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joew8302
07-03-2010, 09:48 PM
http://www.nbadraft.net/2010-free-agency-feeding-frenzy



2010 Free Agency: Feeding Frenzy
By Seth_Sommerfeld
Fri, 07/02/2010 - 8:43pm

Hello lockout!

With the insane spending that happened on the first day of NBA free agency in 2010, a 2011 lockout is now all but a mortal lock. Owners can’t seem to help themselves. They let their GMs give out horrific contracts that have no basis in the fiscal reality of the league and then continue to turn profits in the red. David Stern has no other choice but to push for a lockout next year in order to save the owners from themselves.

The huge contracts to marginal players aren’t the only sign of impending labor doom. When Richard Jefferson opted out of his contract – forfeiting $15.2 million next year – most people’s immediate reaction was that he had gone certifiably insane. After all, he just had the worst year of his career (not counting injury-plagued years). But, considering the numbers that have already been thrown at inferior players, he might actually be a genius. Not only could he wind up with a bigger payday that will net him more money now, the deal will still be negotiated under the present collective bargaining agreement. Considering the lockout will almost assuredly lead to a less player friendly negotiating environment, this is a huge plus.

Rumors are that these teams are going nuts with contracts with the mindset that the new CBA will allow them to opt out of bad deals, similar to the NFL. They better hope so because a number of teams have committed salary cap suicide in the past two days.

Let’s look at what has happened since free agency began:

T’Wolves re-sign Darko Milicic – 4 years, $20 million

Darko MilicicDarko MilicicOh David Kahn – what are we going to do with you?

It’s well past the point where even the most adamant of Darko backers (if such people exist) have long since given up hope on his potential. He’s merely just another foreign backup center who’s a stiff. Yes, he was decent this past year in Minnesota, but that’s in a bunch of meaningless games and meaningless minutes. The only way that this guy deserves $5 million a year is if the NBA’s financial system is severely broken. Oh…right.

T’Wolves fans get 4 more years of Darko frickin’ Milicic. I’m sorry Minnesota folks. Considering the winters you put up with, you deserve better.

Grizzlies re-sign Rudy Gay – 5 years, $81 million

While only 23 and very talented, is Rudy Gay worth 5 years, $80 million? And outside of New York would anyone have offered him anything close to that number? Granted this contract will run through the prime of his career, unlike Joe Johnson who is 29 and will be 32 with 3 years left on a max deal. This deal is comparable to Joe Johnson's last Hawks contract, but it's debatable whether Gay will be able to earn the money. Keep in mind that Gay has never been an All-Star.

Did Memphis overspead? Yes. But in their defense, they kept their top overall talent. And for a team that can't attract quality free agents, they were able to beat the Knicks to the punch. Gay has the talent, but questions remain whether he has the heart to truly be a franchise player. The irony of this is that the team traded away Pau Gasol, a true franchise talent and a top 2 center in the game, (setting up the Lakers recent title runs) because of financial reasons.

Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace just got a contract extension. No really. That happened.

Bucks sign Drew Gooden – 5 years, $32 million

The Bucks win the award for shockingly bad contracts here. While the Bucks need post player depth, Gooden is not the answer. Yes, he put up good numbers during meaningless games with the Clippers (14.8 PPG and 9.4 RPG), but he hasn’t faired nearly as well with teams that actually have an idea of contending (from recent stints in Dallas and San Antonio to back to his Cleveland days). It almost seems like a move to intentionally suck some of the fun and excitement out of these young Bucks.

This seems like the perfect example of a team not willing to use cap space creatively. Instead of leaving this space open to make Oklahoma City style trades - where a team takes on a marginally bad contract for an asset - now the Bucks are left on the other end of that spectrum. The odds that the Bucks are still going to want Gooden during his 3rd, 4th or 5th year of this contract are slim.

When your big offseason move is to sign a guy more famous for the worst hairstyle ever (that dreadful little neck patch) than his game, it’s not a good sign.

