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This is Arison’s chance to prove that he’s willing to pay to keep a winner together. The HEAT have been luxury tax payers in each of the last three seasons, but the penalty has only been a dollar for every dollar that they’re over the cap. Next season the tax penalty because much stiffer for repeat offenders, as you can see in the chart below from CBAFAQ.com
There was a report recently that the HEAT had aspirations of making a run at Carmelo Anthony, but Lawrence’s article is one of the many since to cast doubt on that possibility.
It’s going to be interesting to see whether James really can get Bosh and Wade to opt out of the final two years of their contracts, which would pay them both $42 million. They sacrificed financially when they first joined forces in Miami and went 2-2 in the NBA Finals. While they benefitted from it, are they willing to pass on millions again in order to stay together, or are they going to be a little bit more individually-driven by their decisions? At 32 years of age, there probably isn’t a team in the league, the HEAT included, willing to give up that kind of cash over the next two years to Wade. To a lesser extent, the same can be said about the 30 year old Bosh.
After getting throttled in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs, the future looks extremely cloudy in Miami. If they were going into the offseason as the three-time champions, there would have been little doubt about whether keeping this team together was worth it for Arison. Now it may not be, which is why the NBA was willing to enter a lockout to implement these kind of rules. They want everyone to be competitive and for there to be “player sharing” when it comes to stars. If the HEAT are going to keep their core intact and improve the roster around them like they want, Arison is going to have to be willing to spend up to $140 million on the roster after taxes.
If the Timberwolves are looking to avoid a distraction, then trading Love on draft night is definitely the way to go. His status is going to be the storyline going into next season if he remains with the team. It’s not going to matter what the Timberwolves do on a game-by-game basis, Love wanting out is all anyone is going to talk about. If they win, the question is going to be are the winning enough to change Love’s mind. If they lose, things are really going to be shaky as Love’s desire to get out will only grow.
Reports surfaced about a month ago that Love’s agent was making is clear that his client wants out and will leave next summer in restricted free agency. The Timberwolves have publicly denied any interest in trading Love, but Love admitted during a recent appearance on ESPN that he is eager to play for a contender and that his agent is indeed handling everything for him right now.
The more time that passes, the more pressure there’s going to be on the Timberwolves to make a deal. However, Love is worth the distraction. Teams are still going to be willing to make sizable offers for him leading up to the deadline because they know how much competition there is going to be for him on the open market. There’s still a chance for the Timberwolves to get a good deal for him, they just have to be patient and not feel forced – because even if he walks, that’s a lot of salary being freed up for a potential rebuild. Having ample cap space to replace him with is better than accepting a lackluster deal that they don’t love – no pun intended.
Andrew Wiggins has long been tapped as the top draft prospect in this draft class. The 76ers went into this season with the intention of losing as many games as they could to maximize their draft position, so it’s clear to see that they’re willing to do anything short of moving mountains to get him.
The possibility of trading Young has come up multiple times since Sam Heinke took over as GM. He traded veterans Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner at the trade deadline and still seem to be more interested in accumulating young talent than having a proven veteran like him. If they don’t feel like Wiggins will be there for them at three, which is a real possibility, he seems to be a piece they’d part with to trade up and get him. The question is, is he worth the Cavaliers trading down?
The big key could be what the Milwaukee Bucks do. If the Cavaliers feel like they’re going to take their guy at two, it may not be worth it. Young makes $9.4 million next year as well, so their salary cap space would be eaten into by a player who does not play a position of need for them. In the worst case scenario if they do this trade, Wiggins and Embiid are off the board and they’re put in a position where the top value pick is Jabari Parker, giving them a serious overload of forwards. Unless they’re willing to part with No. 10, it looks like Philly may have to just keep their fingers crossed that their guy falls to them.
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