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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Udonis Haslem to Miami: ‘See u next season’

"The gritty power forward told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday that he is spurning more lucrative offers to stay with the only team he has played for in a seven-year career.

Shortly after ESPN.com reported Monday that the Denver Nuggets had joined the Dallas Mavericks in the bidding with a strong offer, Haslem sent an e-mail to the Sun-Sentinel reading: "Turned down full mid level from Dallas and Denver. See u next season."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The blue-collar big is returning to The MIA.
 
After signing Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat were stretched for cap space, so getting Udonis Haslem - and at a discount - is a real positive.

Haslem loyalty is understandable: he was raised in Florida, attended the University of Florida, and has spent his entire career with the Heat.

Look for him to play next to Bosh down-low. He'll bang. He'll rebound. He'll defend. And he'll hit the odd jump shot.
 
With Haslem in the fold, glamorous South Beach has the right touch of grit.
 
-- Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No thanks Miami: Fisher expected to re-sign with LA Lakers

Derek Fisher received an offer of the veteran's minimum from the Heat over the weekend, but he is likely to re-sign with the Lakers.

Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.

 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Thanks, but no thanks.
 
This will likely be Derek Fisher's response to the star-studded Miami Heat putting the full court press on him over the weekend.
 
After all, oil slick GM and soon-to-be coach Pat Riley showered him with praise in their meeting. And LeBron James, in his first act as a member of the Heat, greeted him at the airport.
 
However, there's a problem: Miami has zero cap space. After their recent spending spree, they could only offer Fisher a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.
 
Of course, the veteran guard has a pretty nice offer in his backpocket. The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are offering a two-year, $5 million pact.
 
So why would Fisher leave the purple-and-gold and pass on a chance at three-peating? Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade aside, why would Fisher uproot his family from his home in California for less money and term?
 
Throw in Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom, and you get the sense Fisher will soon be re-upping with the Lakers.
 
Frankly, this is the way it should be, the way it should end for the 36 year old combo guard.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Jul , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Orlando will match Chicago`s offer to Redick

The Bulls have extended an offer sheet to restricted free agent J.J. Redick. A league source said "it would be painful for the Magic to match."

Yahoo! is reporting that Redick's offer sheet would be worth $19 million over three seasons.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Expect the Orlando Magic to match the Chicago Bulls’ offer to JJ Redick – no matter how cumbersome it is for their cap situation.

After all, Magic GM Otis Smith and Coach Stan Van Gundy both like Redick. They like his commitment. They like his outside range. They like his work ethic.

Ideally, Smith and Van Gundy would like to start Redick and trade the underachieving Vince Carter. And this is their opportunity.

The Magic will probably match the Bulls’ offer, while simultaneously exploring ways to move Carter. Let’s be clear: teams would only have interest in VC because he has two years left on his contract, the second year being a team option -which is the equivalent of an expiring deal.

Of course, there’s also this newfound rivalry brewing in Florida.

The Magic are probably feeling a touch threatened by the Miami Heat spending the GDP of Botswana on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Smith and Van Gundy certainly went on the offensive taking public shots at Bosh and James. So the Magic must back-up their trash talk by keeping Redick and remaining active this off-season.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ray Felton and New York Knicks close to deal

Raymond Felton and the Knicks reached an agreement in principle Friday on the broad parameters of a contract. The length of the deal has not yet been agreed upon, but Felton will earn a starting salary in the $7 million range.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the best of a not so great situation.

Sure, the New York Knicks were hoping for some combination of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and/or Dwyane Wade.

And sure, they ended up with Amar’e Stoudemire and more cap space then they wanted.

However, Raymond Felton would fit. He’s a solid, do-it-all point guard, who would gel in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun, Seven Seconds or Less system.

Best of all, he comes cheap: $7 million per year isn’t much for a starting table-setter -even in today’s point guard heavy NBA.
 
So the Knicks need to make this signing official.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, James, and Wade can leave Miami in 2014

Each player took $15 million less over the life of the contract to sign with Miami, but they have an opt out after the fourth year to all potentially become free agents in 2014.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The circus is coming back to town. And sooner than we would like.

Yesterday, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade enjoyed a welcome to Miami party. American Airlines Arena was full; thousands of fans were outside the buildings.

There was smoke, lasers, and players posing on forklifts. The Three Kings laughed, giggled, and talked of winning multiple championships in a Q and A session on stage.

One ‘tiny’ detail wasn’t mentioned: Bosh, James, and Wade`s newest contracts all contain opt-out clauses for the summer of 2014.

That’s right. The nonsense of 2010 isn’t over. In fact, it’s just getting started. Soon, we’ll be hearing the old conspiracy theories, speculation, and nonsense about July of 2014.

