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Sunday , Jun , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Tyson Chandler seriously opting-out?

We knew a few veteran players with big contracts and opt-out clauses would be entering free agency this July in order to avoid relying on the power of the union in its collective bargaining negotiations over the next year. Despite that, a few opt-out declarations have come as surprises.

Count Bobcats center Tyson Chandler among them. Chandler, a 27-year-old scheduled to make $12.6 million next season, is strongly considering opting out of his deal, reports ESPN's Chad Ford.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Only a tier-one, creme de la creme player should opt-out, leave eight-figures on the table, and become a free agent.

Translation: unless you're Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, or LeBron James, stay put. Average players - sorry, but that's you Chandler - should enjoy the obscene contract they signed when times were good in the NBA because the free agent landscape has changed.

For the most part, free agency now favors the buyer. Teams dictate money. Teams dictate term. And average players no longer command obscene, Enron-inflated contracts. 

Chandler, an injury-prone center, won't get the money or a security he covets in free agency. His best option: not opting out and staying another year in Charlotte.

Should Chandler opt-out or stay with the Bobcats? 

 

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Sunday , Jun , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ray Allen to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami?

So why stop there?

The latest buzz has Ray Allen looking to bolt the Celtics when he becomes free on July 1 to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ray-Ray in The MIA makes sense.

The 2010 playoff showed The Big Three is no more for the Boston Celtics. Instead of relying specifically on Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, the green-and-white is succeeding with a team-first approach.

Everyone has contributed. In fact, Allen, Garnett, and Pierce have - at one time or another - struggled during the club's second-season run.

Perhaps, Boston GM Danny Ainge lets his veteran sharpshooter leave via free agency and signs/trades for a younger two-guard. Remember, Ainge allegedly shopped Allen at the trade deadline, trying to swap his expiring contract for scorer Kevin Martin. 

Miami would be heaven for Allen. He'd get open looks galore with opposing defenses doubling Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -if he signs with the Heat.  Wade, Bosh, and Allen would together vault Miami to the top of the Eastern Conference.

One thing is certain: The Big Three is on their last legs in Boston.   

Got thoughts on Ray Allen in Miami?

       

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Wednesday , Jun , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New Jersey Nets get ‘credible’ with Coach Avery Johnson

The New Jersey Nets and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson have reached a verbal agreement to hire Johnson as the Nets' new coach.

Johnson is expected to be introduced on Thursday, said a person who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the deal.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For a coach, credibility is everything.

Most NBA players earn more money than their coach. And player contracts are usually guaranteed for several years, while the typical coach's contract has a far shorter term.

So, players, especially stars, hold leverage over the man who, in theory, is their boss. With such a dysfunctional arrangement, players won't follow a coach they don't respect or believe in.

Fortunately, for the New Jersey Nets, Johnson has credibility to burn. He holds the all time best winning percentage for a sideline boss and led the Dallas Mavericks to the sixth game of the 2006 NBA Finals. 

The current ESPN analyst will have the attention of the Nets' young core mostly because of his run with the San Antonio Spurs. Johnson may have been a role player, but The Little General's enthusiasm and leadership was key to the Spurs winning two NBA Titles.

Of course, this will be attractive to the summer's free agent class. Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade know of - and appreciate - Johnson's championship pedigree. So do second tier free agents like Carlos Boozer and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Expect the Nets to improve in 2010. And Johnson's credibility will be a big part of the turnaround.  

Is Johnson the right hire for New Jersey?

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Wednesday , Jun , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat considering Bosh, Boozer, Stoudemire, and then Williams?

I think that could be more of an after-the-fact type of trade, once the Heat and Cavaliers are done with free agency. If LeBron leaves Cleveland and doesn’t come to Miami, then perhaps there could be something to Beasley-for-Mo. But I can’t see the Heat, or any space team, making a play for before playing the free-agent market.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll go big. Then small.

The Miami Heat will first try to pair superstar Dwyane Wade with a co-star in the post. Options include free agents Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Bosh, for many reasons, would work best. He's bigger than Boozer and unlike Stoudemire plays defense. Also, CB4 has a relationship with Wade through their agent, Henry Thomas, and TEAM USA.

After years in Toronto, Bosh is hungry. He'd gladly defer to Wade -if it meant competing for a championship.

