Hakim Warrick Signs With Bucks - Brian Windhorst / PD:
"The Cavs have made offers to several forwards this summer in an effort to add some depth to their front line, including Warrick and Sean May. The team might now look to re-sign Joe Smith. Another option is to go younger with better shooters in Rob Kurz or Steve Novak."
Leon Powe Coming to Cleveland?
Brian Windhorst also reported a few hours ago that the Cavaliers have extended an offer to Powe. David Aldridge reported earlier that Powe does in fact prefer Cleveland to his other suitors. I think Roger Lodge might call that a match.
David Aldridge from eariler via - Scott / WFNY:
"It may take Celtics restricted free agent forward Leon Powe months to return to the court after suffering a torn left ACL and damaging his meniscus in the playoffs, if he can come back at all. But several contending teams are interested in him, and the interest is mutual. In fact, Powe would like to join LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal in Cleveland next year in pursuit of another championship."
Oh and Larry Dolan dumped another $5.9 million. Cleveland wishes you the best Victor, you are going to have a helluva career.
This time its not for the Cavaliers though, its for the Indians. Indians owner Larry Dolan is doing everything he can to allign himself in the history of Cleveland sports right next to the infamous Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien. In trading away back to back Cy Young winners, and slashing salary at any chance he gets, he is running the Cleveland franchise he owns directly into the ground. He will tell you its not his fault. He will tell you that his hand is forced because of the fact that his club is a small market team, and as such, this market cannot provide the dollars needed to be successful. But if you look right across the street, you might see Dan Gilbert waving his One Goal towel around his head calling bull sh*t.
The NBA has a salary cap. Baseball doesn't. What is interesting though, are the dollars Gilbert is spending on his Cleveland team - same small market - with respect to the rest of his league, as well as that baseball team right next door.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the 3rd highest payroll in the NBA. With the recent off-season moves - signing Shaq for $20 mil ect - on the books, the Cavaliers have a 2009-10 payroll totalling $79,975,195. That payroll is more than the big market cities Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, and Philadelphia are paying their teams. The Luxury Tax for the 2009-10 season is set at a threshold level of $69.9 million. Which means, for every dollar that Gilbert pays over that level (in his case $10 mil) he has to pay dollar for dollar to the NBA in accordance with the tax. That means esssentially, that Gilbert's payroll can be figured at $90 million. $80 mil in payroll, $10 mil in luxury tax.
Larry Dolan - the brokest cat on Wall Street - now has the Indians payroll sitting at $59,294,641 with the shedding of Cliff Lee's (bargain basement) contract of $9 million. That total ranks the Indians as the 27th highest payroll in the MLB, ahead of only San Diego, Florida, and Pittsburgh. Dolan's payroll is calculated based on the salaries of his 21-man active roster. Gilbert's payroll is figured on 15. Despite that, Gilbert is paying out $30 million more than Dolan.
The Yankees are paying over $207 mil for their roster. But this isn't about the Yankees. Its about Cleveland. If the Cavaliers payroll - including the luxury tax - of $90 mil was compared to other non-salary capped MLB payrolls, the Cavaliers would have the 13th highest payroll in the baseball, just ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, and just behind the Chicago White Sox.
What this means are a few simple things. Dan Gilbert should be viewed in this town for being maybe the best owner we have ever seen. Larry Dolan should be viewed as one of the worst. It also means that if the Indians matched the $90 million that the Cavaliers paid out, they might be half decent. Except they don't, and they're not. Lets go Cavs.
It looks like the Heat may be closing in on the willie wonka half of that nasty Odom and Boozer to Miami rumor , but the Candyman won't come free. According to the latest rumblings, it may take a sign and trade to send the Rhode Island product to South Beach.
"The West GM said it might be in the Lakers’ best interest to seek a sign-and-trade if Odom decides to leave to ensure they get something back – possibly forward/center Udonis Haslem and injury-plagued forward Dorell Wright, who were offered to Utah in Miami’s unsuccessful effort to land forward Carlos Boozer."
I hope that trade happens to be honest, because I think it hurts both teams to some extent. If the Lakers re-sign Odom they are the odds on favorite to win the West, and probably the whole thing again. And if the Heat were to sign Boozer and Odom - and not give anything up - they would have to be amongst a handful of teams favored to win the East. But while the Heat won't get Boozer, the addition of Odom only marginally improves their overall roster. If you look back on the offseason, they come out close to a wash in the forward department. They just lost Jamario Moon, and would then have to trade away Udonis Haslem, and in return they get Lamar Odom. An upgrade to some extent, but by no means a major overhaul. And the Lakers just lose here. They lose Odom, and really don't have a place to play Haslem, with Gasol getting the majority of the minutes at PF. Make the deal.
Shaq made a bet with a member of his Shaq-tourage recently, wagering on his ability to gain access into the White House by simply knocking on the front gate. He didn't get in.
