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Thread: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    I don't understand why Earl Watson is still available.



    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/colum...=2135759&num=0

    Still shopping season in the Association


    By John Hollinger
    ESPN Insider


    So much for the "Allan Houston rule."

    Several new names came on the free-agent market Monday as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement's tax-amnesty provision. Surprisingly, Knicks guard Allan Houston wasn't one of them. Maybe we'll call it the Vin Baker rule instead, based on the titillating prospect of Baker's getting waived by two different teams on the same day (ultimately, only the Celtics waived Baker's contract).

    The Knicks cut loose forward Jerome Williams instead of Houston, while other notables such as Dallas' Michael Finley and Orlando's Doug Christie also were on the chopping block. Those new free agents join an unusually large pool of players who have persisted on the free-agent market into late summer. As a result, several quality players remain on the market.

    Let's break down the five best players left at each position and where they might be headed. For each, I've included last season's per-40-minute stats and PER -- Player Efficiency Rating, my rating of a player's per-minute statistical production (as explained here, the average player has a 15.0 PER):



    POINT GUARDS

    1. Earl Watson (13.6 pts, 7.9 ast, 13.04 PER)
    Watson's PER isn't as good as the other point guards', but he's the best defender by a mile -- arguably the best defensive point guard in basketball, in fact. That's created plenty of demand, but he's driven off suitors by seeking a team's full mid-level exception.

    2. Brevin Knight (13.7 pts, 12.2 ast, 18.06 PER)
    Knight played out of his mind last season and has almost no chance of repeating it, but it's still surprising to see such tepid demand for him. With few bites from contenders, chances are he'll return to Charlotte and help groom Raymond Felton.

    3. Damon Jones (14.8 pts, 5.4 ast, 15.57 PER)
    Jones had a career year but is having trouble getting Cleveland and Miami to raise their bids above the $3.5 million area. At some point he'll have to choose which team will underpay him. Regardless, he'll be starting for a contender and getting lots of open 3s.

    4. Gary Payton (13.7 pts, 7.4 ast, 15.18 PER)
    Though still a productive offensive player, The Glove's defense is more like "Smell the Glove" these days. He won't be returning to Boston but has several options, including a return to the Lakers.

    5. Dan Dickau (17.0 pts, 6.6 ast, 14.85 PER)
    Dickau resurrected his career in New Orleans but won't be back after the Hornets drafted Chris Paul. Dickau has had a few nibbles but probably will have to wait for Jones and Watson to go off the market before he gets any serious offers.


    SHOOTING GUARDS

    1. Michael Finley (17.0 pts, 4.4 reb, 14.34 PER)
    A star for most of the past decade, Finley declined sharply last year and Dallas dropped him using the amnesty rule. It remains to be seen whether he'll bounce back, but for the price of a mid-level exception several teams would happily take the risk. ESPN.com's Marc Stein has already broken down the four leading contenders for his services.

    2. DerMarr Johnson (16.3 pts, 4.9 reb, 13.97 PER)
    Here's the other reason demand for Finley is sky-high: Look at the rest of the shooting guard crop. Going from Finley to Johnson is a drop of Himalayan proportions. Johnson's length makes him a defensive asset and he can hit the 3, but the search for an off-the-dribble game continues. The Nuggets and Spurs both have shown interest in Johnson if they lose the Finley sweepstakes.

    3. Greg Buckner (11.4 pts, 5.5 reb, 13.67 PER)
    The good-field, no-hit Buckner is useful only as a role player. Buckner had perhaps his best season a year ago but still underwhelmed with his scoring. While his defense will get him a contract somewhere, his inability to find the basket is dampening demand.

    4. Doug and Jackie Christie (Doug: 9.0 pts, 5.6 ast, 9.92 PER; Jackie: 0.0 pts, 0.0 ast, 0.00 PER)
    A package deal, the Christies suffered through a rough campaign last year thanks to Doug's foot problems and a swarm of reality TV producers. They were waived by Orlando via the amnesty rule but already have an agreement in place to join Dallas; presuming they clear waivers this week.

    5. Derek Anderson (14.0 pts, 4.6 ast, 11.68 PER)
    An amnesty-rule casualty who was waived by the Blazers, Anderson ventured into free agency with heady talk of getting a team's full mid-level exception but seems to have shifted into a more reality-based view of the marketplace. Several teams have shown interest at a more reasonable price, hoping that his once-potent jumper can return from a two-year siesta.


    SMALL FORWARDS

    1. Gerald Wallace (14.5 pts, 7.2 reb, 14.07 PER)
    The lack of interest in Wallace has been one of the summer's more mystifying events. He's an outstanding defender, he scores enough to keep defenses honest, and he's very young (just 23). Nevertheless, he might have to take the Bobcats' one-year tender due to the absence of other suitors.

