This is the nightmare scenario, for both teams and players.
Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith has apparently suffered a knee injury in his first game for his Chinese team, Zhejiang. It was a non-contact injury as he cut into the lane. We do not yet know the extent of the injury (you can watch the video below) but according to NuiBBall.com he could not walk on his own and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Smith would have been a free agent after his stint in China and would have been sought after as probably the best scoring guard available in this free agent class. The Nuggets were expected to try to keep him but a lot of teams could use a potential sixth man of the year like Smith, so he would have been in demand.
If this is a serious injury, it could keep him out for most if not all of this coming season. It also would put a real damper on his ability to get that big next contract, what likely would have been the biggest of his career.
It is the risk players have going overseas (and why them getting insurance for their deals has been a big deal). It’s the risk owners run as more and more players look overseas, key cogs in their future could be injured and set back.
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
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This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.
The Knicks expected this for a while, and they’re probably not disappointed. Steve Mills and Scott Perry want to put their stamp on the franchise. O’Quinn is a leftover from the Phil Jackson era and a reminder of the recent tumult in New York.
O’Quinn’s combination of block percentage (6.1) and defensive-rebounding percentage (27.8) was unmatched last season. He just really struck a nice balance between contesting shots and remaining in position on the glass. He’s also a smooth mid-range shooter with an improved ability to distribute.
How much is that player worth?
It’ll be a tight market, especially for bigs. For his sake, I hope the 28-year-old O’Quinn already has assurances from other teams. He might get a similar salary or, more likely, a larger overall guarantee on a multi-year deal. But it’s also possible he comes out behind by testing free agency.