Tag: Carmelo Anthony

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns

Top seven free agents still on the market


LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony finally got around to making their decisions and when they did the flood gates opened and the NBA free agent market exploded with a rash of signings. It seemed like everyone signed in the coming few days.

Well, not everyone.

There are still some quality free agents on the market — guys who can help your team win games from the opening tip next fall. Understand, if they are still on the market there is a reason — maybe a basketball reason, maybe a market reason — but here are the seven best guys still out there.

• Eric Bledsoe (restricted free agent). He’s an All-Star caliber point guard who is incredibly athletic, can score in transition, attacks the rim, plus is tenacious on defense. His play isn’t the reason he’s still available — he wants a max offer sheet and Suns GM Ryan McDonough has said they will match any offer — and remember he traded for Bledsoe, he’s not letting him go. So no offers. The problem for Bledsoe is he lacks leverage, the Sixers are the only team with max cap space left and they are not interested in making an offer. Suns offering four years, $48 million, he wants full max of five years, $80 million. He could play for the qualifying offer ($3.7 million) and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but for a guy with his injury history that is a huge risk.

[RELATED: Lakers considered a bid for Bledsoe?]

• Greg Monroe (restricted free agent). Another guy who has fans around the league in front offices but teams expect the Pistons would match pretty much any offer. Monroe is a potential future All-Star big man with a versatile offensive game — he can pass or score from both the elbow and the post, plus runs the floor well. Stan Van Gundy still has to figure out how to resolve the Monroe/Andre Drummond/Josh Smith conundrum but he’s not going to give up a promising young big easily.

[RELATED: Suns considering signing Monroe to an offer sheet]

• Andray Blatche (unrestricted free agent). There are a lot of teams looking for a big to come off their bench and Blatche did that last year in Brooklyn. He scored 11 points a game with a pretty average true shooting percentage of .532. And he’s not a great defender. Look at his history and there are questions, but he played pretty well last season and for a couple million a year would make a value signing.

• Ray Allen (unrestricted fee agent). Does he want to play again? If he does want to play again, would he want to do that in Cleveland or somewhere warmer? Teams (including the Cavaliers) have reached out and are waiting for him to decide. He’s still in great shape, still the consummate professional and still can knock down the corner three.

[MORE: Summer League observations]

• Shawn Marion (unrestricted free agent). Dallas wanted to keep him but with Chandler Parsons and other moves Marion is on the market now. He is a solid reserve with the ability to hit the three, drive inside and score (or post up smaller players) and he’s a decent defender. Being age 36 is not helping his prospect.

• Evan Turner (restricted free agent). That he is still on the market tells you how far the perception of him around the league has fallen. He put up raw numbers in Philly where he was asked to shoot but when forced to blend into the Pacers team concept he could not. Some team will bring him in on a minimum deal and if you need a guy to put up shots on a bad team he could be your guy.

[RELATED: Is Minnesota interested in Turner?]

• Jameer Nelson (unrestricted). One of a few good, veteran backup point guards still on the market (Ramon Sessions is another). Nelson was stuck on a Magic team going young (and bad) last season but still averaged 12.1 points and 7 assists a game. He’s still a quality shooter and good at running the pick-and-roll, he would be a solid addition to a number of teams.

Dwight Howard on the departure of Chandler Parsons: ‘It won’t affect us at all’

Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets

The Rockets have had a terrible offseason, especially when considering what their hopes were entering free agency.

Houston had planned to attract a third top flight star to play alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden, but overtures to Carmelo Anthony and then later Chris Bosh were essentially ignored, leaving the team in a worse place now than when the summer began.

It becomes even tougher to swallow for the Rockets once you realize that key rotation players in Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik were traded for essentially nothing, and Chandler Parsons was allowed to leave in restricted free agency by signing an offer sheet in Dallas that Houston did not choose to match.

Any reasonable observer knows that the Rockets took one or more steps backward this offseason, even when including the signing of Trevor Ariza at a reasonable price for his two-way skill set. But Howard doesn’t necessarily think so, and is either eternally optimistic or simply believes he’s good enough to cover for the team’s multiple mistakes.

From the Associated Press:

“It won’t affect us at all,” Howard said Friday of Parsons signing a three-year, $45-million deal with the Dallas Mavericks. …

“We have myself and James,” Howard said. “We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.”

