In order for Miami's plan to work, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade must take 40-50% pay cuts. Recent rumors have Chris Bosh being uninterested in taking such a pay cut, which might lead to his exodus from Miami.

I started thinking about this a couple of days ago, but haven't had a chance to formulate it into a post until now. As it turns out, others are coming to the same conclusion as well.

With the Bulls, Rockets, Mavs, Lakers, Cavs, Suns and potentially others chasing James, Anthony or both, there are more teams than there are LeBrons and Melos (only one of each). Once James and Anthony have made a decision, the teams that lost out will be lining up to create a market for Bosh.

--Ken Berger,

The market for Chris Bosh might take him out of Miami, which makes Miami's talent pool around LeBron James a lot more shallow than it already is. And it begs the question, if that's going to happen why would LeBron go back to Miami? He's not winning a ring with Dwyane Wade and Shabazz Napier.

"Roster. Roster. Roster. Talent. Talent. Talent. LeBron wants a super talented roster thats ready to win NOW."

--Brian Windhorst, ESPN, LeBron beat writer for nine years, on KTAR's Burns and Gambo show on July 1

Windhorst went on to say that Miami still had the best roster for LeBron, citing that Dwyane Wade was still a proven winner while the Suns are two years away from contending. His assumption included Chris Bosh in the equation, though he didn't mention Bosh by name.

Let's delve into that a bit more, Brian.

The Bosh file

Miami's Big Three have already opted out of their deals. LeBron has since floated his insistence on a full max deal, starting at $20 million per year. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are also eligible for max starting salaries of $20 million.

For those of you who need help, that's $60 million on three players. With a salary cap of $63 million and Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier (the only other players under team control), the HEAT would have no money left to round out a 13-man roster with any real talent. And we already saw last month that Bosh and Wade are not enough anymore to help LeBron win championships. The team would only have the MLE to offer a singular talent, but then could just fill another starting spot and the whole bench on minimum salaries.

So someone has to take less than their max, in order to leave room for President/GM Pat Riley to work. In fact, considering an NBA roster requires at minimum 12 players, the operative phrase is "someones have to take big pay cuts, like 40-50% pay cuts". Those someones are Bosh AND Wade.

Recent reports have Bosh being less than excited about that possibility and, as Ken Berger points out, he has no reason to do that. Why take a ton less money only to come up short again, unless Miami gets lucky on several low-cost free agent signings?

Bosh as Suns Plan B?

If LeBron does stay, would Bosh be the next best thing to add to the Suns roster? He could be signed off the street AND the Suns could keep every one of their guys for another year. Adding Bosh to the Suns 2013-14 Suns, as well as the first round picks, and the Suns could plan for a deep playoff run with a bright future.

But don't get your hopes up. Houston is even more ready for a deep playoff run with Bosh, and has the money to pay him what he wants.

But that's exactly what Berger is saying. There's lot of teams with money spend, and too few players to spend it on.

Miami's options

Of course, Pat Riley could decide the writing is on the wall and do an about-face to keep LeBron. He could cut bait with Bosh and use that money to replace him.

Let's pretend LeBron gets his max and Wade takes a pay cut to $12 million. That's $35 million for LeBron, Wade, Napier and Cole. The HEAT would have $28 million to spend in free agency, but would need to spread that among FOUR starters (Wade is no longer a starter for a championship team) and 2-3 bench players. $28 million is not much when you have to pay market prices for talent because you've got only two players on rookie scale contracts.

With role players Spencer Hawes and Jodie Meeks getting $6-7 million/year deals, $28 million won't go very far.

But there's even more problems with this plan. You first have to replace Bosh's talent with someone nearly as talented who can shoulder some of LeBron's load. You cannot expect players of Meeks and Hawes talent to carry the team to the promised land even for a few minutes at a time every game.

Carmelo Anthony is the best available talent, but he's pretty close to re-committing to NY for $129 million and would have a tough time succeeding in a lineup with both LeBron AND Wade.

