Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Better Get Used to These "Super Teams"

Depending on your point of view, the triumvirate of LeBron, Wade and Bosh banding together in Miami is either sickening or exciting. New school cats love it. Old school cats hate it. Either way, the Heat will be the talk of the league next season (it already is) and they don't feel bad about that.

The thing is, we better get used to it.

Reports are that the Knicks are hoping to deal for Chris Paul and find a way to get Carmelo Anthony to join up with Amare Stoudemire for another Big Three. Maybe the Orlando Magic will get Paul to pair up with Dwight Howard and either Rashard Lewis or Vince Carter. That could start a trend all over the league just to get attention and, plainly, to compete.

This isn't a new trend. Remember that the Big Three of Boston came together in the summer of 2007 when the Celtics dealt for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett (to join Paul Pierce). The Lakers dealt for Pau Gasol to pair with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum.

The difference there is that those guys were all traded to their new teams (technically, so were the Miami Thrice as Bosh and James got sign-and-trade deals from their original teams). Gasol was a salary dump from Memphis. The teams dealing with Boston all were on the outskirts and were trying to get younger.

The Miami cats all were free agents and all three wanted to combine as one. Somehow, Chris Paul will get his wish. Maybe Carmelo will, too.

With the new CBA ready to come down next year, this kind of thing can happen a lot easier. The league is hoping to reduce the max years of contracts to the 4 or 5 year range. That would most likely mean that players will be signing for 3 or 4 years and having options after the second or third years. That will cause more turnover, more free agent bonanzas and more opportunities for teams to form these powerful teams.

Remember that LeBron, Wade and Bosh all saw this. All three signed similar deals that all ended this summer. They had kept in touch and knew that this was a great possibility since Miami had shed all kind of cap space. You can't tell me that other players won't follow suit ... especially guys who aren't already on one of these elite clubs. I mean, couldn't Oklahoma City with all their astute spending find a way to lure a couple of stars down there (it's hard to see anyone announcing they will be "taking their talents" to the OKC)?

That means that most of the stars in the league will be hoarded onto the top 5 to 10 teams. Meanwhile, we'll have a ton of teams wading at the bottom just hoping to draft the next big thing ... and watch him bolt to South Beach/Big Apple/Hollywood less than a decade later.