Category Archives: Trades

Free Agency – Match me if you Can

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Jarrett Jack: The Raptors addressed a major need earlier in the week by announcing the signing of Hedo Turkoglu but they didn’t stop there. Word came out over the weekend that the team has signed Jarrett Jack of the Indiana Pacers to an offer sheet for 4 years $20M. Though they have Jose Calderon signed long term as their primary PG, Jack would fill the role of backup while possessing the ability to slide over to the SG position when needed. He is a typical Colangelo guy – does a bit of everything. He would be a major upgrade for the team and though they have multiple players who can play the point, none seem to be candidates for the job over the course of a 82 game season. Indiana was already flirting with the tax limit and may be handcuffed at this point unable to match the offer. The Pacers did try the tandem PG strategy with Jack and TJ Ford (a scenario that had played out in Toronto previously with Ford & Calderon) and by seasons end Jack had won the starting spot. Going forward though, seeing that they have a ton of money tied up with Ford and Tinsley, it’s very unlikely they pony up the cash to keep Jack in Indiana.

Marcin Gortat: The Orlando Magic lost Hedo and gained Vince. Over the weekend they added another front court player in Brandon Bass. When the Mavericks signed Marcin Gortat to an offer sheet, all signs pointed to Orlando letting him walk. Over the weekend, rumblings were that Otis Smith has changed his tune and the team is now expected to match the Dallas offer. They will essentially be paying $6M per year for a guy who will remain in the shadows of Dwight Howard. My stance? FREE THE POLISH HAMMER! Gortat has been a project for the Magic and has slowly been developing under the tutelage of Patrick Ewing. Bottom line though, he will never get much playing time on that team, where as in Dallas he had the chance to be their starting center sending Dampier to the bench or out of Texas. From this Fanhouse interview it seems Gortat is actually bummed at the idea that Orlando wants to keep him and Dallas may have to turn to plan B.

Paul Millsap: The Utah Jazz are in a serious bind. They need to find a trade partner for Carlos Boozer which will then make it possible for them to match the offer sheet and retain the services of Millsap. They gave Okur a contract extension, but with Boozer picking up the option of his his final year @ $12.7M, they would have to go over the luxury tax to sign Millsap. The Blazers already got burned once in the free agent frenzy (See: Hedo Turkoglu) and are not taking chances this time around. Their offer sheet is structure to pay a signing bonus of $5.6M and most of the first years salary upfront. This means if Utah or any team would want to partake in this, they would have to sign over a check of roughly $10M right off the bat. The likelihood of that happening is slim with the times the way they are and this being the first major decision being made by the Miller family (who now run the Jazz since the passing of owner Larry Miller). The total amount for the contract on the offer sheet is 4 years $32M and unless the Jazz can find some trading partners real soon, it looks like Portland may have one more piece to their puzzle. Only problem is they are still lacking that play maker to play alongside Brandon Roy.

Other notable moves:

Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns) – After being courted by New York and Boston, Hill opted for the desert heat of Arizona. Phoenix gave him a chance to revive his career and repaid them by sticking around. The deal is said to be for $6M over 2 years with the second year being a player option.

Brandon Bass (Orlando Magic) – The Orlando Magic were oh so close, making it to the NBA finals in 2009 and adding a player like Brandon Bass is a great move for a team lacking a true PF. With Bass joining the team, Rashard Lewis can move over to his natural SF position. The deal is for 4 years worth $18M.

Antonio McDyess (San Antonio Spurs) – The Spurs are giving the Celtics a run for their money when it comes to sporting the “over 30” lineup. The addition of McDyess is a solid one for a team whose window is closing fast. The 3 year contract starts at the full MLE which should keep him in Black and silver for the remainder of his career barring a trade.

Channing Frye (Phoenix Suns) – The Suns seemed to be blowing this thing up but now with re-signing Hill and talks of a Nash contract extension, the plans may have been altered. Channing Frye was lost in the mix in Portland and will get more playing time here but he is not a game changer and neither is his new contract which is said to be for 2 years @ $2M /yr.

