Mainstream NBA news.
LeBron James will opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat and become an unrestricted free agent. According to Neil Greenberg of Fancy Stats, only six teams can afford to pay him top dollar; the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers. Based on the logic that LeBron will take a max-contract playing with a competitor, he ends up in Phoenix-- right? Oh well. I don't care much for this conversation, but speculate away if that's your thing.
As far as what LeBron's departure does to Miami, this Forbes column has the value of the Heat organization dropping over $100 million dollars. Micky Arison's team appeared in four-consecutive NBA Finals, but, in addition to all the perks LeBron brings to the basketball court, there are other rewards for signing the best basketball player on the planet-- television ratings. It's important to state that article did not imply the value of franchise would immediately diminish by this margin, this is merely an estimate of the effect that losing LeBron would have on the Heat as a brand.
This is a segment from an Australian radio program, where Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors makes an appearance in the studio. Bogut, who seems like a wonderful person to interview, speaks on LeBron, admits to being a conspiracy theorist, and talks about David Blatt.
The NBA Draft is tomorrow, and by now there aren't many mock drafts or scouting reports left that don't regurgitate the same information as the next one. This is a testament to how well the draft has been covered. That said, Dan Dickey dropped this unique draft model based on prospects projected career WAR, last night.
Some more billboard warfare.
Yesterday, Flip Saunders and Sam Mitchell met with the media, and this post at the Star Tribune has a three minute long clip of Saunders --along with some other quotables-- provided by Wolves-beat Jerry Zgoda.
In the video, Saunders answers questions, describes something called an "S Box" that sits in the corner of his Target Center office, and tells us where he believes leaders come from. I have a suspicion that the 'S' in "S Box" stands for a four-letter word that would be inappropriate, or unprofessional, to say in front of cameras and microphones. Flip does make one thing clear, though. If you're a draft prospect working out for the Timberwolves, you don't want to have your name on a slip of paper in that box. It's pretty clear that Flip is enjoying the part of the job where he gets to banter with the media.
For those sick of the Kevin Love saga, it might only get longer. According to Zgoda, Saunders said he felt the draft was an "artificial deadline" when it came to trades, and that, historically, few top players get dealt by that day. "I don't know about the prospects of us trading anybody by Thursday night," Flip told the media on Wednesday.
Think about it, though-- the last superstar you've seen traded away on the night of the NBA Draft. Not prospects, or draft selections that ultimately became great players-- the last proven, veteran superstar that was dealt on draft night, who was it?
You don't think the girl didn't know Ricky Rubio was a professional basketball player, too, do you?
Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a lengthy number on the Klay Thompson-Kevin Love hypothetical swap, which Eric told us would be a huge mistake-- if the Wolves were to deal Love to the Golden State Warriors.
Mark Remme has a feature on Jim Peterson on the Timberwolves webpage.
Target Center will pursue the rights to host a Women's Final Four sometime in the future, and the Lynx support that idea.
If you're a fan, podcast the latest Break the Huddle Show. Or, watch the video from yesterday's show below. We talked about NBA draft prospects, and, begrudgedly, discussed the drama surrounding Kevin Love.
[Show begins at the 5:15 mark]
And it's Humpday. Here's some hiphop.