Well, the decision has come down. Like Stephen A. Smith and others suspected, LeBron is joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. They have to be the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Time will tell if this power trio will be enough to dethrone the Lakers.

From a fantasy perspective, I’m afraid all three will take a hit to their production. It would be hard not to take LeBron with the number one pick in fantasy drafts, but there has to be a case for Kevin Durant.

Image courtesy of ESPN

As the world prepares for LeBron’s announcement later tonight, the Celtics made a move to bolster their chances of repeating as Eastern Conference Champions. They added Jermaine O’Neal to fill the void the C’s will feel as Kendrick Perkins recovers from his knee injury. O’Neal, who will turn 32 in October should give them an upgrade over the recently retired Rasheed Wallace. His fantasy value takes a hit as there are more scoring options  in Boston than there were in Miami.


Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Carlos Boozer was Public Enemy number one when he gave his word on a contract extension with the Cavs, only to skip town for the extra money Utah was offering. Now he has a chance to stick a dagger in the hearts of Cavs fans once again if his decision to sign with the Bulls sways LeBron James to join him.

The Bulls certainly have a nice team to play alongside James should he choose Chicago. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, LeBron James, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah would certainly make a formidable starting unit. Boozer and LeBron played one year together in 2003-04, and LeBron told Boozer he has to do what is best for his family prior to his departure. If New York and Miami became the front runners by signing A’mare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh, Chicago is back in the game with the signing. I’m afraid Cleveland just won’t have anything to offer LeBron in order to keep their hometown hero.

From a fantasy perspective, look for Noah and Boozer’s rebound totals to take a hit. Luol Deng will likely also take a hit both in points and rebounds. Rose could see an increase in assists.

 

You can forget about an ESPN special down the road featuring Kevin Durant letting the world know where he’s going. On the day it was reported that Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would team up in Miami, and a day before King James’ one-hour special, Durant quietly signed with Oklahoma City.

 

Durant has to be one of the most admirable young stars in the game. He did not make an issue of being bypassed by Portland for Greg Oden because of the questions surrounding his strength. All he did was go out and prove that he should be spoken about in the same breath as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Kobe Bryant. In fact, if LeBron were to go to the Heat as speculated, there would be a considerable case for Durant as the first overall fantasy pick next year.

 

For future reference for NBA GMs out there, how many times you can bench press 185 pounds does not mean you can’t play at a high level.

 

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Bosh Going to Miami

7 July 2010

Will LeBron Join Wade and Bosh in Miami?

 

ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have decided to team up in Miami. Details have not emerged the compensation Bosh will receive, specifically if he will get the extra money associated with a sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors. There is also no word whether or not LeBron James, who will announce live on ESPN his intentions tomorrow night, will join them in South Beach or not. For now, Wade is Batman and Bosh is Robin. Wade is Crockett and Bosh is Tubbs.

Image courtesy of ESPN

 

OK, this one was a little bigger deal. Rudy Gay has agreed to a max deal with the Grizzlies. The deal will have to wait until July 8th when deals can become official. Gay is the first of the big name free agents to agree to a deal (Drew Gooden doesn’t count), though it sounds like Joe Johnson will agree to stay in Atlanta. If both of these deals hold up, there are two fewer options to form super teams.

 

What I can’t get is why Gay (and likely Johnson) are getting max deals? They aren’t max players. That should be held for guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Dirk Nowitzki. In this economy teams are foolish to overpay players.

 

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The first chip fell in the NBA free agency run. OK, not really, but ESPN is reporting that the Bucks have bolstered their front line by agreeing on a deal with PF Drew Gooden. If he receives around 25-30 minutes per game with the Bucks he should be able to approach a double-double average. The deal can not be finalized until July 8th. This move has no effect on the eventual destination of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and company.

Mike Bibby
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ESPN is reporting that the Hawks have reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension with Point Guard Mike Bibby.  The deal is said to be worth $18 million over three years.  Bibby averaged 14.9 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.7 three-pointers per game last year.  He shot 43.5% from the floor, 78.9% from the line, and 39% from three. 

Bibby’s fantasy value took a big hit this offseason as the Hawks traded for scoring combo Guard Jamal Crawford and drafted PG Jeff Teague.  Throw in Joe Johnson and Bibby should see a dip in scoring and assists, although I would expect some three Guard sets with Bibby, Johnson, Crawford, Josh Smith, and Al Horford where the Hawks really push the tempo. 

This offseason has been about the good teams getting better so it was important for the Hawks to retain Bibby.  The crowded backfield means Josh Childress will likely not return after a one-year hiatus to play in Greece. With Bibby’s deal out of the way, the Hawks can focus on bringing back Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia.

The deal won’t be official until tomorrow.

Jason Kidd Dallas
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Jason Kidd listened to the offers, but in the end will remain a Dallas Maverick after agreeing to a three-year deal.  Kidd continues to perform at a high level despite his age (36) and mileage (15 seasons).  He averaged 9.0 points, 8.7 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.98 steals.  Kidd shot 41.6% from the floor, 81.9% from the line, and 40.6% from three.  Kidd had 3 triple-doulbes last year to bring his career total up to 103. 
 
Despite the career low scoring average, Kidd remains a valuable PG for the Mavs and for fantasy owners because he contributes in so many areas.

The deal won’t be official until Wednesday.

ESPN is reporting that Hedo Turkoglu has agreed to a deal to play for the Portland Trailblazers.  The deal can’t be finalized until July 8th.  Once it is finalized the Blazers will have added a piece to keep up with the Lakers, who added Ron Artest, and the Spurs, who added Richard Jefferson, in the Western Conference. 

Turkoglu had a solid season for the Magic averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists.  He elevated his game in the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Cleveland with 17.2 ppg and against the Lakers in the NBA Finals with 18.0 ppg. 

His fantasy value takes a slight hit as he is joining an Offense that includes Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.


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