Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose In MVP Form For USA Team

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

As I was born in Chicago, live in Chicago and have 25 years on my belt as a fan of the Chicago Bulls, even though it is my job to cover the NBA with no bias, I care more about the health and play of Derrick Rose than if the USA wins gold in Spain. I’m sorry, I may sound like a traitor, but the Bulls are my team and I haven’t seen a Bulls championship since I was 9. The Bulls winning a title depends on the health of Derrick Rose and if he is healthy and in MVP form, the Bulls are 1 of the 2 best teams in the Eastern Conference and have their best chance of winning the East since that title when I was 9, so yes I am watching the games more to see how Rose plays and how he carries himself on the court more than Team USA winning. Regardless, he looks excellent.

He is playing off the bench for maybe 15-20 minutes per game, but when he plays he looks like, well, Derrick Rose. He has his quickness, confidence and athleticism again. I say that because Derrick Rose wasn’t playing like himself in those 10 games he just played for Chicago, I believe it was a confidence issue. He looked apprehensive and rarely dunked, but watching him play against Finland and Turkey, that isn’t an issue for him. His stats aren’t much, but stats mean little in international play this is about winning for your country, so he is playing team ball, but there are 2 plays that I saw that proved that Rose is himself. Against Finland, there was an isolation play with Rose at the 3 point line and he just ran by their point guard who had no chance and got a wide open dunk; it was pretty. In today’s game, when the team was really having trouble scoring (they were losing at half), Derrick had this look on this face, one I have seen 50 times, he was angry and talking to site VP Josh I said, watch he is going right to the rim; I was right, he got to the basket and was fouled. That is his “my turn” look, when he sees that his team has to score and he makes it his responsibility. Those 2 are vintage, MVP winning Derrick Rose plays. Watching him defend, I could also tell that his side to side quickness was incredible, so when it comes to athleticism, Rose looks elite. There is just one thing in his game I can see that he has to work on, as his shooting form isn’t pretty, which is odd because it looked excellent when he played those 10 games. However, Derrick Rose is going to have a big, big season.

I can admit that Rose won’t win MVP, because even at his best he is no better than the 3rd best player in the league, as it is LeBron James and Kevin Durant 1a and 1b and there isn’t anyone close to them, but it looks like we will be looking at an excellent Derrick Rose this season and if he plays 75-82 games, he will be 3rd, 4th or 5th in MVP voting. Rose and the Bulls will win the Eastern Conference this season.

San Antonio Spurs: Sign James Anderson?

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

The San Antonio Spurs are the best team in the NBA, there is no questioning that. They will have basically the same roster this season as their title winning squad, but with the injury to Patty Mills who will miss half the season, they should sign another guard. There happens to be a guard available who fits the team perfectly and already is acquainted with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, James Anderson. They should sign him if they cannot sign Ray Allen who they are rumored to be trying to add to the mix.

The 4 season veteran was the 20th pick by the Spurs, however he just couldn’t find his place in San Antonio in 2.5 seasons. He is a very talented shooter and scorer who just had a big season for the Philadelphia 76ers as a starter, averaging 10.1 points on 43.1 percent shooting and 32.8 percent 3 point shooting. He isn’t the most efficient shooter from 3, but he takes a lot, 5.3 per 36 minutes and makes an excellent amount, 1.7. He isn’t an NBA starter and was only starting for Philly because they are the 76ers, but Anderson can play a role on the Spurs. Patty Mills was an elite sixth man for the Spurs in their title season, averaging 19.5 points and 3.5 assists per 36 minutes, shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3 and 17.4 points and 3.4 assists per 36 minutes in 23 playoff games. He is one of the best 2nd unit players in the NBA and they wisely gave him a 4 season, 16 million dollar contract to keep him in town, but they have to sign another guard to help the team get similar bench production while he isn’t playing this season.

