For all the crying the Miami media (and their fans) did to make it seem like Joe Cronin was a moron who was going to fuck up the Damian Lillard trade unless he sent Dame to South Beach for the Heat's poopoo platter, now that the dust has settled you could make the case that Cronin actually did fairly well for the aging point guard with a massive guaranteed contract
Part of how we viewed this trade was of course what the Blazers brought back for Jrue Holiday, and I don't think it's crazy to suggest that this package is most certainly better than whatever the Heat were initially offering for Dame. All that public posturing only for the Blazers to go out and find a better trade. That's tough.
Based on which side you believe when it comes to this saga, there's a thought that Cronin was more focused on sticking it to the Heat than anything else. To that I say, could you blame him? After all the shit they pulled? Cronin decided to punch back and had one of the pettiest offseasons I can remember from a GM.
It's not just the fact that he refused to send Dame to MIA, he also went ahead and beefed up both of the direct competitors to the Heat in the East. Initially, I thought after Dame got moved that Cronin would ease up on his pettiness when it came to dealing with the Heat, and that the Blazers accepting some sort of MIA package for Jrue Holiday would be the next domino to fall.
Ha, jokes on me for that one. Because as it turns out, Joe Cronin hates that organization like poison
Now what is this supposed "significant bid"? I dunno, the Heat assets mostly stink and now that we know what the Celts paid for Jrue Holiday I can't imagine it was a better package. But let's say it was better, the fact that Joe Cronin still decided to stick it to Pat Riley is very funny. It's the epitome of fuck around and find out. The Heat thought they could bully the Blazers into doing what they wanted and instead, everything immediately blew up in their faces. You could say they burned this bridge right to the ground. I'm not sure what Pat Riley thought he was doing with the Heat's approach this summer, but it's clear they fumbled big time.
The crazy part about all of this is that had the Heat and Dame just been quiet about his desire to go to MIA, they probably land one of Dame or Jrue! Give the Blazers a list of 3 teams or something from the jump and just tell them you prefer MIA. Instead, they went about it in a way that completely shut the Blazers off from wanting to do any sort of business with the Heat whether it was around Dame or someone else.
That's tough for Real Close Riley. The Interest King got cocky and now finds himself in a bit of a pickle.
This just goes to show you that in life, relationships are extremely important. How you treat people matters. In the NBA it clearly doesn't only come down to your assets, but the relationships between teams and front offices. For all the talk about how hard it is to trade with the Blazers, the Bucks and the Celts figured their shit out in 2 seconds because they weren't complete dickheads who also happened to have actual assets to trade. Instead, the Heat tried to bully the Blazers into a corner, and look what happened. It backfired and then some.
As someone who respects a good old fashioned grudge, I love this move from Cronin. He did well for himself in terms of his return for both Dame and Holiday, so fuck the Heat as far as he's concerned. Maybe if his emotions got in the way of securing a good return this would be a problem, but that's not what happened. It wouldn't shock me one bit if Cronin was in his office this morning popping his own Ace of Spades bottle with Pat Riley's name engraved on it.
The crazy part is the Blazers probably aren't done either. They can flip Malcolm Brogdon for some sort of return, whether it's now or at the deadline, especially if he shows he's healthy.