2014 NBA Free Agents

As we all know, free agency is upon us (starting July 1) so I thought it might be helpful to provide a full list of available players:

Jeff Adrienforward, player option

Cole Aldrich, center, unrestricted free agent

Lavoy Allen, forward/center, unrestricted free agent

Ray Allen, guard, unrestricted free agent

Al-Farouq Aminu, forward, unrestricted free agent

Chris Andersen, forward/center, player option

Alan Anderson, guard, player option

Carmelo Anthony, forward, early termination player option

Joel Anthony, forward, player option

Trevor Ariza, forward, unrestricted free agent

Darrell Arthur, forward, player option

D.J. Augustin, guard, unrestricted free agent

Gustavo Ayon, forward, unrestricted free agent

Leandro Barbosa, guard, unrestricted free agent

Andrea Bargnani, forward, early termination player option

Jerryd Bayless, guard, unrestricted free agent

Aron Baynes, forward, unrestricted free agent

Kent Bazemore, guard, unrestricted free agent

Michael Beasley, forward, unrestricted free agent

Chauncey Billups, guard, team option

DeJuan Blair, forward, unrestricted free agent

Steve Blake, guard, unrestricted free agent

Andray Blatche, forward, player option

Eric Bledsoe, guard, restricted free agent

Matt Bonner, forward, unrestricted free agent

Trevor Booker, forward, unrestricted free agent

Chris Bosh, forward, early termination player option

Avery Bradley, guard, unrestricted free agent

Elton Brand, forward, unrestricted free agent

Aaron Brooks, guard, unrestricted free agent

MarShon Brooks, guard, unrestricted free agent

Caron Butler, forward, unrestricted free agent

Rasual Butler, guard, unrestricted free agent

Andrew Bynum, center, unrestricted free agent

Vince Carter, guard, unrestricted free agent

Mario Chalmers, guard, unrestricted free agent

Jason Collins, center, unrestricted free agent

Darren Collison, guard, player option

Jordan Crawford, guard, restricted free agent

Jae Crowder, forward, team option

Dante Cunninghamforward, unrestricted free agent

Jared Cunningham, guard, unrestricted free agent

Troy Daniels, guard, team option

Ed Davis, forward, unrestricted free agent

Glen Davis, center, player option

Nando De Colo, guard, unrestricted free agent

Luol Deng, forward, unrestricted free agent

Boris Diaw, forward, unrestricted free agent

Toney Douglas, guard, unrestricted free agent

Chris Douglas-Roberts, guard, unrestricted free agent

Tim Duncan, forward, player option

Jordan Farmar, guard, unrestricted free agent

Jimmer Fredette, guard, unrestricted free agent

Channing Frye, center, player option

Francisco Garcia, guard, player option

Pau Gasol, forward/center, unrestricted free agent

Rudy Gay, forward, player option

Drew Gooden, forward, unrestricted free agent

Ben Gordon, guard, unrestricted free agent

Marcin Gortat, center, unrestricted free agent

Danny Granger, forward, player option

Aaron Gray, center, unrestricted free agent

Jordan Hamilton, forward, unrestricted free agent

Al Harrington, forward, unrestricted free agent

Devin Harris, guard, unrestricted free agent

Udonis Haslem, forward, player option

Spencer Hawes, center, unrestricted free agent

Gordon Hayward, forward, restricted free agent

Xavier Henry, forward-guard, unrestricted free agent

Jordan Hill, forward-center, unrestricted free agent

Kirk Hinrich, guard, unrestricted free agent

Ryan Hollins, center, unrestricted free agent

Robbie Hummel, forward, unrestricted free agent

Kris Humphries, forward, unrestricted free agent

Bernard James, center, unrestricted free agent

Damion James, forward, unrestricted free agent

LeBron James, forward, early termination player option

Richard Jefferson, forward, unrestricted free agent

Jonas Jerebko, forward, player option

Grant Jerrett, forward, team option

James Johnson, forward, unrestricted free agent

Wesley Johnson, forward-guard, unrestricted free agent

James Jones, forward, unrestricted free agent

Chris Kaman, center, unrestricted free agent

Ryan Kelly, forward, unrestricted free agent

Andrei Kirilenko, forward, player option