It seems that 4th season point guard Cory Joseph will take Mills’ place in the rotation and be the 2nd point guard for the Spurs, but he isn’t close to the shooter or scorer of Mills. He has played a lot for the Spurs, but wasn’t in the rotation for them this season. However when he is asked to play he produces and can play a consistent role. Regardless, Corey Joseph isn’t Patty Mills. The Spurs are the best team in the NBA because Gregg Popovich have the equation for winning and part of it means having ridiculous bench production at guard. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker could each play more minutes to help, but their winning equation also involves them playing less minutes per game in the regular season, so that they are fresh for the playoffs. This means they have to sign another guard and besides Allen, Anderson is the best option.

Yes, Anderson wasn’t what they expected when they drafted him, but he has become a strong NBA rotation player that they can bring off the bench for 10+ minutes per game and provide shooting and scoring, helping fill the Mills role. This is also the San Antonio Spurs and they cannot have enough shooting in their rotation. He was a Spur, so there would be little adjustment, Popovich would give him his role and he would play it, shooting and scoring and playing smart defense of the bench and for just a minimum contract? Excellent value. This team should sign James Anderson for this season.

New York Knicks: What is the Knicks’ Biggest Weakness?

By Troy Tauscher: Staff Writer/Hoopstuff…

As one of the most storied franchises in American professional sports, the Knicks’ 2014 season was, to put it simply, a massive disappointment. The decimating coaching and injury issues destroyed the Knicks’ prospects for a successful season. So did their lack of defense. As the offseason winds down, they find themselves is a very similar situation, where their defense will be a major roadblock.

Yes, they acquired Samuel Dalembert but it’s not enough. The Knicks’ issue is that their roster has a lot of players who simply don’t like to play defense. JR Smith, Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, and yes, even Carmelo Anthony are all pretty bad on the defensive side. When your core is defensively atrocious, one or two role players can’t solve it and they also ditched Tyson Chandler, their best defender. With $90.1 million in contracts, there’s not much New York can do about their lack of defense.

Add to it that new coach Derek Fisher may or may not have any idea how to coach a team on the defensive end. He will be coaching a team of players that love to hoist up shots but play foul line to foul line. Despite having Mike Woodson,  who was a defensive minded coach, the Knicks ranked 24th in defensive efficiency, and 27th in opponent three point percentage.

It comes down to this question for successful franchises: Does your roster have one or two players you can assign to opposing stars who will minimize that player’s impact?

For New York, the answer is no. Their burdensome contracts prevented them from addressing their biggest flaw, and that will continue to inhibit the Knicks ability to return to relevance and no Tyson Chandler means they could be closer to the 30th in the efficiency of their defense this season.

Los Angeles Lakers: An All Star Season For Jeremy Lin?

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t a playoff team, as they are at best the 10th most talented team in the Western Conference. However, with their cap space they have a chance next offseason to be big spenders to build a contender and in 2 offseason, they have a near clean cap. The Lakers can be competitive and could be .500, but it will take 50 wins to make the West Playoffs and about 35 wins is likely for Los Angeles. Regardless, although there will be a lot of L’s in their record, this season isn’t a loss, as they can see if Kobe Bryant can stay healthy, how Byron Scott acts as coach, but to me the most entertaining story of the season for the Lakers will be seeing how Jeremy Lin plays in a Lakers jersey. Why? He is going to have a big season.

Scott has recently coached Chris Paul and a very young Kyrie Irving and those offensives were centered on the point guards and with the Lakers’ roster a bit of a mess and with Lin the 2nd best point guard and arguably the 2nd best player, he is going to have a very big role. Steve Nash may technically be the starter, but Lin should be playing 30+ minutes per game, whether as a starter or a sixth man. When Linsanity was going in NYC, he was playing in a speedy offense and with a 1st option in Carmelo Anthony who played mostly from 10-25 feet from the basket and whose main source of scoring was shooting, whether from 25 feet, 15 feet, 7 feet, meaning he wasn’t getting baskets close to the rim. Kobe Bryant is the same, more so with his injuries taking the majority of his athleticism. Bryant he won’t be going to the basket as much, he will stick from 10 feet to the perimeter. This was a lot of technical talk for a simple message, playing the 2nd fiddle to Kobe Bryant is a lot like Carmelo Anthony. That Knicks team played fast and this Lakers team will be the same, probably more so, as they have no defense and will have to win games by scoring 105-110 points per game. If you are starting to get it, with the Lakers Lin can play like he played as a Knick.