And you get the sense Bosh, James, and Wade wouldn’t have it any other way. How wrong this all is.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Video: Miami Heat officially welcome The Three Kings

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Not everybody is writing Caps Locked letters or burning jerseys. Some are, in fact, cheering.

Yesterday, the Miami Heat officially welcomed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh by having a little celebration in American Airlines Arena.

Below is video of the Three Kings joking and laughing in front of thousands of Heat fans.


--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Pat Riley and Derek Fisher meeting in Miami on Saturday

Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has a meeting scheduled with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday, according to a source close to the situation.

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call:  Does he join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the upstart Miami Heat or does he re-sign with Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers?

Yes, Derek Fisher has a dilemma.

However, negotiations between the veteran point guard and the Lakers are progressing because the club raised their initial offer of one-year at $2.5 million.

And Fisher, at 36 years of age, would be hesitant to uproot his young family from LA and bolt on the purple-and-gold.

Of course, Heat GM Pat Riley, also known as the walking oil slick in the front office, is on a roll with his ‘Three Kings’ line-up of Bosh, James, and Wade.

Seriously, it’s like ‘Riles’ has jumped in the Hot Tub Time Machine and turned back the clock to the mid-eighties when he was, coincidentally, the famous coach of the purple-and-gold.

So what would seem a courtesy meeting between Riley and Fisher on Saturday could easily become something more.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Jul , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The Decision is in: LeBron Will Join Bosh and Wade in Miami

LeBron James put the NBA on notice Thursday night, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Ending weeks of silence and drama, the two-time MVP said on his ESPN special from Greenwich, Conn. on Thursday night that he's decided to join the Miami Heat and leave the Cleveland Cavaliers after an unsuccessful seven-year quest for the championship he covets.

Link

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bill Simmons: Bosh, James, Wade, and Paul had ‘a pact in China to play together’

``A few weeks after the 2008 Summer Olympics, Someone Who Knows Things told me the following rumor: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Chris Paul became such good friends during the 2007 Olympic trials, and then during their 2008 Olympics excursion in Beijing, that they actually made a pact in China to play together. You know, like one of those pacts in a chick flick where two friends agree to get married if both of them are single when they turn 40.``

Link

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Mike Miller to join Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and maybe LeBron James in Miami?

The Heat have offered Mike Miller a five-year deal, worth approximately $27 million-$30 million. Miami has given Miller a deadline of Thursday night to decide. Miller has been told by the Heat that they are 'confident' LeBron James will be joining the Heat.

 
HoopsVibe's very Quick Call: Catch and shoot. That's all he'd have to do.
 
With or without James, Mike Miller would be ideal for the Miami Heat. The former Rookie of the Year would feast off the open looks he'd get playing next to a plethora of superstars. And his jumper would keep opposing defenses relatively honest.
 
Best of all, Miller - who spent years losing with the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Washington Wizards - would surely appreciate the opportunity to be on a contender.
 
-- Oly Sandor.
 
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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kleiza offer sheet latest example of Colangelo and Raptors’ flawed vision

The Raptors have signed Nuggets restricted free agent forward Linas Kleiza to a four-year, $20 million offer sheet, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Link
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, get the impression Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is desperate?

The former golden boy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will either get nothing or Mario Chalmers and a trade exception - which is pretty close to nothing - from the Miami Heat for superstar Chris Bosh.

Instead of regrouping and developing a cohesive plan, instead of laying out a clear vision going forward for the Raptors, Colangelo is doing the opposite. He’s reacting.

Case in point: today’s news the organization is tendering a pretty fair contract to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza, a skilled Euro’ scorer, who believes he is above getting down-and-dirty on defense.

Haven’t the Raptors seen this song and dance before? Don’t they already have a couple of finesse swings who believe getting-stops is for the hired help?

So what’s Colangelo thinking? Simply put, he's not.

For years, there’s been a serious disconnect between the style the Raptors want to play and the skill-set their players have. And this is the two-time Executive of the Year’s fault.

For instance, the club has talked publicly of wanting to be a get-stops, defensive-minded club. This was Sam Mitchell’s mandate. Ditto for Jay Triano.

However, Colangelo too often drafts, signs, or trades for soft foreigners, who simply can’t get it done in their own end. His go-to is the skilled Euro from a tiny, unpronounceable republic across the Atlantic Ocean.

Last year, the club started Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu. All are skilled Europeans. All are below average defenders.

Kleiza is a nice player, but more of the same for Toronto, which is a problem.

It’s time for Colangelo to start thinking clearly. Or it’s time for him to follow Bosh out the door.   
 
--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: LeBron to join Wade and Bosh in Miami

LeBron James has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, according to multiple sources that spoke with Newsday.

