Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who Will Have the Better Offseason?

March 2, 2010

For a few months now we've had a running poll on our site asking readers which team they believe will have a better offseason: the Miami Heat or Miami Dolphins. Forty one votes later, we have closed off the poll and labeled the fan favorite to succeed in the offseason.

By the count of 56% to 43% the Miami Dolphins are favored to best revamp and retool their team for next season. Interesting enough, the Miami Heat are built for a huge 2010 offseason, but it seems that fans either trust the Dolphins front office more or are skeptical of the Heat's chances to lure marquee players to Miami. To lay out each team's situation we identify their respective cap room and draft picks in order to see the resources available to them come spring and summer.

Miami Heat (2010-11)
  • NBA Projected Salary Cap: $50-53 million
  • NBA Projected Luxury Tax Threshold: $61-65 million
  • Miami Heat Contracted Salaries: $11.8 (Min.) to $30.7 (Max.) million 
  • Summary: Miami is one of the top three teams, along with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, to have enough cap room to offer max level contracts to elite free agents and still have room to fill out their roster with a supporting cast. With Owner Micky Arison coming out and stating that he is "95 percent sure" that Dwyane Wade will return, the front office can focus most of its attention towards building around their star guard, rather than trying to keep him in Miami.
Miami Dolphins (2010-11)
  • NFL Projected Salary Cap: Uncapped Season (Pending)
  • NFL Projected Luxury Tax Threshold: N/A
  • Current Contracted Salaries: Approximately $127 million (2nd Highest in NFL for 2009)
  • Summary: With the impending uncapped year, there's no telling to what extents the Dolphins will go to improve their roster through free agent, trade and draft acquisitions. The problem: everyone else in the league has the same luxury. It will be an all out race for those lucrative athletes sitting on the trading block and standing in the unemployment line. Fortunately, for high-payroll teams like Miami, releasing players do not result in cap penalties and will be a great tool in freeing budget room. 
Our Take

From the financial standpoint, the Miami Heat seem to have the edge in their respective league to lure top-tier players. With a maximum roster of 15 players in the NBA, as opposed to the 53-man roster in th NFL, it's much easier to improve a basketall team as well. It also goes without saying that Pat Rily has already built a championship team in Miami, whereas Bill Parcells is still establishing his presence with the Dolphins.

Then again, the Dolphins seem to have a solid foundation for success and only need some development from their young guys and a handful of position improvements to reach the next level. Conversely, the only real foundation that the Heat have is Dwyane Wade. Michael Beasley is still growing (only 21 years old) and everyone else is virtually expendable. In essence, the Dolphins only need a few tweaks to improve while the Heat require an entire roster overhaul.

What could decide this debate is the availability of players in each league that have interest in the Dolphins and Heat. If the talent isn't available, then there is no opportunity for advancement. Luckily enough, there seems to be a good crop of draft prospects, free agents and trading chips available to each organization.

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