Saturday, June 23, 2007

Danny Prepares for a 'Scal'ding Free Agency

Not much yakking about free agency 2007, and that's because it's not nearly as exciting as Mr. Oden, Durantula, or Jeff Green (that's who we're gonna draft???) It can be argued that not much can hurt your team team more than being a big spender in free agency. Last year for instance the Hornets signed Peja to a five year $64 million contract and the Bulls signed Ben Wallace to a four year $60 million deal. I'm sure they're patting themselves on the back right now.

The problem with big name free agents is that the best ones are almost always signed before they become free agents. That leaves big name players that don't deserve the max getting the max, or close to it. In today's NBA, expiring contracts and young talent are gonna help fetch you the superstar you want much more easily than having a lot of cap room.

Which is just as well for the Celtics, because Danny has shown a complete lack of competence in regards to his free agent signings. He gave Blount a bunch of money when there was no need to (those were strange times, many of us were convinced Blount cared.) And then he outdid himself the next year: Scal for five years, $15 million; Dickau for three years, $7.5 million. The good news is that Danny never went all Kiki on us and gave K-Mart a max deal, but then again he's never had the cap room to get crazeeee.

So will this be the year when Danny finally uses some common sense and gets us something worthwhile via free agency? Don't hold your breath; but let's do a bit of a rundown of what's out there...

Will definitely get big bucks:

-Vince Carter: Could be my least favorite player in the NBA, indiscriminately hucks up 25 footers instead of using his mind blowing athleticism. Perhaps no player is more overrated; Ratner still loves him and the rumor is the Nets will quickly provide zany cash to retain his services.

-Chauncy Billups: Will be 31 next year, and will get near max money from the Pistons or Orlando, sorry Jack.

-Rashard Lewis: Almost guaranteed to be overpaid, the C's supposedly would like to do a sign and trade, which seems like a lousy idea. A very nice player who you don't want to commit $60-$70 million on.

-Gerald Wallace: Probably the best big name free agent, when you factor in age and the fact that he will cost less than the preceding guys (closer to $10 million annually as opposed to $15 million - hopefully.) Soon to be 25, Wallace is one of the most tenacious forwards in the league, a defensive menace and an offensive bulldog. If he was on the C's he'd probably win the Tommy award 75% of the time. The downside of Wallace's awesome recklessness is the increased chance of injuries, which are a serious concern (he's missed 37 games over the last two years.) It's unclear if MJ and Charlotte understand Wallace's value, and if we could get him in a sign and trade it would lessen the hurt of taking Jeff Green over Julian Wright.

Looking at more than the mid-level exception:

-Anderson Varejao: 7 points and 7 boards a game will get you more than $7 million a year? Is his hair that tantalizing?

-Darko Milicic: Actually might be a nice fit on the C's, but probably would cost too much. Also could turn out like Kwame Brown.

-Andres Nocioni: It would be funny if he signed with Atlanta or something out of the blue.

-Mo Williams: 24 year old point guard averaged 17 and 6 last year. Even on a crappy team that's stuff you notice. Doesn't it make more sense if you're way under the cap to sign this guy and Wallace instead of offering Rashard Lewis the max?

And that might be it for people getting more than the mid-level. You never know, but the point is that with every other free agent you're not gonna look silly offering them "only" $5 milion a year. There are many intriguing names that fall into this category: Boykins, Stackhouse, Bonzi, Luke Walton, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus (restricted), McDyess, Webber, Kapono, Reuben Patterson, Posey, Oberto, Mo Pete, Blatche (restricted), Najera, Grant Hill, Finley, Magloire, Blake, Mikki Moore, and so forth.

I guess my only point with this list is that you have to be smart when it comes to free agency, it can be so easy to overpay. Some of the players mentioned would be great additions to the C's, the problem is figuring out which ones. I assume we'll be discussing this more once the draft circus finally ends next week.


Anonymous said...

No one would be stupid enough to pay Darko more than five million a year.

Anonymous said...

Get Steve Blake to rotate with Rondo

Rizzo said...

I would love to see Mikki Moore back on the Celtics again. I remember watching him in the 2002-2003 season on his 10-day contract and have been a fan ever since. After Nenad Krstic went down last season, I knew it was Mikki's time to shine. I'm almost certain he will re-sign with New Jersey, but just the thought of having him team up with Al Jefferson would be great!

Great blog, do you mind if I link it to mine? Check mine out if you don't mind and let me know what I could do to make it a little better. Thanks!