Two Rational Deals in the Irrational Free Agent Market

Free agency is one of the most exciting times of the NBA year-long season. The private jets. All of the free dinners. Team pitches from teams that have no chance. Fake Woj accounts. Usually, every offseason, there’s at least one WTF contract. Something like the Jodie Meeks deal. Or the more recent Thabo Sefolosha deal signed by the Hawks today.

Teams that feel their only piece away will overpay for their last piece to the puzzle that’s not really the last piece to the puzzle. Teams just trying to stay above water will throw cash around. It all gets confusing to the casual fan. For one of the only times in the season, we get to see a player’s true value in the eyes of the league. Even though a player’s salary isn’t always indicative of his value. And a lot of times, just because one team is willing to drastically overpay a guy X amount of money does not make that player worth that in the open market. Sure, the Pistons gave Jodie Meeks $20 million, but if the Pistons traded Meeks tomorrow, they’d probably only get a second rounder back, maybe two at best. Continue reading

The Kings Latest Move Reminds Us Why They’re the Kings

Ever since the Kings got screwed by Tim Donaghy in the 2002 Western Conference Finals, they’ve made countless questionable decisions that have slowly brought them to the bottom of the West Conference. They’ve become one of the laughingstocks of the league in the past few years. So when they signed Darren Collison to a 3 year/$16 million deal today, heads turned around the league. Last year’s starting point guard Isaiah Thomas is a restricted free agent, and they had yet to re-sign him.

Thomas and Irving put up nearly identical numbers last season.

Thomas and Irving put up nearly identical numbers last season.

Now, Thomas is one of the more confusing players in the league. He was the last pick of the 2011 draft, pretty much exclusively because of his lack of height. Being just 5’9,” which might even be a stretch, Thomas’ biggest problem is defense. He’s a liability defensively, going up against opposing guards that have a couple of inches on him. But offensively, Thomas is very effective. He puts up nearly identical numbers to Kyrie Irving. You might assume that Thomas was just chucking and putting up great stats on a bad team. Sure, his stats are impressive and his team was pretty bad, but his efficiency numbers were incredible too. So it’s not like he’s just stat-hunting, gunning his way to 20 points per game.  Continue reading

The First Hilariously Bad Contract (Offer) of Free Agency

You might be expecting this to be an article on the deal the Pistons just signed Jodie Meeks to. And that would be a good guess. Meeks is nowhere near deserving over $6 million per season. But that is not the craziest thing we’ve seen this free agency. Today, on day two of free agency, the Cavaliers offered Gordon Hayward a max deal. To be fair, it’s not a MAX max.

It’s a lower level max deal since Hayward is in his first post-rookie contract. But that is just an issue of semantics. What is perplexing, is how a player who shot 30% from 3 and 41% from the field is worth a 4 year/$63 million deal. Especially when that player is marketed as a shooter. Hayward is not like Kyle Korver. Hayward’s game is much more rounded out and can do lots of things on the court, but more than anything, he is supposed to be a good shooter. As CBS Sports’ Matt Moore puts it, Hayward is pretty good at everything, but elite at nothing. That’s fine. That’s just another way of saying he’s a versatile player–not a speciality guy. But there is the very legitimate question of how good your team can be, especially in the West, if your two highest paid players are Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward. Both guys are probably the third or fourth best players on very good teams. But right, restricted free agency. This is how it works: you have to overpay to pry someone away. Continue reading

Top 75 NBA Trade Value (Part 3)

Here is part 1 and part 2 of the series.

Group M: “Come on! You Know This Guy Is One Of Our Cornerstones. Stop Laughing!”

48. Victor Oladipo
Usually the top rookies shoot up the trade value rankings. There’s almost always a few rookies who look good enough to be deemed untouchable by their team after the season. This past year’s rookie class may not really have anyone in that category. There are not any true stars. There were hardly any guys who will start for the majority of their careers. One of the only rookies to look halfway decent was Oladipo. He put 13-4-4, not exactly stellar. And he’s the same age as Favors and Valanciunas. He was the most athletic player in last year’s class, so that gives him a fair amount of potential. Hopefully the Magic won’t screw it up though, playing him at point guard any longer. Continue reading

Top 75 NBA Trade Value (Part 2)

In case you missed Part 1, click here.

Group U: “We’ll Listen, But He’s Way More Valuable To Us Than He Is To You”

75. Tony Allen
Not bad paying one of the best perimeter defenders in the league $5 million per season for the next three years. Allen is already 32, but just ask Kevin Durant how tough it is to score on Allen. Allen was the reason the Grizzlies very nearly sent the MVP home packing in the first round. Someone as good on defense as Allen would fit on any team, but there’s perhaps no better fit than Memphis’ Grit and Grind basketball. Continue reading

Did Kobe deserve his extension?

Coach of the US Men’s National soccer team Jurgen Klinsmann questioned why American superstar athletes get such preferential treatment, in the media and their professional team. Klinsmann has been critical of several aspects of American professional sports. To Klinsmann, it makes no sense to add a player to a team, simply because of his success in the past. In other words, why add Landon Donovan to the roster if he is not deserving of a spot? Simply because he has been the face of US soccer for the past decade, and is the most recognizable US soccer player ever? That makes no sense to Klinsmann, whose only job is to construct a roster that can win. The same logic, or lack of it, applies to Kobe Bryant, according to Klinsmann. Why pay him a two year deal for $48.5 million, when is 35 years old and coming off a torn achilles? That is a contract you might pay him when he is 30 years old and healthy, but not as a borderline over-the-hill shell of his former self. Paying athletes simply for their past duties is no recipe for success, according to Klinsmann. Continue reading