Andrew Bogut would probably disagree with the following sentence. However, when it comes to NBA free agency tidbits, Stephen A. Smith is someone worth listening to.
We’re in Kauai, getting one last vacation in before NBA Summer League and NFL training camp starts and the American sporting scene gets a little busier. After spending most of yesterday at the beach and pool, we headed up to the room. While my wife was getting ready for dinner, I did what I always do in hotel rooms when I have free time. No, not that — get your mind out of the gutter.
I turned on SportsCenter!
Smith was rattling off note after note about all the top names, in free agency or otherwise. It’s hard to remember all of them off the top of my head, but here’s what stuck with me.
1. The Warriors were ready to send Klay Thompson, David Lee and Harrison Barnes to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love, but ONLY if Minnesota included its first round pick (No. 13) in the deal. Flip Saunders and the T-Wolves refused. Smith believes Coach Saunders is leaning toward keeping Love in hopes of winning as many games as possible in 2014-15, even though Love would almost certainly leave Minnesota once he becomes a free agent next summer.
This obviously goes against reports that the Warriors were hesitant to include Thompson in any deal for Love. Smith didn’t mention Kevin Martin, and the lack of information on that front is key. If the Warriors were looking for Love and the 13th pick without taking Martin’s salary back, the T-Wolves’ refusal makes a lot more sense.
2. Dwyane Wade is staying with the Miami Heat no matter what the others decide.
3. LeBron James might take weeks to make his next “decision.”
4. Chris Bosh is the wildcard, and he may not wait around for James to sign.
5. Carmelo Anthony signing with the Lakers is a “long shot” because he’d be passing up about $35 million. “What’s not a long shot, is if Bosh ends up leaving for Houston,” Smith said.
You might say, “Why do we care about stuff Smith says he heard?”
That’s an understandable sentiment, since Smith spends time in a room with Skip Bayless most mornings and it’s hard to wash that stink away. But Smith was the only person who predicted James, Wade and Bosh would team up and sign with the Heat four years ago, and many people scoffed at Smith’s report.
That all occurred the last time I was in Kauai. Several hours after Smith’s prediction, James filmed “The Decision,” and everyone had to admit Smith was right. Like him or hate him, “Screamin’ A” is plugged in.