A reportedly proposed potential deal would send Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to Chicago for a re-signed Ben Gordon, Joakim Noah and Larry Hughes. My initial reaction is to say no, because Gordon would eat up some of the Heat's impending 2010 cap space. On the other hand, it might work. After the jump, I'll consider what it might mean.
Gordon's cap hit would be mitigated by the removal of Banks' $4.75m in 2010-11, which remarkably is the only guaranteed contract on Miami's books for that season, excepting team options.
So here's how it might look if the trade happened. Hughes would join the expiring Mark Blount, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Yakhouba Diawara and Dwyane Wade's expected opt-out in cleaning up the Heat's cap. Gordon would be on the books for about $10-$12m, continuing rookie deals for Beasley, Chalmers and Noah would add another $9m, and a team option on Jones would add another $4.6m. So say we're at $25m for five pieces of the top-eight rotation. As long as Miami doesn't sign Wright, Chris Quinn, Joel Anthony or anyone else through 2010-11, that's probably enough room to sign a top-shelf free-agent and re-up Wade (It's my understanding that the Heat would either have to use Bird Rights to Wade to give him his raise on a new contract or renounce him and forfeit the right to exceed the cap to sign him. Either way, Wade's going to take his chunk of the space. I think I'm right about this).
I'm going to float out Chris Bosh as the target, and if successful, the lineup would look like this:
C Bosh PF Beasley SF Jones SG Gordon PG Wade
Bench: Noah, Chalmers, D-League All-Stars, me
The problems? Logistical. As electric as a Gordon-Wade backcourt would be, neither is a pure point guard. I think they could get by just fine, and if the pre-draft interest in non-point OJ Mayo to pair with Wade was genuine, so does Pat Riley. But it's worth a second and third look.
And financial. You'd have Gordon, Wade and Bosh making eight figures, with Beasley perhaps to follow. I know Miami was willing to take the financial hit on Shaquille O'Neal, but Gordon and Bosh aren't Shaq, and I'm not sure the team will commit to that much high-end long-term salary. And flexibility is out the window: that's the team you're rocking with, and they had better stay healthy.
This assessement obviously doesn't consider any changes to the labor/cap landscape, particularly the rumored introduction of European suitors into the bidding wars for stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Wade. That could change everything. But under the current circumstances, and if Miami is willing to pay Gordon what Chicago won't, it might work. My opinion? Gordon can score like a mother, but it would make for a too top-heavy roster. But if it happened, that's a backcourt I'd like to see in action.