I admit it. The Miami Heat scare me. They do. But not for the reasons you’d probably assume.
Why do they scare me, you ask? Because they fit as the perfect destination for Kings free agent Samuel Dalembert.
This might be the first time I hope a player goes for the money over a title…
In all seriousness though, the Kings do have a considerable amount to offer Sam. First off, they have the ability to give him a bigger contract than anybody else (and he’s not going to sign with a team under the cap outside of Sacramento) so the Kings will be battling with teams who can offer the mid-level exception, say like New York.
Second, after Dalembert’s 2010-2011 season which was very impressive, I don’t think he’ll find much of a challenge for playing time. With the removal of Carl Landry from the rotation, Dalembert started the final 25 games and 28 of 31 (and thrived). Financially and floor time, the Kings can compete at a level most others can’t.
Well, except for Miami.
No, they can’t offer Dalembert more than the mid-level exception and while it will be a mild downgrade from what the Kings could/should offer (I’m guessing at a 3 year, 21-24 million as opposed to a 3 year, 16-18 – that varies depending on the upcoming CBA) – the perks they offer might be more than the Kings can compete with.
The Heat have their own issues inside. Joel Anthony is far from a challenge to Dalembert – Sam I Am would easily replace the UNLV product in the starting lineup. So while the money might not be as lucrative as the Kings potential offers, the playing time will be just as good. Outside of the playing time though, the Heat offer a routine chance at a Championship, something Dalembert doesn’t have in Sacramento. And as if that wasn’t enough in itself, Miami is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Sam’s beloved Haiti – an hour plus flight, at most.
Do I think Sam is gone? Not at all. The Kings are in a great position to keep their big man. I don’t really think any of the rumored teams (Knicks, etc) can compete with the Kings – but I’d be lying if I didn’t think the Heat were just as attractive, if not more, to Sam.
Of course, the Heat haven’t really been rumored to be interested in Dalembert and they might choose to spend their MLE in a different way…but until then?