Tag: free agency


Hawks meet with Anthony Randolph as Ferry keeps bargain hunting


Anthony Randolph had himself a nice little season last year. After years of being the do-it-all forward who couldn’t do anything, he landed in Minnesota and showed some genuine talent and the ability to legitimately play the 4, something which had eluded him for years in Golden State. With Minnesota, he finally made some progress, but not enough for them to retain him.

One team that’s taking a look at him, and which makes sense since they’re bargain shopping, is the Hawks. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Hawks met with free agent forward Anthony Randolph over the weekend. Ferry said the Hawks also are scheduled to meet with free agent forward Rashard Lewis, who didn’t commit to the Heat after meeting with the team in Miami on Sunday.

via Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry tries to ease Josh Smith’s concerns | Atlanta Hawks.

Randolph would be an odd fit in Atlanta, but a lineup featuring Josh Smith at the 3, Al Horford at the 5 with Randolph at the 4 would be mesmerizing with the amount of freakish athleticism on the floor. Randolph was heralded as the next great point forward, but lacks the guard abilities to point and certainly can’t guard anyone. But he’s getting there.

The truth is that Randolph’s best days are in front of him. Ferry’s smart to pursue bargain deals like one for Randolph in order to fill out the rebuilding Hawks’ roster.

Camby postpones Heat visit, will meet with Knicks, as Nets come in as dark horse

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns, Game 5

Remember what we told you about Marcus Camby and the Heat and visiting and maybe a sign-and-trade?

Yeah, chill on that.

From the Miami Herald:

Free agent center Marcus Camby’s scheduled Saturday visit to South Florida to meet with the Heat was postponed Saturday morning because the Heat no longer has its $3.1 million mid level exception (which is going to Ray Allen) and Camby wants to see if there’s a possibility if the Heat and Houston Rockets can work out a sign-and-trade that would deliver him a salary in that range or higher.

via Camby postpones Heat visit; sign and trade discussed; Van Gundys, others react to Allen pickup | Sports Buzz.

Meanwhile from CBSSports.com:

The Knicks have the non-guaranteed contracts of Dan Gadzuric, Jerome Jordan and Josh Harrelson, giving them the edge in a Camby sign-and-trade with pieces that could become cap-clearing chips allowing Houston to take on more salary in an eventual trade for Howard or other deals.

The Nets also have entered the Camby chase, with GM Billy King pursuing the 38-year-old center “pretty hard,” according to a source. It is not clear whether this is an indication that the Nets believe their chances of landing Howard are diminishing; sources say Camby is being targeted as a backup in Brooklyn to either Howard or Brook Lopez. Depending on the timing of possible sign-and-trades for their own free agents — chiefly Lopez and Kris Humphries — the Nets have the ability to take on significant salary in a trade with Houston or Orlando.

via Rockets pushing hard for Dwight Howard, using Marcus Camby as bait – CBSSports.com.

OK, so Camby likes the Heat but wants more money and the Heat and Rockets have to pull off a sign-and-trade for it to work. That can happen, but unless the Heat move forward with it and stop celebrating Ray Day, Camby’s not coming to visit. Meanwhile, he’s talking to the Knicks who have dealt with Daryl Morey before, but who also have very little to offer. The Nets are now in the running as they enter this lovely superstar team-up era, and have the ability to trade for Camby using any of their available free agents in a sign-and-trade.

Got it?

Camby’s going to be a major pick-up for any of those teams. The Heat have long missed having a legit center with size, as they went to small ball in the playoffs and Joel Anthony was slid from the rotation. The Knicks need depth badly behind Tyson Chandler, as they were without any supporting depth in the frontcourt last year. And the Nets could have Brook Lopez, they could have Dwight Howard, and either way, they need a backup center. If they keep Lopez, they’ll especially need Camby’s rebounding.

