Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CB4 Joins Wade On South Beach - More Help Needed

So, a pair of the big shoes finally dropped in free agency. Apparently Chris Bosh will reportedly be joining D-Wade in Miami for at least the next half decade – its not yet clear whether Bosh will sign with Miami outright (this would be for 5 years/$96M) or join the Heat via a sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors, which would net him the “true” max of $125M over six years. Glad that one's over! CB4 has been a pretty big douche during this process, so I loved Toronto's recent unwillingness to help him earn more cash elsewhere (via sign-and-trade), unless he'd accept a move to Cleveland.

Turning to the situation in Miami - awesome day for Heat fans, confirming not only that Dwyane Wade will not be leaving town, but also the addition of a 20 ppg big man. Bosh is absolutely a massive upgrade over anyone Wade's played with in the NBA (lone exception: title-year Shaq), and by adding him Miami promises to be a hell of a lot more competitive in the East, but he's not known for his defense or for his rugged inside play, and thus cannot be the only big addition for the Heat. Bosh and can get out and run with wing guys and the pick-and-roll run by he and Wade would be outstanding, but it's frankly difficult to see Wade, Bosh, Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers and and eight guys worth of filler competing for much of anything. Obviously, adding LeBron James changes this entire discussion, but almost all of the guys that would be a great complement to Wade-Bosh (Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Dirk Nowitzki) gone, and the remaining crop of quality free agents (Boozer, David Lee, anyone else? Ray Allen?) are unable to provide either the defense or inside presence to take Miami from a 50-win squad to legit title contender. If they're unable to land LBJ with their remaining cap space, which is enough for another max guy, Miami would be best served slicing and dicing the cap space and trying to parlay it into 2-3 quality role players that are capable of a) playing solid defense, b) banging inside and/or c) shooting from the outside - guys like, say, Tyson Chandler, Matt Barnes, Kyle Korver, Al Harrington and Tony Allen.

I get that he’s young and pretty good, but how Chris Bosh managed to get himself grouped with Wade and LeBron as one of this summer's Tier-1 free agents will forever be a mystery. A 2nd-team All-NBA selection, 4 trips to the All-Star Game and career scoring and rebounding averages of 20 & 9 are certainly impressive, but "superstar"? Please! Chris Bosh has no team success to speak of (211-320 regular season record; 3-8 in the playoffs), he’s not any kind of statistical wonder, nor does he have a reputation for dominating for extended stretches and single-handedly winning games. For reasons related to age and injury, it’s clear why he’d be the top pick among free agent PFs, but to consistently mention his name alongside Lebron’s and Wade’s is a joke. Had he not teamed up with a superior perimeter player, Bosh would have been a major disappointment to any team that signed him as its centerpiece. As option #2a or #3, Bosh would be among the best in the NBA. As a #2 guy, Bosh is a solid option, but hardly guarantees contention. As the top dog… well, just check out the Raptors in recent years.

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