I was all set to talk about Brock Lesnar's fight at UFC 200 this morning and I wake up to news that his fight is now the main event because Jon Jones failed a drug test and has been removed from the card. Unreal. This UFC 200 is continuing to be a mess. Imagine what this card looks like now with Jones/Comier out if Lesnar didn't decide to make a return to the octagon. I'm not a UFC guy at all so I'm sure there are some good matches on that card but it is now deprived of star power. I'd have to imagine Brock got a great deal to come back for UFC 200 since he signed after the Diaz/McGregor fight was moved but he should demand for that amount to be doubled now that Jones is out.
For the match itself, I'll take Brock. Being a WWE guy and not a UFC guy I got to go with my heart. When it was announced that Brock would fight at UFC 200 and it was against a guy I'd never heard of, I just assumed the guy he was fighting was a scrub or pushover. Then the Vegas line came out and Brock was an underdog. That shocked me, especially since the casual money from people like me who just bet off of names would put their money on Brock. So I had to look more into this Mark Hunt guy and seems like most people actually in the UFC world think Hunt should win. So an interesting fight for Lesnar. I'm still not betting against The Beast Incarnate though. Give me Brock in the 2nd round via stoppage. I think he can get Hunt to the ground and work him over there.
In another piece of surprising sports new yesterday, Dwyane Wade is leaving the Miami Heat to play for the Chicago Bulls. Wade was basically Mr. Miami for the past 10+ years so I'm real surprised to see him go. Even with this free agency this year, I completely expected him to stay in Miami. Even when he was setting up meetings with teams the past couple days I just assumed he was using those as leverage for his negotiations with the Heat.
I know the signing just came last night but this doesn't seem like a smooth split from Miami either. I get the impression there are some hard feelings between Wade and the Heat organization and I'm looking forward to the stories that come out about that relationship and breakup in the next couple weeks. My best guess is that Wade was hoping this would be the year Miami overpaid him and Pat Riley and the rest of the front office refused to. Wade has never been the highest paid player on the Heat roster in his 13 years there. My guess is he knew Miami was contending for a title for the next couple years and thought Miami could finally pay him what he thought he was worth to the franchise for the past decade. And Miami probably decided that it wasn't going to overspend on past performance, especially with next year's free agency period expected to be filled with stars. Just my guess. I'm sure stories and details will come out soon and we will have a better idea. Just a shocking turn though.
On the other end of the Dwyane Wade deal, I have no idea what Chicago is doing. This smells like a deal of desperation from the Bulls front office. They have taken some heat the past couple years and were a disappointment last season. Instead of sticking to a long-term plan, this move looks like a desperation deal trying to bring the "hometown kid" back to Chicago to gain some goodwill. This may makes some fans happy but I don't know if it leads to a great long-term solution. And I'd guess someone that this deal doesn't make too happy: Fred Hoiberg.
There is no way Coach Hoiberg is 100% behind this deal. Through injuries and mediocrity, he didn't end up with a great roster in his first year as coach of the Bulls. He didn't have a great mix of guys for his up-tempo, shooting offense and he had some young guys he needed to develop. The missed the playoffs and looked to be rebuilding more around Hoiberg's style of play. They let Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose go to the Knicks, they were rumored to be shopping Jimmy Butler around to teams in the league, and picked up Denzel Valentine in the draft this year. It looked like the Bulls were committing to build around younger guys, letting them develop, and letting Hoiberg put his mark on his team. And then free agency started.
First, the Bulls picked up Rajon Rondo. Not exactly known as a coach's player, Rondo on his own still probably wouldn't have been too bad of a move. He has talent and still should have a little left in the tank. But now adding Dwyane Wade to the mix further complicates things for Hoiberg and the young guys on the roster. With Hoiberg's "Space and Pace" offense, I don't know how a Rondo/Butler/Wade backcourt fits into that style. The Bulls aren't exactly going to have an array of three point specialists lined up around the arc this season. Isn't Wade just an older version of what Chicago already has in Jimmy Butler? And isn't signing Wade just going to take up minutes from some of the younger guys that need them, like Doug McDermott or Denzel Valentine?
I don't see how this move helps the Bulls or Fred Hoiberg. UNLESS....the next move is to trade Jimmy Butler. Him and Hoiberg don't seem to be on the same page on where the team should go. So maybe the Bulls signed Wade with the intent to then trade Butler somewhere. I still don't like a Rondo/Wade pairing but maybe they can hold the ship afloat a year or two while the younger guys develop and the front office adds a couple more pieces. Next year's free agency period should be filled with stars looking to cash in. The Bulls reportedly signed Wade with the thought that he would help lure free agents to Chicago next season, so with Butler out of the picture maybe Chicago could add a big named player actually in his prime to the roster.
So maybe I'm being to harsh on a move that's not completed yet. But if Butler is on the Bulls roster for the 2016-17 season, I don't see the value in this trade.