Erick Dampier’s “instantly” expiring contract was supposedly one of the off-season’s biggest trade chips, yet the Mavs were only able to get Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca in return. That’s not quite in line with Dallas’ lofty summer goals; Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban were shooting for a sign-and-trade with the biggest free agents, and were also connected to the Timberwolves in a possible trade for Al Jefferson. All of those potential moves fell through, and with only a few options left on the table, Dallas opted to grab a back-up center for next season. Not a bad move, just not a particularly good one in light of what could have been.
Dampier is now a Charlotte Bobcats…for the moment. The Bobcats will either waive Damp, making him an unrestricted free agent and wiping his salary off their books, or try to flip him for more value. However, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer found out, such a trade would be a bit more difficult than the one the Mavs just pulled off:
Since these [trade] rules can get complex, I emailed the league, and here’s what I was told:
Dampier’s contract CAN be traded right now, but couldn’t be
aggregated with another salary to make a deal work until 60 days after
being acquired by the Bobcats. In other words, if the Bobcats needed to
move about $17 million to make a trade work, they couldn’t combine
Dampier’s salary with Matt Carroll’s ($4.3 million) to approximate that
number until mid-September.
Without the ability to combine Dampier’s salary with another player’s salary for trade purposes, Charlotte’s options will be limited. Still, at this point they’re just looking for any value. As long as trading Dampier doesn’t come with long-term financial burden (which it likely would; What other incentive would a team have to trade for him? Especially considering he’s going to be made a free agent and will sign for far, far less than $13 million?), acquiring something is better than nothing.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.