Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:08 pm
 

Bobcats sign Tyrus Thomas

Posted by Matt Moore
Ken Berger reports sources have told CBSSports.com that the Charlotte Bobcats have signed free agent Tyrus Thomas to a 5-year, $40 million deal. The move is not altogether surprising, as the Cats had invested quite a bit to land the mercurial power forward and need depth at the position.

While Thomas struggled mightily for minutes in Chicago despite putting up stellar per-minute defensive numbers, Larry Brown uncharacteristically gave Thomas extended minutes during the Charlotte playoff run, enabling his athleticism and using it as the raw counter to Boris Diaw's finesse game. The Bobcats' defensive philosophy is centered around efficient and hammering rebounding, something Thomas does well.

The question at that price tag is if Thomas has the mental makeup to be a full-time starter. Despite his considerable athleticism and an improving jumper, Thomas has long minutes of looking utterly lost on the floor, often playing recklessly and not working within the rhythm of the game. He also tends to hijack possessions routinely and look for opportunities for his shot, which still needs a lot of work.

This move also in no way shape or form locks Thomas into Charlotte long-term. The Bobcats have shown a perplexing commitment to improving their team almost solely through trades, often after signing the outgoing players to long deals. See: Okafor, Emeka. The Cats have a vested interest in Thomas but if he regresses for the thirty third time, you can bet he'll find himself on the trading block again. He's been rewarded for the work he did last season with this opportunity. If he's ever going to become the player his athleticism suggests he could be, he needs to start now.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Heat trying work sign-and-trade with Cleveland

Posted by Royce Young

And you thought this whole LeBron thing was over, didn't you?

Ira Winderman, who reported the Heat were signing Mike Miller, drops what appears to be fairly massive news: Miami is working on a sign-and-trade with Cleveland .

What does that mean you ask? Well, it opens the door for more possibilities for the Heat. This would give Miami the resources needed to re-sign Udonis Haslem, Quentin Richardson and Dorell Wright. And as Winderman points out, this tactic would allow the Heat to retain its mid-level salary-cap exception for 2010-11, which it then could utilize to complete its planned signing of Miller.

But this move neither affects the Miller signing, nor the LeBron one. It's just another scenario in this ever-evolving situation of LeBron going to Miami. Winderman says Miller will sign with Miami either way. But if this is pulled off, it will just allow the Heat a lot more wiggle room, because Miller could sign for the mid-level exception.

And plus, with a sign-and-trade, LeBron also makes more money. Which is an interesting dynamic. All that goodwill talk about LeBron taking less money to go Miami goes out the door, because now he'll make the same he would've in Cleveland (six years, about $125 million). But on the flip side, by the Cavs helping themselves in getting something in return, even if it's just a draft pick or two, they also help LeBron make more money. Which is something I have a hard time seeing Cavs owner Dan Gilbert be a fan of. You know, because of the whole crazy letter thing .

Winderman also says the Heat have contacted Matt Barnes for a spot on the SuperFriends roster. It's all taking shape for the Heat right now and if the sign-and-trade happens, Miami might avoid having a roster full of minimum salary guys, but instead, a pretty legit contender. Kind of scary to think about.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:25 pm
 

More misery in video form from Cleveland

Posted by Royce Young

Warning: This video might possibly cause light depression, even if you don't like the Cavs. Watch at your own risk.



That's some raw video from the AP from some establishments around Cleveland. As soon as LeBron mutters the words, "South Beach" you can literally see the air sucked out of the place. It was like someone shut the power off in the entire city. A couple people in the background appeared to be laughing in disbelief. You can even hear one fan shout out, "Turn it off! Turn it off! after the announcement. Somebody else yells, "Yeah, go jump on Wade's back!"

Yeah, I'm thinking this didn't go over that well there. On the other hand though, looks like the folks in Miami are happy .

Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 11:32 am
 

Report: Mike Miller to sign with Miami

Posted by Royce Young

The Heat are wasting no time in filling out the active roster. Late Thursday night (or early Friday morning, depending on your location) news broke from Mike Miller's dad that the Heat were intending to sign Mike Miller .

Miller is from South Dakota, so I guess that's where we send his Luckiest Basketball Player in the World Award.

After shipping Michael Beasley to Minnesota for basically nothing, the Heat had a little cap room to play with. And Pat Riley and Miami wasted no time whipping out the checkbook. According to the report, Miller will sign a five-year, $30 million deal.

Miller also had offers from New York and the Clippers, with the Clipper offer being worth a significant amount more, the report said. Also, mentioned, Miller won out over Kyle Korver and Rasual Butler, mainly because of an endorsement from LeBron.

