Kevin Love remains on the trade block in high demand, and eyebrow-raising names still tread water in the free-agency pool.
So goes the daily grind of the NBA offseason.
On the surface, things appear to be rather boring now that the top names to previously inhabit the market have homes and trade talks continue to stall, but it is a rather volatile time indeed as a sudden agreement or ink to paper can take the dozing fan by surprise.
Below, let's keep up with the latest from both worlds.
Heat on the Hunt
For Miami, LeBron James has morphed into Luol Deng, and Josh McRoberts has slid into a role next to Chris Bosh beneath the rim. Danny Granger is a solid sixth man behind Dwyane Wade, and Shabazz Napier will develop behind Mario Chalmers.
It's not exactly the coup Heat fans had expected, as at one point it appeared the Big Three were set to act together in order to bring on more talent.
The team has done just that, sans James, but Pat Riley and Co. are intent on adding even more, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald:
Count Charlotte small forward/shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts among remaining free agents who interest the Heat. ... other veteran free agent wing players still available include Shawn Marion, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton (the Heat has reportedly inquired), Heat incumbent Toney Douglas, MarShon Brooks (his agent has reached out to Miami), Omri Casspi and Jerryd Bayless, among others.
Perhaps the most interesting names of those listed, ones who will all come cheap at this point, are Shawn Marion and Jordan Crawford. For the former, Riley better be able to convince the 36-year-old veteran that a championship push is in the cards.
"My ultimate goal is to win another championship, so it's wherever I feel is the best chance to win another championship," Marion told Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports.
Hey, anything is possible in the weak Eastern Conference, and Marion should understand that he would be a key addition to the rotation should he join.
Should the Heat want to get a bit younger, Crawford is four years into his career at the age of 25. He has bounced around the league while flashing potent scoring talent that would be properly channeled through guidance from a guy like Wade.
Really, the main point to take away is that Riley's method is a bit like New York or Los Angeles' in that he is not willing to simply start a rebuild. With the right additions yet to come, playoff wins—thanks to depth—become a better possibility.
Michael Beasley on the Upswing
A former No. 2 overall pick who has seemingly been through it all at the young age of 25, Michael Beasley is finally beginning to see a market develop.
Since 2008, the Kansas State product has been traded, suspended and waived. He's been a rehab project by the Heat. His tumultuous journey has left a rather strange set of stats along the way:
Sooner or later, though, a market was going to appear. There is too much youth and upside with him at this point, which would explain why Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears that we may want to be on the lookout for some news soon:
It is quite interesting that Kennedy notes teams have an interest due to Beasley's tenure in Miami, as Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe had reported after the season that James himself was not pleased with his effort or production.
Either way, that is all white noise at this point—Beasley will get a deal soon. As Pro Basketball Talk's Brett Pollakoff notes, it is all about the environment for such a volatile personality:
But again, on a minimum salary deal, there are teams that will take a long hard look at Beasley next season. They’ll need to have a strong system in place with veteran players that have control of the locker room in order for him to have a chance to succeed, but in the right situation, a team will convince itself that they can be the ones to unlock all that potential, and get him to focus for an entire NBA season.
One team is destined to think it has "it," and also hope that Beasley can tap into his enormous talent pool with actual effort and develop "it" as well. Which team elects to take the dive will be quite interesting, indeed.
The Knicks and Kevin Love
Knicks president Phil Jackson is not shy about his intentions in the Big Apple.
The man, a Hall of Famer already, inherited an absolute mess and immediately began to ship off dead weight, draft promising rookies and keep Carmelo Anthony in town.
Part of the allure for Anthony to stick around, other than the cash and locale, is the fact Jackson is surely gunning for a Love or LaMarcus Aldridge next offseason. This much was apparent when the maestro himself revealed that his lone superstar took a discount to help in this endeavor, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Jackson confirmed The Post’s reports Anthony structured the deal to give the Knicks more cap space in 2015. It is believed he didn’t take his annual 7.5 percent raise in Year 2 and may have taken a tiny pay decrease. Under collective bargaining agreement rules, a player can receive as high as a 7.5 percent pay raise annually.
Except Jackson is not content to wait for Love to hit the market—at least allegedly. Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal (via Andrew Battifarano of NESN) has the scoop: "New York offered Amar’e Stoudemire, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Iman Shumpert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to land Love, a source told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. The Wolves reportedly rejected the deal."
So there it is. Tim Hardaway Jr., an elite young player, who is 22 years of age and a season removed from averaging better than 10 points per game, has been all but untouchable to this point. Iman Shumpert, 24, is a defensive stalwart who has no true fit with the Knicks at this point and provides sound value.
Those two were surely there to sweeten the pot with the albatross that is Stoudemire in the talks. A shell of his former self, the forward is due more than $23 million in 2014-15, per Spotrac. Making things worse is the fact Jackson has no first-round picks he can deal.
So let's not blame Minnesota for turning it down, given the fact there are surely better deals to be had.
But let's tip the hat to Jackson, who remains on the hunt for pieces to build a contender.
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