Raptors sign Amir Johnson – 5 years, $34 million

Amir Johnson is a name that wasn’t even a blip on most causal NBA fans’ radars. So how’d he end up with a $34 million dollar deal? Upside.

He’s got all the tools to blossom into a great player. He shoots well from the field, grabs rebounds at a high clip, blocks shots, and has the athletic tools to run to floor. That said, he hasn’t put it all together. Like, not even close. Part of this is due to his foul rate which is Greg Oden-level absurd. Essentially, the Raptors know a big free agent will never sign in Toronto, so they have to gamble on potential.

Amir Johnson averaged 6.3 ppg and 4.8 rpg last year. And now he’s set to make over $30 million dollars. But the NBA’s financial system isn’t broken…

Suns re-sign Channing Frye – 5 years, $30 million

A year ago Frye received a 2-year, $4 million dollar offer with a player’s option for year 2 from the Suns. Then he started hitting 3s.

Now he’s netted himself a far more lucrative deal from the Suns and it’s a deal that makes sense for both sides. $30 million may seem outrageous, but considering the contracts listed above – well – it doesn’t seem so bad. Frye essentially has two skills – size and shooting. Considering those two attributes don’t disappear with age, signs point to Frye being a solid contributor off the bench for years to come – think Sam Perkins, only Frye jumps when he shoots. Still, with the money that needs to be set aside for true difference makers, this is not a responsible contract.

Suns sign Hakim Warrick – 4 years, $18 million

This has been the best signing so far in free agency. Yep…that’s where we’re at.

Hakim Warrick is the type of long, athletic player that is going to excel once he starts running with Steve Nash. He’ll most likely be relegated to the bench – but as everyone saw in the playoffs – being a bench player for the Suns doesn’t mean that he won’t get meaningful minutes. At this point Warrick is basically is a homeless man’s Amar’e Stodemire, with the chance just to be the poor man’s version now that he’s in Phoenix.

However, Warrick’s signing probably signals the end to the era of the actual Amar’e Stoudemire in Phoenix. Considering Robert Sarver’s reputation for not wanting to break the bank and the fact that the team has already doled out a combined $48 million for Warrick and Frye, the prospects of spending max or near-max for Stoudemire seems highly unlikely. Perhaps it’s best to shake things up a bit considering how something always seems to go wrong for the franchise since Nash and Stoudemire have become the core, but it’s hard to not find it a bit sad that Nash might be surrounded by less and less talent as he ages and the hopes for his first championship dwindles.

Lots of Free Agent Meetings Talk & The Smartest Failure

It’s always funny to hear about free agent meetings. It’s pointless. You know why? When’s the last time a free agent meeting wasn’t “productive” and didn’t “go well.” It’s all fluffy PR spun wonderfulness. Just once I want to hear something like, “LeBron met with the Heat today. It went horribly. They were total dicks and called him names. He most definitely isn’t going there.” Since that’s merely a dream, thoughts shift to other thoughts about the big time free agents.

One thought that keeps on circling around my head is the backup plans of the big spenders. Since teams have cleared all the cap space, if a team like the Knicks doesn’t land LeBron or Wade, they’re likely to panic and fill the void with something akin to a Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer combo. This is moronic on so many different levels.

First off, no one is winning a title with a combo of two players like that and a bunch of scrubs in order to not get too high into the luxury tax. Secondly, teams always act like cap space goes away. It doesn’t. Thirdly, cap space isn’t only good for signing guys, it actually might be more valuable on the trade market. Look at how brilliantly a team like Oklahoma City uses their cap space. GM Sam Presti has used it in the past year to get assets like Eric Maynor and the 18th pick in the 2009 draft (which they turned into a future first rounder from the Clippers) for what essentially amounts to nothing. Presti understands how to bleed the value out of every dollar and that by taking on some marginally bad salary with his cap room, he can get a lot in return.

Most importantly, the big market team that doesn’t panic and spend away their cap is going to have a tremendous shot at landing Carmelo Anthony in 2011. The smartest team this year is the one who misses on the big fish and goes, "Wait...screw this. We're not winning a title next year if we blow this cap space on the new version of the Detriot Pistions Special (Charile Villanueva and Ben Gordon) - we're gonna wait for Carmelo."

