The Heat have far outpaced all other teams in free agent spending this summer, as I chronicled earlier this week. Miami is limited to the minimum salary at this point, which wouldn’t add to the total of more than $220MM that appears on my list, since it didn’t take into account anyone on a minimum-salary deal. Still, Pat Riley and company continue to scour the market, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel detail. We’ll highlight the latest here:
- The Heat worked out Chris Douglas-Roberts, as Jackson writes in his latest dispatch after reporting late last month that the team was interested in the five-year veteran. Miami, which is looking to add a shooting guard, also worked out Jordan Hamilton, according to Jackson, though Hamilton instead wound up signing with the Raptors.
- Miami has reached out to Jordan Crawford, too, and while the Heat like the former first-round pick, as Jackson writes, it doesn’t appear he’s reached the audition stage. Jackson confirms Miami’s interest in Leandro Barbosa.
- There are other teams in the mix for Barbosa, but they, like the Heat, want to see if he can stay healthy as well as how he performs for Brazil in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Winderman writes. The Sun Sentinel scribe believes the Heat would choose Crawford over Barbosa if it came to that.
- Riley and his staff have been eyeing Emeka Okafor and Ekpe Udoh, as finding a big man has been team’s other focus, Jackson reports. There have been question marks about Okafor’s health, and while he and Udoh have also drawn interest from the Clippers, there hasn’t been much chatter this summer surrounding either former top-10 pick.
- The Heat made preliminary inquiries about Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell, according to Jackson. Miami has been reluctant to sign Blatche in the past out of concern about his maturity level and behavior, as Jackson wrote a couple of weeks ago, but apparently the team won’t definitively rule him out. The market for Maxiell has been quiet since the Magic let him go on the Fourth of July.
- Agent David Falk spoke with the Heat about Elton Brand, but it’s unlikely that the 35-year-old will join Miami for this season, Jackson says. The Hawks and Knicks reportedly had their sights set on Brand as free agency began, but Brand rumors have otherwise proven scarce.
TUESDAY, 4:10pm: A source who spoke with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel acknowledged the team’s interest in Barbosa but downplayed the connection, saying that the guard is one of several veterans the team is considering. No signing is imminent, Winderman hears.
MONDAY, 8:20pm: There’s mutual interest between Leandro Barbosa and the Heat, league sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). Kennedy adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if he ultimately signs with Miami.
This weekend we learned that the veteran guard had discussions with a few NBA teams and is hoping to use the upcoming FIBA World Cup to further prove his health. The 31-year-old (32 in November) appeared in 20 games with the Suns last season, averaging 7.5 PPG, 1.9 PPG, and 1.6 APG, while playing 18.4 minutes a night.
Barbosa suffered a torn ACL before the 2012/13 trade deadline and suffered a hand injury last year with Phoenix. For his career, Barbosa has averaged 11.9 PPG and 2.3 APG in 23.7 minutes per contest.
New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is making no secret of the fact that he wants to work out a new deal with coach/president Doc Rivers, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times tweets. “Everything I know about Doc, I’m just 100% behind. I think he’s phenomenal,” Ballmer said. “I’m lucky he’s got a contract that runs a little while longer but we have plenty of time to talk and I look forward to doing that.” We learned last week that Rivers and the Clips are set to discuss an extension soon. More from around the Association..
- Dante Cunningham still wants to return to the Wolves but there haven’t been any developments in terms of his free agency, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). Meanwhile, a source tells Wolfson (link) that the domestic assault charges against him have been dropped.
- Undrafted point guard Scottie Wilbekin has a deal with Australia’s Cairns Taipans that includes an NBA escape clause that’s valid until December, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The Grizzlies reportedly extended a training camp invitation to Wilbekin last month, but it never appeared as though he had accepted it.
- The Heat lost some major pieces this offseason, but they have filled in the gaps with an interesting mix of veterans and youth, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. However, Miami’s success will be determined more so than anything by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh will need to embrace his heightened role and go back to the sort of franchise player he was with the Raptors. Meanwhile, Wade will have to stay healthy and recapture some of his old form after sharing the ball with LeBron James for four years.