"Multiple sources are telling Newsday that LeBron James has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami," wrote Hahn on his original Tweet, posted shortly after midnight Eastern. "The new Big Three is here."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If true, it would instantly change the balance of power and landscape in both the Eastern Conference and NBA.

Together, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade have the talent to dominate the league for years to come, and challenge the two-time champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Some kinks would need to be ironed out, though.

For instance, some have questions about James and Wade, who both dominate the ball, playing with each other.

The Heat would be tight on cap space and hard pressed to add key role players that are necessary to winning a championship.

Then there’s the little matter of the coach. Does Erik Spoelstra stay? Or does Hall of Fame bench-boss Pat Riley once again swap the executive suite for the sideline?
 
Even with these issues, Bosh, Wade, and (possibly) James would make Miami the early favourite in 2011.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chicago signs Carlos Boozer to five-year, $80 million deal

Carlos Boozer has agreed to sign with the Chicago Bulls for a contract worth approximately $80 million over five years.

Boozer returns to the Central Division, where he began his NBA career with the Cavaliers.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In a normal off-season, signing Carlos Boozer would be reason to celebrate.

However, this is ‘The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010’, and the Chicago Bulls were hoping for some combination of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

What they got is a slightly undersized power forward in Boozer, capable of drawing double-teams down low and creating space for their perimeter players.

While Chicago fans are disappointed, a Boozer, Noah, and Rose trio is well on its way to challenging the top Eastern Conference teams.

There’s still the possibly of adding a tier two free agent. Taj Gibson is rapidly developing. If healthy, Luol Deng would be a nice blending piece.

So The Windy City has no choice but to forget Bosh, James, and Wade. Fortunately, they still did okay with Boozer.

--Oly Sandor.
    
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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Durant signs extension with Thunder, shames Bosh, James, Stoudemire, and Wade with his class

Kevin Durant has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Thunder, according to his official Twitter page. The terms of the deal are unclear, but the Thunder`s star can`t sign the deal until Thursday when the NBA`s moratorium is lifted.

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: There was no celebrity pitch. There was no rock star tour. There was no discussion of filming a documentary. And there were no demands for a superstar teammate.

Once again, the Oklahoma City Thunder and their superstar Kevin Durant hit exactly the right note, quietly agreeing to terms Wednesday on what will surely be a maximum extension.

While Durant broke the news on twitter, he was, as usual, gracious, honest, and appreciative.

Kevin Durant: Exstension for 5 more years wit the #thunder.... God Is Great, me and my family came a long way...I love yall man forreal, this a blessing!


How novel?

An NBA superstar actually acknowledging he’s blessed, and not treating the negotiating process like an opportunity to manipulate fans.

To be fair, the three-man was not an unrestricted free agent, so he had significantly less leverage than the big names in this year’s free agent class.

Still, at 21, Durant may be the youngest of the NBA’s elite; however, the maturity with which he handled the process is something the current crop of greats - like Chris Bosh – can learn from.

If the small market Thunder can keep his supporting cast together, they should be rewarded with playoff success.

Let’s hope so. Right now, Durant is hard not to cheer for.

--O.Sandor

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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Surprise, Surprise: Bosh and Wade reportedly pick Miami over Chicago

Wade and Bosh are expected to announce their decision on Wednesday, according to the source, and continue to lobby James, along with Heat president Pat Riley, to join them in Miami, despite the financial complexities involved for the Heat to make room for all three.

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: I know it. You know it. Most importantly, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade know it, too.

LeBron James probably isn’t leaving his home of Cleveland, Ohio to join the NBA’s newest dynamic duo, Bosh and Wade, in Miami.

Simply put, James is The King. While he’s a rule-by-consensus, constitutional monarchy type of king, he still has to be the undisputed first option.

He’s the lead dog. He’s the Alpha Male. And he’s the Michael Jackson of whatever group he`s in -minus the white glove, interviews with Martin Banshear, and threats of dropping a child over the balcony.

It’s always been this way. Always will be, too. So James probably won`t ink a deal with the Heat, where he would have to share the rock with another ball dominating guard in Wade.

Bosh and Wade knew this, but still, reportedly, signed in Miami. Now they must win with a limited supporting cast, which isn`t easy in a competitive Eastern Conference.

Instead of gambling on James, they should have, perhaps, hedged their bets and signed with the Chicago Bulls.

After all, young Derrick Rose is one of the NBA’s best point guards, while Joakim Noah is a nasty, blue-collar post. And Taj Gibson had a promising rookie campaign.

Best of all, the parts –unlike a Miami team with or without James – would fit together. So why didn`t Bosh and Wade give greater consideration to The Windy City?

