We’re in the dregs of the NBA signing season, when guys who can contribute like Luther Head end up with make-good deals in Sacramento, where they will battle the undrafted for a roster spot.
But look at the names still unsigned and available (compiled by Ira Winderman at the South Florida Sun Sentinel):
Allen Iverson, Jerry Stackhouse, Joe Smith, Flip Murray, Earl Watson, Michael Finley, Larry Hughes, Bobby Simmons, Trenton Hassell, Jarvis Hayes, Ime Udoka and Devean George.
Each of those players come with questions, specifically questions about how much they can help in comparison to the costs.
The day has come when you’re name won’t get you an NBA roster spot. For the most part (there are exceptions). In an age of information and on demand NBA video and advanced statistics, general managers see the drop off in older players more quickly. In a cost conscious NBA, teams don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the aging curve. Teams also are not going to take on marginal talent to fill the end of they bench when they can give that spot to a younger player who may develop.
Now if you want to play, you’ve got to be able to ball. And there are questions now about everybody on that list.