In those magical 35 games in NYC he started 25 games and in those 25, the ones that made him a celebrity, he averaged 18.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He also took 5.4 free throws per game, but wasn’t able to come close to that number in Houston. What happened to Linsanity? When playing in Houston, he was playing with a player in James Harden who is incredibly similar to him, but better, so instead of playing to his strengths he had to play a more conservative style, as Harden is the one who attacks the basket, finds his shots and has the ball, making Lin play far closer to the perimeter. In his 35 games as a Knick, 57 percent of his shots were between the basket and 10 feet, but in his 1st season in Houston that number went to 51 percent and then in his 2nd season in red it went to 48. The more he played with Harden the closer he played to the perimeter; in NY 20 percent of his shots were 3′s, then it went 29 percent and to 35 percent. He isn’t an elite 3 point shooter, as he has shot just 34.3 percent in the NBA, which is average, but he just took 5.6 per game, which is just ridiculous.

So with Kobe Bryant like Caremlo Anthony, Scott a point guard loving coach and Lin the best point guard on the team and 2nd best offensive player, Lin has a chance to play elite basketball. He won’t be the primary ball handler, that will be Kobe’s job, but he will still have the ball a lot and be able to make a lot more plays for himself and his teammates than in Houston. He will be free to get  tothe rim, look for his own shot and play the style he is best at. This means free throw attempts, assists when he goes to the basket and finds an open man in the corner and the chance to work in the middle instead of the perimeter. If Lin is able to understand this and Scott lets him play like a Knick, there is no reason why he cannot average 16-6 or better. Is that enough for him to make it on the West’s 12 man squad? No, but he can be an elite guard with the Lakers and make himself a key part of the Lakers’ foundation. I expect a big season from Lin and for him to re-sign with the Lakers.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Are The Timberwolves Better With No Kevin Love?

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Kevin Love is the best big man in the NBA on offense and one of the 5 best players in the NBA; there is no denying the incredible talents of Love, who is also one of the league’s best rebounders. With the Minnesota Timberwolves trading Love for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young, their team is very different, but can a team who just traded one of the 5 best NBA players for 2 players who are 20 and a combo forward really be better? I believe they can.

Nikola Pekovic will become the number 1 offensive option for the Timberwolves and should be an All Star next season. He is one of the best offensive centers in the NBA and one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA. He is a porous defender (like Love), but he is an elite offensive player. He will take a much bigger role for them next season and he could average 20-10. Ricky Rubio is one of the best distributors in the NBA, an excellent rebounder and defender and he too should score more next season and I believe he will become the player they have expected him to become, averaging around 15-10-5-2. They also still have Kevin Martin who I admit I forgot about and he has averaged 20 points in the NBA and just averaged 19.1 points per game. Also Thaddeus Young will be a starter this season for the Timberwolves at Kevin Love’s power forward position and is a far better defender, but also a very strong shooter, scorer and rebounder. Corey Brewer is a very strong 2 way player and should be the main bench player at the 2 and 3, assuming that Wiggins starts, which he should, as he will be their franchise player and is better than Brewer. J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger are each strong offensive options too that they can bring off the bench for points, especially Barea, as Budinger might lose his place in the rotation because of Wiggins, LaVine and a better Shabazz Muhammad. They have a lot of very productive veteran’s on this team and with Rubio, Pekovic and Young, the core veterans are 23-28