    2. Devin Brown (16.4 pts, 5.2 reb, 14.57 PER)
    A versatile performer who has been stuck in a deep Spurs rotation, Brown can shoot, defend and create shots. A late-season back problem has stifled interest, however. Utah is the only team to recruit him heavily, so Brown may stay in the Alamo City -- his hometown -- for another year.

    3. Glenn Robinson (22.9 pts, 6.1 reb, 17.10 PER)
    Big Dog played only 157 minutes last year, but his numbers should have gotten some people's attention. No strong offers have been reported yet, but considering Robinson's solid showing in San Antonio, a team looking for scoring punch off the bench should be dialing his agent soon.

    4. Damien Wilkins (14.1 pts, 5.1 reb, 13.36 PER)
    The son of Gerald and nephew of Dominique, this Wilkins held his own in limited minutes with the Sonics last season. He's a restricted free agent but is being seriously courted by Minnesota.

    5. Latrell Sprewell (16.7 pts, 4.1 reb, 12.10 PER)
    For the sake of his starving kids, let's hope somebody gives Spree a contract. He made a colossal blunder in turning down the Wolves' three-year, $21-million extension offer last fall. He'll be lucky to earn a tenth of that this season.


    POWER FORWARDS

    1. Darius Songaila (14.6 pts, 8.3 reb, 14.93 PER)
    Teams were reluctant to chase Songaila because of his restricted-free-agent status, but the gloves are off now that Sacramento signed Shareef Abdur-Rahim to play Songaila's position. Songaila doesn't defend or rebound enough to make him worth the full mid-level exception, but many teams could use his offensive punch off the pine.

    2. Vladimir Radmanovic (16.0 pts, 6.2 reb, 13.68 PER)
    Despite his agent's wild contract demands, Radmanovic is a very ordinary player and has been his whole career. Seattle has an offer of six years, $40 million on the table. Vlad should quickly sign it before the Sonics come to their senses and realize they get a better player for half as much by signing Songaila.

    3. Eddie Griffin (14.1 pts, 12.1 reb, 15.96 PER)
    Griffin has the most talent of any free-agent forward, with great shot-blocking instincts, good rebounding skills and 3-point range. But his inability to stay out of trouble had most teams backing away, as Griffin spent two weeks of his summer in the can. He looks set to stay in Minnesota on a two-year deal.

    4. Reggie Evans (8.2 pts, 15.6 reb, 12.96 PER)
    Evans was the best per-minute rebounder in basketball last season, but his inability to score and propensity for turnovers mean he's still a mediocre player overall. He's also a restricted free agent, so few other clubs have been anxious to get in on the bidding. Fortunately for the Sonics, there is a glut of free-agent power forwards -- Christian Laettner, Mikki Moore and Scott Padgett are three others who didn't quite make the list -- which should drive Evans' price down considerably.

    5. Jerome Williams (11.9 pts, 9.3 reb, 13.20 PER)
    Surprisingly, the Junkyard Dog was dumped by the Knicks and should generate some interest with his ability to defend and rebound. While he saw little action in New York last season, Williams played fairly effectively when he was on the court and has thrived in the past as an energizer-type off the bench.


    CENTERS

    1. Tyson Chandler (11.7 pts, 14.2 reb, 16.50 PER)
    Chandler had one of the best rebound rates in basketball last season and was a major force at the defensive end, but his restricted-free-agent status has kept suitors at bay. Chandler and the Bulls are rumored to be close to agreement on a deal for Samuel Dalembert-type dollars, of which Chandler is much more deserving than Dalembert.

    2. Eddy Curry (22.3 pts, 7.4 reb, 16.22 PER)
    Curry might as well be radioactive right now. Nobody wants to touch him for two reasons. First, he's a restricted free agent, and second, teams can't get his contract insured because of a heart problem. The most likely option seems to be his taking the Bulls' one-year tender, but little is settled at the moment.

    3. Dale Davis (8.7 pts, 11.5 reb, 13.32 PER)
    Davis is a veteran tough guy whose shooting range doesn't extend past the end of this sentence, but several teams have expressed interest in securing Davis' physical play off the bench via a one- or two-year deal. A return to Indiana seems the most likely route unless another club coughs up a chunk of its mid-level exception.

    4. Vitaly Potapenko (14.0 pts, 9.3 reb, 14.45 PER)
    Potapenko played well in limited minutes last year and appears likely to return to Seattle to take over the starting center spot. It shouldn't be hard for him to improve the Sonics, as he'll be hard-pressed to be any worse than Jerome James.

