Word coming out of Heat camp is that three former NBA All Stars have all stated that they would be interested in signing with Miami.
How hilarious would it be if Pat Riley decided to invite Shaq, AI and T-Mac to training camp. Wouldn’t that just be Riley’s way of flipping off every other team in the league. Just all crazy style.. 2 birds in the air saying what you got… we can even hold another introduction party, albeit a smaller one of course.
Now while definitely past their primes all three can still start on most teams in the league. They can also command more money than a veteran minimum salary.
So then why haven’t the Heat jumped on this and offered a deal to any one of them already?
Many would hint that it’s because Pat Riley doesn’t want to risk bringing in a potential locker room cancer but that’s not it at all.
From what i heard the Heat were receptive to the overtures except for one thing, all three offered to join the Heat for one season. They all covet a ring, in Shaq’s case one more to tie Kobe Bryant. However none of them wants to sign a multi year deal.
All three want the publicity that comes form joining this team during the 2010-2011 season. A season in which the Heat will be the biggest thing in sports. Still after they’d hopefully get their ring they all want to be able to then sign a mid level contract to better secure themselves financially. I’d think they should’ve done that already but who knows.
This is where the dilemma lies. Riley would love to stack the team even more than he has but at what price. He would already be running the risk of them becoming a distraction be it in the locker room or through the press. Thus for him to do so would require a multiple year agreement/commitment.
Riley is after all trying to establish a dynasty and not a flash in the pan one year run at glory. There is no guarantee that this team will be a cohesive unit it’s first season out. That’s why he went ahead and sent 4 first round picks to acquire James and Bosh so he could lock them in for six years instead of just five years and giving up nothing to get them. Riley knows that this first year will be the most difficult to win.
So we’re at an impasse. There is a reason none of the “three old kings” have signed with a team yet. They’re all basically sitting across the table from the Heat trying to see who blinks first.
In my mind Riley should still roll the dice and take at least one of them for a single season. If it works out then other veterans will be lining up to jump on the bandwagon come next season.