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Miami Heat sign Luol Deng

Miami Heat sign Luol Deng

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Luol Deng.

According to multiple reports, the deal may be for two years, $20 million.

“Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the very, very best. We are thrilled to welcome him to the HEAT family.”

Deng, a 10-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 677 career NBA regular season games (631 starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 35.8 minutes while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the foul line. Among Chicago’s all-time franchise leaders, he ranks fourth in points, fifth in field goals made, sixth in games played and three-point field goals made and eighth in free throws made and offensive rebounds. The 2011-12 NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree also ranks among the Bulls all-time franchise defensive leaders, including fifth in defensive rebounds and steals, ninth in total rebounds and 10th in blocks.

The two-time NBA All-Star split the 2013-14 season between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, appearing in 63 total games (all starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 35.1 minutes while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 30.2 percent from three-point range and 79.1 percent from the foul line. Prior to his trade to Cleveland on January 7, Deng was averaging a career-high 19.0 points per game and a career-best 3.7 assists per game. Additionally, he has appeared in 48 career postseason games (42 starts) and averaged 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 40.3 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 74.9 percent from the foul line.

In addition to his accomplishments on the court, Deng is also involved in numerous charities, including the Luol Deng Foundation. For his philanthropic efforts, he earned the NBA’s 2013-14 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, was named the UN Refugee Agency’s 2008 Humanitarian of the Year and selected as the 2006-07 Golden Icon Best Sports Role Model. He also served as ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games and won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 2007.

Deng, who was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, was originally selected in the first round (7th overall) by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Here’s the Miami Herald discussing the recent news that the Heat decided to re-sign guard Mario Chalmers:

Heat not ready to write off Mario Chalmers

LeBron James barked at Mario Chalmers for four years. Then, in the end, Chalmers was sent to the bench with James’ blessing.

In other words, you can count one guy, at least, who has already gotten over the news of James’ move back to Cleveland.

Chalmers is probably the only one, of course.

Heat president Pat Riley said all along that Chalmers would be back for next season, but there was a strong assumption that if James returned to the Heat, then Chalmers would be searching for another team. With James now long gone, the Heat announced officially on Monday that it had re-signed Chalmers. Reports put the deal at two years.

“It’s great to have Mario back,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “We’re happy that he wants to continue his career in Miami, he’s one of our core players, and I believe he will have a great season.”

Miami Heat officially sign Danny Granger

Miami Heat officially sign Danny Granger

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Danny Granger.

According to multiple reports, the deal is for two years, $4.2 million.

“One of our main priorities this offseason was obtaining a proven veteran like Danny with All-Star experience,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We expect him to be a multi-position player and have a very successful season in our system.”

Granger, a nine-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 556 career NBA regular season games (425 starts) and averaged 17.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 32.1 minutes while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 84.9 percent from the foul line. Among Indiana’s all-time franchise leaders, he ranks second in three-point field goals made, fourth in points, steals and free throws made, sixth in blocks, seventh in games played, minutes played and field goals made and 10th in defensive rebounds.

He split the 2013-14 season between the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers, appearing in 41 total games (two starts) and averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 20.7 minutes while shooting 37.8 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from three-point range and a career-high 94 percent from the foul line. He appeared in all 13 postseason games with the Clippers, including a 15-point outing in a Game Two win against Golden State on April 21 as they advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals after defeating the Warriors, 4-3, in the First Round.

Granger, a 2009 NBA All-Star and the NBA’s 2009 Most Improved Player, has appeared in 35 career postseason games (19 starts) and averaged 10.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 25.7 minutes while shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 35.8 percent from the three-point range and 84.2 percent from the foul line.

He was originally drafted in the first round (17th overall) by Indiana in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Miami Heat sign Josh McRoberts

Miami Heat sign Josh McRoberts

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Josh McRoberts. The contract is for four years, $23 million, according to the Associated Press and other outlets.

“We felt from day one that he was one of our main targets,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We are delighted that this multi-faceted player will help us immensely in being the kind of team that Coach Spoelstra wants with his versatility.”

McRoberts, a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 350 games (160 starts) in his career, averaging 5.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 47.6 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the foul line. Last season, he started all 78 games in which he appeared, and averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 43.6 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent from the foul line. He made a career-high 105 three-pointers last season and ranked second in the NBA in assists-per-turnover (4.0).

During the 2014 NBA Playoffs, McRoberts averaged 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.

McRoberts was originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (37th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft.

Miami Heat re-sign Mario Chalmers

mario chalmers

The Miami Heat have LeBron James in free agency, but they did manage to keep Chris Bosh, and now the team today announced that they have re-signed guard Mario Chalmers.

“It’s great to have Mario back,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We’re happy that he wants to continue his career in Miami, he’s one of our core players, and I believe he will have a great season.”

