agreement in the past, they have typically had an unfair leverage advantage the longer those talks dragged on.

Players stopped receiving paychecks for the new season on Nov. 15 in the absence of an agreement, and since many hadn’t planned for this contingency, the personal financial squeeze was enough for them to cave to a new, less favorable deal, perhaps prematurely.

In an effort to prepare for a potential work-stoppage following the 2017 season, when both players and owners will have the right to opt out of the current deal to form a new one, the union is advising players who are free agents this summer to consider taking payments over a longer schedule when structuring their new contracts.

From Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg:

National Basketball Association free agents, including All-StarsLeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, are being advised by their union to take paychecks over 18 months instead of the usual six or 12 as a way of preparing for a possible lockout.

Owners and players can opt out of the existing labor contract after the 2016-17 season.

An 18-month payment schedule would allow a player to continue receiving paychecks through the 2017-18 season, even if games aren’t played because of a work stoppage, according to an e-mail sent to players and agents by acting union Executive Director Ron Klempner, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

“As we have learned in the past, the owners have made provisions with the TV networks to continue to receive rights fees throughout a work stoppage, and there is no reason the players should not make every effort to take the same precaution,” the e-mail said.

This is bad financial advice, obviously, because in theory one would want to receive the most money possible at the earliest possible moment, in order to maximize the opportunity to invest those funds to gain even the most modest of returns.

Kobe Bryant, for example, receives 80 percent of his annual salary in a lump sum payment at the beginning of each season.

But the reality is that there are plenty of players who struggle to properly manage their finances, and have monthly expenses that would quickly cut into any savings if those paychecks were to cease for an extended period of time. For that reason, the NBPA believes it’s making the smart move by advising its players to make sure the cash keeps coming in when (not if) the next work stoppage takes place.

Pacers produced a movie to make free agent pitch to Lance Stephenson

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Seven

The Pacers would seem to have a difficult decision regarding whether or not to bring back Lance Stephenson on a long-term deal in free agency, given his questionable behavior during the team’s playoff loss to the Miami Heat.

But really, they don’t have much of a choice.

Indiana doesn’t have any salary cap space to go out and add talent to the roster in free agency, but is able to offer Stephenson a new contract to stay. For that reason, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that they went with a somewhat over-the-top gesture to convey their interest in re-signing him.

From Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star:

>>At 12:01 a.m. this morning, Lance Stephenson and company were with the Indiana Pacers’ team brass at a private party, watching a movie in Stephenson’s honor.

>>The movie was a secret to Stephenson.

>>Parts of the movie featured a few words from Larry Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations, and coach Frank Vogel.

>>Sources say things got “emotional” for Stephenson’s loved ones at certain parts, especially when the ‘Born Ready’ life story began reflecting on his journey to climb out of Coney Island.

>>In the past, the Pacers have done things for their free agents. Last year, the Pacers did something cool for Paul George, but this is the first time for a movie. A team source said, “It gets bigger every year.”

The Pacers reportedly hope to hear something from Stephenson as early as today as far as a decision, but it’ll be interesting to see just how high they’re willing to go on a contract for the talented guard whose actions have proven to be problematic at times.

Stephenson, as you may recall, engaged in plenty of non-basketball nonsense with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals, most notably blowing in his ear and smacking him in the face during a dead ball situation. These moves were condemned by Bird and Vogel at the time, but again, as far as constructing the roster to continue to contend moving forward, they simply don’t have much of a choice but to do what they can to retain Stephenson’s services.

Stephenson may very well continue to improve as a player, but his maturity is the biggest question moving forward. Indiana could be hoping that Stephenson puts together a strong first half of the season under a new contract, which may make him valuable in trade before the midseason deadline passes. The Pacers need to do something to get better, because following a late-season slide and yet another playoff loss to the Heat, it’s clear they won’t be able to progress any further until they switch out some pieces on that roster.