Spurs, Heat Have Questions (And More Offseason Queries)

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.cm

VIDEO: The GameTime crew discusses what’s next for the Spurs

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The San Antonio Spurs won their fifth championship since 1999, but it took 15 years for the most stable franchise in pro sports to play in back-to-back NBA Finals. What’s left to accomplish?

That’s right, back-to-back titles.

That’s only one reason to expect Spurs captain Tim Duncan to continue his brilliant career for at least a 18th season. The talk has always been about Kobe Bryant chasing Michael Jordan‘s six rings, but it’s now Duncan in his twilight years who has the greatest chance to get it done.

So why in the world would Duncan, his body holding up as strongly as his production, hang ‘em up now?

Versatile forward Boris Diaw, high-octane point guard Patty Mills and reliable-when-needed forward Matt Bonner are the only players not under contract for next season. While Diaw and Mills have raised their stock and will be attractive free agents, it’s certainly not out of the question that they’ll be back in the silver-and-black.

Even if the Spurs lose one, or both, their Big Three — plus Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and a couple new reinforcements for the bench — will have the Spurs as a favorite to make it three consecutive Finals appearances.

Duncan, 38, just completed a phenomenal postseason, averaging 16.3 ppg on 52.3 percent shooting and 9.1 rebounds while logging 32.7 mpg. That followed up a regular season in which he played in 74 games while coach Gregg Popovich again masterfully managed his playing time.

So, again, what would be the motivation to retire now? A man of similar body type, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won a championship with the Lakers at age 40 and played in The Finals at age 41.

While Duncan, for whatever reason, hasn’t come out and stated that he’ll be back despite still having one year and $10.3 million left on his contract, he has smiled through interviews while making statements lightly-sprinkled with hints that he has no plan of joining San Antonio resident David Robinson on the golf course quite yet.

Fortunately, the anticipation for a definitive answer won’t take long. Duncan has a June 24 deadline, that’s one week from today, to notify the Spurs of his plans.

The Miami Heat’s future won’t be resolved quite so soon. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their contracts and become free agents. What they decide to do will be the biggest story of the summer and whatever they decide will produce ripple effects across the league.

And that brings us to the biggest story lines of the summer:

Heat is on in Miami


VIDEO: The GameTime crew talk Heat exits

After batting .500 in four consecutive Finals appearances, what will the Heat’s Big Three decide to do? Each is owed more than $20 million next season, so if they’re simply ready to line their bank accounts (more than they already are), each will opt in and collect paychecks. If they do, they can forget about contending for more championships. They need help, really, across the board.

All three players have until June 29 to exercise the opt-out clauses in their contracts.

While it’s the American way to make as much money for as long as you can, the problem for NBA players talented enough to demand the largest sums is they’re also locked into a salary-cap system that makes it virtually impossible to build a championship-level team around too many high-salaried players.

So if James, Wade and Bosh want to continue to play together in Miami, there’s really only one solution. All three must opt out of their contracts. Wade, who we know now just isn’t going to be the same physically because of his failing knees, must accept taking a substantial pay cut, something in the way of a four-year deal between $10 million and $12 million. Bosh, who put up pedestrian numbers throughout the playoffs, must do the same.

James, now the one true superstar among the three, can then sign at a price that will be below what he’s worth. But doing so will allow Miami to pursue free agents — such as a point guard and post player — that can quickly get Miami where it needs to be to compete with the best in the West.

So here’s the real question: Do the Big Three want to stay together? If they do, we’ll know it when Wade and Bosh opt out. If Wade is first to opt in, it means he’s taking the cash and likely ending an era.

Carmelo and the non-Heat free agents


VIDEO: Charles Barkley is not a big fan of Carmelo Anthony joining the Heat

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony plans to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. He’ll be keeping a close eye on what happens in Miami. It’s possible, however unlikely, that the Big Three will take such deep discounts as to allow room for ‘Melo to join the party on South Beach.

Chicago and Houston are reportedly also on Anthony’s short list. The Bulls, offensively challenged but with cemented defensive philosophy, veteran leadership, a great coach and the expected return of Derrick Rose, seem to be the perfect fit for a natural scorer like ‘Melo. The Bulls have to do some money maneuvering to make it happen starting with amnestying power forward Carlos Boozer, which would set him free to move on to another team at a bargain price.

Who else should we keep a close watch on?