    5. Robert Traylor (12.3 pts, 10.0 reb, 11.96 PER)
    Cleveland declined Traylor's option to pile up more cap space, but an off year from the Tractor also played an important role. Obviously, conditioning is an issue, but if he's in reasonable shape his scoring numbers should recover from last year's surprising drop.


    John Hollinger, author of "Pro Basketball Forecast 2005-06," writes for ESPN Insider.

  2. #2
    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    I don't understand why Earl Watson is still available.



    I dont know either, but for whatever reason the sentiment from the Memphis fans I talked to , was they were glad to see him go ...

    Why Not Us ?


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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    I can't believe Wallace hasn't been offerd a contract.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    A return to Indiana seems the most likely route unless another club coughs up a chunk of its mid-level exception.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Watson and Chandler are two guys I wish were Pacers.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    Yes Dale, who says you can't come back home, again, for a third time.
    Wonder what the record is for signing on player to the same team?

    Why Not Us ?


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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    4. Doug and Jackie Christie (Doug: 9.0 pts, 5.6 ast, 9.92 PER; Jackie: 0.0 pts, 0.0 ast, 0.00 PER)
    A package deal, the Christies suffered through a rough campaign last year thanks to Doug's foot problems and a swarm of reality TV producers. They were waived by Orlando via the amnesty rule but already have an agreement in place to join Dallas; presuming they clear waivers this week.





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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood
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    Watson and Chandler are two guys I wish were Pacers.
    I wouldn't mind that either.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacers#1Fan
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    I can't believe Wallace hasn't been offerd a contract.
    It's the same as Chandler and Curry, he's restricted, and Charlotte has threatened to match any offer.

    It's getting to the point that if you're any good at all, you need to just take the qualifying offer and wait until you're UFA. Even if you're looking to re-sign with your club, you can't get fair market value because nobody else will even take a sniff if you're restricted.

    The most underrated aspect of the new CBA is the dual restricted years in rookie contracts now. I still can't believe the players agreed to that.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    The most underrated aspect of the new CBA is the dual restricted years in rookie contracts now. I still can't believe the players agreed to that.
    It won't affect the players that agreed to it, and they don't like rookies anyway.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    We gave up our chance on most of these guys by signing Saras. Is there anyone here that we would rather have that could be had at that price? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
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    We gave up our chance on most of these guys by signing Saras. Is there anyone here that we would rather have that could be had at that price? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
    At this point in time, we chose the best player available, at a position we needed help at to boot.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Forget JJ, let's get Gerald, him and Artest both on the court would be scary.

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    Zesty
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Speaking of scary, have you guys ever heard Gerald Wallace talk? He makes Barry White sound like Alvin or one of the other chipmunks.

    Any jokes about the Christies crack me up.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    what about Reggie Evans? we always say we desperately need rebounding help. He is an extremely good rebounder.........Plus if we do sign him we can still root for reggie.....sorry bad joke

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    I think Wallace has star ability. Teams that pass on him now are going to be very sorry.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    I still hold out hope for Dale returning, and this does give me some hope. I'll breath easier knowing he's here, so hopefully we can re-sign him. Sorry James Jones, but I think a trade with Phoenix or New York would benefit us more than retaining your services if it costs us Dale.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
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    We gave up our chance on most of these guys by signing Saras. Is there anyone here that we would rather have that could be had at that price? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

    I would say not.

    However, even if there was someone that we would rather have had and in our price range, it still doesn't mean we could have signed the guy. That part will always be conjuncture.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg44
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    what about Reggie Evans? we always say we desperately need rebounding help. He is an extremely good rebounder.........Plus if we do sign him we can still root for reggie.....sorry bad joke
    We need a guy to simply come in and rebound when we need him to....nothing else. Reggie Evans as a backup PF is reasonable to me. I don't care that he does nothing else.....cuz we have other guys that can do the stuff he doesn't do...whereas Reggie Evans does the stuff that the rest of the team doesn't do.....such as rebound rebound rebound.

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    what is PER

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerman157
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    what is PER
    " PER -- Player Efficiency Rating, my rating of a player's per-minute statistical production (as explained here, the average player has a 15.0 PER):"

  24. #24
    Pacerman157
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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    oh yeah thanks

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    Default Re: Free agents who are still available. ESPN Insider

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC
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    We need a guy to simply come in and rebound when we need him to....nothing else. Reggie Evans as a backup PF is reasonable to me. I don't care that he does nothing else.....cuz we have other guys that can do the stuff he doesn't do...whereas Reggie Evans does the stuff that the rest of the team doesn't do.....such as rebound rebound rebound.
    Reggie Evans always gives 110%, he's great on the boards. I look for Seattle to resign him.
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