On random Sundays, Josh tackles random thoughts buzzing around South Florida.
Andre Johnson Homecoming
At first glance, the 6-3, 230-pound ball magnet seems like a perfect fit with the teal and orange after spending the first 21 years of his life in Miami (Miami High and University of Miami). The Dolphins are solid at wideout, but could use as many playmakers as possible considering this is the key third season for Ryan Tannehill. But most of all, Andre Johnson would sell tickets.
Miami ranked 30th in NFL attendance (% filled) in 2013 despite being in the thick of the playoff race. Adding a homegrown superstar who is still a force at 33 would unequivocally drive up season tickets. Yet there are still plenty of other reasons Johnson doesn’t make sense with the Dolphins:
- Johnson has a cap hit of over $15 million in 2014, via Spotrac. Miami’s estimated cap space sits at just over $13 million.
- The Dolphins owe receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace a combined $42 million in guaranteed money and releasing either this season would result in massive dead money counting against their cap. (Note: Miami can get away clean from Hartline without a cap hit if released any time after next season.)
I’d say the Andre Johnson-to-Miami pipe dream has about as much life as a LeBron James Heat jersey at this point.
Summer League Fallacies
There aren’t many things less useful than NBA Summer League when it comes to scouting future NBA talent. Sure it can tell us some things — Andrew Wiggins is athletic and Spo makes funny faces even when not coaching.
Is it a red flag if a top draft pick like Wiggins or Jabari Parker can’t produce against borderline NBA talent? Maybe. But for two Heat rookies just hoping to get minutes next season as role players in Shabazz Napier and James Ennis, it’s difficult to tell much. All that matters is how these prospects play with their future Heat teammates like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, not the likes of Danilo Barthel and Tyler Honeycutt. Even an NBA preseason game has triple the substance of the entirety of summer league.
What I did realize is Shabazz still kicks out his right leg on a majority of his jump shots, not a surprise because it was a staple during his career at Connecticut.
The good news is he was still a dynamite shooter (40% 3FG in 2013-2014), but this bad habit is going to drive Erik Spoelstra mad. It might have developed out of a desire to create more space because of his 6-1 frame. I’m not as worried about it potentially leading to offensive fouls as much as it affects his balance as a shooter. In the NBA — the land of little-to-no margin for error, especially for a player standing a hair over six feet — he’s going to need to be as fundamentally sound as possible to even have a prayer of being an impact player.
It will be interesting to see whether they work on erasing that out of his form moving forward. My bet is yes. Sometimes, like with Shawn Marion and his vomit-inducing shooting form, coaches will let it be if the efficiency is there. But considering Napier probably won’t get that much time in his rookie season behind veterans Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, they could afford to work it out of his game during what might equate to a redshirt season.
So summer league isn’t entirely useless, just mostly.