There’s probably no way the Heat can make up for the loss of LeBron James, but it won’t be for a lack of financial commitment. The Heat spent more than $220MM on players this summer, nearly doubling the team with the next greatest total of expenditures since July 1st.
I looked at each team’s most expensive signing last week, and while Chris Bosh, Miami’s representative, put the Heat second on that list, the full picture of the team’s summer signings shows just how much team president Pat Riley and company shelled out. It helps that Norris Cole was the only player under contract to begin July, but the Sixers have retained plenty of cap space all summer, and they’ve yet to sign anyone for more than the minimum.
As with last week’s list of the most expensive signings by team, there are some ground rules at play. The list below includes non-guaranteed salary and option years, but it doesn’t consider trade acquisitions. It doesn’t take into account rookie scale contracts, either. To help weed out summer contracts and many of the players who won’t be on NBA rosters come opening night, I’ve eliminated deals for the minimum salary. This listing does include non-minimum signings of second-round picks and undrafted players, as well as Nikola Mirotic, a former first-round pick who signed for more than the rookie scale. I’ve also thrown in Carlos Boozer for the Lakers, who claimed him off amnesty waivers. Here’s the complete list, rounded to the nearest $1K, with salary data via our 2014 Free Agent Tracker. The number of years committed and the number of players to whom the money is going are in parentheses.
- Heat: $220.578MM (21 years, eight players)
- Knicks: $127.343MM (six years, two players)
- Mavericks: $96.317MM (14 years, five players)
- Wizards: $93.748MM (14 years, five players)
- Raptors: $84.15MM (11 years, four players)*
- Jazz: $72.74MM (six years, two players)**
- Cavaliers: $50.515MM (seven years, four players)
- Suns: $49.5MM (nine years, three players)
- Magic: $49.21MM (11 years, four players)
- Lakers: $47.033MM (10 years, five players)
- Hornets: $46.905MM (seven years, three players)
- Bulls: $44.564MM (eight years, three players)
- Rockets: $41.398MM (six years, two players)
- Spurs: $38.999MM (seven years, two players)***
- Pistons: $36.335MM (10 years, four players)
- Hawks: $33.3MM (11 years, four players)
- Celtics: $32MM (four years, one player)****
- Clippers: $26.9MM (six years, two players)
- Pacers: $21.404MM (seven years, two players)
- Warriors: $16.631MM (three years, one player)
- Grizzlies: $16.511MM (five years, two players)
- Kings: $15.041MM (three years, one player)
- Trail Blazers: $14.063MM (four years, two players)
- Nets: $12.887MM (five years, two players)
- Thunder: $10.032MM (three years, one player)
- Bucks: $8.425MM (five years, two players)
- Timberwolves: $4.63MM (two years, two players)
- Pelicans: $2MM (one year, one player)
- Nuggets: No qualifying signings
- Sixers: No qualifying signings
* — Jordan Hamilton has agreed to a deal with the Raptors, and while it seems likely that it’s a minimum-salary arrangement, that has yet to be reported. Hamilton isn’t included in the tallies for Toronto.
** — The Jazz and Kevin Murphy have a deal that’s presumably for the minimum salary, though the precise value has not yet been made public. His figures aren’t reflected here.
*** San Antonio’s contract with JaMychal Green is presumably for the minimum, but that point has yet to be reported. It’s not included here.
**** — The Celtics also have a deal with Evan Turner that’s reportedly for a portion of the mid-level exception, but the precise value is not yet publicly known. His numbers aren’t shown in Boston’s totals.
Jabari Parker knows the history of second-overall pick busts in the NBA, and is determined not to be the next, writes Brett Pollakoff of NBC Sports.com. The Bucks rookie said, “There’s been a lot of second pick busts. I’m just trying not to be that bust. Everyday that I step on the court, I just remind myself that I have a long ways to go. If I want to be one of those guys in the first tier of the NBA, like a LeBron [James], like a Kobe [Bryant] , like a [Blake Griffin], then I have to have that mentality starting off from the ground, and work my way up.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- The Cavs are optimistic about their chances to sign Ray Allen prior to the start of training camp, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- With the NBA reportedly considering a change in the lottery system, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel explains why such a move would be an overreaction from Adam Silver and company.
