Tag: free agency


Daequan Cook re-signs with Thunder for 2 years, $7.5 million

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According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed 24-year old 3-point specialist Daequan Cook to a 2 year, $7.5 million extension.

Cook, who was unceremoniously thrusted upon Oklahoma City to create cap space for the Heat in a 2010 draft-day trade, played in 43 games for the Thunder last season, and the 2009 3-point shootout champion gave the team some of the floor spacing it desperately needed by averaging a career-high 43.6% from the floor and 42.2% from the field. $7.5 million over two years seems steep for a one-dimensional player who averaged only 5.6 points per game last season, but the Thunder do need outside shooters, and Cook fills that role for them.

76ers sign Thaddeus Young to 5-year, $42 million contract

Thaddeus young

From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Kate Fagan:

Here’s final details on @yungsmoove21‘s deal to return to #Sixers: contract is for $43 million over 5 years. Or just about $8.3 million per.

According to Fagan, Young will have a player option for the 5th year of his deal. The 23-year old Young, who was a lottery pick in 2007, played in all 82 games for the 76ers last season, and came off the bench in all but one of them. In those 82 games, Young averaged 12.7 points per game while shooting a career-high mark of 54.1% from the field, and his 5.3 rebounds per game were also a career-high. Young is a part of the 76ers’ promising youth movement, and his versatility, energy, length, and athleticism were things the 76ers were clearly unwilling to part with this off-season.

NBA Free Agency: The final chance for Vince Carter’s redemption


At the 2000 NBA All-Star Game, Vince Carter put in one of the most prolific, maybe the single best performances in NBA history.

In the 2000 summer Olympics, Vince Carter dunked over Frederic Weis in arguably the most famous posterization of all time.

And in the early to mid-2000’s, Carter put together one of the best runs in New Jersey Nets history alongside Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson (shoutout to Kerry Kittles).

Other than that, Vince Carter has been a model of disappointment for fans and executives. Which is bizarre since he is simultaneously one of the top 40 best players of the past decade. You can make a pretty good argument for him to be top 20 and if you got top 15, you’re not high. Top ten and things get a little smokey, but the point is the same.

In Orlando, it was supposed to be his chance to make the difference, to be the final piece. He didn’t need to be the man, he just needed to be Vince Carter Great, which is a very specific brand of Great at his age. And yet, the same issues that have plagued him and lead to mockery (easily susceptible to injury, questionable heart, failure to deliver in the biggest moments, airballing free throws) tormented him. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns in essentially a combination deal for Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas for crying out loud (the Arenas-for-Lewis deal was separate but wouldn’t have occurred without the Phoenix deal for Carter).

So there it is. More injuries, more questions, more vulnerability, more jokes, despite an arguable Hall of Fame career if a few more things had gone his way. His 2006-2007 season? He played 82 games. And the list of players who scored 24 points and a 21 PER? It includes players like Dwyane Wade, David Robinson, Larry Bird, and Oscar Robinson.

But he never made the difference and the way he bailed on Toronto and the way his time ended in so many places will haunt his legacy.

But he gets one more shot.

From ESPN.com:

Vince Carter isn’t a free agent yet, but sources close to the situation say the eight-time All-Star will be thrust onto the open market shortly after the end of the lockout.

Based on an amendment in his contract obtained by ESPN.com, Carter must be waived by the Phoenix Suns within 72 hours of the official start of free agency or his $18 million salary for the 2011-12 season becomes fully guaranteed.

The Suns, sources said, have already decided to waive Carter within that window.

The Suns and Carter amended the contract in June to delay the guaranteed-salary date in Carter’s final contract year until after the lockout ended. Waiving Carter inside the first 72 hours after the league’s schedule start of free agency Friday means that Phoenix would only have to pay $4 million to Carter and likely ensure that the Suns avoid luxury-tax territory this season even after trying to complete the re-signing of Grant Hill and moves with other potential free agents.

via Sources: Phoenix Suns to cut Vince Carter when lockout ends – ESPN.

Carter will hit the open market. The Suns and Carter restructured his contract to help both sides out in the face of the lockout. This move was expected for months. And when he does, he’s the kind of player that can help a team win a title. “Right, like the Magic?” you say. But hear me out.

He’ll never again be the difference maker. Running the pick and roll is not a strength (ask Dwight Howard). If he’s going to make a difference, it’s going to be as a spot-up shooter and the guy who pump-fakes and hits the mid-range J. But there are simply not many guys with his ability to blend into an offense if he’s not expected to create. That’s the biggest issue with Carter at this point, he can’t create and he can’t give heavy minutes. But in limited minutes, off the bench for a stocked team, he provides enough to force away double teams. The Heat are an obvious target. But then so are the Bulls. You have to double Derrick Rose. It’s a necessity like breathing. But if you do so and he kicks out to Carter, and you do manage to recover to challenge on the perimeter, Carter is one of the few players who can pump fake and drive. He can make the plays few players can, even at his age with his injuries. Limited minutes will reduce his workload. And being a glue guy? It’s hard to fine anyone in the league who will speak badly for Carter as a teammate. Fans may hate him, but players love him, even if some may question his intensity.

