The criticism if Lebron is becoming ridiculous, not to mention hypocritical. Last week, people said he’d never leave $30+ mill on the table because he wants to be the richest athlete. Now he gives up the money and is criticized. Last week they said his ego wouldn’t let him share the spotlight and he needed all the credit to be his own. Now he’s criticized for ‘taking the easy way out’ to play with stars and share his fame. Dan Gilbert spent years praising Lebron for what he did for Cleveland (and for Gilbert, helping the franchise value increase by over $100 mill in 7 years), now he strikes back like a child throwing a temper tantrum. They say he’s selfish for announcing his decision live on television; tell that to the Boys & Girls Club who just got over $3 million in donations for it. How is that a net negative? I feel bad for the city of Cleveland (but not the fans who went as far as to burn his jersey. You don’t own this man and he gave you plenty). I have to imagine he would have been criticized no matter where he went for one reason or another. We say we want our athletes to play to win, to play for the love of the game, not the money. Today, we saw a player take that step like never seen before, and its so astonishing people cannot comprehend it and instead rally against it. We wear the bulls-eye now, but we will wear it proudly. We’ll go back to our nineties slogan of being the most hated, hardest working, meanest, toughest team in the NBA. Look out, Lebron is pissed.
Rumors have surfaced today that the Suns will be making a strong push to trade Amare Stoudemire before the February trade deadline and that the Heat are of the teams most interested. Obviously, a player of Amare’s caliber is something we would have to explore. After all, he may be one of our top three choices in this summer’s free agency market behind Lebron James and Chris Bosh anyway. I think the key here is to make sure we do not go overboard just to d something immediately. By that, I mean that including Michael Beasley in such a deal would be a huge mistake. Our core next year should consist mainly of three players: D-Wade, B-Easy, and whoever we can sign this summer or trade for now. Giving up the second guy in order to get the third makes no sense if we could have them all. I’m not even going to touch Amare’s injury history (micro-fracture and eye surgeries) as he seems to be recovered, but the bottom line is he is not that much better than Beasley is now, and certainly not much better than Beasley could become. Now, if we could make a deal involving something like Jermaine O’Neal, we should talk. Because JO makes around 4-5 million more than Amare, the Suns would have to throw in another player or two to make the salaries work. The Heat might need to throw in another cheap piece as well with high potential (such as Dorell Wright). In such a scenario the Heat would almost certainly also need to include a couple of first round picks. I like this trade a lot as we could likely re-sign Amare this summer anc come out with a lineup this year of Alston, Wade, Q-Rich, Beasley, and Amare. With that, we’d definitely begin to contend. Another option is to create a package around Udonis Haslem (though I feel his half-court tendencies would not really mesh with the Suns). I’d also be open to that. If we can keep Beasley, almost anything else should be on the table here.
It is common knowledge among NBA circles that Carlos Boozer would love to play in Miami. He has said as much in interviews and retains his offseason home in the area. Every time the Heat play the Jazz, you get the feeling Carlos is trying to prove to Mickey Arison and Pat Riley that he is the man for us. Unfortunately for him, he just isn’t the right guy. Not for this team. The problem with Boozer is that he is a power forward, and only a power forward. While we talk of adding such PFs as Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudamire, we do so knowing that a move to the Heat would be a move to the Center position for them as well. Not only do I believe that Michael Beasley will soon clearly be a better player than Boozer, but the obvious fact remains that even now Beasley is a tremendously better value given his rookie scale salary. The whole reason Mario Chalmers has been given such a long leash is that for the money, he too could really help fill out the roster in the coming years. Heck, the Heat even seems to believe it can re-sign Udonis. If that’s the case, the Heat are simply set at PF with Beasley and potentially UD for years to come. Our weak points are clearly PG and C. Small forward is an issue in that we don’t have star talent there (LeBron James could certainly change that…), but there is depth. I see the Heat making a strong charge at LeBron (I’ll discuss my opinion on that possibility in a later post) and likely moving on to Bosh, who would fit great, not to mention the added advantage of his sharing agents with one Dwyane Wade. Backup plans may include Amare and Joe Johnson.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Riles. The wheels were put in motion before Chalmers’ stinker against Boston in the form of Chris Quinn being traded to the Nets to open up the roster spot. After the game, the need was as clear as it had ever been. Now, is Skip the long-term answer? Of course not. Not in his early thirties. But he is better than Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo. We get a guy who knows our system, who gets along with Dwyane Wade, and who can run a high octane offense as he did stepping in for Jameer Nelson in Orlando last year. Seeing Skip back in a Heat uniform and Chalmers on the bench for the foreseeable future (I believe Arroyo will end up the odd man out despite having been starting) is certainly welcome. Hopefully some stability, quality, and experience at the position will pay some dividends for Miami.