- The Heat’s win total this season could be affected if any changes are made to the NBA Draft lottery system, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. If there is less of a reason for franchises to tank, then Miami couldn’t necessarily count on padding their record against the Sixers, Magic, and Bucks, opines Winderman.
- The selection of Michele Roberts as NBPA head was a historic one, with Roberts becoming the first female to lead a professional sports union. In an interview with Andrew Keh of The New York Times, Roberts said she was all too aware that if she was selected, she would represent several hundred male athletes in the NBA; she would deal with league officials and agents who were nearly all men; and she would negotiate with team owners who were almost all men. To this, Roberts said, “My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”
- Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns will be a strong possibility to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. DraftExpress currently has Towns ranked fourth behind Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander and Emmanuel Mudiay.
Cray Allred contributed to this post.
Shawn Marion has decided to join the Cavaliers, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Cleveland can only offer Marion the veteran’s minimum salary, but the opportunity to play with LeBron James and to contend for an NBA Championship was the deciding factor, notes Stein. The Clippers, Pacers, and the Heat had also pursued the 15-year veteran.
Indiana could have offered Marion a larger role and more playing time, with Paul George most likely being lost for the season. The Pacers could have also offered a larger salary as well, with the league already approving the disabled player exception the franchise had applied for. But with James’ arrival, and Kevin Love set to be added as soon as Andrew Wiggins can be traded on August 23rd, the Cavs became too appealing an option for Marion.
Marion’s career averages are 15.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.6 SPG. His career slash line is .485/.332/.811. Last season with the Mavericks, he averaged 10.4 PPG and 6.5 RPG, while appearing in 76 contests.
Team USA defeated Brazil 95-78 in an exhibition game at the United Center last night. The game not only featured Derrick Rose returning to action on his home court, but also strong performances from the Pelicans‘ Anthony Davis and the Rockets‘ James Harden. Davis recorded 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, while Harden scored 18, along with five rebounds and five assists.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Clippers are now showing interest in Shawn Marion, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears adds that the Cavs, Pacers, and Heat remain interested in the small forward as well.
- Leandro Barbosa has had discussions with a few NBA teams about a possible free agent deal, and is hoping to use the upcoming FIBA World Cup to further prove his health, writes Shams Charania of RealGM. Barbosa said, “I don’t know what owners think about the World Cup, but hopefully I do a great job over there and a team sees. I feel healthy and my body is feeling healthy. If I have free agency in my mind, I won’t be able to be myself on the court. Hopefully, I sign a contract and I’ll be happy.” Barbosa appeared in 20 games with the Suns last season, averaging 7.5 PPG, 1.9 PPG, and 1.6 APG, while playing 18.4 minutes a night.
- In an interview with Beckley Mason of the New York Times, Warriors star Stephen Curry was asked about playing for yet another new head coach in Steve Kerr. Curry responded by saying, “This is one that I haven’t gone through before. This is my fourth coach going into my sixth year. Last three coaching changes, we were a bad team trying to become competitive. Now we have a lot of talent. Pretty much the same team back, with some additions, but a new coach. It’s a different experience. The expectations are already high, and we have to deal with that. Thinking about it, it will kind of be similar to last year. People thought we were a 50-win team, and we accomplished that, but it still didn’t feel like we accomplished as much as we should have. That’s basically the theme I have in my head thinking about what’s going to happen next year. Just in training camp, in that locker room, that adjustment with Coach Kerr and setting his system up. I think we’re going to be able to adjust well.”
Charlie Adams contributed to this post.
Derrick Rose is set to start for Team USA in tonight’s match-up with Brazil, and a good performance will be a nice Saturday night treat for fans in Chicago and basketball lovers in general. Here’s a rundown of Eastern notes:
- John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders recaps the Pistons‘ offseason and comes to the conclusion that Stan Van Gundy is attempting to set up Detroit for a playoff push in the coming year, but the team will need some serious reconstruction in order to achieve long-term success.