Chalmers, who has spent his entire six-year NBA career with the Heat, has appeared in 439 career games (346 starts) and has averaged 8.6 points, 3.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.51 steals and 27.5 minutes while shooting 42.7 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from three-point range and 77.5 percent from the foul line. He ranks among the Heat’s all-time leaders in steals (3rd), three-point field goals made (4th), three-point field goals attempted (4th), assists (5th), games played (8th), starts (9th), minutes played (9th), free throw percentage (11th), field goals attempted (13th), points scored (14th), field goals made (15th), double-figure scoring efforts (15th), three-point field goal percentage (15th) and defensive rebounds (15th). He also owns the Heat single-game record for steals (9 vs. Philadelphia on Nov. 5, 2008) and shares the franchise single-game record for three-point field goals made (10 at Sacramento on Jan. 12, 2013).

The 6’2”, 190-pound guard started each of the 73 games in which he appeared last season and averaged 9.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.63 steals and 29.8 minutes while shooting 45.4 percent from the floor, 38.5 percent from three-point range and 74.2 percent from the free throw line. Chalmers, who set single-season career highs in field goal percentage, offensive rebounds and blocked shots during the 2013-14 season, ranked among the NBA leaders in steals per game (13th), assists per game (29th) and three-point field goal percentage (38th). He led the Heat in three-point field goal percentage and steals per game and ranked second on the team in assists and total steals.

Additionally, Chalmers has appeared in 99 postseason games (73 starts) for Miami and has averaged 8.8 points, 3.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.19 steals and 29.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor, 35.7 percent from three-point range and 74.2 percent from the foul line. He currently ranks among the Heat’s postseason all-time leaders in three-point field goals made (2nd), three-point field goals attempted (2nd), games played (3rd), assists (3rd), steals (3rd), minutes played (4th), field goals attempted (4th), points scored (5th), starts (5th), free throws made (6th), double-figure scoring games (tied-6th), field goals made (7th), free throws attempted (7th), defensive rebounds (7th) and total rebounds (8th).

D-Wade comments on LeBron leaving Heat

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Dwyane Wade, who is still a free agent, as former teammate LeBron James heads to Cleveland, while Chris Bosh is re-signing with the Heat:

D-Wade comments on LeBron leaving Heat

Dwyane Wade wished LeBron James stayed in Miami.

And now he’s wishing him well regardless.

Wade released a statement Saturday calling James — who announced Friday he is leaving the Heat and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers — “my brother,” and said he supports the four-time NBA MVP’s decision.

“As a friend and a teammate, I am sad to see my brother LeBron leave to begin a new journey,” Wade’s statement said. “In 2010, we decided to come together all for one goal — to win championships and we succeeded. We were friends when we first joined the league and created an unbreakable bond the past four years. Our collaboration will always be very special to me both personally and professionally.”

“We shared something unique and he will always be part of my family. LeBron made the right decision for himself and his family because home is where your heart is. I know this was not an easy decision to make and I support him in returning to his roots. As an organization, a community, and as individuals, we achieved the goals we set when we first signed on together. We are champions.”

Chris Bosh will reportedly re-sign with Heat

Bosh is staying in Miami, agreeing Friday to a five-year contract that will be worth about $118 million, said two people familiar with the deal. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side had confirmed it publicly.

Keeping Bosh addresses one of the Miami’s top priorities after getting the news earlier in the day that James was leaving the Heat and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There’s still plenty of work for Heat President Pat Riley to do, however. But first, he and the team lauded what James meant to them over the last four seasons.

– Associated Press

The following statement was released today by Pat Riley of the Heat, on the decision by LeBron James to leave Miami and once again become a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers:

“While I am disappointed by LeBron’s decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, HEAT fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.”

“Over the last 19 years, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami HEAT has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”

LeBron James decision: Back to Cavs

This time, when the phone rang, Dan Gilbert was the one celebrating.

Moments before LeBron James’ essay announced his homecoming to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his agent phoned Gilbert to congratulate the once-scorned owner.

In a 26-word statement posted via Twitter seconds after James words reached the masses, Gilbert rolled out the welcome mat for the four-time MVP on behalf of the franchise’s fan base.

“Welcome Home @kingjames. I am excited for the fans and people of Cleveland and Ohio. No fans and people deserve a winner more than them.”

Gilbert’s 8-year-old rushed to his side to ask if he could pull his James jersey out of the closet.

– Sports Xchange

LeBron James’ latest decision is in: He’s returning to Cleveland.

Ending a saga that had the NBA virtually at a standstill while he made up his mind, James told Sports Illustrated for a story published Friday that he’s decided to go home. His decision reverses the move he made when he left the Cavaliers for Miami four years ago, and a twist that would have seemed unfathomable after the venomous fallout when he joined the Heat.

“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said in the SI first-person story. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”

He added, “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

– Associated Press

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Miami Heat and free agency:

Miami Heat interested in Marvin Williams

Pat Riley called adding a Carmelo Anthony-type max-salary player to the Heat “a pipe dream,’’ and so far during free agency the Heat president has been proven correct.

Marvin Williams, formerly with the Hawks and Jazz and considered a third-tier free agent, is the latest player to be recruited by the Heat, which on Sunday was still waiting to get a commitment from LeBron James.

But James, in turn, is waiting to see what Riley gets in the free-agent market before he reups for perhaps only one more season. And so far, it can’t be very encouraging for the four-time MVP. The Heat hasn’t added anyone, although Miami has gone after Kyle Lowry, Luol Deng, Marcin Gortat, Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza.

