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.


  1. I like bringin Yao, that would definitely be an upgrade to the team, what are the chances he opts out though?

  2. very small, unless he is just sick of houston. His injury reports have gone all the way to career threatening. I would love Yao, but I wouldnt invest too much in him. Hes the only guy as injury prone as Tmac.

  3. Doubt he'll go to Miami even if he doesn't stay in Houston. He'd want to go to a place with a high asian population like somewhere in California or NY.

  4. Um, I'm pretty sure Shaq is the dominant center he was referring to, not Dwight Howard.

  5. Sorry, Wade made those comments in reference to Dwight being the guy he would most want to play next to... Shaq was obviously the dominant big he has played with.

  6. lol maybe. Shaq did dunk on Dwight. Guess the original will always be better than the sequel...

  7. I don't think Yao needs to play in a place with a high Asian population. He is definitely an injury risk, but I think he will recover and play another 3-4 years.

  8. I am not real confident in Yao's recovery from what I hear. Big men with lower exremity issues= bad mix Even if he does recover, the guy is so injury prone it'd scare me off. He doesnt have a lot of mobility to begin with and being that size of a man, foot/knee issues are a serious threat. All that being said I most certainly would not be against it, as long as the team can cover itself against him being injured, I am good.

  9. "Recently acquired Washington Wizards forward Josh Howard will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee."

    I remember there being people saying "we should probably sign him in the offseason." Hah. Like I said, he's injury prone & isn't really good anyways. Won't be worth half the money he makes in the offseason.

  10. i dont think Yao would leave houston. its like saying dirk could opt out and leave dallas. just dont see it happeneing

  11. Yao has a really high upside though. When healthy he was a top 10 player. I'd limit his minutes and maybe not play him on certain ends of back to backs until the playoffs like the Spurs do with Tim Duncan.

  12. interesting game tonight. curious to get a peek at ramon sessions and corey brewer.

  13. yeah Josh Howard is done. He's a choke anyway. He literally self destructed in the 06 Finals. He was so nervous he actually forgot to tie his shorts and they fell down during a game.

  14. on a different note, anyone else notice that chicago had a hand in strengthening both charlotte and milwaukee, the 2 teams that are chasing us in the playoff race? those guys did us NO favors and i hope the heat respond in kind by not only taking their playoff spot, but by getting both wade and bosh to sign with them this summer

  15. Yeah, the Bulls would have traded us Hinrich too... I still think they make the playoffs. I hope we are able to take care of Milwaukee, but we have to take care of the T-Wolves first.

  16. http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15404

    good article on free agency

  17. http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15389

    Years of Experience

    0-6 years: 25% of the cap
    7-9 years: 30% of the cap
    10 or more years: 35% of the cap

    Now we have to tie those two pieces of information together, and determine what the starting salaries would be for a max contract (that is, the salary for the first year of the contract). We'll stick with whole numbers here, in the range of the possible cap mentioned above.

    $51 Million Cap

    0-6 years: $12,750,000
    7-9 years: $15,300,000
    10 or more years: $17,850,000

    $52 Million Cap

    0-6 years: $13,000,000
    7-9 years: $15,600,000
    10 or more years: $18,200,000

    $53 Million Cap

    0-6 years: $13,250,000
    7-9 years: $15,900,000
    10 or more years: $18,550,000

    $54 Million Cap

    0-6 years: $13,500,000
    7-9 years: $16,200,000
    10 or more years: $18,900,000

    $55 Million Cap

    0-6 years: $13,750,000
    7-9 years: $16,500,000
    10 or more years: $19,250,000

    OK, so now we have the numbers…so who do you spend the money on? There are a few players who will be in the maximum contract conversation, so let's see where they fall on the experience scale.

    LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: 7 years
    Dwyane Wade, Miami HEAT: 7 years
    Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors: 7 years
    Amar'e Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns: 8 years
    Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz: 8 years
    Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: 9 years

    Read more: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15389#ixzz0gPFXjyeD

  18. (As you can see, there is a reason why James, Wade, and Bosh all signed those less-than-max-length extensions to their rookie contracts – it was a good business decision.)

    That's not saying all of these players could, should, or will get maximum contracts this summer, just that these are the names that will come up in the discussions. For example, James is a no-brainer, but Boozer may not be – it's completely subjective, but these names will be in the conversation.

    It should also be noted that a free agent is always eligible to earn 105% of his previous contract in the first year of a new contract. This is regardless of whether he signs with his previous team or a new team. Let's look at that list of top free agents and see where each lands on the scale with that taken into account, regardless of where the cap is set:

    Player: Previous Salary / 105%

    James: $15,779,912 / $16,568,908
    Wade: $15,779,912 / $16,568,908
    Bosh: $15,779,912 / $16,568,908
    Stoudemire: $16,378,325 / $17,197,241
    Boozer: (Not applicable, since making less than max currently and 105% is also less than max)
    Johnson: $14,976,754 / $15,725,280

    So now, who will have the space? There are plenty of caveats here: this does not include cap holds on free agents or for exceptions (these would have to be renounced to get the full amount of cap space) or the cap holds for draft picks and the rights owned to players playing in Europe (think Ricky Rubio and the like). Anyway, on to the list of teams that will have at least $16.6 million in cap space, at each of the possible salary cap amounts outlined above:

    $51 Million

    Chicago Bulls
    Los Angeles Clippers
    Miami Heat (this includes Wade's Player Option)
    New Jersey Nets
    New York Knicks
    Sacramento Kings

    $52 Million

    All of the above, plus…
    Minnesota Timberwolves

    $53 Million

    All of the above

    $54 Million

    All of the above

    $55 Million

    All of the above

    The Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder are sitting just outside of the range of eligibility; they'd have to hope for a much higher than expected cap or trade a contract around the time of the NBA Draft in order to get into the mix. It's also worth noting all of the current players can re-sign with their current teams regardless of their team's cap situation.

    (Update: It should be noted that if Washington declines Josh Howard's team option for $11.8 million as expected, they would be in the first list of teams, able to offer a max contract no matter what the 2010-11 salary cap figure.)

    It also needs to be noted the Knicks have room for two max contracts, as do the Miami HEAT (who would already have the inside track on Wade).

    Read more: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15389#ixzz0gPG3VaEK

  19. Bucks have to play Boston 3 times, Cleveland,Miami,Atl 2 times, games against Denver, Memphis, Utah,Phoenix, Charlotte, Chicago.

    Tough to see Milwaukee still a playoff team.

  20. yeah, thats a tough slate especially with western conference teams jockeying for final playoff positioning.

  21. I dont see them getting through that schedule. I think it is fairly safe will be playoff team, if not the 5 seed.

  22. It could work. Yao's game was never based on athleticism and can be unstoppable

    but the injuries are a bother and I doubt Houston would want to lose their great wall.

    btw anyone remember Wang Zhizhi?

  23. The only thing Wang Zhizhi had in common with Yao was his skin color.

    Yao's mobility always sucked. As long as he can get up and down the court in time, that's all you need from him.