Among guards, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is coming off a career year and the Raptors would like him back. They also have Greivis Vasquez, a quality point guard who has yet to find a permanent home. Los Angeles native Nick Young wants to return to the Lakers. Most interesting will be Indiana’s mercurial Lance Stephenson and also Evan Turner, traded from Philadelphia to Indiana, where things just didn’t work out.

Luol Deng‘s landing spot is the most intriguing among the forwards. Lakers, anyone? Some other interesting forwards potentially headed toward new addresses include Atlanta’s Mike Scott, the Clippers’ Danny Granger and Washington’s Trevor Ariza. It will also be interesting to see if Miami or any other team gives former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley another shot.

Then there’s the center position where Pau Gasol will hit the market, along with Washington’s Marcin Gortat and, ahem, Andrew Bynum. Greg Oden will also be available if Miami doesn’t re-sign him.

Love triangle and other trades


VIDEO: The Starters discuss what situation would best suit Kevin Love

The Kevin Love saga will heat up, perhaps as soon as Draft night. Will the Minnesota Timberwolves find a palatable deal this summer for their discontented power forward? Maybe a three-way deal can make it happen? The double-double machine is tired of sitting on the sidelines for the playoffs, and while the Wolves will still try to convince Love to believe in them, they don’t want to be left empty-handed if they don’t deal him and he leaves as a free agent next year.

President of basketball operations Flip Saunders hired himself to coach the team next season. He’ll have to weigh trading Love now or going into the season with him, hoping for a fast start that might convince Love to hang on, or simply give teams more time to get more desperate and put together better deals.

While a few teams are reportedly willing to trade for Love without assurances that he’ll re-sign next summer, that fact could be limit the offers Minnesota receives. Most front offices want him to give his word that he’ll stick around.

Houston is another hot spot for activity and general manager Daryl Morey will be working for the phones to see if a deal can be made this summer that he couldn’t make last year for center Omer Asik, and also possibly Jeremy Lin.

More intrigue for a long-awaited Draft


VIDEO: How might Joel Embiid make an impact in the NBA?

Seems like we’ve been talking about the 2014 Draft for two years now (to the chagrin of the Class of ’13) and now we’re finally just days away (June 26). There’s even added intrigue with the foot injury to Kentucky’s Julius Randle that either does or doesn’t have NBA front office’s a tad concerned. Of course, prior to the NCAA Tournament, Kansas center Joel Embiid suffered a back injury, but seemed to allay fears during pre-draft workouts.

Will either one go No. 1 or will that distinction go to Kansas wing Andrew Wiggins or Duke forward Jabari Parker? Where will Australia’s Dante Exum land?

Billed as one of the most talented and deep drafts in years, and with a handful of teams holding multiple picks and other teams wanting to move up, this could be a very active Draft night.

Then on to Vegas (Orlando, too)

The Summer League in Las Vegas (July 11-21) gets bigger each year, both in number of NBA teams participating and in attendance, and this one stands to be the biggest considering the hype surrounding this year’s draft prospects.

The Utah Jazz make their debut in Vegas, making a 24-team field including 23 NBA teams and a team comprised of D-League talent. Nine teams will participate in the Summer League in Orlando on July 5-11.

Spain welcomes the world

Team USA will gather in Las Vegas once again following Summer League to being preparations for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. The Americans will play a blue-white scrimmage in Vegas on Aug. 1, and then play exhibition games at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 20 and 22 before leaving for Spain to defend their 2010 championship.

The World Cup runs from Aug. 30 through Sept. 14.

In January, USA Basketball announced a 28-man roster that will report to Las Vegas and will provide the pool of players to build the World Cup roster with also an eye toward the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The roster includes the biggest names in the NBA such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant – the 2010 tournament MVP — Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Antony DavisJames Harden, Paul George, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard, plus younger hopefuls such as DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal and Klay Thompson.

Sterling and the sale of the Clippers

Lastly, and unfortunately not least, we have the swirling Donald Sterling saga.

Just when it seemed the shamed Clippers owner would quietly walk away, he has instead decided to play hardball with the league. Sterling has not signed off on the sale of the Clippers and he is suing the league for $1 billion. Last week it was reported that his lawyers have hired private investigators to dig up dirt on the league’s 29 other owners, plus commissioner Adam Silver, who in April banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million, and former commissioner David Stern.