Once the Heat has their inside-outside combo settled, they'll look to upgrade supporting pieces. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have made it known Mo Williams is available.

Williams might be a fit. His smooth stroke would punish opposing defenses when they doubled-up on Wade and/or Bosh. Best of all, the combo point guard will have a giant chip on his shoulder after being effectively blamed for the Cavaliers' playoff failures.

One thing is certain: Miami has plans for the off-season. And it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

What should the Heat do this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.   

 

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Monday , Jun , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant on LeBron James’ free agency: ‘I don’t give a bleep’

 

"You're asking me if LeBron is going to New York?" Bryant told The Post. "I'm trying to tell you in a polite way, I don't give a [bleep].

"As a fan, it's a big deal," Kobe added. "You're talking about LeBron and Dwyane Wade, it's two huge names changing cities. It alters things drastically in the NBA. But I really don't care about it."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant has often been accused of misreading public opinion. This time, however, his opinion is bang on.
 
The LeBron James free agency sweepstakes are out of control and in overkill mode, forcing fans, media, teams, and even the player in question to act in an irrational and bizarre manner. 
 
Hopefully, LeBron signs soon after the July 1st market opens and the basketball world can get back to basketball. More and more, the public is starting to feel like Bryant. 
 
Do you still give a bleep about LeBron's future? Why? Why not?
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Sunday , Jun , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Nike attend the free agent summit?

There are all kinds of people in that conversation. LeBron James has said he is the ringleader. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson ... it's a who's who of this year's free agent class. In terms of having a lot at stake, those players are at the top of the list with the owners, staffs and fans of the various teams.

But there is another interested party no one has mentioned: Nike, and its affiliated Jordan brand.

That is a giant corporation with a lot of branding tied up in basketball, and specifically the footwear of the best basketball players in the world, including James, Bosh, Wade and Johnson as well as Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki and dozens more who could change teams this year. Where they all end up will not just determine the fortunes of various NBA teams, but also the abilities of those players to inspire fans to buy shoes.

Link to article by Henry Abbott on ESPN Truehoop

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: While furthering The Swoosh may not be priority one, it will be a major priority.

Players like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade view themselves as brands and value their lucrative relationships with Nike.

These players have people whose job is to figure out the impact playing for a certain team will have on sponsors. For instance, fact or fiction, much has been speculated about Nike wanting James in the world’s largest media market, New York City.

Clearly, The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 is about the business of basketball, and not so much the game of basketball. 

Got thoughts on Nike’s role in the free agent summit?

 

The Michael Jordan Shadow is more epic than anyone’s existence.
Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 J.N.

The Michael Jordan Shadow is more epic than anyone’s existence.

Michael Jordan officially retired back in 1998. The Washington Wizards comeback does not count because there was a ghost in the shell controlling his aging body during the time. With the nth epic battle between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals and the mega 2010 Free Agent class signings shortly thereafter, one has to wonder how the MJ shadow became grand and legendary. It’s just frightening how massive this shadow has grown in the shape of a Jump Man.

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Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Brian Cardinal, Darko Milicic, and Adam Morrison to join Free Agent Summit

Last week, Wade told the Chicago Tribune that he planned to talk with fellow free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson before making a decision on where he would sign this summer. A source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Bosh also would be part of those talks, and Amar'e Stoudemire, who is likely to opt out of the final year of his current contract with the Phoenix Suns, told AOL Fanhouse that he planned to be part of those talks, too.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call:  Rumor has it journeyman Brian Cardinal wants in. Darko Milicic also plans on attending. And Adam Morrison, the dude permanently attached to the Los Angeles Lakers' bench, may also show - if the purple-and-gold don't offer the restricted free agent a one year deal for the minimum before free agency hits.

Seriously.

Jokes aside, this summit, or whatever it's called, is getting bizarre. Sure, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, and Mother Teresa can meet and discuss their future or anything else they like. 

However, James and Wade are wasting their incredible leverage. As the game's best players, they should pick where they want to play, who they want to play with, who they want to play for, and then make the team they selected meet their demands.

Nothing else should be considered. After all, this is pro sports, not friends running together on the playground.

