7/11 Traded Joe Johnson to Brooklyn for Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, a first-round pick in 2013, and a second-round pick in 2017; waived Jordan Farmar
7/11 Traded Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris
7/12 Signed Louis Williams
In all, a very nice start for Danny Ferry. The Johnson contract was sure to hamper the team long-term and it had to be dumped, even if it would downgrade the team for the next season. Similarly, Harris is a perfectly useful point guard and had a shorter contract than Marvin Williams to boot. I’m not sure that Harris will still start since Jeff Teague looks pretty good and is younger but the two of them will make a very nice defensive point guard platoon.
As for the signing of Louis Williams, he won’t totally replace JJ but he is quite cheap and will be a reasonable facsimile of a young Jamal Crawford as a player. Williams will get tons of shots in this offense, even if it won’t be with the discipline that Johnson usually showed. In all, the Hawks should remain in the same place they were the last few years (a decent playoff team without much upside) but saved millions of dollars and are on the position to land that elusive star needed to push them into the next level. Whether they can catch that fish remains to be seen.
7/14 Re-signed Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass and signed Chris Wilcox
7/19 Signed Jason Terry
7/20 Houston re-signed Courtney Lee and traded him to Boston for E-Twuan Moore, JaJuan Johnson, Sean Williams, a 2013 second-round pick, and the draft rights to Jon Diebler from Portland for Sasha Pavlovic from Boston
From afar, it seems so clear that pushing for another title run with an older squad can make a rebuild harder but what are you supposed to do? KG and Paul Pierce are still quite good and Rajon Rondo is young and good. It’s not like the Celts didn’t look into trading Pierce and Ray Allen during the season but they stood pat were rewarded with a nice playoff run (though it was helped by Derrick Rose’s knee injury). Tall athletes like Garnett tend to age well and squeezing another few years out of him is a perfectly rational decision, as he is the prototype of the player that lasts forever.
Boston also seemed high on keeping Ray Allen but couldn’t keep him and nabbed Terry for three years and $15.6 million. Allen was a classy local product but this loss is not a tragedy. Terry is two years younger than Allen and brings similar skills to the table (shooting). While Allen was much better as a younger player, there isn’t too much difference between them at this point. Allen on a one or two year deal might be a better contract because of the shorter commitment but I don’t think they will see much drop off here.
7/11 Re-signed Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace
7/11 Traded Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, a first-round pick in 2013, and a second-round pick in 2017 to Atlanta for Joe Johnson
7/11 Signed Mirza Teletovic and re-signed Brook Lopez
7/11 Traded the right to swap second-round picks to Los Angeles Clippers for Reggie Evans
7/16 Signed Jerry Stackhouse
7/17 Re-signed Kris Humphries
7/19 Signed Keith Bogans
A lot of activity in Brooklyn and, on a whole, this is favorable. It is reasonable to question whether Wallace needed to be traded for but if trading for Wallace and Johnson were the difference between losing Williams and keeping him, I guess you have to sign off on those deals. Yet, it is also quite fair to question whether keeping the pick instead of Wallace could’ve lead to Dwight Howard but that ship has sailed (for now) and the Nets have a pretty good team and look as good as any of the non-Miami teams in the East.
7/13 Signed Ramon Sessions
It’s hard to get excited over Sessions but he is 26 and an average to slightly above average point guard. To get that for a two-year $5 million contract is a good thing, even it won’t actually make the Bobcats a good team.
7/19 Signed Vladimir Radmanovic
Radmanovic seems like he’s been playing forever but he is still only 31 and can still hit the three and will do it for the league minimum. Assuming that he can stay healthy, Radmanovic should get some playing time off the bench next year, as the Bulls plan to let the more costly Kyle Korver go elsewhere.
7/12 Re-signed Ian Mahinmi and traded him to Indiana for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones
7/13 Signed Elton Brand and Chris Kaman
7/19 Signed O.J. Mayo
7/20 Waived Brendan Haywood
Dallas’ title defense wasn’t spirited and there was a need to recharge the team while Dirk is still playing at a high level and these moves will help in that goal. Collison should be better than Jason Kidd in 2012-13 and Brand, Kaman, and Mayo will also be upgrades. To make matters even better, all four players have really cheap and short term deals. As for the risk side, Kaman can do a lot more on offense than Brendan Haywood but has had serious injury problems, missing 50 games in both 2008-09 and 2010-11 and 19 games last year. I see little risk with Brand, who is cheap, effective, and healthy since 2009 (though he will never be the pre-injury star player again). None of this vaults Dallas back to title contender now but they are in the tier below and also have the salary flexibility to make a big free agent move after the season.
7/11 Re-signed Andre Miller
7/19 Re-signed Javale McGee
7/17 Waived Chris Andersen
7/20 Signed Anthony Randolph
No one really knows what McGee will develop into but four years and $44 million isn’t actually that much for an averageish center. Considering that Brook Lopez will make $13.6 million next season, Joakim Noah will make $11.5 million, Chris Kaman will make $8 million, and Andris Biedrins will make $9 million, McGee’s deal seems fine. The fact is that a $11 million is a fairly conservative offer sheet in this context. McGee has some risk because of his myriads of less than smart moves on the court but isn’t it likely that he’ll be at least average over the next four years? And if he’s better, the deal will be a steal.