Howard, who spoke at his father’s 10th annual Howard/Howard basketball camp in Atlanta, said he wishes his former teammate well with the Mavericks. But Howard said he and Harden will be able to carry the load without the 25-year-old Parsons, who had career highs with 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and four assists for the Rockets last season.

Howard continues to take an unrealistic view about just how much he and Harden can do for the rest of the roster.

A better approach would have been the one taken by Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who knows the team got worse this offseason, at least on paper. Displaying false bravado in essentially saying, ‘Nah, we’re good’ when losing a player who contributed as much as Parsons without getting anyone to replace him is not only ridiculous, but shows the level of delusion Howard has when it comes to the game of basketball.

As for the Rockets, fans care about winning and getting out of the first round of the playoffs more than they do about acquiring assets like “cap room” and “trade exceptions.” Houston has its two superstars, right Dwight? If that’s enough, then let’s see the team actually win some games in the postseason.

Kobe on Lakers’ offseason: “I’m happy with the effort”

Soccer: Women's Friendly-USA vs China

The Lakers met with LeBron James’ agent, which is as much as any team did save the only place the game’s best player was going to go if he wasn’t staying in Miami. The Lakers missed on that one.

The Lakers got a meeting with Carmelo Anthony, offered a max contact and got him to seriously consider it. But he decided for another major market and an extra $27 million guaranteed. Another miss.

So the Lakers went to their Plan B of guys on short contracts so they can make runs next year — Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill (at $9 million?), Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Xavier Henry.

How does Kobe Bryant — a guy who has said he wants to win a title in the next couple years — feel about this? He likes the effort, he told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

It’s going to be a rough year for the Lakers. And whoever their coach ends up being.

They won 27 games in a disastrous last season but the other teams at the bottom of the West — Utah, Sacramento, New Orleans — should improve this season and the Lakers have not gotten better on paper. We’ll see how Kobe plays, if he is close to the 2012 self again or not. Even if he is, the Lakers still could be the worst team in the West.

How long will Kobe be happy with a good effort from Lakers management and not results?

It just feels like that is a potential earthquake waiting to hit Los Angeles.

Report: Rockets would have added Carlos Boozer as a free agent if he cleared amnesty waivers

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers - Game Four

Carlos Boozer has become somewhat of a joke among NBA fans recently, but that has more to do with things like spray-painting his head, yelling “and-1” after seemingly every touch, and the huge contract he had that overpaid him for his level of production.

But Boozer is a serviceable big man who can still produce. Despite the flaws in his game (like being an inefficient shooter and a below-average defender), he still managed to average 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game for the Bulls last season, while starting in all 76 of his regular season appearances. That ability can be of value to plenty of teams who need reliable production off the bench, especially at a relatively low price.

The Lakers decided Boozer was worth $3.25 million for next season, and they weren’t the only team ready to pay him in the event that he ended up clearing amnesty waivers.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Had Boozer, who was made an amnesty waiver by Chicago this week, not been claimed, the Rockets would have moved in to land him as a free agent.

The Rockets had reason to be confident they would have been his choice, a person with knowledge of their planning said, though they considered it unlikely he would clear the bid process.

The Rockets did not put in a bid for Boozer because to bid, they would have to have cap room.

Houston has had a rough offseason any way you look at it, after swinging for the fences and missing on big name free agents like Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, only to end up losing players of value like Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik while getting little to no return on those outgoing assets.

Boozer would have been a nice piece to add under the circumstances, but like everything else this summer for the Rockets, things just didn’t end up working out as planned.

Rockets sign Ish Smith, whom DeMarcus Cousins called NBA’s fastest player

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets

When he wasn’t expressing his dislike for Chris Paul or calling Rajon Rondo the NBA’s best point guard during his interview with Bill Simmons of Grantland, DeMarcus Cousins discussed the league’s fastest player.

Not John Wall.

Not Russell Westbrook.

Ish Smith, Cousins said.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

With Jeremy Lin traded to the Lakers, second-year Isaiah Canaan was the Rockets’ only point guard behind Patrick Beverley. James Harden could handle more minutes on the ball, but Houston still needs point guard depth.

Smith, who has played for six teams in his four NBA seasons, began his career with the Rockets in 2011. He probably had his best season last year, coming off the bench for the Suns. His speed is a weapon, but he can be a bit careless with the ball.

A playoff team would ideally have better options at backup point guard, but after making such a strong push for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh, Houston isn’t positioned to sign higher-caliber reserves. Given their limited resources, the Rockets did alright here.