Free agency is well underway, and so far the Miami Heat has signed no one. In fact, all we have are rumors, speculation, and so-called "reports" swirling around all saying different things (or, in most cases, saying nothing at all).
So what's a Heat fan to do?
What's to be believed? Who is right? Who is wrong? Is Pat Riley ever going to sign anybody?
WHY HASN'T PAT RILEY SIGNED ANYBODY??
Relax. Let's dive in and answer some of the most burning questions concerning the Miami Heat and its quest to retool its championship squad.
Why are there so many conflicting reports? Because news is a 24-hour, eight-days-a-week operation, and something has to fill in the spaces while we wait for real-life things to happen. So we're going to get a lot of noise coming at us from all directions. Some sound, and some -- like this one that calls Chris Bosh "a fading star" -- not so sound.
What's with this report about Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh not knowing what LeBron is going to do? Chris Broussard of ESPN wrote a report on Wednesday that basically says Wade and Bosh are in the dark with what LeBron is going to do. There are several issues with this report. First and foremost, Broussard names "multiple sources" but never clarifies who these sources are or how deep into the team they might be. Of course, anonymous sources are the way news has always been broken, but these supposed sources seem a tad dubious. Not that Broussard is making stuff up. He may very well have people on the inside feeding him info. It's just that these things have to be scrutinized. For example, how would these multiple sources know what Wade and Bosh are thinking unless they sat at the lunch meeting they had? It's possible either Wade or Bosh told someone this, but it's highly unlikely.
The other thing is than Dan LeBatard went on ESPN's SportsCenter on Wednesday night and said he's hearing the exact opposite of what Broussard reported -- that LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all know exactly what's going down and that the communication between them and the team is much clearer now than it was in 2010, when they first joined up.
Did Pat Riley speak with Pau Gasol? According to this Yahoo! Sports report, yes. Yes, he did.
Whoa. Gasol on the Heat would be awesome. Yes. But that's not a question.
Oh. OK, so why haven't the Heat signed anyone yet? Well, it's all about the market. The Pistons kicked things off by giving Jodie Meeks a ridiculous $20 million contract.
So what does that mean? That means that Jodie Friggin' Meeks probably set the tone for the market, which means that a salary-cap-strapped Heat's desire to sign "big name" free agents got that much harder. We don't know exactly how much the Heat has to work with, but we do know the likes of Pau Gasol and Luol Deng are going to be asking for way more than Jodie Friggin' Meeks.
So we're screwed? Not necessarily, but it does mean Heat fans need to temper their expectations a little. It would obviously be awesome to get a Gasol or Deng (or both!!!) to Miami, but those dudes would have to take serious pay cuts to join the Big Three. Basically, the selling point would be a chance to win championships. Otherwise, guys like Gasol are going to sign where the money is.
So... we're screwed. The best way to look at this right now is to expect the Big Three to re-sign, as well as Ray Allen. And then maybe a guy or two who'll help but not necessarily be All Star-caliber.
Like? Channing Frye or Trevor Ariza would be nice fits. But they too might be out of the price range.
So then who could they get? Unless they can somehow convince Deng to drop his asking price, we could be looking at someone like Rodney Stuckey.
Ugh. Or Kris Humphries.
Guh. Or even Vince Carter.
Gah. And they could even make a run at Carlos Boozer if he gets amnestied.
NOOOOOO. The main thing is, the Heat needs wing help, and it needs another shooter, and, of course, it needs rebounding help. Any of those names -- while not sexy -- could fit the bill.
So... we're screwed. The main way to look at this is this: The Big 3 are coming back (stop listening to the noise), as is Ray Allen and maybe even Birdman (which would be huge). The rest is tweaking and putting in guys who will help the Heat be better than it was last year.
So time to drink some Drano? This is by no means how things will definitely turn out. This is only the likeliest scenario -- a realistic view, if you will. The market is dictating how things will go, so the Heat is operating within that framework. And just because we haven't heard anything from the team doesn't mean it's not working.
So, prediction? Never count Pat Riley out.
That's not a prediction. OK. Fine. Prediction: The Heat convinces Frye to come down here and signs Humphries. It then re-signs Birdman, Ray, and, of course, the Big 3. Throw them out there with Shabazz Napier and you have a pretty good team. Still the best in the East, really.
Fart noise. Sorry.
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