Pau Gasol is still out there on the market. But he's not a Bosh replacement. He hasn't carried a team before, and he's a few years too old to be that game-changing #2 talent. The fact is that 28-year old Pau Gasol ain't walking through that door. (even then, the 28-year old Pau Gasol would be too rich for this team's blood)

After Melo commits, the best remaining individual talent on the market is quickly coming down to restricted free agents. Greg Monroe. Lance Stephenson. Eric Bledsoe.

All would be great for Miami, but all want at least $12 million per year. And all require an offer sheet, to which their respective current teams have three days to match. Why would Indiana allow Stephenson to go to arch-rival Miami? Why would the Phoenix Suns allow Bledsoe to go to Miami? Even Greg Monroe, who's being squeezed out of the Piston front line, would likely get matched.

And Miami has nothing to offer in a sign-and-trade.

Edit: Lance Stephenson is unrestricted. Miami could sign him outright. Yet he still poses the same problem as adding Melo - he doesn't have a clear playing position because the wings are already LeBron and Wade, and you can't win a championship having LeBron as your full time PF around those two.

Nothing to offer

That's the thing. By making your team completely fungible every four years, you're ensuring that you're paying market price for every talent on the roster.

Miami has none of the cheap deals beyond Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier, who happen to play the same position. And neither of them are starting-caliber for championship team. Miami has to pay market prices for every other player on their roster. They cannot build a contender under those circumstances.

Today's NBA requires a handful of guys on rookie contracts, who are underpaid for their contributions. That's just the way it is. Super-teams can only be built around two or three market priced stars, a couple of market-priced midlevels and then the rest on strike-gold reclamation projects and/or rookie deals.

Meet your 2014-15 Phoenix Suns.

Coming off a 48-34 campaign, the Suns have seven players still on their rookie deals, and another one (Bogdan Bogdanovic) waiting in the wings whenever the Suns need him. Only one player is likely to get a a $10+ million/year market-priced contract (Eric Bledsoe) this offseason.

The Phoenix Suns have everything Miami doesn't (youth and depth) while still winning 48 games in the tough Western Conference.

Back to Bosh

LeBron wanted Riley to improve his team in the early stages of free agency before committing to return. Yet not only has Riley not signed any players, there is growing belief that Bosh won't stay at a cut-rate deal anyway.

So why would LeBron return to Miami?

Teams interested in Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker are hesitant to offer the restricted free agent because of fears Phoenix will match, according to Yahoo! Sports’ marc J. Spears. A...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Sreekar Sreekarovic, Scott Howard, and Bryan Gibberman are back for the 3rd installment of Bright Side After Dark. We talk about LeBron James a lot.

For some reason you're listening, so we're back for round 3.  Come listen to the podcast the critics are calling "a podcast" and raving that "it has three people on it".

On a special 4th of July edition of the Bright Side After Dark podcast, Michelle's dog, Comet, runs away. The Rippers no longer want Jesse in their band. D.J. ends a relationship with a rich boyfriend. we dive into the exciting tease that is the LeBron James to the Suns rumors, talk about Steve Nash's 2012 July 4th departure, and offer whatever "internet favors" are.

As per usual, Gibby tried to murder all of the fun but we reigned him in with a bit of verbal jousting. 

If that isn't enough to pique your interest the know we also talk about sacrificing Sreekar's life to put LeBron in Phoenix.  It got weird.

Take it from Rollin Mason:

@sreekyshooter @ScottHoward42 @Gibberman10 If you don't listen to Bright Side After Dark then fuck you.

— Rollin Mason (@StrummerVillage) July 1, 2014

If you feel like having some fun listening to three dudes talk about the Suns and laugh at each other - click the link below:

The Post Game gets to know Tyler Ennis - Valley of the Suns - Valley of the Suns - A Phoenix Suns Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

According to many reports, the Phoenix Suns are still in this thing. There's a chance that LeBron will take the logical route and go to a team on the rise who just needs a star to get them into the promised land.

First reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN and verified by many other NBA sources, the Phoenix Suns are being told there's a still chance they get LeBron James away from Miami.



Paul Coro of says that Sarver was flanked by President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough.

Then Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Suns owner, as well as representatives from Cleveland and Dallas, were given guidelines for next steps:

After conducting meetings with three NBA teams interested in pursuing free-agent star LeBron James, his agent suggested to owners and executives present that a failure of Miami president Pat Riley to rapidly recruit a strong supporting cast could bring finalists back to meet with James himself next week, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

--Yahoo! Sports

But before you get your hopes up too high, executives didn't come out of those meetings with a real sense that James was ready to jump ship.