He shot 42% from the field in Phoenix. Pretty bad. 36% from the arc. Not great. But it’s simply unlikely that with a better role, in a better system, with fewer expectations, he can’t be a difference maker. There’s a chance here. Carter can redeem himself, redefine his legacy.

It’s Carter’s last chance. We’ll see if the story that began with a prolific dunker gets a much-needed full-circle to greatness.


J.J. Barea wants to go back to the Mavs

J.J. Barea
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Jose Juan Barea is going to get a lot of offers in free agency. That’s what happens when you’re the spark plug on the championship team. Barea does what he does very well. He manages the offense, hits some shots, and if you lose him for a minute, bam, he’s backdoor and you’ve given up two points.

But the Mavericks want him back, because of his contribution to the championship run, and for his part, Barea says he wants to oblige them… for the right price. From ESPN.com:

During a brief phone conversation Friday with Barea, who is in the Dominican Republic before he returns to Dallas next week, he reiterated that he hopes to again be playing for Dallas and that the ball is in the Mavs court. “I always said thats my first option,” Barea said. “I did my job last year.” He said he is not necessarily chasing the highest offer or a starting job, saying, “I just want what I deserve.”

via J.J. Barea: Ball in Mavs court – Dallas Mavericks Blog – ESPN Dallas.

That’s code for “I’d like the money, thanks.” But maybe not. Maybe the Mavericks will offer something reasonable and he’ll return for the chemistry and a shot at the title again.

But there will be offers. Most notably from the Heat. But surely Barea will pull in more than the mid-level, which is the Heat’s only real option for a signing, and they also need a wing like Shane Battier, and a center. The bigger issue may be that Barea’s likely not worth a very large offer. He’s higher in this class based off of his performance in the playoffs, but he’s still a criminally small guard who can only play off the bench. His story is a great one, coming from the D-League and Puerto Rico and winning the Finals as a huge component for the Mavericks.

You just have to be careful. After all, we just had the lockout and all.

The Heat want to make a run at Greg Oden. I want to make a run at Isla Fisher. Both have equal odds.


The Heat are cash strapped. That tends to happen when you have three superstars playing on one team (or former superstars in the case of Chris Bosh — sorry, Chris). They need to improve their team and yet they don’t have much room and only one exception to use. So what’s the plan? Apparently it’s to go after one of the players who remains a high-priced commodity despite his inability to stay on the floor due to repeated injuries. That’s right. The Heat want to pursue Greg Oden.

From the WWL:

The Heat are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden, league sources said. Oden, who hasn’t played in nearly two years after suffering two different knee injuries, has a key doctor’s examination this week when he could be cleared to resume contact practices.

Oden has a one-year qualifying offer from the Portland Trail Blazers for $8.9 million on his plate at the moment. The most the Heat could offer is the bulk of the $5 million mid-level exception.

via Portland Trail Blazers’ Greg Oden drawing interest from Miami Heat, sources say – ESPN.

Yeah, let me go out on a limb here and say there is zero chance of this happening. It’s not just the $8.9 million qualifying offer from Oden. There’s a better than decent chance that the Blazers, backed by Paul Allen who did a Batman impression at the CBA talks in the forms of intimidation over wanting to reset salary offers, will make a ridiculous extension offer. And if they don’t, some team will. That’s the punchline of the lockout. Teams are still going to make a ridiculous offer for a guy who has had three knee surgeries. Because he’s tall, and bulky, and for some reason people still insist on saying he has “bad luck” with “freak injuries.” I’m sympathetic towards Oden. I hope his days of injury are over. It’s terrible for not just the basketball, financial, and emotional reasons for Oden, but because injuries diminish quality of life, and Oden as suffered a lot with them. But he’s still going to get that offer, and his injuries are a pattern.

Essentially the Heat are hoping that he elects to turn down the qualifying offer from Portland, all other offers (or that those teams have the restraint not to go overboard with an offer – hahahahahahaah that’s good, I needed that), and that he wants to play with the Heat. The last part isn’t tricky. Everything else is.

See, I think Isla Fisher is insanely beautiful and she’s the single funniest female I’ve ever seen outside of Gilda Radner and Tina Fey. But if you’re going to look at my odds of landing her, outside of the fact that I’m happily married with a kid, well, they’re not great. See she’s happily to Sasha Baron Cohen with two daughters. Other than that, well, um, she’s Isla Fisher and er, I… well, you get the point. Even if she didn’t have the qualifying offer (continued marriage with one of the funniest people on earth and a wonderful family), she’d still have to take less money despite better offers (from everyone else on the planet). So no, my odds are not great, and neither are the Heat’s.

I ran this by my wife. She laughed for twenty seconds then told me to take the garbage out. She doesn’t think the Heat have a great shot either.

If Pat Riley manages to pull this off, it will be his second offseason of creating sheer magic.