If Riley doesn’t get moving, James just might start looking at teams that have already visited his agent, Rich Paul, in Cleveland. Those teams include the Lakers, Suns and Cavaliers.

Here’s the Associated Press, via StarTribune.com, reporting on superstar free agent LeBron James:

lebron james

Before LeBron James makes his next decision, Pat Riley will get a chance to convince him to stay in Miami.

Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press late Sunday night that James will meet with the Heat president this week before making a decision about where to play next season. The time and location of the meeting were still being scheduled, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the Heat nor James announced their plans publicly.

“In the next two or three days,” one of the people said.

Monday would seem difficult, unless James’ schedule changes. He has a commercial shoot planned and was expected to travel to Las Vegas later in the day for his annual camp with some of the nation’s best young basketball players, an event that opens Wednesday. James also has been planning a trip to Brazil for the World Cup final on July 13.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Shane Battier retires, moves into broadcasting

Shane Battier is going back to school. His NBA retirement is now official.

As expected, ESPN confirmed Wednesday that the former Miami Heat forward will be joining the network next season as a college basketball analyst.

Per the network, Battier, “will provide insights and analysis across ESPN’s extensive studio programming and on select games from various top conferences.”

ESPN said Battier’s specific assignments have yet to be determined.

Battier auditioned for ESPN a year ago, when he interviewed players selected at the 2013 NBA Draft.

Miami Heat free agency strategy

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Heat:

lebron james

As they chase free agents to join with their superstars, the Miami Heat are telling free agents they expect to have as much as $12 million in salary-cap space after hopefully getting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to re-sign, sources told ESPN.com.

With James demanding a maximum contract starting around $20.7 million, this indicates that Wade and Bosh are possibly willing to take drastic pay cuts to help the Heat add talent to the roster.

This has freed up the Heat to become a potential bidder for free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry, whom they have contacted but not yet set up a meeting or progressed talks with, sources said. Lowry, after talks with the Raptors and Rockets, was taking a day or two to mull his options, sources said Monday night.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top LeBron James plays of the 2013-14 season:

Pat Riley statement on Chris Bosh opting out of Heat contract

The following statement by Pat Riley was released today by the Miami Heat:

“Today we were notified of Chris’ intentions to opt-out of his contract. Chris is one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league, and he has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons. We look forward to meeting with Chris and his agent in the coming days to discuss keeping him in Miami for many years to come.”

miami heat

The following statement from Pat Riley was released by the Miami Heat this afternoon:

“Today we were notified of Dwyane’s intention to opt-out of his contract and Udonis’ intention to not opt into his contract, making both players free agents. Dwyane has been the cornerstone of our organization for over a decade, and we hope he remains a part of the Heat family for life. Udonis has been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years. He has sacrificed countless times to make this organization successful, and he is the epitome of what this organization stands for. We look forward to meeting with Dwyane and Udonis and their agent in the coming days to discuss our future together.”

InsideHoops.com note: Riley didn’t mention Chris Bosh, who may opt out as well. Perhaps that will be confirmed very soon.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have acquired the draft rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall) from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the draft rights to P.J. Hairston (26th overall) and Semaj Christon (55th overall), a 2019 second-round draft choice and cash considerations.

“Shabazz Napier is a winner, he’s a two-time NCAA champion and he’s one of the elite players in college basketball,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel very fortunate we were able to acquire him and we feel like he fits in extremely well. He has a high motor, high basketball IQ, is a great shooter and has great character.”

Napier, a two-time NCAA champion, appeared in a school-record 143 career games (98 starts) for the Huskies and averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 32.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. He totaled 1,959 points while dishing out 646 assists, becoming the only player in school history to total at least 1,500 points and 500 assists.

During his senior season, Napier helped lead UConn to the 2014 NCAA Championship after appearing in 40 games (all starts) and averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.83 steals and 35.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the foul line. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Additionally, he was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection and named to the AP All-American First Team. He led his team in points (720), rebounds (196), assists (195), steals (73), field goals made (213), three-point field goals made (87) and free throws made (207) while capping his senior season averaging 21.2 points during the NCAA tournament, earning the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

Pat Riley statement on LeBron James entering free agency

The following statement was released today from Pat Riley of the Miami Heat:

“I was informed this morning of his intentions. We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise. As I said at the press conference last week, players have a right to free agency and when they have these opportunities, the right to explore their options. The last four seasons have been historic and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra have led the Miami HEAT to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA. We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together. At the moment, we are preparing for the opportunities in the Draft and Free Agency as we continue with our goal of winning NBA Championships.”

LeBron James to become free agent

What would you do if you were LeBron James? Continue on with your Heat contract, hope that Dwyane Wade’s knees hold up, and hope the team adds a better bench? Opt out, test free agency, but perhaps wind up staying with the Heat? Or leave South Beach (well, Miami) and take your talents elsewhere? Here’s ESPN.com with news on this situation:

LeBron James’ agent, Richie Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement.

James had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season.

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