25 June 2008

Is Elton Brand really Pat Riley's main target?

BallHype: hype it up!

The latest draft rumors from ESPN indicate that the Heat are more interested in acquiring a point guard than drafting Michael Beasley at the no.2 slot in the draft. Such rumors suggest that Pat Riley is interested in exploring his trade options.

It's always been obvious to me that Pat Riley isn't a big fan of the rebuilding process. He's implied to the public before that he'd like to start winning as quickly as possible. That strategy has been successful for him before (2006 Heat) and the one-year turnaround of the Boston Celtics has certainly given some inspiration.

This is why I believe the recent rumors is just a smokescreen by Riley to pull off some leverage in trade talks. If you look at the top picks in this draft, most of them are in need of a point guard. Most of those teams are also in dire need of a big man. I am highly doubtful that Riley's willing to skip on Michael Beasley because of his 'personality'. My theory is that he has a larger goal in mind...getting his hands on some Elton Brand.

The Los Angeles Clippers are in need of a point guard after suffering a harsh season with Smush Parker and Brevin Knight 'running' the show. Shaun Livingston could be the answer, but currently they're in a dilemma on whether they should sign him to a long-term contract because it is not known how he'll come back from this unfortunate injury. With Al Thornton's successful rookie year, the departure of Sam Cassell, and the aging of Cuttino Mobley, it may just be time to rebuild (once again) in Clipperville. Many mock drafts are speculating that the Clippers will select the best point guard available. It would make sense for Pat Riley to pull this smokescreen to frighten the Clippers and a couple of other teams in the hunt for OJ Mayo and Jerryd Bayless. Also notice how Riley brings both players into the mix...hmmmm...

Pat Riley has taken some gambles in the past, so my prediction is that he tries to acquire Elton Brand and perhaps take on Tim Thomas' contract by offering the no.2 pick with either Marion or Haslem as the core offer. Resigning either Ricky Davis or Jason Williams as an expiring contract would also be a possible incentive. Riley may also have some interest in taking a gamble on Shaun Livingston, the Clippers may want to get rid of Cuttino Mobley. The Heat also have the MLE which could be useful in luring in a point guard like Beno Udrih.

Don't be surprised to see Elton Brand in a Heat uniform next season.

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