- In a mailbag response, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel suggests that the allure of “Heat culture” being a draw for free agents took a blow when LeBron James left.
- In a separate subscription-only piece, Winderman looks back at Greg Oden‘s time with the Heat, which went from a hopeful story of redemption to disappointment on the court and turbulence off it.
Charlie Adams contributed to this post.
Carmelo Anthony‘s new, slimmer look was spurred by his desire to lead by example for the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Amazing people have been hired [in the Knicks organization] and he wants to come in as the leader and a top-three player in the world,’’ trainer Idan Ravin said. “If [he’s] being meticulous, you should not just follow [his] word, but follow [his] actions.’’ More out of the Eastern Conference..
- If Greg Monroe signs for the qualifying offer with the Pistons, it would be in their best interest to trade him between now and the February trade deadline, writes Percy A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press. Of course, Monroe would have the right to veto any trade after signing the QO, but Detroit would surely prefer to get something in return for the big man rather than just let him walk after the 2014/15 season.
- The Pistons could move Monroe after he signs the QO, but that’s not likely to happen, writes David Mayo of MLive.com. Monroe would lose his Bird rights if he signed off on a deal and he’s reportedly angling for a maximum contract, so any team trading for him would probably have to commit to a monster deal.
- In today’s mailbag, a reader expresses concern to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel over some of the new contracts the Heat have dished out this offseason, including Chris Andersen‘s two-year, ~$10MM pact. Winderman says that the real contract to look out for is Chris Bosh‘s as he might not be able to play well enough to attract free agents in 2016. Instead, his salary could potentially weigh down Miami in the fourth and fifth years of his deal.
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com polled some of the web’s foremost Celtics bloggers to ask whether Rajon Rondo will have a career year amidst the trade speculation surrounding him. The panel wound up split, with some suggesting that he can’t top what he did alongside Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce while others believe that he’ll use the trade talk as motivation to excel.
- Jordan Hamilton‘s odds of making the Raptors are slim due to the team’s full roster and glut at the wing, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Toronto agreed to sign Hamilton to a partially-guaranteed deal yesterday.
A longer All-Star break just might put the fun back in All-Star weekend, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Each team will have a minimum of seven days between games with the new format, with the majority of the league not resuming play until the Friday after the All-Star Game. However, there is one catch for players. Since the season doesn’t begin any sooner or end any later than usual, there are more back-to-backs in this year’s schedule. Here’s more from around the league..
- With some help from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll writes that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce tried to convince the Celtics to sign him in 2011 after a strong summer. “The Celtics got with my agent, Mark Bartelstein, but that didn’t work out. To this day, [Pierce] always tells Danny, ‘I told you DeMarre was going to be good,’” said Carroll.
- In today’s mailbag, a reader asks Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel if the Heat could conceivably put together a package for Pacers center Roy Hibbert. Winderman explains that the only players the Heat can put into a trade are Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, and Shabazz Napier since since every veteran free agent signed this offseason cannot be dealt until December 15th. Of course, there’s no guarantee the two sides could be a match for a deal beyond that date.
- Big man Kris Humphries has become a more efficient player and he’s excited to bring his new game to the Wizards, writes Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Hump’s 8.6 PPG and 5.9 RPG aren’t the double-double figures he was posting for the Nets during his best season, but he got those points and boards more efficiently with the C’s as he played just 19.9 minutes per game.
- Real Madrid announced that they have extended guard Rudy Fernandez through the 2018 season, according to the ACB League’s official Twitter (translation via Sportando). A report in February indicated that Fernandez had attention from the Thunder and other NBA teams, but Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman recently said that there was nothing between the 29-year-old and OKC.
- Former NBA forward Derrick Byars has signed a two-year deal with ACB Baloncesto Sevilla in Spain, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Byars played in two games for the Spurs in 2011/12 and was in training camp with the Grizzlies last season.