Next in the process is a hearing in probate court on July 7-10. A judge will determine Sterling’s mental competence. This stems from Shelly Sterling‘s alleged documents from two doctors who examined Donald Sterling and determined him to be mentally incapacitated, thus allowing Shelly Sterling to act as the sole trustee of the Sterling family trust, which grants her power to sell the team without her husband’s involvement. She agreed to sell the team to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

If the judge determines Donald Sterling to indeed by mentally incompetent, then the sale of the team can go through pending a vote by the NBA’s Board of Governors, who will meet on July 15 in Las Vegas. If the judge determines Sterling to be competent, it would put the sale of the team into disarray and the league would again look to seek termination of Sterling’s ownership.

44 Comments

  1. methodzine says:

    (My list of possibilities) Lakers trade draft picks for this year and next year for Love. Lakers add Lowery & Randolph. Cavaliers sign Lebron (who just opted out). Wade opts in collecting his last 20 million dollars with the heat. Bosh opts out, joins Lebron in Cleveland, or Mavs or he’ll opt in & collect too. Carmelo will sign with Lakers if they can get Kevin Love in a trade. If not, He’ll join Miami with Wade, or He’ll be in Chicago. The Rockets can’t afford him, the rockets need a third scorer and a point guard (I’d go with Vasquez, Bledsoe, or Devin Harris, and I’d add Mike Scott or Trevor Ariza).
    Rockets Starters PG.-Bledsoe SG-Harden SF-Parsons PF- Mike Scott C-Dwight Howard
    Lakers – PG. Kyle Lowery SG-Kobe Bryant SF-Carmelo Anthony PF-Kevin Love C-Zach Randolph
    Cavaliers PG. Kyrie Irving SG-Jabari Parker SF-Lebron James PF-Loul Deng C- (Either Channing Frye or Greg Monroe)
    Heat. PG. Greveis Vasquez SG. Dwayne Wade SF. Trevor Ariza PF-Chris Bosh C.Marcin Gortat
    Cavaliers, Bulls, Pacers, Hornets, Hawks, Nets, Celtics, Heat if they can pull it together.
    Lakers, Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Blazers, Warriors, Mavs, Clippers for west.
    Lakers, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Mavs, Portland,

  2. Great Idea says:

    Here’s the offseason. The cavilers will trade the first pick to the Timberwolves for Kevin love and Kevin martin. Then that attracts Lebron back to Cleveland. And Birdman and Ray allen follow Lebron to Clevland,Melo signs with the rockets to form a big three with Howard and Harden. Wade opts out and signs with his hometown bulls. Bosh signs with Dirk and the mavericks.

    And the Finals will be Cleavland 4 – Houston 3

  3. Jroc118 says:

    Miami keeps Lebron, Melo goes to Dallas, Love goes to Lakers along with Westbrook (Later).

  4. Stackks ru says:

    Lebron should stay in Miami and rebuild it make some trades or whatever it takes to get to that finals again he got it in him…

  5. Alfa says:

    I think with it’s current roster, Miami can make at least the ECF for the next two years. The Finals are not out of the question, but not as good a shot as in past seasons. They really got exposed in their small-ball style of play on the inside with Duncan and Splitter seamlessly going for arguably their easiest layups in the whole playoffs. Miami needs a traditional center. I was really pulling for Oden, but it is what it is. Get Gortat, or Asik who seems to hate playing 2nd fiddle. Hell I’d even take Gasol to give em some kind of big man post plays. I like birdman but his offense is horrible for the most part. I don’t think they need a traditional point guard with James, but I’d either got for a combo guard who loves defense or a playmaker who can shoot it (Vasquez). I’m not banking on Melo though offensively he’d do great as a catch and shoot guy.

  6. BB TRUE FAN says:

    The Heat can not function with the contracts of the big 3 together. Melo is going to take a little while to adjust to whomever he is playing with, I believe he will stay in New York or move to Chicago, but will stay in the East. If the Pacers can get the Lance Stephenson situation taken care of, and get a player who can lead the locker room and already have a ring (maybe a guy like Ray Allen), Then we will be talking about Indy winning multiple rings. Other than the superstars on the FA list, Lance Stephenson will give whichever team that gets his services the best chance to reach the pinnacle, forget antics this kid can play.

  7. Pedram says:

    I’m really supporting Lebron to Cleveland idea, good bench good pg, maybe good center if Bynum is healthy, also Loul Deng if he stays.

