12/9 Signed Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic, and re-signed Jason Collins
Did you know that T-Mac is only 32? In a part-time role, McGrady wasn’t actually that bad for the Pistons either. The problem is that one of the most exciting players of the 2000s is now, at best, an average bench guy who can’t really get to the line and is a decent shooter. On a playoff-level team, T-Mac’s presence as a cheap filler will have value, assuming the knees hold up well enough. The hope, though, is that McGrady can replace Jamal Crawford off the bench. At first blush this seems silly. McGrady can’t move very well these days and Crawford got ridiculously hot at times. Looking at the advanced metrics, though, T-Mac actually had a slightly higher PER than Crawford (14.9 to 14.2) and shot exactly the same from three (.341%). Does this mean that McGrady is a more valuable player? Well…no. Part of Crawford’s value was the ability to generate tons of shots (13.7 shots and 4.1 free throws per-36 versus 11.0 and 2.8 for McGrady). The Hawks are downgrading on 2010-11 stats (though not by as much as you would think). Still when you combine the volume with the possibility that McGrady might get hurt again or continue his steep decline from his peak, there is plenty of risk that the Hawks will have a big hole at backup sixth man.
As for Radmanovic, he has demonstrated that he will never be a regular but is also useful in a bench role. While Vlad still can’t play any defense and is thus not a viable starter, he will help the Hawks replace the tons of threes lost when Crawford doesn’t come back. In short, the Hawks’ filler is useful but has some holes.
12/9 Traded the draft rights to Albert Miralles to Milwaukee for Keyon Dooling and a second-round pick
12/9 Signed Marquis Daniels and Chris Wilcox
12/10 Re-signed Jeff Green
It starting to seem that Green is not going to blossom into any sort of star or above-average starter. Even so, he is a useful role player and cannot hurt the Celts on a one-year deal, unless he finally breaks out on this deal and bolts town. This isn’t going to happen. Rather, he’ll backup at both forward positions and hope that he shows something to make the market for his services a little hotter next summer.
Speaking of athletic forwards who have never quite broke out, Wilcox is an interesting signing. At 29, he will never be a superstar but he still shows that explosiveness that fascinates GMs (a career-high 18.0 PER last season) and still fouls too much. Wilcox will split some time with Green and may have a shot at actually getting major minutes and injecting some life into an older team.
12/9 Signed Brandan Wright
12/10 In a sign-and-trade three-team, Dallas sent Tyson Chandler, the rights to Giorgos Printezis, and Ahmad Nivins to New York for Andry Rautins and a conditional 2012 second-round pick from Washington; Washington received Ronny Turiaf, a 2013 second-round pick and cash from New York, and a 2012 second-round pick from Dallas
First, losing Chandler is tough. He was obviously key in Dallas’ run last year but he was not irreplaceable and you could understand why the Mavs were a little reluctant to commit money and possible luxury tax penalties on a player that was not healthy much the last few years. Chandler’s playoff numbers were solid (8.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 15.2 PER) and his back up Brendan Haywood was not nearly as good (10.0 PER in the playoffs). Dallas will have to fill in this slot (Lamar Odom?) but we will give them the benefit of the doubt, since they have done a good job finding useful players in the past.
I also like the Wright signing. He isn’t a star but he consistently is productive in his cameos. He is the perfect young player to stash, in case he develops. A nice low-risk signing.
12/9 Re-signed Tayshaun Prince and signed Brandon Knight
12/10 Signed Damien Wilkins
I am lukewarm on the Prince re-signing. He is a solid player and the price is quite reasonable (reportedly four years and $27 million). This is an undervalue contract and is not too long. Moreover, the contract is quite movable, as Prince is exactly the kind of versatile forward contenders will covet. What I dislike, however, is that Prince has little function to a rebuilding roster as a 30-something player who was a bit complainy last year. I see no reason to believe that the Pistons will contend in the next year or two that Prince will still be a good starter and Prince’s minutes will be taken from Charlie Villanueva, who the Pistons might want to try to develop assuming they don’t amnesty him (I don’t think they should either). Why hold onto the past when it just doesn’t fit? Joe Dumars has been weird about picking and choosing which Pistons to keep from the glory years (trading Billups and extending Hamilton made no sense). Hopefully, he flips Prince for value but I think it would’ve been easier just to cut the cord and keep the cap space.
Los Angeles Clippers
12/9 Signed Caron Butler
The Clipps gave Butler three years and $24 million, which strikes me as generous. Butler is coming of knee surgery that ended 2010-11 early and he was below average the last two years when he did play. Taking a flier on Butler makes sense but three years is too long. At best, he should be working on a one-year deal with an option. I know the Clipps needed to spend to meet the salary minimums but they could’ve just overpaid for one year and let Butler prove he is healthy and still can play.
Los Angeles Lakers
12/9 Signed Jason Kapono
Kapono is the definition of one dimensional and was terrible when he did play last year. As a three-point shooter, he isn’t a terrible idea to pair with Kobe on a one-year in hopes of getting a Steve Kerr-type gig.
12/9 Re-signed Mario Chalmers, James Jones, and Juwan Howard and signed Shane Battier
12/10 Signed Eddy Curry
As the Heat try to bolster the bench for another title run, they have taken on some interesting vets. Battier is 33 and is slowly losing most of his offensive value but looks like he can still defend in spurts. In short, he is a less dirty version of Bruce Bowen at this point. This will level of specialization will be of use to a team like Miami and the contract is pretty cheap (three years and $9 million). The other signing, Curry is unlikely to pan out. Curry has been injured and fat for several years now and didn’t board or defend much during his best years. If Heat fans want to be optimistic, Pat Riley and the Heat did turn Ike Austin (another skilled big man with weight/caring isues) into a useful player in 1996-97 briefly.
12/9 Traded Keyon Dooling and a second-round pick to Boston for the draft rights to Albert Miralles
12/10 Signed Mike Dunleavy and re-signed Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Dunleavy’s star potential has run but he’s still useful, especially at two years and $7.5 million reported. The discounted price reflects Dunleavy’s injuries the last few years (he missed 36 games combined the last two years after missing most of the 2008-09), as well as the fact that he never really has put together above-average numbers outside of 2007-08.