As for Wiggins and Bennett, Wiggins should start at small forward for the Timberwolves next season and will give them excellent shooting and defense and probably 14-16 points per game, while Bennett off the bench as the 2nd power forward if given the minutes could average a double-double, he is that talented. They also have the rest of their young talent, Gorgui Dieng who is one of the best 2nd centers in the league and an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker, Shabazz Muhammad who is a very strong scorer at small forward, who if given 15-20 minutes will score 10+ points per game, Zach LaVine who was just the 13th pick in the draft and can give them hustle and energy as a rookie, using his ridiculous athleticism and even 2nd round pick, Glen Robinson III is a nice piece and is a 1st round prospect they got at excellent value and is a strong defensive player, who is a capable player on offense too. Their collection of young talent is arguably the best in the league, rivaling just the Boston Celtics, however the Celtics lack a talent like Wiggins who will make multiple All Star Games and can be one of the best 2/3′s depending on which position he settles at, in the league.

So to answer the title’s question, can they be better next season and win more than 40 games? This would mean they are at least .500, but yes they can. Their defense was just pathetic, as they were 26th in the NBA in opponents points per game at 104.5. The main reason being the Love-Pekovic duo, which was the weakest duo in the NBA, as each were among the weakest individual defenders in the NBA, as was Kevin Martin. This could be different now, as Young is a very solid defender and will be playing at power forward, although he could have problems when he plays against bigger and stronger people in the paint. Regardless, he’s better than Love. As I wrote, Rubio and Wiggins are also each excellent defenders and as they are likely 2 starters, their starting 5 will be better defensively. Also with no Love, Gorgui Dieng should get more minutes and he is their best big man defender. With Brewer and Robinson III on the bench, they also have a duo of very talented defenders that can play in the 2nd unit. To put it simply, their defensive talent is much better and they have a chance to get into the teens in points per game. When it comes to offense, they aren’t as strong lacking Love, but with Pekovic and Rubio about to take a bigger role and with the trio of Young, Wiggins and Bennett, their offense won’t be too affected. They should be average in the NBA on offense and defense and with the trio they got in the Love deal and with LaVine, their athleticism has doubled or more.

They play in the West, which takes 50 wins to make the playoffs, they aren’t that talented and won’t even get a whiff of the playoffs, but they have a chance to be a .500 team or better and can be better than they were with Kevin Love. They improved on defense, athletically and have a lot of young talent and if their young talent improves, their rookies are better than expected and Rubio and Pekovic take the much bigger role that they should and play to their abilities, then yes, they can win 40-42 games and be a better team. Will they? Maybe, there are a lot of if’s in that equation, too many to give a smart answer to the question in this title.

Denver Nuggets: Trading For Harrison Barnes

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Nuggets Get: Harrison Barnes and Marresse Speights

Warriors Get: Timofey Mozgov and Randy Foye

The Denver Nuggets have some excellent talent. They have a franchise player in point guard Ty Lawson, who is one of the best players at his position and elite on offense. They have a premier perimeter duo with Arron Afflalo, who is one of the best 2 way players in the NBA and Danilo Gallinari, who is a 16 point per game scorer and an excellent shooter. They have 2 very talented young big men in Kenneth Faried, who is one of the best energy players and rebounders in the NBA and is playing for Team USA and JaVale McGee, who is one of the biggest players in the NBA and a very strong rebounder and an elite shot blocker (although his intelligence on the court is a problem). They also have a very solid group of role players with Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson, Timofey Mozgov, Randy Foye, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson and 3 very talented rookies, Gary Harris, Erick Green and Jusuf Nurkic. Their roster is very talented and they have an excellent mix of young players and veterans, however this roster is probably the 10th best team in the West and their chances of making the playoffs aren’t strong. Even if they can make the playoffs, they would be a sweep candidate for the Thunder or Spurs. Where was I? Oh yeah, there is one trade they should make, trading some of their role players to an elite NBA team that needs depth but cannot afford it, for another key piece of their foundation and there is one strong option, trading Randy Foye and Timofey Mozgov to the Warriors for small forward Harrison Barnes.