    • Trevor says:

      Cleveland is a very dysfunctional team. Locker room and managerial issues all season. Poor bench, Kyrie hasn’t played well, BYNUM DOESN’T PLAY FOR THEM, and no way Deng resigns if they (magically) get LeBron. Not hating on ya, but LeBron should stay in Miami. Pat Riley said the team needs to “get a grip” and to look at “their own [rings]“. Heat can definitely retool, but only if the trio of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh opt out to take way less. Heat are still arguably the best in the East, so no need for LeBron to leave and cause The Decision: Part Two.

      • debra says:

        Trevor, You are so…… right . Miami is the right choice for LeBron let’s just hope he knows that. I think Pat Riley will make some changes to make them better. The ball is in King James hand !!!!

  8. BENCH says:

    I MEAN WHO KNOWS IF CARMELO WILL FIT IN HOUSTON, LAL, CHICAGO. . . LOVE FOR CLEVELAND OR LAL, THERES A LOT CAN HAPPEN ONLY IF THEY HAVE A SYSTEM THAT WILL FIT THOSE GUYS. . . WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN LIKE LBJ DONT FIT IN MIAMI? WELL THEY GOT RING AND 2 TIMES NBA CHAMPS SO WHO KNOWS THEY NEVER KNOW UNTILL THEY TRY. . . .

  9. Melo-To-H-Town says:

    Theres nothing wrong with Miami. They got beat by a better team. Add a big man and they are right back at it next year. Melo with the right team around him can destroy Lebron as we have seen many times in his career. Melo should go to Houston and we are talking MAJOR results.

  10. okcDoke2014 says:

    LeBron to Clippers or Blazers, Microsoft $

  11. Witness says:

    Ur ryt charles09…. Heat hav to let go chalmers and add lowry. He can create offense anytym. Haslem has to retire. Give another shot at oden and beastly and more playing time for dem. ray allen can still shoot 3s for another 2 yrs. create a deeper bench guys… Der r a lot in free agents to choose… Y not consider guys like morrow,vasquez,gortat,okafor,kaman….jaz a thought

  12. Witness says:

    If lebron want to go somewhere else,it wud be best goin to chicago….havin a healthy drose,butler and defensive minded noah,gibson ….bulls back to finals again

  13. Leonel says:

    I have read all comments and they very interesting ones and they are some that don’t make sense. I’m no experts but I don’t think Melo should go to Miami. His a guy that needs the ball in his hands to make plays so Lebron, for that reason I think it would not work. Melo to Chicago, the problem with Chicago they can not score, they can defend but without Rose they could not hit a rock in the ocean. So Melo will help with this problem, you get rid of Boozer give the position to Gibson who can also score very well and if (a big if) Rose can stay out of injury who know were the Bulls can go. Melo in Houston is the same as Miami , I do not know if Harden is willing to share the ball with Melo and Howard will want is touches so I don’t know. If they learn to play as the new big 3 watch out for the Rockets. Kevin Love should land in LA , and wait for 2016 so Kevin Durant can play with him in Lakerland, plus what they can get from the draft, who knows. I hope Cleveland do not waste their pick as the last time.

  14. imisswatchingthethunder says:

    I wonder if Asik will be traded to OKC. They need to lose Thabeet, Sefalosha and Perkins.

  15. Kobe-James-Melo-Love-Nash says:

    Melo is for LA… Don’t go to Houston, instead go to Chicago.

  16. hehe says:

    Well since these ”superstar” players already have enough money for the rest of their lives , why dont they sign with the spurs for minimum and they will get the ring for sure. Its that simple. Or sign the maximum money contract somewhere else and watch the spurs winning it again next year.

  17. educatedron says:

    In regards to the heat, it comes down to Wade opting out. Selfishly and financially he should opt in, but in doing so it ends an era and immediately Heat are in rebuild mode. Bosh should opt out and they let him go, he’s a selfish bum. He knows they need rebounds, blocked shots and someone who can post, so instead works on spot up 3 point shooting and not consistent shooting at that. Lebron can go wherever he wants, even the Spurs. I see Lebron going to Chicago, Houston, Golden state, portland, Indiana. Only play off teams where he could may be win. He’s that type of guy. Instread of influencing players to come to him, he will create another dream team and get some more cheap rings.