But Miller is just the beginning for the Heat. Since they moved Beasley, but now added Miller, the Heat have five players on the active roster, sans Joel Anthony who has a qualifying offer of about $1 million. Miller's $6 million a year will eat up virtually all of Miami's remaining cap space. That means a bevy of veteran minimum salaries are about to be handed out and as Ira Winderman mentioned in his story, the list isn't that long or that sexy.

Among the names available still: Raja Bell , Larry Hughes , Flip Murray, Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Devean George , Brian Skinner , Damien Wilkins, Trenton Hassell , Jarvis Hayes, Jason Williams, Keyon Dooling , Eddie House , Etan Thomas and Ime Udoka.

Of course Miami still has its three second-round picks it could sign (Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da'Sean Butler) and as Winderman says, could re-sign some lesser Heat players from a year ago (Shavlik Randolph, Kenny Hasbrouck). Finally, there are still undrafted players to be had, like Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek of Duke, Art Parakhouski from Radford, Denis Clemente (a native of Miami) from Kansas State, Scottie Reynolds from Villanova and Matt Bouldin from Gonzaga, among others.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
 

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"


2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "


3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:18 am
 

Report: Heat trade Beasley to Minnesota

Posted by Royce Young

To make room for LeBron James, the Heat have traded Michael Beasley to Minnesota for a 2011 second-round pick, Marc Stein reports . Also involved is a swap of future first-round picks, but specifics weren't out as of yet.

Ken Berger reported earlier that there were strong talks between Charlotte, Houston and Miami involving a three-way trade, but those fell apart. Miami desperately was looking to dump Beasley's $4.9 million contract into someone's lap, and of course, David Kahn and the Wolves were ready for it. Essentially if you were wanted Beasley, you could have him for a low, low price. Not too bad a price to pay for 2008's second overall pick.

Of course with Beasley comes some major issues, but don't forget, this guy was considered one of the most talented players in the class of 2008. The ability is there. For Beasley, most of the lack of on-court production has been a result of what's between the ears.

Beasley has always been caught between positions in Miami, flipping between small forward and power forward. I imagine in Minnesota, he'll likely see more time at small forward, considering the Wolves front court depth with Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Darko Milicic and Ryan Hollins. Minnesota traded for Martell Webster on draft night, but other than that, there's not a ton of depth at the three.

But to recap, the Heat traded a former second overall pick for a second-round pick. Hey, when you're making room for the King, you've got to do what you've got to do.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 11:42 pm
 

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Posted by Matt Moore

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted a letter to Cavs fans regarding LeBron James on the team's website tonight, and it is truly shocking. In the letter, Gilbert lays into James (passively aggressively, never once using the word "LeBron" and using "James" only once) for what he refers to as a "cowardly betrayal. " He talks about the ridiculous spectacle of James' television special. He tells Cleveland fans they deserve more than the betrayal they received.

And then the kicker.


You see, he wrote in Comic Sans so that you would know he's serious.

Gilbert's letter is clearly an emotional reaction an emotional situation. The franchise, who they had specifically built the entire organization around, has left them. But to paint James' departure as a cowardly betrayal is a bit much. Danny Ferry had years to build a championship organization around the best player in basketball, and instead always opted for the safe way out. The easy route. The compromise value deal. Acquiring players like Wally Szczerbiak and Ben Wallace and even Antawn Jamison were safe moves that involved no real risk and yet never capitalized on the big move. Meanwhile, James saw the Lakers and Celtics win championships with all out moves to surround their best players with top tier talent.

Gilbert has taken control of his own message, and it's clear. LeBron James is dead to the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland as far as he's concerned. James may not have wanted to burn bridges in his hometown, but tomorrow, he'll wake up and smell the smoke.

That part of his life is over. Forever.

(Read the full letter from Gilbert here .)



Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 1:02 pm
 

Chris Bosh is pretty excited about LeBron James

Posted by Matt Moore

Chris Bosh was quick to get on Twitter and express his happiness about LeBron James choosing the Heat.

 

Bosh was rumored to be wanting to be featured as a centerpiece, but in the end, he becomes the third option. He'll certainly have a chance to get more exposure now, but he will not be the first one mentioned. The names will be James and Wade... and Chris Bosh. But in the end, Bosh chose the place that gave him the best chance to win a championship. And now he's going to be a part of something really special. He has the best teammates he could ask for. He has a piece of the spotlight. And when he tweets, the whole world will listen, now.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com