Miami Heat re-sign F/C Udonis Haslem to 4-year, $20 million deal and sign G/F Mike Miller to 5-year, $30 million deal
Remember when EVERYBODY was wondering which "crappy" league minimum guys the Heat were going to get to play alongside the Big 3? Seems like Pat Riley is doing a pretty admirable job of surrounding them with some solid complementary players.
Haslem is pulling the consummate professional move here by taking about $14 million less than what teams like Dallas and Denver were reportedly offering him to stay in Miami because he wants to stay in South Beach and have a chance to win another title. This is the type of commitment that Riley was hoping some veterans would make when Wade/LeBron/Bosh brought their alliance to the Heat. Haslem can crash the boards and provide some needed physicality inside though he might be a bit undersized to be the ideal partner up front to team with Bosh in the starting lineup.
Miller gives Miami a sharpshooter from the perimeter. He is a career 40.5-percent three-point shooter but set a personal single season best last year when he hit 48 percent from distance. He should reap the benefits of teams crashing to double team Wade and LeBron when they drive to the basket, allowing plenty of kickouts and likely open looks. Miller and Haslem played together at Florida so that should help the chemistry factor which many people have been questioning.
Two great moves by the Heat that should help their goal of winning the NBA title.
Los Angeles Lakers re-sign PG Derek Fisher to 3-year deal
After being heavily pursued by the Heat, Derek Fisher chose to stay loyal to the Lakers re-signing for less money (reportedly a little more than $9 million) than he was being offered by other teams.
Like Udonis Haslem, Fisher is a true professional who trusted his heart rather than following the almighty dollar. He may not be the player he once was but will still be a vital part of the Lakers' attempt at three-peating as he and newly signed Steve Blake will share the duties at the point. Re-signing Fisher became a must when Jordan Farmar inked a deal with the Nets, leaving Blake as the only point guard on the roster since combo guard Shannon Brown is also a free agent.
San Antonio Spurs sign F/C Tiago Splitter to 3-year, $11 million deal
San Antonio hopes it has been worth the wait. The Spurs selected Splitter in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft and let him develop his game overseas in Spain where this past year he was named the Spanish League regular season and finals MVP after averaging 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
In an offseason where Darko got $20 million, Amir Johnson received $34 million, and Johan Petro cashed in for $10 million; this signing looks like R.C. Buford has done it again. Splitter will make an immediate impact at the Alamo this season and give the Spurs a formidable frontcourt with Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess and DeJuan Blair. How much of an impact? I could see him being a top-five candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Orlando Magic sign G/F Quentin Richardson to reported 3-year, $7.5 million deal
Quentin Rich will receive what remains of the Magic's mid-level exception after the Chris Duhon signing. Richardson likely serves as a replacement for free agent Matt Barnes whose days seem to be done in Orlando and could also help fill the minutes left behind by J.J. Redick if the Magic do not match the 3-year, $19 million offer sheet he signed with the Bulls.
Whether Richardson ends up starting along Vince Carter on the wing or coming off the bench behind Mickael Pietrus, he brings some needed depth and experience at an affordable rate.
Dallas Mavericks sign F/C Ian Mahinmi to 2-year, $3.8 million deal
It is never a good sign when you were drafted in 2005 yet are still considered a project. The French big man did not develop as the Spurs had hoped when they used their first-round pick on him as he has only played in 32 NBA games. Regardless, Mark Cuban has taken a flier on him hoping it finally clicks. I guess? Dallas has no depth up front behind Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood; I just don't see how Mahinmi helps them become a stronger team.
@Mark C. I was going to point out to Walter that people can actually travel and most people attending games don't live within walking distance of the stadiums. A 4 or 5 hour drive to go see a game is absolutely nothing. It's only 8 regular season home games each season after all.