  18. Melo-To-Houston says:

    Whoever thinks Chicago is the best fit for Carmelo is Misinformed and really dont have a clue what they are talking about. Chicago is predicated on Ball movement and player movement……that in itself is enough to scare the Ball Dominant/Iso heavy Melo. Also Chicago has strong defensive Values, and Carmelo is not 100% dedicated to that end of the floor.
    On the flip side, HOUSTON is the ideal LOCATION. Carmelo will get to play alongside 2 Olympians (Harden,Howard). He will have a young core that has Depth beyond the big 3. They are exciting to watch, and best of all, Houston is quite fine with Outscoring you rather than just locking you up defensively. Also the pay cut Carmelo receives wont be much if any because no property taxes. Also ISOLATION is definitely on pages 1-2and3 in the Houston playbook. Carmelo will win a ring or 2 there for sure.
    As for Kevin Love? I honestly think whoever gives him a max contract will be utterly disappointed. He is better than Boozer, more skilled offensively than Taj Gibson, but if you think he can change a game like an IBAKA, your kidding yourself. Kevin Love is a shooter in a big-mans body. If he is not open, what other skill-set does he have that allows him to dominate? Ill wait.

    • educatedron says:

      I agree, carmello in chicago is a bad fit. Ball would “stick” plus his defense is as bad as boozers.

      Bulls need a player that plays defense that can create his own shot. That’s all they need for past 3 years and can’t find it.

      Monte Ellis was that guy, rudy Gay. Instead they pick up dunleavy, and richard hamilton, guys who can’t create their own shots. Go figure.

  19. KaashMoneyy94 says:

    The only way LBJ should even consider staying is if Wade and Bosh take major paycuts. The way Wade sits out regular season games and disappears in the biggest games of the playoffs, he should only get paid $8mil tops. I really like Wade as a player but he’s done. And Bosh is still ok but it’s really sad to see how Spo has turned him into a guy that stands out on the perimeter and just shoots 3s. I wish Bosh played more like Kevin Love. K-love also shoots 3s but he also gets down low and bangs bodies to be one of the leaders in rebounding. So Bosh should get around $10-12 mil tops. Give LBJ $18-20 mil and get some better role players. If not, then return to the Cavs. And I mean that from a serious basketball perspective, not from a storyline perspective. Cavs should trade Waiters, Thompson, Bennett and 2015 1st round pick in a sign and trade kind of thing to give Miami something back because I know LBJ won’t leave Miami without giving them something in return. Just gotta work the contracts out there. Honestly I would take a team of Irving, LBJ, and Embiid over a team of older Wade, Bosh, and Melo.

    • TM says:

      Good points (reasonable compared to other people). LeBron knows how good his situation in Miami is, albeit it’s complicated. Wade HAS to take a pay cut (2yrs/$20mil is reasonable, but a little low. Doubt he’d take $8mil a year) and Bosh needs to as well (12-15mil a year is about right, length doesn’t matter). LeBron will definitely take $18-20mil (his endorsements allow him to keep getting stacks outside of his contract). Don’t see a sign-and-trade take place. Better to sign LeBron outright. But believe LeBron would demand more if he’s leaving Miami. And on Melo, he’s going to go out west or stay with the Knicks. Don’t see him going to Heat, not what they need. Lowry and Heat have mutual interest, Heat can also get some better centers in Hill or Gortat, could draft someone like Hairston or Napier. Heat in good shape. No real need for LeBron to leave (unless Wade is greedy and ruins situation in Miami, meaning no help is added to team).

      • methodzine says:

        Experts are saying wade should take a 2 year 8-10 mil dollar deal. Which he isn’t. He’s gonna take 20 mil and have team rebuild. Which they can do and still make playoffs. They just won’t have lebron.

  20. vancityballer says:

    All the top free agents should stay in the East for an easier trip to the Finals. In the next few years, the East will become much more competitive. I don’t believe Carmelo joining the Big 3, will work that well together. Melo’s a good scorer but they need a guy who will move the ball and play better defense. It’d be ok for Lebron and Melo to go somewhere together if they agree to take less money. As much as the big 3 are friends, I’m not sure it’s in Lebron’s best interest for him to stay there. It’d be interesting if he were to play in OKC and create the new big 3 plus they already have Ibaka at center. The Spurs won because they had great ball movement and much better shooters than Miami at the 3pt line and a HOF center. Miami needs more accurate 3pt shooters and they need a dominating center, who’s a rebounding machine. It’s gonna be an interesting off-season for sure.

  21. Charles09 says:

    Big 3 shud remain in miami den add lowry and another center who can be a beast on d paint…5th strait finals heat

    • yay says:

      then add superman, batman, robin, wonder woman and aquaman — unstoppable!!! 100 STRAIGHT finals!