Losing 2 very productive role players would hurt this team, but since they wont make the playoffs next season, if they have the chance to trade role players for a starting small forward that can become one of the best two way players in the NBA is wise. Barnes had a very strong rookie season and made All NBA Rookie 2nd team, averaging 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and he shot 43.9 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3 as a starter, however he was a reserve in his 2nd season, as they signed Andre Iguodala and although his numbers were incredibly similar, as he averaged 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, he shot just 39.9 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from 3. He is just 22 and will get better and he has the potential to average 17-6 and be an elite defender too. Although he probably wouldn’t start for the Nuggets at 1st, as they have Danilo Gallinari, each player is able to play power forward too, so he could still get 30 minutes per game.

The Warriors have no cap space and an average bench and they need better role players and would be very tempted by this package. However, this is my article and I say they would be very smart to make the trade, because as constructed the Warriors cannot win a title. So for the Nuggets, they would lose 2 excellent role players, but they would add another piece to their core in Harrison Barnes. Marreese Speights is in this trade to make the money match, but he is an effective scoring big man, who could help their rotation. This is a trade that the Warriors should consider this offseason, to add another piece to their foundation of Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic. Denver would be very smart to turn some their excellent group of role players into an excellent young player.


Golden State Warriors: Leandro Barbosa Signing Grade

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

Contract: 1 season, veteran’s minimum

Another excellent signing by the Warriors this offseason. They signed Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush to help their mediocre bench to start the offseason, but they still needed a scoring guard to come off the bench and just score, which is Barbosa’s biggest talent and a role he is very capable to play. He isn’t the player he was with the Steve Nash Suns, but he is just 31. He can really help this team as the Warriors have no bench player like him on the roster.

Yes, they signed Livingston and Rush and have Harrison Barnes, Marreese Speights and Draymond Green, but no player that can come into the game for 15 minutes and score 10 points. They can play him with Stephen Curry and have a ridiculously talented small scoring duo at guard and with Livingston’s defense, they will make a very strong guard tandem off the bench. He will help make their excellent offense even better.

This is a very smart signing by the Warriors, getting a solid role player at a need position for the minimum. There is zero problems with this signing and even though he hasn’t produced too much in 2 seasons, he can still give them a productive 15 minutes per game with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and for about a million dollars that is just about as excellent as value signings can be. Barbosa should make a difference for the Warriors and will help them on their quest to win the Western Conference. With a small amount of cap space this offseason, the Warriors have still made multiple solid moves to make this team better. They came into the offseason with a very weak bench, but it is now actually pretty solid.

Grade: A



Chicago Bulls: Sign Hasheem Thabeet

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Hasheem Thabeet to the Philadelphia 76ers for well basically zilch, however the 76ers then waived him, so he is a free agent and is an excellent fit for the Chicago Bulls, who should sign him. He would fill their biggest and only need on the roster and since they have a couple of roster spots, one should be filled by Thabeet.

The Bulls have one of the best rosters in the NBA and are one of just a few teams that can win a title, but only if they are healthy. Their roster is deep and excellent, but they are missing one thing, a reserve defensive center. The Bulls have one of the best big man rotations in the NBA with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson, but it seems that their 2nd center is 1st string power forward Pau Gasol, which isn’t a problem and there really isn’t a reason to play a 5th big man too many minutes, but it would be nice for them to have a defensive 2nd center on the roster. The Bulls are a defense 1st team and although there is no better defensive big man duo in the NBA than Noah-Gibson, just having a 3rd defensive big man would be smart if there is an injury.

Thabeet being drafting 2nd by the Memphis Grizzlies is comical today, however, he’s proved that he is a strong defensive big man to bring off the bench, block shots and rebounds. He isn’t a starter and has only started 20 games in the NBA and probably won’t start another, but per 36 minutes in his 5 NBA seasons, he has averaged 7.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, so he is an elite shot-blocker, which they lack. Noah was just the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, but he only averaged 1.5 per game. Having an elite shot-blocker on the bench would be a nice luxury for the Bulls.

Thabeet isn’t going to win them a title, but he would be a nice role player and with the minutes he gets, would protect the rim and give insurance in case there is an injury to Noah. The Bulls would be very wise to give him a minimum salary contract to be their 5th big man, 3rd center and shot-blocker and defender to bring off the bench. The Bulls need another center and Thabeet would fit well in Chicago.