Anthony Parker (Cleveland Cavaliers) – One of the classiest guys in the NBA, as a Raptor fan I am saddened by his departure. The Cavaliers may have lost out in the Artest, Ariza sweepstakes but they landed a solid guy who may not partake in the pre-game antics with Lebron and co, but for 2 years @ $3M/yr,  he will bring it every night on both ends of the floor.

Dahntay Jones (Indiana Pacers) – He was playing for the Nuggets on the cheap, defended Kobe in the playoffs and now has landed himself a 4 yr $11M contract in Indiana. A tough loss, Jones had become the defensive go to guy for Denver and a fan favorite. He will get more playing time and an elevated role in Indy as he continues to develop his game.

Zaza Pachulia (Atlanta Hawks) – 4yrs $18M is what it took to keep ZaZa in the ATL. The Hawks signed him just a day after re-signing Bibby to a multi-year contact and it is widely rumored they will be doing the same for Marvin Williams in the upcoming days.

Anderson Varejao (Clevland Cavaliers) – It seems that everything that went wrong with their negotiations a couple years back is water under the bridge as the Cavaliers dished out big time to keep Andy in Cleveland. 6 year deal worth $50M – overpaying much?

Mehmet Okur (Utah Jazz) – With the possibilities of losing Millsap and trying to trade Boozer the Jazz wanted to take no chances with Okur it seems. The two parties agreed on a 2 yr contract extension worth approx. $21M.

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Free Agency – Same Faces, New Places (Part II)

This could easily be named the renege edition. I checked in prior to the weekend with an update of the early activity in NBA free agency. With teams not being able to sign players until the moratorium is over and the cap numbers are released later tonight, everything up until now has been verbal commitments. With only a handful of teams in the mix for the big name players and others holding out for 2010 to make the big splash, things have been fairly quiet aside from the big story that has dominated conversations in Toronto. Before getting to the main event let me bring you up to speed with the other “commitments” around the league…

INKED

nba_g_kidd_268Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks) As speculated Jason Kidd will remain in Dallas for the next 3 years at a price of approx. $25 million. Ironically the player he was originally traded for and who is 10 years younger, Devin Harris will also be paid the same amount over the next 3 seasons. This move shows me that Cuban is still defending the original trade ignoring the reality that it has been a bust from the start. Kidd is running on fumes and Harris is just warming up. Its safe to say this is where Kidd will end his career and with the team the way it is, this may not be a marriage made in heaven- I don’t see any ring on the finger in the near future.

Mike Bibby Atlanta-thumbMike Bibby (Atlanta Hawks) Smart move for the Hawks. With Acie Law gone in return for Crawford they were left extremely thin at the point guard position. This deal will keep Bibby in ATL for the next 3 years and cost them roughly $6 million per season. Drafting Jeff Teague indicated that he is their PG of the future and in the meantime Bibby can help the Hawks continue with their winning ways while mentoring the young fella out of Wake Forest. I knocked the Hawks from the Crawford deal purely because I don’t think he can take on the PG duties on a regular basis but this fixes that – a rather leaky fix – but it should keep them on the right track going forward.

rasheed-wallaceRasheed Wallace (Boston Celtics) Big time victory for the C’s nabbing Sheed. He may not be young but neither is the rest of the team and a 2 year contract at MLE is perfect as the window may not be open to long for the Celtics. Adding Wallace to the roster adds another dominant defensive presence on the front line making it one of the best in the East if not the NBA. With this signing they effectively replace Big Baby with Sheed and though his offensive game has dipped over the past few years you can count on Sheed to bring it. Between him and KG there will be a lot of barking on the floor and the C’s are probably hoping for some bite with that bark to help them get back to the promise land.

hedoHedo Turkoglu (Toronto Raptors) Last time we checked in Hedo was signing in Portland for 5 years $50 Million… Not so fast. Late Friday word came out that Hedo had changed his mind and wanted to be a Raptor. Say Wha? Its a rare thing for a player to want to go to a team with a losing record and even rarer for a player to chose that situation while playing in CANADA! The Raptors have reportedly offered Hedo a 5 yr $53 million contract which essentially is approx $600k more per year than the Portland offer. I have refrained from blogging about all this due to the mess it has created including the need to renounce current Raptor free agents and the thoughts of Quincy Dooby as the first man off the bench. The money involved in the Turkoglu deal essentially leaves the Raptors completely handcuffed. I will keep my speculation to myself until the cap numbers are out and Bryan Colangelo pulls off some Magic to make this work in the long run. More to come on this story….