      • #dwade#flash says:

        whats wrong with his commnet? i would rather take Lowry over Melo and besides if Heat are working ont rying to get MELO which it is possible, why can’t they get Lowry which a little less value than MELO? and also lowry would fit knowing he facilitates than MELO and he can score when needed. Before you throw sarcasm think first…

      • I8A4RE says:

        Cuz wade and bosh stink they can make the finals every year as long as the east conference sux

    • TM says:

      Best bet is Miami drafts Napier, let’s Chalmers walk, get younger talent, and signs Gortat (low chance) or Jordan Hill (better chance). No way Melo goes to Miami (1% chance at best) because of how complicated that situation is (and let’s face it, Melo is NOT what they need). Will Miami make it to the Finals next year? Not certain, Pacers and Bulls are still up there with Heat (regardless of the Pacers’ issues; heck, they still made it to the ECF).

      And Wade nor Bosh “stink”. Still star players, issue is Bosh is a definite 3rd option and Wade is on the decline (going downhill fast). Heat just need to get a better bench and get a center and facilitator. Pat Riley won’t keep the roster almost identical (that’s why he made trades and signings that were random at best – Miller, Anthony, Beasley, Oden – to prevent an identical team). We will see though.

  22. patrickmarc says:

    Lebron to Dallas.. and one more ring.

  23. rob says:

    Lebron should go to Washington. Nene and John Wall are all he needs.

    • TM says:

      …all he needs if he wants to lose. Wizards in no position to pick up LeBron and LeBron would only leave Miami for Cleveland or a top tier team (like LAC or HOU). Wizards are up and coming but not a realistic suitor for LeBron.

  24. Harold Mangum says:

    Duncan says he will play as long as he is productive; IMO, he will be back.

    Patty Mills is good enough to be a starting PG on another team, but there is no reason to believe with Parker getting long tooth and having injury after injury that Patty will leave. For sure he will get all the playing time he wants

  25. cp10 says:

    Back-to-back would be nice though it remains to be seen. NBA doesn’t stand still as Spurs can attest, I suppose they worked all of off-season last year studying Miami’s weaknesses (among the other top teams) and have been very successful this year. Next year’s title is up for grabs, because every team is now studying how they can play like the Spurs.

    • Cody says:

      Teams have been studying how they can be like the Spurs for years. Every team wants to be as consistent as tey are

    • TM says:

      No team “studies how to play like” another team. They certainly take notes on how successful some player and offensive schemes are, but no team is going to copy San Antonio or Miami. And no team looks specifically at one rival to study and beat. All guys look at film year-round, and don’t single out particular guys until they play each other. (Spurs knew Wade was playing bad with his knees, so they tried a little harder to push him more. But that was planned during the series though.)

  26. steppx says:

    Pau isnt a center. He’s a four, who sometimes had to play center, but 80% of his life he was a four. Oh wait….Caplan wrote the piece. Never mind.

    • jc says:

      Pau can be a center. He’s 7ft and has better low post game and is a better rebounder than some other starting centers in the league. Yeah, he is better suited to play the 4, but he is still a solid option at the 5.

  27. Jacob says:

    cleveland should trade their pick for Kevin Love and then sign Lebron. Kyrie, Lebron, Love and Waiters would be deadly

    • Starsleeper says:

      Indeed, this is a good time for Lebron to return to his roots, With Love this would be very good team. But I don’t know if trading the pick (Joel Embiid?) is a good idea. Maybe something around Luol Deng?
      Then there is room for Miami to sign Carmelo and thry to surround a new big three with a better team.

      • TM says:

        Bad time for LeBron to leave. He’d join a dysfunctional organization. Yes, Cleveland is the only other option outside of Miami, but LeBron is guaranteed success with Pat Riley and the Heat. Cavs would love some Love, but Love not a fan of the Cavs. Love has leverage in where he goes, because teams won’t trade for him without a guarantee that he’d re-sign with them. Deng would sign elsewhere if LeBron picked up. And also, don’t see Melo going to Miami. Melo takes a pay cut and goes to Houston, or stays another year in New York. Miami’s best bet is for the trio to opt out and take less (Bosh and Wade are worth way less than 20mil+) and for them to get some youth and better vets (draft Napier and sign Gortat maybe?). Miami still top of East, so no reason for LeBron to leave and join a project.
        All just my speculation though. To each his own.