Word around the league is the Nuggets aren’t too confident that they’re going to be able to keep him – and with good reason. Not only will the money be great, but if Carmelo went to a big market like New York it would finally give him a chance to step out of LeBron’s and Wade’s shadow. For how good he’s been, he had the spotlight like his fellow draft classmates. There are also other factors like how moving to a bigger market would provide more work opportunities for his wife – media personality LaLa Vasquez, or how many in the Denver community have not fully accepted and embraced him – thinking he’s an arrogant punk.

Just keep that in mind if a team with cap space sits tight after missing on a big fish.

Hoops Daily: 2010 Free Agent Signing Tracker


Basically, the author thinks these horrible deals are a sign of a sure lockout, yikes!

Also, how do you feel about the provision that lets teams get out of terrible contracts before they are over (similar to the NFL)? That really makes me feel good. I mean we have suffered for the better part of the decade through horrible deals with Tinsley, Dunleavy, Murphy and Ford and right at the time we will have the ability to make some decent moves, teams being stupid will be thrown a get out of jail free card.

IMO Atlanta and Memphis should be forced to ride or die with Gay and Johnson and NOT be allowed to get out of the deal if it starts to be bad.

beast23
07-03-2010, 10:43 PM
I really don't see how a new CBA will provide "get out of jail free cards" to the teams that have signed these horrible contracts. That would mean that whatever agreement was struck with a new CBA would retroactively affect the existing contracts.

I'm not a lawyer, but I just don't see contracts that are fully guaranteed with one to five years still to be paid could legally be replaced with a right for the owner to opt out.

The teams that have signed these contracts are stuck. The teams that will reap the rewards will be the teams like the Pacers, having several contracts that have just expired, leaving them with significant cap room.

I think this is the very reason that the Pacers are being very careful to avoid large long-term contracts being sent back to them in trades. They want to have a very good idea what the new CBA will look like before doing so.

joew8302
07-03-2010, 10:46 PM
I really don't see how a new CBA will provide "get out of jail free cards" to the teams that have signed these horrible contracts. That would mean that whatever agreement was struck with a new CBA would retroactively affect the existing contracts.

I'm not a lawyer, but I just don't see contracts that are fully guaranteed with one to five years still to be paid could legally be replaced with a right for the owner to opt out.

The teams that have signed these contracts are stuck. The teams that will reap the rewards will be the teams like the Pacers, having several contracts that have just expired, leaving them with significant cap room.

I think this is the very reason that the Pacers are being very careful to avoid large long-term contracts being sent back to them in trades. They want to have a very good idea what the new CBA will look like before doing so.

I really really really hope you are right. I just have a funny feeling about this.

Bball
07-04-2010, 12:06 AM
I really don't see how a new CBA will provide "get out of jail free cards" to the teams that have signed these horrible contracts. That would mean that whatever agreement was struck with a new CBA would retroactively affect the existing contracts.

I'm not a lawyer, but I just don't see contracts that are fully guaranteed with one to five years still to be paid could legally be replaced with a right for the owner to opt out.

The teams that have signed these contracts are stuck. The teams that will reap the rewards will be the teams like the Pacers, having several contracts that have just expired, leaving them with significant cap room.

I think this is the very reason that the Pacers are being very careful to avoid large long-term contracts being sent back to them in trades. They want to have a very good idea what the new CBA will look like before doing so.


Unless I missed something, I didn't think anyone is saying the new CBA would have any bearing on deals being signed now.

joew8302
07-04-2010, 12:14 AM
Unless I missed something, I didn't think anyone is saying the new CBA would have any bearing on deals being signed now.

Correct. It is all speculation. It is in the article that has been posted.

pizza guy
07-04-2010, 12:35 AM
Google 'Melo's wife, LaLa Vazquez and tell me you don't wanna stay put this season and get 'Melo next season.

just sayin'

--pizza