UPDATES

Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers) The parties have agreed to keep the union going for an additional two years. The deal is said to be for approx. $4.2 Million over this time. He was the spare part in the Adam Morrison deal but quickly became the guy Phil Jackson turned to often looking down the bench. He should continue to be a productive member of the team leaving just Lamar Odom as the remaining piece of this Laker puzzle.

Chris Anderson (Denver Nuggets) The Birdman quickly became a fan favorite in Denver and now its time he gets paid. Word is that the parties have agreed on a 5 year deal that would net Chris approx $25 million over that time. There have been too many big men in the past who have cashed in due to their level of play in may, but this number seems to be right for a guy who brings the energy every time off the bench.

Speculated:
Shawn Marion to Dallas – There is a possible S&T involved here with the Raptors trying to get something that will help them keep at least one of their free agents. Dallas is making some bold moves with re-signing Kidd, giving their MLE to Gortat and now trying to nab Marion. If this goes through does this mean the Josh Howard era in Dallas is coming to an end?
Glen Davis to San Antonio – There has been talk that the spurs have offered him the MLE. Due to mixed reports of tis signing I am holding off until I hear something more concrete from the either party.
Grant Hill to New York/Boston – The Knicks offered him a 1 year contract and its been speculated that Boston is seriously interested to round out their senior citizen lineup.

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Free Agency – Same Faces, New Places

3 days into NBA free agency and the ball is finally rolling. I touched on player values rising and falling this off-season in my Listmania series during the playoffs (list 1) (list 2) and things have gone pretty much as expected with a few kinks.

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Ron Artest (Los Angeles Lakers) – Trying to picture Ron Ron playing alongside Kobe and its damn near impossible. Trying to picture Ron Ron executing the triangle offense and its damn near impossible. Trying to picture Ron Ron conversing with the Zen Master and its damn near impossible. Impossible is nothing though right? Thing is the Lakers got a steal here signing him for MLE. They essentially swapped out Ariza and replaced him with Artest. He may not be drinking from the fountain of youth but he has some years left in him and the Lakers window is NOW. The relationship between Artest and Kobe is often used as fodder on the blog circuit and one of the best bits came in the form of a video via The Basketball Jones

Ben Gordon (Detroit Pistons) – Ben Gordon was going to get paid eventually and the Bulls probably would have given him the money he got from Detroit but it seems that relationship had soured to a point beyond repair. Gordon going to Detroit sounds like a good fit but as he did in Chicago it seems he will come off the bench behind Rip Hamilton. Things haven’t been moving in the right direction for Joe Dumars and the Pistons since the Chauncy Billups trade and the team didn’t waste any time in going after the guys they wanted. With a coach yet to be named detroit is still going for the win now approach and with dishing out these new contracts they will not be a player in next summer’s sweepstakes.

Charlie Villanueva (Detroit Pistons) – The Pistons were sure they were going to lose Rasheed Wallace this offseason and right off the bat, set their sights on unrestricted free agent Charlie V. Charlie is also a lot younger than Sheed and has the potential to keep growing. With the signings of Ben Gordon and now CV, it is apparent defense isn’t on the top of their list of requirements for the Pistons, but they now field a team of extremely streaky hot shooters. When the deal was completed Villanueva didn’t wait too long to speak to his fans on twitter and shed some light on this new pairing : Last time I teamed up with BG we won a championship in 2004, can it be possible?

Trevor Ariza (Houston Rockets) – The kid wanted respect?? He left an NBA championship team for a team in shambles. The Lakers were willing to give him the Full MLE and they could have offered higher yearly increases but he settled for the Rockets MLE offer. Sounds pretty bizarre for a young player to leave money on the table but I think this whole mess has his agents dirty hands all over it.

Marcin Gortat (Dallas Mavericks) – Eric Dampier obviously wasn’t the answer but neither is Marcin Gortat. He did a bang up job of playing behind Dwight in the playoffs this year and was bound to get some money thrown his way. I still stand behind the notion that he is a great backup center. The Mavericks obviously see more in him as they have a commitment from Gortat to join them next season with a contract worth the full mid-level exception. From a fans perspective, he will be an instant hit in Dallas and the NBA will live to see more of the Polish Hammer!

