When veteran players Danny Granger and Glen Davis were waived last season, the Clippers were there to snap them up as minimum salary free agents to help upgrade their bench. It paid off, Granger averaged 8 points a game in the regular season (although he faded in the playoffs) and “Big Baby” instantly became the first big off the bench for the Clippers and a guy Doc Rivers leaned on in the playoffs.
Both might be back with the Clippers next season, but not at their current price.
It appears both are opting out of their deals, as has been expected, reports Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Both have battled health issues and that will keep the contracts they can draw on the open market down, particularly the years. That said Davis will make more than the $1.2 million minimum deal he was to get if he opted in. Not a whole lot more, but more. The question is will he get that from Doc Rivers and the Clippers or do they think they can find a better upgrade (they need front line depth to let Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan rest).
Granger is a nice fit off the Clippers’ bench, but again how much and how many years do you give a guy coming off multiple knee surgeries? For a stretch he started to get his legs under him but he is a limited role player now, he’s not the All-Star Danny Granger.
These two join Darren Collison on the list of Clippers opting out to become free agents.
These are the kinds of players likely to last a little while in free agency, into the second half of July or early August, as other teams wait for bigger dominoes to fall.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.