7/11 Signed Kyle Singler
7/14 Signed Vyacheslav Kravtsov
Singler opted to play in Spain last year and he impressed the Pistons enough to get a three year deal for about $3 million. He is not a great athlete and his college number didn’t indicate he’d be an NBA player (he even shot poorly from three as a senior). The hope is that he’ll have a Steve Novak-type run. I don’t see it based upon his college and Euro numbers.
Golden State Warriors
7/11 New Orleans traded Jarrett Jack to Golden State for the rights to Edin Bavcic from Philadelphia who acquired Dorell Wright from Golden State and Darryl Watkins from New Orleans
Swapping Wright for Jack isn’t a huge move. Jack is a really good backup point who can start on some teams, including Golden State. It’s not clear if he’ll replace Nate Robinson as the backup and occasional starter or whether the Warriors consider Jack a starter. I expect Jack to start. He actually had his best season as a pro last year (career high 17.9 PER) and he fits well with Stephen Curry since Jack doesn’t need the ball to be effective and he is big enough that he can guard some two guards (which Curry has struggled with). Wright will be missed but Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush should fill those minutes fine.
7/11 Traded Kyle Lowry to Toronto for a future first-round pick and Gary Forbes
7/11 Re-signed Marcus Camby and traded him to New York for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and two future second-round picks
7/18 Signed Jeremy Lin and waived Luis Scola
7/20 Houston re-signed Courtney Lee and traded him to Boston for E-Twuan Moore, JaJuan Johnson, Sean Williams, a 013 second-round pick, and the draft rights to Jon Diebler from Portland for Sasha Pavlovic from Boston
They cynical Houston fan will wonder if this is progress. The Rockets continue to amass cap room and draft picks but still haven’t cashed them in for the star(s) they need. The other wonder is whether losing Goran Dragic and Lowry and getting Lin is really an upgrade. Let’s take a look at their 2011-12 per/36 minute stats side-by-side, together with future salary commitment:
-Kyle Lowry (age 25): .409 FG%, .374 3FG%, 5.1 rebs, 7.4 asts, 1.7 stls, 0.3 blks, 3.1 TOs, 16.0 pts, 18.9 PER (two years, $12 million)
-Goran Dragic (age 25): .462 FG%, .337 3FG%, 3.5 rebs, 7.2 asts, 1.7 sts, 0.2 blks, 3.2 TOs, 15.9 pts, 18.0 PER (four years, $30 million)
-Jeremy Lin (age 23): .446 FG%, .320 3FG%, 4.1 rebs, 8.3 asts, 2.1 stls, 0.3 blks, 4.8 TOs, 19.6 pts, 19.9 PER (three years, $24 million)(ED NOTE–We originally Lin’s regular stats and not his per/36 minutes here by mistake. Thanks to the alerts of a few readers, we have out the corrected stats in there now).
The interesting thing is that all three players had very similar rate stats for the most part. Lowry shot better from three and rebounded better, Dragic shot better from inside the arc, and Lin was younger and not quite the same passer or boarder (Ed Note–Lin was actually a more prolific assist guy and scorer but had tons of turnovers. The overall point remains the same, that Lin has some pluses and minuses that the other two do not have). To make matters more interesting, all three have reasonable contracts. If you had to pick from the group (which Houston did have to do), I guess one would have to take Lin because he is two years younger and still has more of a shot to break out into an even better player than the older guys. But this choice is not emphatic. Lin’s body of work as a pro is smaller and the difference between the, right now is marginal, meaning that the Rockets are mostly likely flat on the talent exchange and still need to get those stars they’ve been shooting for. Given how crazy the Dwight Howard sweepstakes has been so far, one would hope that the Rockets have a Plan B.
7/12 Signed Gerald Green
7/12 Traded Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to Dallas for Ian Mahinmi
7/13 Re-signed George Hill and Roy Hibbert
The Pacers moves so far have been a bit quizzical. Green (three years and $10 million) and Mahinmi (four year and $16 million) look like fine bench players and Hibbert’s contract was perfectly reasonable. The question here is why the Pacers felt the need to give Hill five years and $40 million and gave away the equally good and cheaper Collison (one year and $2.3 million). Seeing how cheap Sessions, Lowry, Dragic, and Lin were, the Pacers should not have felt the need to give Hill a bigger deal, when he probably had a lower worth on the open market. This won’t be cap crippling but the net effect was to add salary without actually improving the team, which is never a good thing.
Los Angeles Clippers
7/11 Signed Jamal Crawford
7/11 Re-signed Reggie Evans and traded him to Brooklyn for the right to swap second-round picks
7/13 Re-signed Chauncey Billups
7/17 Waived Ryan Gomes
7/18 Signed Grant Hill
7/19 Signed Ryan Hollins
Hill signed for $4 million for two years, Billups got about $4 million for one year, and Crawford got four years and $21 million. Crawford is probably the best bet of the group. He has had his detractors for the wild shot selection but he is only 31 and should be better than the departed Randy Foye. Hill and Billups could be solid bench players but are not without risk. Hill will be 40 and his number slipped markedly last year to a career worst 12.3 PER. Billups was having his worst season since before he went to Detroit in 2001 before he tore his Achilles. It is far from a given that either Hill or Billups are above average in 2012-13. Despite all this, I like the moves. In bench roles, and with reduced minutes, both players should be able to have value. Moreover, the cost is so nominal the Clippers can always move on quickly if need be. Hopefully, Vinny Del Negro doesn’t have flashbacks to a few years ago and rides either player too hard.