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Odds & Ends: Heat, Melo, Durant, Nuggets

If the Heat fall to the Pacers because of the Andrew Bynum signing, then the Heat weren’t going to win the title anyway, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Bynum doesn’t figure to rise any higher in the Pacers rotation than the ninth or tenth man, and if that is the determining factor, then Miami has deeper issues with their roster than one player can change. Winderman believes the Heat tandem of Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen versus Roy Hibbert and Bynum should still be fine, as Andersen is a match for Bynum defensively. The Heat also tend to favor playing with smaller lineups, which won’t change their strategy against the Pacers.

More from around the league:

  • LeBron James doesn’t have any insight on where Carmelo Anthony will play next season, writes Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News. James said, “I don’t know (what he’s thinking). I’m a good friend of his but I don’t know what his mind is saying or what’s going through his mind. He loves to play basketball and just like the rest of us — we want to win. That’s the number one thing. When you do something your whole life you want to win at it and you want to work at it. You don’t want it to be easy but you want to give yourself an opportunity to win. But I don’t know what’s going through his mind.
  • Michael Lee of The Washington Post is the latest to weigh in on the possibility of Kevin Durant joining the Wizards in 2016. When Durant was asked about the possibility, he stated, “I don’t even want to think about that. I haven’t given it any thought, playing up here. I love Oklahoma City. I love coming here and visiting.” Whether or not he wants to give it any thought, it will be difficult not to if it’s a topic of conversation over the next two seasons.
  • Gino Pilato of D-League examines if Kevin Murphy is worthy of an NBA call-up. Murphy is currently with the Idaho Stampede, and is averaging 23.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 32.2 minutes. Before joining the Idaho Stampede this season, Murphy played in 11 games with the Reno Bighorns on a D-League assignment from the Jazz last year, where he averaged 13.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 1.6 APG. He didn’t make much of an impact during his time with the Jazz, playing in only 17 games, and averaging 0.9 PPG in 2012/2013.
  • The Nuggets are at a crossroads this season. Do they tank for a better draft pick, or try to trade their way into a playoff berth? There is a third choice, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. The team could try and follow the Pacers model of building a contender according to Dempsey. That team parlayed shrewd drafting and smart role-player signings into being a championship caliber team. The Pacers avoided pursing big-name free agents, and Dempsey believes this is the most realistic path for the Nuggets to take. The Nuggets currently sit at 22-23, and are 3 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot. A number of injuries to key players will make it difficult for the current roster to make the playoffs. Denver has two first-rounders this year, but will have to ship the lower of the two to the Magic, either their own, or the Knicks‘ pick they obtained from the Carmelo Anthony deal.
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2 thoughts on “Odds & Ends: Heat, Melo, Durant, Nuggets

  1. rxbrgr

    There was a report that said the Big Three in Miami may not be willing to settle for discounts this time around and I was curious if HR had an estimate of what each of the Big Three’s maximum contract/salary could be this next offseason. Hypothetically, if the Heat cleared/traded away all salaries off their books (aside from 13 cap holds) come July, could they offer all three maximum deals and still be beneath the cap?

    • HoopsRumors

      Depends what the cap would be. We won’t know until after the July Moratorium, but most estimates put it around $62MM. The 2014/15 salaries in max contracts for LeBron, Wade and Bosh would total $59,648,400. Add in the roster charges for the empty spots and it’s a tight squeeze. Ultimately, even if they did come in under the cap in this circumstance, there wouldn’t be enough cap room to make much more than a minimum-salary signing.


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