Tag: Miami Heat

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12:   New York Knicks president Phil Jackson watches from the stands as his team plays the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.   The Knicks won 101-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Phil Jackson says Knicks wanted Goran Dragic at trade deadline. Because he’s such a triangle fit?


Rule No. 1 about winning in the NBA: It’s all about the talent.

Gregg Popovich is brilliant, but he’s not wearing rings without Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker and the others. Phil Jackson was the master at getting great players to buy into a team concept, but he had great players, from Michael Jordan through Kobe Bryant.

And Jackson knows if he wants to turn the Knicks around, he needs exceptional talent. Like maybe Goran Dragic — when healthy one of the better point guards in the NBA. In his conversations during the season with his old friend Charlie Rosen (now published at ESPN), Jackson talked about eyeing Dragic at the trade deadline last February.

“Goran Dragic, for one. I heard through the grapevine that he was open to coming here. We worked hard on that possibility, but the asking price was too dear. Maybe we worked on that possibility so much so that it distracted us. I mean, Dragic is every team’s current choice for a nuclear option — a guard who can penetrate and either score or kick. Guys like Chris Paul and James Harden. But, anyway, that’s not really the way I want us to play.”

As a reminder, the Jackson and the Knicks moved first, on Jan. 5, took part in a three-team trade that sent Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland. On Feb. 19 the Suns moved Dragic to the Heat in another three-team trade, which netted the Suns Danny Granger, John Salmons, and the real prize of two future first round picks (2017 and 2021). Dragic then re-signed with the Heat this summer.

But it’s the last line that is the most interesting from Jackson: “But, anyway, that’s not really the way I want us to play.” Dragic, like any traditional point guard who needs the ball in his hands, is not a fit in the triangle.

Jackson wants to validate his vision of the triangle in a new era. He wants an unselfish team where players cut and move off the ball, where the system is as big a star as the players. Like the Hawks, I guess.

But the system is only going to be as good as the players in it. What both the Bulls and Lakers for Jackson did well was put in role players who fit and bought into the system around their elite stars. Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, Pippen, etc. would have been successful regardless of the system. We can debate whether Carmelo Anthony can be one of those elite stars, but there is no debate the Knicks need more of them. Maybe Kristaps Porzingis can be, but we’re a few years from finding that out for sure. In the short term, the Knicks did a good job getting solid role players like Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez that will work in the triangle. That’s a start.

As much as changing the culture and putting in a system, Jackson knows he needs more elite players if he is going to bring a title back to NYC. Even if that means bending the triangle a little to make them work.

Jackson knows, he can talk all he wants about system and style, it comes down to talent first. Restock that cupboard and the triangle will look great again.

Report: Heat will pay Zoran Dragic’s full salary, Celtics will waive him

Philadelphia 76ers V Miami Heat

The Celtics were at the right place at the right time, getting the Heat’s 2020 second-round pick in exchange for taking Zoran Dragic and his $1,706,250 salary.

Turns out, the trade was even better for Boston than it appeared.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Essentially, the Celtics got a 2020 second-rounder for nothing. They don’t even have to pay Dragic.

There’s even a very slight chance a team claims Dragic on waivers, and Boston could use its cash from Miami as pure profit.

Dragic would have cost the Heat more than his full salary in luxury-tax payments. So, it’s worth it for them to pay a team – in money and a draft pick – to take Dragic offer their hands.

Why did the Celtics still have that cap space?

They hadn’t yet officially completed the David Lee-Gerald Wallace trade. Order of transactions matters. If they had made the Golden State trade already, the Celtics wouldn’t have had space for Dragic. The Warriors, who stand to save a lot of money, didn’t mind waiting.

But with Boston’s cap space used, that trade is now official.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired forward/center David Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace and guard/forward Chris Babb.

Babb’s contract is unguaranteed. I expect the Warriors to release him, though the Celtics could have just done that themselves. Maybe Golden State will bring him to training camp.

Heat trade Zoran Dragic, second-rounder to Celtics

Zoran Dragic, Stanley Johnson, Jared Berggren

First, the Morris twins.

Now, Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic.

It’s not a good summer for NBA-teammate brothers sticking together.

Dan Le Batard of ESPN:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

The Heat are trying to trim their roster and luxury-tax bill – already trading Shabazz Napier and trying to dump Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen.

But I thought Zoran was relatively safe. The Heat acquired him with Goran in the trade with the Suns, making the brothers seem like a package deal. Plus, Goran did the Heat a solid by agreeing to less than a max salary this summer. After giving up two first-round picks for him, I can’t imagine Miami would have let him leave in free agency just months later – even if it meant paying a max deal.

Alas, Zoran is out, making it easier for the Heat to keep their second-round pick, Josh Richardson. The shooting guard out of Tennessee is a solid defender, good athlete, improved shooter and decent playmaker. He must round into form, but there are a lot of skills to like.

The Celtics might not even keep Zoran. Boston now has 17 players with guaranteed contracts, and Zoran ranks pretty low on the value list. But eating his $1,706,250 salary is no big deal for the Celtics. Unlike Miami, they don’t have to pay a luxury tax on that money. Most importantly to them, they get a draft pick for their troubles.

Report: Orlando to acquire Shabazz Napier from Miami in trade

Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat

The guy Miami drafted in 2014 because LeBron James wanted him (Pat Riley tried to deny that), then LeBron bolted town. Napier struggled as a rookie in Miami. He averaged 5.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds a game. He was given a real chance to backup Goran Dragic after the trade deadline, but quickly fell out of favor and had appeared once in the Heat’s last dozen games before he was shut down for the season due to a sports hernia.

Now he is on his way to Orlando. The Magic are finalizing a trade to get Nappier, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic will acquire Miami Heat guard Shabazz Napier for a protected future second-round pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Include the luxury tax and the Heat save $5.8 million on this deal, plus they had 17 guarnateed contracts, so now they are only one over the max. That said, the Heat gave up two second rounders to get Napier, now get just one back in this deal.

The Magic are going to give Napier a chance as a third point guard behind Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson.

They didn’t give up anything of note for him it’s a reasonable gamble for the Magic. And if you want some hope Magic fans, watch this video of Napier in Summer League. (Second-year guys tend to do better there, but still this is a ray of hope.)

[nbcsports_video src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/kVQ4El-8DT8?rel=0 width=620 height=349

Draft, trades, free agency: How teams constructed their roster (via Bobby Marks)

150726 gs warriors

If you haven’t been following Bobby Marks this summer on Twitter… you call yourself an NBA fan? The former Brooklyn Nets front office executive has been bringing first-hand, insightful front office thoughts and knowledge to the Twitter table all through free agency. He’s now an NBA must follow.

Sunday morning he put up a series of tweets showing how every team has built its roster using three categories: Draft, trades, and free agency. (For clarification, he counts draft-day trades of rookies as part of the draft.) I thought this was too good not to pass along.

One big takeaway — the draft matters. A lot.

Sure, much of the Spurs contending roster came via free agency, but look who is in the draft column — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili. The Clippers are not where they are without drafting Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Thunder drafted Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Yes, the Cavaliers got LeBron James via free agency but does he come if they don’t draft Kyrie Irving? Maybe the most extreme example is the Pelicans, they have only one drafted player on the roster — Anthony Davis.

Fans love trades, and you can get cornerstone pieces that way (James Harden, Chris Paul, Marc Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, etc.). Free agency is exciting and sometimes big names like LeBron, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, or LaMarcus Aldridge move teams. But the draft is where most teams that have a cornerstone player got them. Winning the draft and holding on to those guys is what matters more than anything else.