Rashard Lewis, forward, unrestricted free agent

Shaun Livingston, guard, unrestricted free agent

Kyle Lowry, guard, unrestricted free agent

Shelvin Mack, guard, unrestricted free agent

Shawn Marion, forward, unrestricted free agent

Cartier Martin, forward, unrestricted free agent

Kenyon Martin, forward, unrestricted free agent

Josh McRoberts, forward, player option

C.J. Miles, guard, unrestricted free agent

Darius Miller, forward, unrestricted free agent

Mike Miller, forward, unrestricted free agent

Patty Mills, guard, unrestricted free agent

Nazr Mohammed, center, unrestricted free agent

Greg Monroe, center, restricted free agent

E’Twaun Moore, guard, unrestricted free agent

Anthony Morrow, guard, player option

Byron Mullens, center, player option

Toure’ Murry, guard, unrestricted free agent

Dirk Nowitzki, forward, unrestricted free agent

Jermaine O’Neal, center/forward, unrestricted free agent

Greg Oden, center, unrestricted free agent

Emeka Okafor, center, unrestricted free agent

Jannero Pargo, guard, unrestricted free agent

Chandler Parsons, forward, team option

Patrick Patterson, forward, unrestricted free agent

Paul Pierce, forward, unrestricted free agent

Zach Randolph, forward, player option

Jason Richardson, guard, player option

Luke Ridnour, guard, unrestricted free agent

Brian Roberts, guard, unrestricted free agent

Nate Robinson, guard, player option

Brandon Rush, guard, unrestricted free agent

Mike Scott, forward, unrestricted free agent

Thabo Sefolosha, guard, unrestricted free agent

Kevin Seraphin, center, unrestricted free agent

Ramon Sessions, guard, unrestricted free agent

Chris Singleton, forward, unrestricted free agent

Jason Smith, center, unrestricted free agent

James Southerland, forward, unrestricted free agent

Lance Stephenson, guard, unrestricted free agent

Rodney Stuckey, guard, unrestricted free agent

Garrett Temple, guard, unrestricted free agent

Adonis Thomas, forward, unrestricted free agent

Isaiah Thomas, guard, restricted free agent

Anthony Tolliver, forward, unrestricted free agent

PJ Tucker, forward, unrestricted free agent

Hedo Turkoglu, forward, unrestricted free agent

Evan Turner, guard, unrestricted free agent

Ekpe Udoh, center, restricted free agent

Beno Udrih, guard, unrestricted free agent

Greivis Vasquez, guard, unrestricted free agent

Jan Vesely, forward, unrestricted free agent

Charlie Villanueva, forward, unrestricted free agent

Dwyane Wade, guard, early termination player option

Earl Watson, guard, unrestricted free agent

DJ White, forward, unrestricted free agent

Marvin Williams, forward, unrestricted free agent

Mo Williams, guard, player option

Nick Young, guard, player option

Note: restricted free agency means the team that owns the player’s rights may match his offer. 

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Bringing The Heat Gets A Shout-out!

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be asked on Radio DePaul, as a guest speaker via Scrawl. The topic of the day was blogging, and of course, I had to give Bringing The Heat some love. I also made sure to wear my LeBron Summit Lake 9’s! Check out the episode here: http://ucwbling.chicagolandwritingcenters.org/you-can-handle-this-blogging-and-twitter-101-scrawl-s10-e07/

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An Ode to Norris Cole

(Photo Credit: www.miami.cbslocal.com)

Flashback to 2011. I was fresh out of college, working with the University of Illinois-Chicago’s athletic department, at that time specifically in Sports Information. I attended every home game, sitting front and center at the media table, looking slightly ridiculous as my headset was too big for my head. Now zero in on Jan. 27 of that year. The UIC Flames were playing Cleveland State that evening, and that was the first time I was exposed to Norris Cole.

As the matchup began, I started learning a little about our opponents through the incessant chatter happening around me.

“It’s too bad he has such a temper,” whispered a mixture of voices next to me, about Cole. “He could have quite a career.”