James and Wade have supposedly waited years for this summer. Instead of wasting time and energy consulting others, they should figure out exactly what they want and get it. 

What do you think of the free agent summit? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Thursday , May , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The Ulitmate ‘Sitdown’ Meeting: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade has a big decision to make on where he'll sign this offseason. And before he makes his choice, he said he'll talk it over with fellow big-ticket free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson.

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HoopsVibe's Call: It was reported to be the sitdown of all sitdowns. Like the five families of New York meeting in the 1960's to split up their various interests. Yet, nobody knew if The Dons of the 2010 free agent class were really going to meet before deciding where to sign.

Until now.      

Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade will connect, chat, pick their destinations, and, ultimately, decide the landscape of the NBA for years to come. 

This foursome will discuss how to to partner-up and avoid undercutting each other on the open market. Look for Bosh and Wade to possibly sign as a package because they share the same agent, power-player Henry Thomas.

Of course, anything and everything can happen, so we'll just have to wait until July 1st. 

What do you think of Bosh, James, Johnson, and Wade's sitdown? Get at us in the comment box below.

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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Bosh, James, or Wade shouldn’t get to pick Clippers’ next coach?

Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?

Link

HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.

Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.

Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.

Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.

Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.     

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Friday , May , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The ‘Twitter’ break-up: Chris Bosh and Toronto Raptors discussing sign-and-trades

"Chris Bosh's agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he's narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.

The list of five teams -- Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks, sources said -- were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn't re-sign with Toronto)."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Call: Chris Bosh will not come back to the Toronto Raptors. And the NBA's sole international team shouldn't want him to come back.
 
Bosh claims to be about winning and this summer is his chance, his sole opportunity to partner with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and win a championship. After all, The Big Three, Bosh, James, and Wade, have already admitted they'll hatch out a plan over a sitdown dinner before the July 1st deadline.
 
How can Toronto compete? Frankly, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu can't.
 
Perhaps, the Raptors would prefer to cut ties with Bosh.
 
Fair or not, the team never had much success with the lefthanded post as the franchise piece. And Toronto management must have been disappointed when Bosh recently tweeted fans asking their opinion on whether to re-sign with the Raptors or leave the only pro team he's ever played for.
 
While this wasn't exactly Gilbert Arenas flipping a coin to decide between signing with the Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards in 2003, it does show a lack of professionalism. 
 
For years, Toronto has been paying Bosh max' money to lead. But max' money players don't embarrass themselves and their team by discussing their future on twitter like a second rate reality television star.
 
Toronto and Bosh should agree to part ways and focus on a sign-and-trade. This would be best for all involved, especially if it doesn't involve twitter. 

Got thoughts on Bosh's future? Get at us in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , May , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Washington Wizards interested in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, or Chris Bosh?

There are a handful of teams with the cap space to sign a major free agent. You know the names. New York, Chicago, New Jersey, etc. ... The Wizards have a ton of space under the cap, too, but are seldom mentioned as possible destinations for the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh.

Why is that?

"Because," says Grunfeld, "I don't talk to the media that much."

Does a top overall pick put the Wizards in the free agent conversation?

Grunfeld is coy. "We will see," he says. "The No. 1 pick is a good start. We'll see how free agency goes.

Link to Truehoop

HoopsVibe's Call: John Wall isn't enough.

While talented and athletic, the first overall pick in the NBA draft isn't nearly enough for the Washington Wizards to land an unrestricted free agent like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh.

After all, the Wizards are years from contending. And James, Wade, and Bosh want to win now. They'll have little time, patience, or interest in a rebuilding project -unless it's in Madison Square Garden or across the river in New Jersey.

With considerable cap space, Washington could consider a second tier free agent, specifically at the four or five spots (sorry, HoopsVibe News isn't fond of the talented, but troubled Andray Blatche).

If Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire isn't a fit, they can always preserve their financial flexibility and patiently acquire both young and veteran pieces to support Wall.

This, however, would make too much sense for the Wizards, an organization with a track record for hasty and poor decisions.  

Does Washington have a shot at James, Bosh, or Wade? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts?

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Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joe Johnson Expresses Interest in Miami Heat

But amid his struggles during the series, Johnson said he would take a look at all of his options this summer, including partnering with Wade.