Some executives believe there's an opportunity because of a disconnect between James and his teammates, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"There's clearly a breakdown in communication between LeBron and [Wade and Bosh]," one executive who participated in the meetings over the past two days told Yahoo Sports. "[James is] giving Riley time to go get players for them but if that doesn't happen in the next few days ... LeBron seems ready to explore the market."

Another executive attending the meeting flatly said, "I think it's a smokescreen."

--Yahoo! Sports

So LeBron is trying tighten the screws on Pat Riley to prove that he can make the HEAT better. LeBron knows they are on their way down the back side of that hill. Dwyane Wade is a shadow of his former self, and Chris Bosh has regressed as well. Though Bosh is still just 30 and has several good years left, what's remaining in that HEAT cupboard?

But no one around the country is yet convinced that LeBron will leave the HEAT and his two friends this summer. It's not like he can take Bosh AND Wade with him to a new team.

The Phoenix offer

The Phoenix Suns are offering a unique situation and can make the necessary moves to get two of LeBron and someone else of his choosing and STILL have All-NBA third team guard Goran Dragic, budding superstar and close friend Eric Bledsoe and Rising Star Miles Plumlee in the starting lineup.

I think we can rule out Carmelo Anthony, since he's already done his FA tour and is likely to take the money in NY. So let's focus on Bosh, who isn't ready to relinquish his riches in Miami as has been reported. In Phoenix, Bosh could get all the pennies he wants.

If Bosh comes over with LeBron and both make $20 million per year, the Suns would have to lose Channing Frye and may have to jettison the Morris twins who help make the second unit a nightmare for opponents.

However, if Bosh would take $15 million per year, the Suns could keep the Morris twins. Either way, the Suns are a juggernaut.

The suitors

Let's compare his suitors, which may now include the Los Angeles Lakers. That the Lakers jumped in might be a sign that there's a chance Lebron is really willing to leave.

Let's take a look at where James could go:


Click on the pic to make it bigger, if you need.

The cupboard, beyond LeBron and Chris Bosh, would be bare in Miami and Los Angeles next season. Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant are not likely to play like All-Stars in 2014-15. They might get named to their respective teams because of fan voting, but they almost certainly won't play like All-Stars in 2014-15.

The Dallas Macericks option is intriguing until you remember that (a) the second best player is Dirk Nowitzki and (b) Nowitzki is 92 years old. But they do have a great coach. So if LeBron wants to move from the Miami retirement home to the Dallas retirement home, he can do that. Dallas has no future other than LeBron.

The Cavaliers option is intriguing because that's his home. But what has Cleveland done with their roster since he left? They've added one sure All-Star out of 3 #1 overall picks, and that's it. But they have not won many games since he left, so LeBron would be going to a team that will rely entirely on him to close out big games. And, they are going with a brand new coach and front office that is yet unproven.

But in Phoenix he's got it all. He gets to bring Bosh with him. He gets to upgrade from Wade and Chalmers to Dragic and Bledsoe. And he could be joining a team that could send as many as four guys to the All-Star game. And best of all, the Suns will continue to bring youthful energy to the table.

In Phoenix, with Bosh in tow, the Phoenix Suns could become the juggernaut of the NBA. They have a great young coach, youth and talent in spades. And now would have the game's best overall player and a power forward/center who can upgrade the Suns defense to one of the league's best as well as one of the best offenses.

But in all of these cases outside Miami, LeBron would have to ditch Dwyane Wade.

So where will LeBron go?

Almost certainly back to Miami with his buddies, but this time on a short deal (two years). He isn't ready to leave yet. Wade still just might get a new lease on life. Riley just might get him some help from the bargain barrel of free agency.

The Suns need to dance this dance right now, whether they think they can or not. It's quite possible that this dalliance, as well as continued success, will give the Suns the street cred needed to land the big names in 2015 and 2016. One of those big names could very well be LeBron James.

Page 1020 of 2360


Web Links

Sponsored Ads