I kept a close eye on Cole that night and what I saw, amazed me. He was unbelievably fast, put up numbers way beyond those of his teammates (or anyone on “my” team by far) and had a way about him, an innate drive, that was rarely found in a college athlete; especially one playing for a team part of a league as anonymous as the Horizon League. Cole averaged 22 points and six rebounds during his senior year at CSU and would soon become a part of the NBA. To this day I still find myself wondering, “Where is/was this horrible temper everyone spoke of?”

After being drafted and then passed up by the likes of the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves during the summer of 2011, Cole ended up with the Miami Heat, and would go on to win a championship during each of his first two years.

Today’s ode to Cole goes beyond just giving the young guy a nod. The Miami Heat need to start utilizing him more often, especially now that they are up against the Indiana Pacers. Last postseason he averaged six points per game, which may not seem like much, but it goes beyond straight numbers with him. When Cole is on the court, the pace of the game changes. The team becomes re-energized. Their ball movement increases tenfold. Their intensity gets dialed up a notch. Their formations fall better into place.

“I get more aggressive,” Cole told the South Florida Sun Sentinel about the playoffs, after Game 4 against the Charlotte Bobcats. “You take more chances. You still play within yourself and within the team concept and at the same time being aggressive. This is our time of year. This is what we’ve been waiting on. Me personally, this is what I’ve been waiting on.”

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I too have been waiting on this all season, and the only thing that would make it better is seeing a little more Cole-action on my television screen.

The Heat are not necessarily known for their depth so why not put a little more responsibility in the hands of a unique player like Cole?

Having faith in the high-top fade rocking guard especially makes sense when you look at the Pacers’ second-line. C.J. Watson is no stranger to the game, having been in the league for seven years (four postseason appearances), but it cannot be denied that Cole is quicker and creates more opportunities for those around him. Cole also seems more poised under pressure than Watson, always playing it cool regardless of the current score or situation of a series. Not to mention the fact that Cole could not ask for better mentors, as he is around talent like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

As the Heat come away with a loss in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, they might want to consider jumping aboard the Coletrain. Next stop? Hopefully, win city.

Welcome To My Blog

Love them or hate them, the Miami Heat are currently the most spoken-about team in the National Basketball Association (otherwise known, of course, as the NBA). I have always appreciated their talents, with Dwyane Wade once being one of my favorite players, but I have to admit my unwavering dedication to the Heat did not start until LeBron James joined the squad during the summer of 2010; King James is my favorite professional athlete and I will happily follow him wherever he goes.

Welcome to my blog, a site where the Miami Heat will always be the topic of discussion…from looking at specific games, to analyzing the team as a whole, to calling out players and beyond, I will touch upon everything, balancing the most serious of topics with laughable rumors. As if my first paragraph was not enough of a disclaimer, I will try and keep things in a positive light, but that by no means should be read as that I will tweak the truth or leave things unreported.

In terms of who I am, here are the basics: 24, currently in my last quarter as a graduate student at DePaul University in Chicago, I am in the New Media Studies program. Born and raised in the Chi, I grew up loving Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, even getting to meet Toni Kukoc himself one night when the Bulls were playing the Toronto Raptors. I lost interest in sports for a while, until the latter part of high school when I realized how much I enjoyed watching our (admittedly horrible) basketball team and really got back into it when the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose in 2008. During my time as an undergraduate, I started writing about Chicago’s revamped team for the Chicago Flame, as well as started my own generalized NBA blog: http://nbabya.blogspot.com. During my last year as a college student, I interned at Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, interviewing the Bulls at the Berto Center every weekend as well at any off-court events taking place, a time in my life I will absolutely never forget. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois-Chicago, I worked for their basketball team (the Chicago Flames) for almost two years, first in sports information and then moving to marketing and development. Shortly after I entered graduate school at DePaul and have been working towards a career in social media/sports media, ever since.

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I look forward to this journey and especially cannot wait to see what the Miami Heat will do during the postseason. My guess? They will win another championship, but as they say, only time will tell. So regardless of what end of the love/hate Heat spectrum you are on, jump in and join the conversation; because when it is all said and done, I know they have you talking.