Miami is going to have to show it really wants Camby to get him. But Miami also has Greg Oden who could be available once he recovers, if he recovers. The Heat have a lot going on, and might be reluctant to give up Norris Cole.  But if they don’t, the Knicks will go after him, or the Nets.

One way or another, Camby’s going to get paid and feel wanted.

Celtics reach agreement with Jeff Green

Jeff Green

The question is “how much?”

Regardless of how much the deal is worth, the Celtics have reached an agreement on a deal with Jeff Green via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The deal is very likely to be a four-year deal, and there are reports of the range being close to $40 million. The Celtics cannot officially sign Green until July 11th per the NBA’s moratorium rules.

The way this deal will be judged up front is the money. If it’s four-years, $30-$35 million-ish, OK, sure, why not. He does have some potential. But if the Celtics gave a four-year, $40 million deal with an average in eight figures for a power forward who doesn’t rebound and has never shot the lights out, that’s going to be of concern. His heart condition should not factor in, as there’s every indication he’ll make a complete recovery. But the real factor here is his production.

The other part is the guaranteed money. If it’s three-years, $30 with a team option or non-guaranteed fourth year for $10 million, that’s probably the middle ground. There’s still going to be doubt about this deal. Don’t be confused. The book is still very much out on Jeff Green. But if he can live up to his potential, he can be the kind of athletic perimeter player the Celtics need, especially against the Heat in the playoffs.

The question is still, “how much?” We’ll let you know when reports indicate.

Nicolas Batum is very excited to agree to offer sheet with Timberwolves. Too bad Portland thinks that’s adorable.

Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum defends against Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton in Portland

We’ve got another “my heart is in XXXX” that’s pointless. At some point, these players need to accept their fate as restricted free agents and move on. This is the CBA, it’s life in the NBA, and if you wanted to accept the qualifying offer you could. But no.

Nicolas Batum has agreed to a four-year, $45 million offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves who have been after him for a week, the AP reports. The deal includes bonuses to push the total to $50 million, putting the average at $12.5 million per year. A hefty price, but in all honesty, well worth it, especially for the Wolves.

The Wolves have been dying for a small forward who is serviceable for years. Martell Webster flamed out, Derrick Williams is a four trying to play the 3, and Wes Johnson isn’t big enough to log minutes there. Batum, though, is perfect. Long and athletic, with superb range from the perimeter and playmaking abilities, he fits perfectly with the Wolves and his agent is making noise about how much he wants to be there (just like Eric Gordon).

And yet, as they say, the Portland Trail Blazers could not give a flip.

Every indication, including a report earlier in the day says that Portland will match the offer, and do so with a song in its heart and a skip in its step. They think this is hilarious and not at all a serious problem. Portland has the cap space, the motivation, and the intention to match Batum’s offer, and they will. Batum will remain a Trail Blazer for the foreseeable future.

It’s yet more proof that forgoing restricted free agency is perhaps the better way to go if you don’t care about the extra year or if you are unlikely to get the extra year from your current club. But instead, Batum will be paid, and handsomely. The Blazers retain a small forward with great upside still and a 17.3 PER.

Nice try, Wolves. Nice try.

The Inbounds: Deron Williams and the meaning of Brooklyn cool

Deron Williams

Let’s start here: Deron Williams did not decide to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets because it was his best chance to win an NBA title. And that’s OK.

Williams made a lot of comments about how winning a title would dictate his decision. But the mere fact that he limited his options to Brooklyn and the Dallas Mavericks was proof enough that wasn’t the priority. The Indiana Pacers would have given Williams a better team to contend with, deep, versatile, and well-structured. The Mavericks have Dirk Nowitzki and one of the smartest ownership and management groups in the league. But the also have no young pieces and no star power to slide next to Williams and Nowitzki. And the Nets? Well, they took on an albatross with an anchor wrapped around its neck, tied to a concrete block in Joe Johnson’s contract. That was their big move. It limits their future ability to improve the team, and makes it a near certainty that their core will feature Gerald Wallace and a likely-overpaid Brook Lopez. There were better options to win the title.