New York Knicks: Sign Emeka Okafor

By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…

There are 2 premier free agents on the market with Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe, but they are RFA’s, however, besides them when it comes to starters, there aren’t many, actually there may only be 1, Emeka Okafor. Okafor just missed a season because of injury, but if healthy he is an excellent starting center, as he is one of the best rebounders and defensive big man in the NBA and he is also a strong scorer. In 9 NBA seasons he has averaged 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 31.7 minutes. He is a perfect fit for the Knicks who need a starting center and if he is healthy they should sign him.

The Knicks traded Tyson Chandler and got a lot of strong pieces in that trade, mainly the strong starting point guard they needed, but it has left a big hole at center where Samuel Dalembert is likely to start. Dalembert is no Chandler. Okafor isn’t either, but he is a much better player than Dalembert and can be the defensive leader of the Knicks like Chandler was.

Besides health, money is the biggest obstacle to signing him, but they can make it work. How? They can only give him the minimum, but as he is missed more than a season due to injury, he could be willing to take a 2 season minimum deal with a player option on the 2nd so that he can regain the value he has lost and play for a big contract next offseason. If he is going to take a minimum contract, the one thing he would covet is minutes and the Knicks can give him all the minutes he could ask for at center and a starting role on a potential playoff team. Few if any teams can give him that, besides maybe the Heat, but as they gave 165 million to Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen, they seem to have their big men. Regardless, the Knicks can give him a starting job, minutes, a chance to become a valuable free agent and a 2nd season option, so he has some security in case of injury. The Knicks can give him a lot and because of this, Okafor and the Knicks should come to an agreement, so that Okafor can be their starting center.




Miami Heat: Shannon Brown Signing Grade

Nekias Duncan, Lead Writer/Hoopstuff…

Terms: 1 season, $1.3M

The Miami Heat made a minor splash by signing combo-guard Shannon Brown to a one-year deal. Brown played sparingly for the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs last season, averaging a measly 2.2 ppg in 29 total games between the two teams. Brown signed with both teams with little chance of cracking their rotation, so hopefully for Brown, signing with the Heat is a fresh, fair start for him to regain his Phoenix form, where, in two seasons there, he averaged 10.7 ppg in 23.7 mpg.

With Dwyane Wade firmly locked in as the Heat’s starting SG, don’t expect Brown to get the minutes he got in Phoenix, but don’t expect him to get the miniscule amount of minutes he received in his short stints in New York and San Antonio either. Dwyane Wade will have to take on a bigger scoring load and won’t be able to rest games like he did last season, but he’ll likely miss a few if his knees continue to bother him. Wade has missed an average of 19 games over his last three seasons (19.33 for the math nerds out there), which is why adding Brown as a bit of a bench spark and occasional spot starter isn’t a bad move.

Brown has started 58 games in his career, and has averaged a respectable 13.3 ppg and a steal in those contests. Working off of Wade’s average of 19 missed games over the last three seasons, I looked at Shannon Brown’s last 19 starts, spanning from November 28, 2012, to his most recent start against the Kings (with the Spurs) in early February. In those games, Brown averaged 13.8 ppg, 1.3 spg, and shot 45% FG from the field. If the Heat can get close to that production from Brown in the event he has to start a few games, Brown could be a nice bargain at essentially the vet’s minimum.

Brown’s athleticism will definitely be a welcomed addition to this Heat squad. He’s always been a high-volume shooter, which is a bit of a minus, but he is a career 39% shooter on corner threes. That skill could be utilized playing alongside Norris Cole in the bench backcourt. The biggest concern I have about Brown is his ability to defend. He’s erratic on that end at best. He’s a bit undersized at SG and a bit undisciplined, but he shows good effort on that end. In the frenetic defense Erik Spoelstra and the Heat run, Brown’s activity will either be a big plus, or he’ll be a complete defensive liability. Overall, this is a nice, safe signing for the Heat.

Grade: B-