Tag: free agency

Derrick Rose

The Bulls, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, and walking the walk vs. talking the talk


See, here’s the problem with the superstar team-up era. The Chicago Bulls have put together a team that features a perennial MVP candidate at 23, an All-Star wing defender who can shoot, a hyper-active emotional powderkeg with some offensive skills built in at seven-feet, a deep bench, some microwave scorers… and Carlos Boozer. (No one’s perfect.) And yet when CSN Chicago reports that the Bulls are planning to make a run at either Jason Kidd or Steve Nash, both unrestricted free agents this summer, I have nothing but skepticism because Chicago has not been a franchise that has pursued being “elite” since Jordan walked away. That team they have is good enough, it’s great enough. But I still can’t believe Chicago will really try and make that monster move, because of the money involved and their past history. From CSN Chicago:

While the front office may seek out minimum-salary veterans at several positions, including point guard, a source tells CSNChicago.com that the Bulls will take a run at future Hall of Famers Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in free agency, trying to convince the former All-Stars that they will have an opportunity to win a championship, of which Kidd has one, from last season with the Mavericks, and Nash has none, in Chicago.

According to the same source, the rest of the team’s “core”–starters Rose, Deng, Hamilton, center Joakim Noah and power forward Carlos Boozer, as well as reserve big men Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, the latter of whom is a restricted free agent this summer, though the Bulls are likely to match any offers for him from opposing teams–is “safe,” though team management will surely at least listen to trade offers.

via Rose making progress, Bulls thinking big?.

Perhaps you’re wondering how on Earth either of those guys will be willing to make a massive paycut to play backup. Well, here’s the thing. They may not have to. We saw this year a lot of teams playing two-point-guard lineups effectively. Honestly, with how fast the league is moving, you almost have the luxury of playing smallball a lot of the time against most teams. Kidd is probably reaching a point where he’s best suited as a role player on the bench anyway, but Nash could excel with Rose next to him. There’s no reason Rose can’t guard some of the bigger 2-guards, and the ones he can’t? Luol Deng can cover. The number of teams with incredible scorers at both the 2 and 3 spots is really in the 3-4 range, with Miami and OKC the obvious inclusions there.

But still, you can’t help but be concerned. Jerry Reinsdorf, the Bulls owner, has made noise about going into the luxury tax this summer which would be a big departure for him. He’s going to have to if he wants to keep that core mentioned above together, considering Asik’s likely offers in restricted free agency and Derrick Rose’s extension kicking in, and that’s before trying to add a Hall of Fame point guard.

So, no, I don’t think the Bulls will swing for the fences with either player. I think we’ll see the same Bulls team back, but it may not be as good. But then, I don’t know why that’s a problem. When healthy, that’s still more than enough for the Bulls to win the title.

Report: Suns have interest in Alonzo Gee

Manny Harris, Samardo Samuels, Jamario Moon, Alonzo Gee, Ramon Sessions

Alonzo Gee is what you might call a value free-agent this summer. The Cavs forward has athleticism, youth on his side, a versatile skill-set, and strong upside. But he hasn’t played well enough or under a big enough microscope to carry with him serious buzz. So teams are going to get their shot at making an offer for Gee and stealing him away from Cleveland. And one team is reportedly the Suns. From the Ohio Mourning Journal:

Cavs forward Alonzo Gee might draw some serious interest this summer in free agency. The Suns could make a lucrative offer to Gee. One source said they could offer Gee a four-year, $16 million offer and hope that the Cavs don’t match it.

via NBA INSIDER: Cavs need to sit tight in draft – morningjournal.com.

For $4 million a year, it’s hard to see the Cavs not matching. A possible exception would be if the Cavaliers were to somehow move up or have Michael Kidd-Gilchrist slide down to the four spot and that fills their small forward spot. But the Cavs would have strong inclination to match. They’re bullish on Gee’s production and upside, and he’s had some strong games for the Cavs over the past two years.

Value guys in this league are a must to find, especially for a rebuilding franchise. Small forward is a spot where you have to have athleticism. If the Cavs don’t put together a strong offer for Gee, someone will.

Report: Raptors to aim for Nash, and if not… Lin?