Not only did Johnson say he wouldn't mind shifting to a secondary role on a team with an established superstar, he also would change positions.

``That's a great situation -- you have to look at it,'' Johnson told The Miami Herald while discussing his options. ``I'm not saying I'll go play with him or him. But being a free agent, you pay attention to everybody's salary cap, what everybody can do.''

No team is set up to in better position for bolder moves than Miami, the only team in the league with an elite player in tow and the flexibility to add as many as two marquee free agents to max contracts.

With plans to re-sign Wade and with at least $25 million in salary-cap space, Miami vows to be aggressive when free agency opens July 1.

``Most of the players in this league know what Miami is about,'' Heat president Pat Riley said.
 
Judge Orders Siohvaughn Wade to Jail
Monday , May , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Judge Orders Siohvaughn Wade to Jail

Bad went to worse for Siohvaughn Wade when Dwyane started seeing Gabrielle Union, and today things just got even worserer. After failing to show in court this morning for the ongoing custody case between her and estranged husband Dwyane, Judge Marya Nega gave her until the afternoon to either appear or face time in jail. Guess what: She never materialized. When the deadline came and went and she remained a no-show, the judge followed through on her threat and ordered the Cook County Sheriff's Department to take Siohvaughn Wade into custody.

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Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

John Calipari Eyeing up Chicago Bulls Job

John Calipari is intrigued with the Chicago Bulls’ coaching job and would be willing to listen to a pitch from management, NBA and NCAA sources told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

Sources say the combination of roster talent, tradition and market make Chicago one of the few NBA jobs that could pry Calipari out of Kentucky. The Bulls have been hesitant to pay the $4 million-$5 million annual packages it would take to lure high-profile coaches like Calipari.

Calipari coached Derrick Rose at Memphis. He is also close with Cleveland’s LeBron James, and shares representation with two of the Bulls’ top free-agent targets – Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Toronto’s Chris Bosh.
 
Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union Shoot Down Estranged Wife’s Foreplay Accusation
Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union Shoot Down Estranged Wife’s Foreplay Accusation

The saga continues for Dwyane Wade and estranged wife Siohvaughn Wade (née Funches). After a horribly messy divorce which involved accusations that Dwyane gave his former lady an STD and that his children no longer recognized him, it looked as if things were finally quieting down.  Not so, evidently.  After settling into a new relationship with model/actress Gabrielle Union (who took the third spot on our list of the NBA's 25 Hottest Wives and Girlfriends), things were looking up for Wade's personal life.

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Riley to Return to the Bench
Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Riley to Return to the Bench

Pat Riley is returning to coach the Miami Heat as they attempt to regain their status as one of the Eastern Conference's elite franchises.

OK, not officially. Or even reportedly. But we all know this is coming, right? Current Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is probably packing up his office as we speak because he knows the writing is on the wall. He's seen Riley pull this stunt before and the current situation reeks of familiarity and deceit and frontrunning. And hair gel. 

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Monday , Apr , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Zo, Paul Pierce: Dwyane Wade Is Staying in Miami

"Follow your heart, man," said Alonzo Mourning, longtime center for the Heat. "I know that his heart is here. Follow your heart, and everything else will take care of itself. You can just trust that [president] Pat Riley and [owner] Micky Arison because of the position we are in and the flexibility we have. I think we have the most attractive situation for a free agent. You got to trust and know that Pat is not going to sit around and wait. He's going to build a contender here. I think [Wade] knows that."
 
[...]
 
Paul Pierce, Boston's captain, has spent his entire career with one franchise, like Wade, and doesn't see him going anywhere else.

"He understands what he has here," Pierce said.

"It is tough to leave a place where you won a championship, where it all started for you. I think he really values that. He's definitely made this his home. It's going to be tough for him to leave. Even though he is carrying the team night in and night out and doesn't have the supporting cast anymore to be a contender, it's really going to be tough for him to leave because of the foundation he's built here so far. I think he's going to be here for a very long time."
 

 

Paul Pierce Hits Game Winner Against Heat
Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Paul Pierce Hits Game Winner Against Heat

After getting blown out of the gym by the Celtics in Game 2 (and that's putting it quite mildly), the Heat kept it close and played a fairly well in Game 3. Unfortunately, they reverted back to their non-winning ways in the final seconds...

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