Friday, July 9, 2010

Hubcap

The hub of Heatworld is how and what it does capwise to re-structure its roster.

To that end going forward, Heat SVP Andy Elisburg suddenly becomes Miami's MIP (most important person) as Riley's designated capologist.

Summarizing the current state of mergers & acquisitions, Ira Winderman comes thru:
[T]he Miami Heat is attempting to work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers for free-agent forward LeBron James, who already has agreed to join the Heat.  [Whether it succeeds or not,] James is still locked into a Heat future. [However, should the Heat be able to pull off such a maneuver,] it would give Heat President Pat Riley [more free agent flexibility as well as] unlimited resources to re-sign [current Heat free agents] without having to make those agreements work within the confines of the NBA's "soft" salary cap.


In addition, such a maneuver would allow the Heat to retain its mid-level salary-cap exception for 2010-11, which it could then use to complete its planned signing of Washington Wizards free-agent swingman Mike Miller. Regardless of the approach, the Heat is expected to sign Miller, the former University of Florida standout, to a contract in the five-year, $30 million range.

The Heat [is also close to completing] a sign-and-trade agreement with the Toronto Raptors that will allow recently acquired power forward Chris Bosh to receive a six-year free-agent contract instead of the maximum five-year contract an outside free agent can receive. The Raptors, in turn, will receive a package of draft picks from the Heat and a trade exception of roughly $15 million.

With a sign-and-trade from Cleveland, James could -- like Bosh -- receive a six-year package, instead of the maximum five-year deal an outside free agent could receive. Such an arrangement would then allow Bosh, James and re-signed Heat free-agent guard Dwyane Wade to each receive similar six-year, $125 million contracts starting at the league maximum of $16.6 million for next season.

[On another front,] the Heat is still addressing the possibility of retaining Heat mainstay and current free-agent power forward Udonis Haslem.  Under its current salary structure, the Heat could only offer Haslem a veteran-minimum 2010-11 contract of $1.1 million. The Heat then could make up the money to Haslem in 2011-12 and beyond.

However, if both Bosh and James are acquired by sign-and-trade agreements, Haslem could then receive a Heat contract that would start in 2010-11 at or above his $7.1 million 2009-10 salary. Haslem has been contacted by several teams with the Utah Jazz emerging as a prime suitor in the wake of losing free-agent power forward Carlos Boozer to the Chicago Bulls.

The Orlando Sentinel is also reporting that free-agent forward Matt Barnes said he has been in contact with the Heat. Barnes earned $1.6 million last season, opting out of the $1.6 million he otherwise would have earned this coming season. If  James can be signed via sign-and-trade, Barnes could then slide into the lower-level, $2 million salary-cap exception the Heat would regain.