Shaq Denied Entrance To White House - Via DC Sports Bog / Dan Steinberg:
["If I show up, unannounced, at the White House, could I get in?" Turns out this was no idle speculation. It was an actual bet, between Shaq and one of his handlers, with the loser owing the winner 1,000 push-ups..."I went to the gate," he said. "They were nice. They said, 'Shaq, we can't do it.' I said, 'I understand.' Understood."]
You owe me a thousand Big Fella.
He did get into the WWE ring though, as I'm sure you heard, and was about the only thing worth watching. Hasn't been the same since the Macho Man.
Shaq on Raw - Via Waiting For Next Year / Scott:
["I made it through the entire show. But the truth is, if it wasn’t for Shaq, I wouldn’t have made it."]
And while Shaq continues to make noise and news on the regular, LeBron James continues to make headlines as well, despite his summer of silence. This time its contract talk, and Danny Ferry's dropping no comments as well.
LeBron Quiet on Contract Talks - Via Tom Withers / AP:
[`We've talked to (agent) Leon Rose, but beyond that I don't really want to comment,'' Ferry said after introducing newly signed free agent forward Jamario Moon.]
Via the CelticsBlog: "I'm told by another source (these things are just coming out of the woodwork these days) that Leon Powe is considering an offer from Cleveland. Apparently Dallas has an offer to him as well, but with Drew Gooden signing he might be leaning towards taking the Cavs offer. He still has not received an offer from Boston."
The Plain Dealer reported the following excerpt from the soon to be released book Shooting Stars by Deadspin's favorite author Buzz Bissinger:
"LeBron James smoked marijuana during his junior year in high school. Three other members of the Akron St. Vincent St. Mary starting five smoked with him. Another drank alcohol. All this took place in a hotel room in Akron the players "had gotten access to," in the guarded words of "Shooting Stars," a book to be released in September."
This doesn't suprise me, or bother me in the least. In all seriousness, what would you have done if you were a highschool junior and some hotel is opening its doors to you, free of charge, for you and your high school friends to have parties there whenever you wanted? It might have gotten a little weird. And you would have most likely done worst things than lose the state championship that year. Additionally, in the days to come, I really dont want to hear from the Tim Tebow-ites of the world on this one. Don't hate...didn't the Big Guy teach you that too?
I can't lie, I thought this whole thing would end in a Nike Commercial. But after I saw the dunk at EBaumnation.com I realized why that will never happen. Probably the most disappointed person out there right now is Jordan Crawford. People had him figured for a young Shawn Kemp when he was doing his rounds on radio row. I thought so too. In my mind, this dunk - one worthy of Nike swooping in and allegedly burying the footage (or maybe using it as a commercial) - had to be some nasty John Starks over MJ type stuff. Not so much though. Not that Crawford was even trying to make it a big thing, he just had an open lane and finished strong. When he dunked it, LeBron just happened to be sliding over to the area. Which begs the question of the day? WTF? Why did this tape not make it to the web immediately? Did LeBron really direct Nike to pull it? I am going to say that there is no way he did, and then cover my ears for the next week until this story goes away. If it was pulled, it had to be some up and coming renegade Nike staffer that pulled the tape on his own, unbenownst to, and without the knowledge of, LeBron James in a feeble attempt to get into his good graces. I hope. Props to Crawford though, he had to pull a lot of tail on this story.
Click here to see the Jordan Crawford - LeBron James Dunk at EBaumnation.com. The dunk is at the 33 second mark.
When a 4th grade student is in science class, and they don't know the answer to the teacher's question, they'll slump down in their chair, avoid eye contact, and do everything possible to not to be called on. If Shaq were in 4th grade, he'd be the equivalent to the 4th grader with his hand up in the air, jumping out of his desk.
Whether its by tweeting his way into the news, offering dance tributes to Michael Jackson, signing basketballs in China for earthquake victims , or now stepping to the plate to outslug Albert Pujols in ABC's new reality show - Shaq Versus- the Big Fella is doing everything he can to make sure that everyone's paying attention when the Cavaliers call on him to answer this question next season: Does Shaq have anything left in those size 22's?
At age 37, the NBA's age equivalent to Tom Watson, there are a lot of people who say no. But the ex-Shaqtus sure seems motivated to at least make sure that as many people as possible are watching him when exam time comes around. Looks like he might think he's got plenty left in the tank. Would he be generating all this attention - even for Shaq - if he thought he didn't? In a way, by squaring off against the greats from other sports - in their respective primes -he is almost throwing his hand in the air to say that he still is a great in his sport...and even if he's just thinking that at this point, you have to be encouraged as a Cavaliers' fan.
Whatever the motivation is, whether its to cement his legacy, be the first in the Kobe-Shaq saga to five titles, or to win a ring for the King, a motivated Shaq might just be the missing piece for Cleveland. Even if you think Shaq's a far cry from his days as the MDE, if he's motivated, there is no arguing that he is at least amongst the most dominant big men in the league - even still. Now just hope he doesn't throw out his shoulder doing the butterfly verse Mike Phelps.