Daily Archives: July 13, 2010

“I Thought the Magic were in Orlando?”

The Heat continue to shock the world with their amazing 2010 Summer.  I am not sure how they are pulling this off.  But they continue to bring in players to a team that has already has 3 of the best players in the League.  It is just simply amazing.  There is one of three things going on here.  Either the Heat truly are possessing “magic” and just doing an amazing job.  Secondly, these guys could all just be extremely selfless people striving to get a title.  Which would be a truly beautiful thing.  Or thirdly, something fishy is going on.  Like  a John Calipari type of sketchyness.

Most thought it would be impossible to get Wade, James, and Bosh on the same team.  They did that.  Then they signed seasoned veteran Mike Miller.  The former Florida standout has been in the League for 10 years now and made nearly 10 million in salary last season.  Next, the Heat somehow magically got Udonis Haslem or UD as they call him in Miami to come back.  Udonis has spent all 7 of his years in the League with the Heat.  This guy is a solid player who is entering his prime and made a little over 7 million in salary last season.  Today, the saga continued with the announcement that 12 year NBA veteran and a teammate of James for the last 7, Zydrunas Ilgauskas will be in South Beach next season.

Now none of these 3 guys are All Stars.  But they are all seasoned veterans who will help this team get to that championship level.  Had Derek Fisher have signed with this Heat team, then I would have gone nuts.  I am very reluctant to believe that there is completely fair play going on here, but I also realize that the League is watching this all with a very close microscope. So I thought about rolling through the numbers:

The NBA Salary Cap this year is right around 58 million.  Currently the Heat have 7 players on the roster.

Pat Riley may be fist pumping a lot come next June with the amazing summer the Miami Heat have had.

Haslem due to his experience would have to make a minimum of 1, 146,337 this year.  He made over 7 million last year.  Udonis was signed to a deal of 4 million per year.  Mike Miller due to his 10+ years of experience would make a minimum of 1.3 million.  He made a little less than 10 million last year.  Miller signed for around 6 million per year.  Ilgauskas also due to his experience would make a minimum of 1.3 million.  Lets also not forget that Lebron, Wade, and Bosh all made nearly 16 million last year apiece.  They each took a cut in order to help make this happen.  All 3 of them will be making around 14.6 million a year, which is 2 million less than the max of 16.6 that they could have made.  Wade has stated that he would be fine making around 11 million a year.  Finally, the Heat have Mario Chalmers.  The former Kansas Jayhawk is set to make around 756,000 or 800,000 this year.

So between these 6 guys, 55.8 million in cap room would be used if Ilgauskas takes the minimum possible salary.  So did Miller take 4 million less than he made last year to win a title?  Did Udonis take 3 million less than he made last year as he is entering his prime to win a title? 

Could there be something going on?  I am honestly not sure and I hope not.  I  know that Pat Riley is a mastermind and one of the  finest coaches and executives of all time.  Possibly these guys could be demonstrating that sport is about winning and not about the money.  Which would be an extremely selfless and commendable act. 

I am very curious to see how the rest of the roster gets filled out.  Realize that all rookies signed this year make a minimum of $473,604.  There are a good 5 more roster spots left.  Should be very interesting to see how this works out.

Perhaps the “Magic” has moved from Orlando to Miami in the East?

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

So

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Aside

So maybe the Home Run Derby has lost some of its luster.  Maybe even the actual All Star Game has lost of its appeal. Possibly the entire thought of the All Star Weekend is not as exciting as it once was.  But this … Continue reading

“My Early College Basketball Top 5”

Kyrie Irving gives Coach K a preview of his amazing pentrating ability while starring for Team USA. This kid will be a diaper dandy according to Dickie V.

With all the commotion today regarding the new 68 team format, I started thinking about who will be the team’s playing in Houston come next April.  Now I will admit that at this point, I am not gung-ho about the 68 team format, but it is better than what could have been (96).  Though I do think we will hit 96 teams within the next 5 years.  This was a ploy by the NCAA to ween people onto the idea of more teams into the tourney.  But that is a story for another day.

So my early top 5:

1.  Duke:

This was a no brainer pretty much.  The Dukies are the defending National Champions.  They have arguably the best coach in the country.  Not to mention they are the only 4 year program left in America.  With stars Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith returning, and the addition of super point guard Kyrie Irving (you will hear more about this kid in the very near future), this team will once again boast the toughest trio in the country.  Duke looks to be a definite team that will be playing at Reliant Stadium come next April.

2.  Ohio State

Now many of you are sitting there like, this team just lost their superstar Evan Turner.  How are they even being considered a top 10 team?  I will tell you why, All Ohio Red.  This is the top AAU team in the country and Ohio State has 3 blue chip recruits coming from this team, plus a couple of other studs.  Jared Sullinger will be an instant impact player and I fully expect him to be in the running for Big Ten player of the year.  I have talked about this in past blogs.  This team has a great chemistry with their incoming recruits.  The kids have played together for years and won together.  Not to mention Ohio State has 3 returning senior starters, plus an emerging star in William Buford (who will be junior).  This team is forreal.  And they have that rare mix of great experience, and phenomenal talent.  Thad Matta should have a lot of fun with this squad.  In today’s college game, it is very rare to have a great mix of talented seniors and freshman.

3.  Michigan State

You better believe that this team is hungry and excited to have their fearless leader, Tom Izzo back.  Izzo always seems to find a way to take his team deep into March whether he has the talent or not.  This year though, he has the talent.  With Kalin Lucas (hopefully healthy), Durrell Summers, Draymond Green, and the extremely talented Delvin Roe, this team has a fantastic core.  Plus the addition of super center, Adreian Payne, from that amazing All Ohio Red team. These guys will beat you up inside.  This is a typical Tom Izzo team, but with more talent than he has had the past few years.  These guys are very dangerous and hungry to return back to the Final Four for a 3rd consecutive year.

4.  Purdue

The Boilermakers are the real deal.  And not the real deal like Gene Keady’s hair.  This team will miss their rock Chris Kramer, but their talent and experience should make up for the loss of Kramer’s intensity level.  Kramer was the only senior on the squad who saw significant time.  They return a team that spent most of the year ranked in the top 5.  A team that everyone thought had a legitimate chance to be playing in Indy before Robby Hummel went down.  If Hummel comes back at full strength, I feel like the three-headed monster of Hummel, Moore, and Johnson will be near unstoppable.  These three seniors are hungry to finally live up to the billing.  And this should be the year.

5.  Butler

This team was no Cinderella last year regardless if that is how America labeled them.  They were top 10 in the preseason for a reason and I am giving them the love again this year.  Though the loss of Gordon Hayward will hurt, they return Shelvin Mack, Matt Howard, and Ronald Nored.  Not to mention they have a very intriguing prospect coming by the name of Khyle Marshall.  Marshall is not extremely highly touted, but has a similar style to a Gordon Hayward.  Lastly, Brad Stevens is a fantastic coach.  This man, though he had a talented team, outcoached coaching legends like Jim Boeheim and Tom Izzo.  So do not be surprised if this team goes deep into the tournament again.

Sleepers:  Kentucky, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Kansas State (all teams that I could see sneaking into the Final Four)

So there you have my top 5.  One thing of note.  The Big Ten will be the top conference this year.  I know many ESPN guys said that they would be the top conference last year.  I feel like they jumped the gun and were a year early.  They had a lot of solid teams last year, but this year, they have great teams at the top, and some depth.  With the loss of only one player (Evan Turner), these teams will be deep, talented, and experienced.

In the words of Dickie V, “It’s totally awesome baby with a capital A!”

You got to love College Basketball.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze