No Place Like Home
Dirk Nowitzki declined max offers from the Lakers and Rockets to stick around with the Mavericks, 3 years for $25 million. It’s great a future Hall of Fame player commit to loyalty, because he did pass on big contract offers in what probably is his last deal before retiring. He may have been drafted by Milwaukee, but he’s only suited up for Dallas his entire career and that’s rare to see nowadays.
Dwyane Wade officially signs a 2-year, $34 million to stay in Miami as expected. The once dynamic guard only played 2/3 of last season. He did play well in the playoffs before looking like an aged man in the Finals’ loss to San Antonio. After opting out of $20 million for the next 2 years, father-figure Pat Riley still took care of Wade financially for his loyalty over the years.
Teammate Udonis Haslem also agreed today to stay with the Heat, taking the mid-level contract of $2.7 million. The veteran power forward is known for coming off the bench and doing the dirty work: scrapping for loose balls, hitting the occasional mid-range shot, setting screens, and getting tip-ins. This deal keeps his veteran presence around as a backup that knows the system.
The long-anticipated departure of Carlos Boozer in Chicago has come to fruition. The former all star forward averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Bulls, who have moved on with the front line of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol, and Nikola Mirotic. Boozer had his better days in the Western Conference playing for the Jazz. Utah has been mentioned for a possible reunion. Charlotte, Atlanta, and Indiana is interested. Some other teams that might reach out to Boozer, the Lakers, Nets, and Rockets.
Cleveland guard Dion Waiters will not settle for a role coming off the bench, even as the sixth man. In his two seasons starting for the Cavaliers he has dropped 15 points a night. It is widely known that the Cavs are shuffling through proposals to acquire all star Kevin Love from Minnesota. Despite the rumor about #1 pick Andrew Wiggins staying in Cleveland, both Wiggins and Waiters are expected to be in a trade if Love does get shipped.
Speaking of the Timberwolves, point guard Ricky Rubio has expressed his desire for a max contract extension. Before then he is scheduled to become a free agent next off-season. On one hand, you could say Minnesota isn’t an attractive destination so they should get this extension done as soon as possible. On the contrary, the only shooting Rubio is efficient at is from the charity stripe where he sinks 80%. Defenses can back off the quick penetrator and gifted passer to clog the lane. In three seasons he’s posted 10 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals per game. That’s not necessarily max-contract worthy, however odds are he leaves next summer so it’s all about their future plans. I’d put talks on hold until the All Star Break and go from there.
Houston finally lands a pair of free agents. Joey Dorsey inks 2 years for $2 million to backup Dwight Howard. He was originally drafted by the Rockets back in 2008. Power Forward Jeff Adrian is the other acquisition, agreeing to the league minimum deal.
Utah pulls Trevor Booker away from Washington. The power forward gets $10 million for a couple years. He averaged nearly 7 points and 5 boards for the Wiz and started half the season in the absence of Nene.
The Wizards wanted to keep Booker but the Jazz flashed a little extra cash to sway him. D.C. quickly found a replacement in Kris Humphries, 3 years $13 million.
As for their recent pickup with “The Truth,” word has come out that changes on the Nets’ coaching staff led to him leaving. Paul Pierce brings a much-needed presence to a team with so much potential in a medicocre Eastern Conference. As for the coaches, head coach Jason Kidd got traded to the Bucks. Then Sam Cassell met with Pierce, assistant coach for Washington and former teammate, bring the clutch forward to town with recruiting text messages from John Wall and Marcin Gortat.
Lake Show Featuring Black Mamba?
With the Lakers swinging and missing on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, then losing Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks, anybody remember 2008? That was the season Kobe Bryant was publicly dissatisfied with the Lakers, and he even mentioned the Chicago Bulls as a trade destination. Of course that didn’t wind up happening, but could it again? Right now he has a trio of enigma guards: Steve Nash, Nick Young, and Jeremy Lin. As for bigs down low, L.A. gave Jordan Hill $9 million a year to start next to banged up rookie, Julius Randle. Falling from the graces of the “Lake Show” to the Western Conference version of the Knicks. The Black Mamba is saying all the right things and is apparently on board with plans B and C. With 2 years remaining at a rate of $48.5 million, the future Hall of Famer and champion doesn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel. He’s ultra-competitive and still playing at a high level in between injuries. Will he push to be traded to a team that would contend for a title with his addition, or stick it out with the only team he’s ever played for?