But we tend to view these things from a binary perspective. As if the only things that went through Williams’ decision making process were what we felt were important or even what he openly states mattered.

Let’s digress, for a second.

Say you’re considering a move. You have a job offer, and that’s the biggest thing you’re looking at. But aren’t you going to factor everything in? Won’t you consider what kind of weather there is and if you like to live in it? Do you have friends there? Can your spouse stand it? Can you afford to live there?

Is it too close to your family?

Because that’s a huge concern. My brother refers to the concept of a DMZ between he and the rest of the family. Maybe for Deron Williams, playing in his hometown of Dallas wasn’t enough of a buffer zone.

Maybe it was just the money.

It’s fine to consider Williams’ decision and weight it against his stated priorities. It’s fine to question if he’ll win a title or if the Nets are even a top-three team in the league. But let’s not act like this decision was as simple as it is for anyone on the outside. It was what Williams felt was best for his life. He was contractually free to make that decision.

The ramifications of that decision are far-reaching and dramatic. Do you know what the biggest problem the Nets had in pursuing free agents over the past two years has been? It hasn’t been playing in New Jersey, though that was part of it. It wasn’t how God awful the team was, though that was part of it (and that’s the supporting cast now!). It was that the Nets weren’t cool. That shouldn’t matter, but it does.

Playing for the Lakers? The coolest. That’s why you’ve seen players take paycuts to don the purple and gold. Playing for the Knicks? Cool, despite their lack of on-court success. Playing for Boston? Cool, because of the history and classic iconic nature of the team. But the Nets? They were not cool. Not even a little bit. Not even when they were making Finals appearances in the early 2000’s. They were the TCBY of NBA teams.

But now, not just with the Mad Russian owner, or HOVA as minority owner, and a new arena in Brooklyn, but with all that and superstar talent, the Nets are cool. And that has value to players. They want the winning, and they want the money, and they want to feel cool while doing it. The Milwaukee Bucks may never win another title because of this dynamic, and the fact that the Spurs have won four despite not being cool in any way, shape, or form, is more impressive.

The Nets have a Big 3. Unless they get Dwight Howard, which is looking unlikely, they won’t be better than many of the other Big 3’s (but they are on par with New York, maybe better, which is important), and their future prospects get worse with Joe Johnson’s contract swallowing up all light in their cap universe. But they’re in the conversation. They’ll be able to attract those free agents looking to take a discount to compete for a title. They are a big ticket item.

For years, the Nets have been frustrated with being a joke. But now? They’re the awkward kids who went through a growth spurt and now everyone’s starting to notice them.


As for the Mavericks, uh…

Well that’s not going over well.

But one thing should be noted. The Mavericks have always been masters at negotiating smart pieces, not landing huge ones. They rarely made league-shattering trades, but always made smart ones, constantly building forward. The trick for them is going to be getting Dirk’s successor. It was supposed to be Williams, but without him, they’ll have to go forward, adding pieces, building a core, but not having the spire. That’s the same situation Denver’s in, Utah’s in, Philadelphia’s in. But the Mavericks know that just because they lost out on Williams doesn’t mean there won’t be future opportunities. And if they see one, they’ll know enough to go all out for it, and maybe won’t be on uneven ground to start next time.

Cuban and Donnie Nelson have cap space, now and in the future. We’ve seen what can happen to good management when it makes a bad series of decisions in Detroit. But the Mavericks show no such weaknesses. The process has been sound, even if some of it is predicated upon ducking the damage from the luxury tax punitive measures in 2014, and even if the gamble didn’t work out.

There will be some smart moves made, some daring moves made, some surpising moves made. Dallas will hit on some endeavors, swing out on others. But in the end they should remain a competitive team. But the underlying puzzle now is the most difficult for any NBA team: how to acquire an elite player. Dirk can’t last forever. And the lifeboat just sailed away to New York.