Injured New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin reacts during pregame ceremonies before the Knicks play against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoffs in Miami

The Raptors are constantly going to be linked to Steve Nash because of Bryan Colangelo’s link to Nash’s Suns which Colangelo was GM for. So naturally, with the Raptors improving, having cap space, and Nash poised to hit the open market, there’s talk of him heading to his native country to finish his career. But the New York Daily News has an alternative should Nash decide to go somewhere he can compete for a title (which is likely):

Toronto will be in direct competition with the Knicks for Steve Nash. But Nash is expected to look to sign with a bona fide contender, and the Knicks and Raptors don’t fit that description. The Raptors are also a potential landing spot for Jeremy Lin. They like him and what he’d do for their attendance, but Toronto would have to “back-load” an offer to the restricted free agent, paying him gazillions in the final couple of years of a deal, and hope that the Knicks would not match. According to league sources, that’s what the Raptors just might do if their Nash plan falls through. But considering that the Knicks have no other viable options at point guard, and Lin has been nothing short of a marketing dream, they’re seen as a lock to match any offer.

via With Chicago Bulls’ fate tied to Derrick Rose’s health, Miami Heat’s Pat Riley recalls Dwyane Wade’s ’05 injury – NY Daily News.

The Knicks are expected to throw whatever loose change they can find underneath the CBA’s couch cushions at Lin to keep him as their star “point guard who doesn’t get to play point guard because that would mean someone besides Melo is touching and possibly shooting the ball.” (Kidding!)  Toronto will be able to make a better offer for Lin in terms of his financial future should they elect to go that route, but New York presents a better chance to win, even with the offensive mess and the injury issues and the fact that an agency is pretty much running the joint. But the best option for New York is to let another team offer a big contract, like Toronto, and then match to keep him in town.

Lins’ going to have options, but how he recovers from his knee injury is going to have an impact as well. All of a sudden there’s a new big free agent on the market, a guy who was cut from two seasons this year. Because nothing makes sense any more.

Report: Crawford to opt out of contract, become unrestriced free agent

Jamal Crawford

From HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy:

Jamal Crawford will opt-out this summer, source confirms. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent. Wolves, Nets, Suns among potential suitors.

Crawford, the 2010 6th Man of the Year and the NBA’s all-time leader in four-point plays, is a combo guard who can get hot at any time and pour in points at the drop of a hat, although he’s never been a great passer or the most efficient scorer in the world. Last season, the 32-year old Michigan product scored 14 points per game on 38.4% shooting from the field and a disappointing 30.8% from beyond the arc.

The Blazers would pay Crawford 5.2 million dollars next season if he doesn’t opt out of his contract, but the rebuilding Blazers have little use for a veteran scorer like Crawford, who clearly believes he can get more money on the open market. Teams are always willing to pay for scoring, and Crawford can certainly light up the scoreboard, so he’ll probably end up snagging a nice payday this summer if he does indeed decided to opt out.

Report: The Nets plan to pursue Kevin Garnett in free agency

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett calls out to his team mates as the Celtics take on the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of a NBA basketball game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kevin Garnett’s going to be a free agent this summer. That sounds weird just saying it. But if he doesn’t return to Boston, he’s going to have options. And one option keeps him in the Northeast, as both the New York Post and New Jersey Star-Ledger report that the Nets have interest in bringing in Garnett.

What the Nets are thinking— reportedly — is that they need to upgrade the roster and power forward is one place they feel they can do better. The team reportedly plans to chase after Boston’s Kevin Garnett as they try to add star power for when they move into the Barclays Center.

via Nets’ Kris Humphries, a target around the NBA, is revered by teammates | NJ.com.

A high priority for the Nets in the offseason will remain a starting power forward, with unrestricted free agents Kevin Garnett of the Celtics and Ersan Ilyasova of the Bucks leading targets.

via New Jersey Nets in wait-and-see mode regarding Dwight Howard of Orlando Magic – NYPOST.com.

Now, Ilyasova is a good player. They probably can get a good deal on Ilyasova, where they overpay him as they do everyone but still get good value on him. But Garnett? That’s the most Nets move I can think of for them this summer. Overpay for an aging player who, despite having an absolutely stellar year, is almost guaranteed to not return at as high a level, signing him to a long-term contract that could become an albatross depending on what happens.

That’s throwing good money after bad, which is kind of the Nets’ motto.

If the Nets can get Dwight Howard, great.Makes it all worth it. They can have Deron Williams and Dwight Howard and struggle to make all the pieces fit like the rest of the superstar teams. But if they miss on Howard, having a core of Gerald Wallace, Kevin Garnett, MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez, and Gerald Green is bad. Very bad. Very, very bad. Long-term and immediately. The Nets need a bigger plan,  a long-term plan. And Garnett would not fit with that. KG is still going to be able to help teams,but for starters, why would he sign with a team who, without Howard, would have absolutely no shot at a title? The only reason would be for an ungodly amount of money and… ooohhhh.

The Nets have the pieces to field a competitive team in 2014, maybe 2015. But their resistance to that fact indicates that they’re only going to dig the hole deeper to avoid the incoming water.

(HT: Hoopshype)