What off season?
In the past 48 hours the Heat have re-signed Udonis Haslem and reports have surfaced that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland and Miami may be on his list of preferred landing spots.
We answer questions on both subjects in our latest mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question, send them in for future mailbags via Twitter to @Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44.
From ChrisHypeTrain: what’s your opinion on Cleveland? Lebron leaving or staying? Prospects on them this year? Kyrie Irving bombshell?
Wow, where do we start. The Cavs are a dumpster fire (while remaining, as we speak, the best team in the East) but the LeBron James saga just took another turn with the Irving story breaking Friday.
How LeBron reacts to Irving saying he no longer wants to play alongside side the four-time MVP and three-time champion is difficult to predict. LeBron’s future with the Cavs, already a mystery, just got totally thrown into chaos. LeBron has been frustrated with Cleveland at different points since his return in 2010, including with the team’s inability to improve its roster this summer, a situation the Cavs are in partly because of the bad contracts they gave to players LeBron requested they sign.
Now, how does Irving’s future with Cleveland tie into LeBron’s? Would Cleveland shipping out Irving seal LeBron’s departure? That would depend on the return. If the Cavs grant Irving his wish and start accepting offers LeBron will be involved and that will be done with the idea of making LeBron happy as much as anything. But if Irving remains a part of the team what will the chemistry between Irving and LeBron be like?
Here’s another question that just months ago seems preposterous but now must be asked: Do the Cavaliers hold onto Irving and consider trading LeBron? Something they could explore if they believe LeBron is a serious threat to bolt next offseason, when he can become a free agent.
So right now, who knows what we are going to see in November and how dysfunctional the Cavs could get.
One thing is certain, this has added a lot of uncertainty to the East. With all the drama surrounding Cleveland, teams like Boston, Toronto, Washington, Milwaukee and even Miami have to be keeping a close eye on the Cavs. Depending on where this team is in three months, we may be seeing a shift in the Eastern Conference.
From @JustDamianJ: Will (Udonis Haslem) actually play or is he there for moral support?
UD, as expected, is returning for his 15th season on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract of $2.3 million. The last two years he has settled into more of a mentor/leadership role with his playing time drastically reduced.
And now having turned 37 last month, the Heat certainly did not bring back Haslem thinking he is going to make a big difference on the court. Even last year, with a wasted roster spot because of Chris Bosh’s situation and the extraordinary amount of injuries, Haslem played in just 16 games averaging 8.1 minutes a game. In other words, Haslem played the equivalent of less than three games (130 minutes) the entire season.
With James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo on the roster, minutes will be scarce for Haslem. But that’s something Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have known for a few years and Haslem has accepted.
Haslem will be the closest thing to a player coach as there is in the league.