Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Draft is Here and More Cap Room Has Been Cleared
Yesterday's lopsided trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder netted them a 2008 1st round draft pick and 3 point champion in DaeQuan Cook plus the 18th pick in today's draft for just the second pick of the second round. Well, OKC clearly gets the most talent in this trade, but the #32 pick in the draft gives us the second guy available that will not have a salary slot taking up cap room, which is huge for what this team is trying to achieve this offseason.
The trade is really an A+, because while some useful players will inevitably come off the board between 18 and 31, about $800K has been saved in drafting a comparable fourteen picks later. Parting with DaeQuan saves the club another $1.7 million, but it is a little sad in that he did not present enough value to help rid the team of James Jones and his $6 million buyout (over three seasons)... unless this draft pick plays a role in accomplishing just that.
James Jones could otherwise be released by the end of the month for a cap savings of $2.2 million. His $4.6 million salary would be reduced t0 his $1.9 million guarantee and you would have to add a cap hold of nearly $500K. I am wary of releasing Jones for a $2.2 million savings, because it only just around $11 million for a third free agent, whereas trading him would clear enough money to make a maximum offer to Rudy Gay, for example.
If they failed to trade him before the end of the month, I value the trade flexibility he provides the club for 2010 and beyond. His contract could net a player making $5.9 million and could be combined with guys making the veteran minimum in order to reach a little higher. Of course, ultimately he could be getting packaged with Michael Beasley for a player making upwards of $12 million. Without Jones's contract the trade possibilities are much more limited in scope.
A Michael Beasley trade could be imminent, however, as clearing his name off the books would place the team in a position to offer three maximum contracts. It almost seems like an offer we can't refuse. Some combination of NBA superstars will want to jump on this, it is just too attractive to pass up. Here is hoping it is LeBron, Dwyane and Chris, but plan B and C sound quite appealing as well.
For as much as we value Michael Beasley, his scoring touch will not be missed if we have three 20 point scorers on the roster. Do you think Boston ever regrets trading away Al Jefferson? Haslem, JO, Dorell, Quentin and Carlos would be offered one year deals at the minimum and would likely be rewarded financially in future years if the organization is as loyal as Wade claims them to be. If none of these players return, Riley should have little trouble filling out the roster with capable veterans and youngsters.
The draft is hours away and July 1st just a week away. Will Beasley and Jones be on the roster by then? Not likely. It is all about the second round picks right now. Two from last year (Pat Beverley, G and Robert Dozier, F - out 12 weeks) plus Mario Chalmers from the year before and #32, #41, #42, and #48 today. Oh, and lets not forget the undrafteds, Joel Anthony (who still could opt out) could find company from Kenny Hasbruck, Alade Aminu or some other relative unknown when the season starts. If anything, the Heat should have one of the more competitive summer league teams in Las Vegas as players looking to break into the league will certainly be paying attention to the massive rebuild project that is at hand.
Get ready, because draft night 2010 could be huge for Miami Heat basketball. I have a feeling the team will snag a few good sleepers in the second round and with plenty of trades being offered, Riley could pull the trigger on something big.