Friday, May 28, 2010
Should Wade Start Hyping Beasley?
The general perception is that Dwyane Wade views Michael Beasley much in the same way as Kobe Bryant viewed Andrew Bynum a few years back: as a frustrating young talent that he would rather see traded than developed. However, as Wade begins his campaign to bring a dynasty to Miami via free agency, he might want to consider talking up his teammate.
Dwyane has learned that anything he says will be front page news and has already used it to his advantage by telling a Chicago newspaper that he questions whether the Bulls are a loyal organization. When Wade was a kid in the suburbs of Chicago, Michael Jordan won the NBA title in his six last full seasons with the Bulls and then was told that organizations win championships and not players. Wade's questioning of Chicago's ethical treatment of greatness could very well steer potential free agents away from the Windy City. What a fantastic pre-emptive strike.
However, what people need to hear most from our master recruiter is a ringing endorsement on Michael Beasley. If Wade proclaimed that Beasley will average "at least 19 points and 8 rebounds next season", it would instantly make Miami the hot destination of the summer (as it should be). Of course, those are actually Mike's per 36 numbers for his two "lackluster" seasons on the Heat. For some perspective, could you imagine the hype Michael Beasley would get right now if he had stayed in school two more years and come out the year the Washington Wizards got the top pick? The debate would rage about whether they should draft John Wall or the local favorite who is virtually guaranteed to put up 20 and 10 for the next decade. Instead he came out the same year that the #1 pick was held by a team that had local ties with Derrick Rose and has been an afterthought since. A Wade endorsement (whether sincere or not) would dramatically change the perception on Miami's ability to build a dynasty.
Keeping Michael around creates a similar dynamic to the 2008 Lakers and Celtics, which met in the NBA Finals - three veteran studs and a young, unproven one. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom had Andrew Bynum, while Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had Rajon Rondo. Two years later, both teams are one game away from meeting each other in yet another NBA Finals and perhaps only a Kevin Garnett injury has kept this from being the NBA Finals matchup for the past three seasons. Both teams have been able to add to their potent cores by using the mid-level exception on Ron Artest and Rasheed Wallace, respectively.
When Shaquille O'Neal came to town he insisted that Dwyane not be traded to LA and accepted a lesser salary in order to allow the organization to put together a championship squad in his second season on the club. A similar effort should be made now to keep Michael around in the Andrew Bynum/Rajon Rondo role. Of course, you do whatever you can to bring in LeBron and Bosh/Stoudemire, but if championships is what these guys are looking for, then it should not be too hard to convince them to give the kid a real chance to blossom with them.