And it may be a decision they regret.

-- Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh considering sign-and-trade to join Cleveland and LeBron James?

Everything is set for Chris Bosh to join LeBron James in Cleveland. Everything, that is, except Bosh's approval.

The Toronto Raptors have told the Cleveland Cavaliers they will do a sign-and-trade with them for Bosh, according to several league sources.

The exact details of the potential trade have not been solidified, but Toronto likely would get Anderson Varejao and or J.J. Hickson, Delonte West, and perhaps Anthony Parker. A draft pick could be involved as well.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’d get LeBron James. He’d get a maximum contract - six-years, $127 million. And he’d also get the city of Cleveland, which is the problem.

Chris Bosh wants to partner with James and score the most lucrative contract available in free agency; however, he was hoping to achieve both with the either Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, or Miami Heat -and not the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bosh would apparently prefer a larger market than Cleveland to maximize marketing opportunities. And this is why he hasn`t green-lighted the agreed upon sign-and-trade between the Raptors and Cavaliers.

However, Bosh`s concerns are puzzling because CB4 and The King would form a dynamic duo, capable of attracting both national and international attention.

Meanwhile, Toronto should be sure Anderson Varejao is part of any deal. Forget his affinity for flopping, the Brazilian ‘big’ would instantly improve the Raptors` defense and allow Andrea Bargnani to play his natural position, the four-spot.

This deal is still a go. All that’s left is Bosh’s approval. Of course, there`s also the little matter of James officially re-signing with Cleveland.

- O.Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Yes, Dwyane Wade’s interest in Chicago Bulls is real, very real

Adrian Wojnarowski: ``Source briefed on meeting with Bulls Friday tells Y! that Dwyane Wade`s interest in Chicago is for real``.

(Yahoo Sports, Twitter)

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Of course, his `interest is for real`.

Dwyane Wade grew up in Chicago. The Windy City has a certain hometown appeal for the athletic two-guard.

The Bulls` supporting cast also gives them an edge on every other suitor. After all, Derrick Rose is a superstar point guard, capable of creating for others and getting his own shot, while Joakim Noah is a physical, blue-collar post.

Keep in mind Chicago can offer Wade and another superstar a maximum contract, so the 2006 NBA Finals MVP will have help in the form of Chris Bosh or maybe even LeBron James.

When conisdering all the angles, it`s easy to see why Wade`s `interest is for real`.

-- Oly Sandor. 

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Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Bosh to Houston for Ariza, Battier, and Scola?

The Houston Rockets would like to snag one of the top free-agent power forwards, such as Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire, but it would have to do a sign-and-trade deal in order to get under the salary cap.

Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears has learned from his league sources that the Rockets are offering Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier, and free agent Luis Scola to other teams in hopes of getting such a deal done.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It may be the only way the Toronto Raptors salvage a bad situation.

After seven years with the Raptors, Chris Bosh is leaving the organization. He's tapped the mat twice and is out. CB4 and The Big Smoke are no more.

Just one question remains: will Bosh ink a new contract with Toronto as part of a sign-and-trade or will he - and he alone - pick his new home?

The answer is significant for both player and team.

If Bosh and Toronto can arrange a sign-and-trade, he could add an extra year and $30 million onto his contract, while the Raptors could get back compensation.

However, if Bosh selects and signs with his next team, he would have to take a shorter term for less money, while the Raptors would get no compensation.

And Houston has the best legitimate sign-and-trade offer. Consider that this trio of Rockets would instantly transform the Raptors into a more defensive and balanced squad.

Ariza and Battier are first-class stoppers. And Scola is a gritty and skilled international star who would love a multi-cultural city like Toronto -without falling prey to the nightlife like last summer's big ticket signing. 

Of course, the choice is Bosh's. But Toronto must convince him to do a sign-and-trade. After all, getting Ariza, Battier and Scola would be far better than getting nothing.

-- O.Sandor

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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Light the Victory Cigar: Darko Milicic re-signs for $20 million with Minnesota Timberwolves

Darko Milicic has agreed to a four-year, $20M deal with Minnesota.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No surprise here.
 
Reports had the Minnesota Timberwolves trying to re-sign Darko Milicic because he impressed during his 24 game audition with the club last year.
 
And those same reports had the left-handed Serbian staying in 'Sota because he felt he'd finally get regular minutes.
 
The real story is what happens next.
 
With Milicic returning, the Wolves can try to move Al Jefferson and his $40 million long-term contract. There's no rush, though. Milicic's salary is reasonable, so the club could platoon him with Jefferson and youngster Kevin Love.
 
Hopefully, Milicic - a well traveled and infamous second overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft ahead of superstars Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh - finally gets his opportunity.
 
-- O.Sandor     
     
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