PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Going home to Cleveland is special for LeBron James and was expected to wind up putting Florida forward Chandler Parsons in a great situation, too. As a result of James's decision, Houston decided to sign free agent power forward Chris Bosh and planned to subsequently match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet Parsons signed with Dallas early Thursday morning. Though the Rockets claimed they were unlikely to match the sheet if James and Bosh stayed with the Heat, suddenly Houston had opportunity to put together a "big four" of their own with Bosh, Parsons, James Harden and Dwight Howard. Except…Bosh later Friday decided to remain in Miami, spurning Houston's offer for a five-year, $118 million deal, according to Yahoo! Sports. It is now unknown what the Rockets will do about Parsons, as matching the offer sheet would severely eat into the team's 2015 cap space. The sheet also includes a number of poison pills including an opt-out after year two and a 15 percent trade kicker.
Also affected by James's decision is former Gators F Mike Miller. According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, James has already reached out to Miller about joining him on the Cavaliers and Cleveland appears to be his ultimate destination. Miller is currently looking for $4-5 million per season over three years and previously said that returning to Memphis was his goal. However, Miller has also been in negotiations with Denver and has received heavy interest from Oklahoma City. Late Friday, Miller himself took to Twitter and explained that talks have broken off with the Grizzlies. In the end, reuniting with James will likely be too much for Miller to pass up as he nears the end of his illustrious career.
The Orlando, Florida, portion of NBA Summer League is now over as three Florida rookies are now preparing to get started in Las Vegas, Nevada. Center Patric Young was the first to take the court, suiting up for New Orleans on Friday night against the NBA D-League All-Stars. He posted 11 points and 13 rebounds in 19 minutes but also coughed up three turnovers and committed five fouls. Forward Casey Prather and Atlanta will play their first game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against Washington, while point guard Scottie Wilbekin joins Philadelphia after a Orlando stint with Memphis. He and the 76ers will square off against Utah on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Each player will take the court in three games while in Las Vegas with the event ending on Tuesday, July 15.
On Friday, the Gators announced that Dale Schultz has been named the program's new head diving coach. Replacing Donnie Craine, who led the program for 30 years before passing away unexpectedly in April, Schultz told Florida's school website that he considered Craine "a close friend and mentor … throughout my career." Previously at Arkansas for 16 seasons (1989-2000, 2008-13), Schultz spent last season as the associate head coach at Ripfest Diving in Noblesville, Indiana.
Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, junior defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III will be representing the Gators at SEC Media Days next week in Hoover, Alabama, making Florida one of only two teams (Vanderbilt) that will not bring a senior on the trip. The Gators will participate as the last group on Monday, July 14. ESPNU will air head coach Will Muschamp's press conference live and will also have a one-on-one interview with him later in the day. The network will also check in with the player press conferences.
Saturday and Sunday will be busy days for Driskel, who will be working as a camp counselor at the Manning Passing Academy over the weekend. It is the second-straight year that Driskel is working and third time in his life that he will attend the event as he previously participated as a sophomore in high school. Driskel is one of 40 college quarterbacks that will be in attendance working as counselors. He will travel back to Gainesville, Florida, on Sunday evening before heading out with UF's contingent to Alabama on Monday.