Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Ming Dynasty
Earlier this season Wade had this to say about when asked who he would most like to play with in this league, "I've played with a dominant center before, and there's nothing like it. It changes the whole game."
The answer to the question was Orlando's Dwight Howard, one of his T-Mobile Fave Five. However, upon hearing those words I remembered yet another one of Wade's Fave Five buddies, who could become a free agent this off-season: Yao Ming. Check out their commercial for a quick laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSdh695ER04
The addition of Yao Ming is no joking matter, it is serious business - he is arguably the top center in the league. People are sleeping on this giant because his most recent injury crippled Houston's 2008-09 playoff run and then sidelined him for the entire 2009-10 season. However, there may not be a better time for the 30 year old center to cash in with 6 teams desperately seeking to add a "max" free agent.
The reality of the free agent situation is such that Dwyane, LeBron and Chris Bosh are worth the full 6 year max deal from their hometown making it likely that they stay put.
Yao falls nicely into the second tier of possible free agents with fellow All-Stars Amare Stoudamire and Joe Johnson. Opt out this year and he is a few work outs away from striking it rich somewhere on a five year deal. Opt in and he is one injury plagued or sub par season away from being seen as next year's T-Mac and JO (another oft-injured 31 year old free agent who will have to swallow his pride and sign a much smaller contract than his previous one).
Yes, Yao is a huge injury risk and as Heat fans we have suffered through the our fair share of missed games by our franchise centers, but you take the good with the bad and in this case the good heavily outweighs the bad. Why, you ask? Money.
Money makes the world go 'round and there is no basketball player in the world that makes money go 'round than Yao. Not LeBron, not Kobe, not D-Wade - Yao is the highest paid NBA athlete... the most marketable basketball player in the world. Yes, the only thing bigger than the 7'6" Yao is the Asian market that idolizes him.
Teaming up Yao and Wade would be a marketing genius move, and while I am at it I would also add Tracy McGrady who as you could tell by the All Star balloting is still one of Asia's favorite players.
I hear the grumblings about how that would be an injury prone team, but in due time the team would be able to go over the salary cap and not have to worry about any luxury tax because they will be making more than enough money to cover the expenses.