IN LIMBO : Hedo Turkoglu (Portland Trailblazers) – ESPN said that hedo has chosen to sign a contract in excess of $50 million over 5 years with the Blazers. As I type this word now is that the earlier reports were premature and he has not agreed. Though contracts cannot be signed until the 8th of July it seems very likely that this is the direction things will go. Hedo will end up in Portland whether his wife likes it or not.

Speculated : Jason Kidd will re-up with the Mavericks for 3 years at $24 Million (via HoopsHype), Shawn Marion has a 4 year $32-$34 million offer on the table from the Toronto Raptors (via Globe & Mail)

TRADES

shaq Shaquille O’Neal – the man with a nickname for every day of the month – needs a new one! Traded to Cleveland, for Big Ben and Sasha Pavlovic, Shaq comes into Ohio as Lebron’s newest sidekick. Way past his prime, I am not sure how many more wins this pairing will bring but I do know it will make for some very interesting pre-game intro’s.

vince Vince Carter – Heading home and to a contender. The Magic didn’t want to take the risk of a long term commitment to Hedo and pulling this trade off effectively nixed the idea of having him back. For Vince this may be his best situation yet, but never underestimate the pressure of playing at home. On the plus side this does make visitation with his daughter a lot simpler.

crawford Jamal Crawford -It took a little bit of paperwork (signing off that he would not opt out of his current contract) but Jamal has found a new home to play alongside Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. It seems the Hawks had made up their mind not to bring back Bibby but they are remain heavily stacked with scorer’s and still no one to dish the ball out.

qrich Quentin Richardson, Zach Randolph, Darko Milicic Q went to the Grizz for Darko on draft night and within the week was flipped over to his old stomping grounds (Clippers) in exchange for Zach Randolph. This may not look like anything earth shattering but it filled the needs of the Grizz and Clips pretty well. As for the Knicks, I am still scratching my head as to why they would want to bring on Darko – New GM, Same whacky moves…

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Incoming: Reggie Evans – Grabs Rebounds and Everything Else in Sight

trade
Action – The Toronto Raptors traded Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans
Reaction – I can’t believe the Raptors actually rid themselves of that contract and got something the team desperately needed in return!

What we gained: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Raptors have lacked toughness and rebounding over the past few seasons. That problem is less of a concern now with the acquisition of Reggie Evans who brings both the qualities along with some heart. Calling him the next coming of Charles Oakley may be pushing it, but Evans has been in the top 10 in rebounds per 48 in minutes over the last 6 years. He is one of those guys you hate playing against but would love to have on your team. On the offensive end one can’t expect much. He doesn’t demand touches and when he does throw up the occasional shot you are sure to cringe. This actually works out better for the Raptors as he meets their defensive needs while not coming in the way of their offensive plan (see: Jermaine O’Neal). Colangelo has gone as far as saying Reggie will be the first man off the bench and we should be getting about 15-20 minutes of burn from him. The fact that we save about $1 million a year helps – Financial flexibility, toughness and rebounding makes this a match made in heaven for the Raptors.

What we lost: A pure spot up shooter who never seemed to be able to get his shot off. The thought of a guy to spread the floor was great but it never panned out and at almost $6 million a year Kapono’s price tag outweighed everything he brought to the floor. When the Raptors signed him to that huge contract they were expecting more than a 3 ball trophy from an All-Star game. One can blame the offensive system but in essence, with all his offensive abilities, an average of 7.7 ppg is just not good enough. Throw in the poor defense and the frequent traveling calls, Kapono was redundant on this roster.

Moving forward: Bryan Colangelo keeps to his word. The fact that he is fearless is the reason he is touted as one of the best in the business. As the Raptors season came to an end, he said there will be changes and this is just step 1. While all the media and fan chatter is around the future of Chris Bosh, you can bet Colangelo doesn’t plan to sit back and watch. He hates to lose and while the rest of the world speculates, I fully expect him to execute his plan to make sure his star player remains in Toronto next season and beyond.

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