8/9 Sign Eddie House and Scot Pollard
The Celtics now turn to adding some degree of depth to the roster. House should help as a shooter off the bench. As an aside, I’m not quite sure why the Celtics are toying with an older Reggie Miller when he highly unlikely to be better than House at this point. I suppose Miller can’t hurt but this is much ado about very little.
As for Pollard, I don’t expect too much. Pollard was once a very nice backup center but he hasn’t been healthy since 2001-02. The last five years, Pollard have averaged 40 games per season and he’s coming off of career lows in most categories. No matter what, Pollard is a pretty funny guy. Here’s Pollard’s tongue-in-cheek response, no doubt to tweak the Boston media frenzy, to questions about playing with the Celtics: “As a side note, I always hated Kevin Garnett.”
8/6 Sign Eddie Jones
Nice snag for the Mavs. Jones was given a two-year $4 million deal to come off the bench for a deep Mavs team. For those who think Jones looked done on Memphis earlier last year, his numbers when returning to Miami were pretty much in line with his career. Jones should be a useful player in Dallas for the life of this deal but he is now going to be a confirmed part-timer, getting no more than 20 minutes per game unless we see injuries to Jerry Stackhouse.
8/17 Sign Jarvis Hayes
Interesting move for the Pistons. Hayes has not been great as a pro. He can shoot a little but the rest of his game is, at best, adequate. His best bet at a long NBA career is to follow the George McCloud career path of hitting enough threes to make up for his lack of ball-handling skills. If Hayes can continue to hit threes at his current clip (36%) he will have some use to the Pistons who are, at best, average at shooting the three. At the very least, Hayes will give the team a dimension that the poor shooting Flip Murray does not.
Golden State Warriors
8/3 Sign Kosta Perovic and Austin Croshere
8/4 Re-sign Matt Barnes
8/13 Waive Adonal Foyle
The Warriors rightly held firm on Barnes, who had expected a pretty big contract for his playoff heroics. Barnes’ year was quite nice but there is no reason to throw money at a decent small forward when the team is filled with them. Apparently, no one in the NBA was too blown away either as the deal was for only about $3.5 million. As great as Barnes seemed, his playoff numbers were ultimately good but not great (11 ppg, 6 rpg in 30 mpg). The upshot is this is precisely the type of player you don’t give a huge deal based upon one solid season in the middle of his career.
As a reminder that big contract can be painful, we conveniently can refer to Foyle. Apparently Foyle took a major discount on his buyout, netting only $13 million of the $19.7 million under his contract. Tim Kawakami has a nice breakdown of Foyle’s departure and a recap of the day when Chris Mullin decided that Foyle should get $41 million coming off of a year where he put up 3.1 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 44 games. (According to Basketball-Reference.com, Foyle has made $44 million in his career through 2006-07). On the bright side, Mullin does seem to have learned since then and he’s cleared most of the ugly contracts from 2004 and 2005.
Finally, the Croshere signing is a nice bit of depth addition. Croshere is not quite the player he was in Indiana but he fits very well into Don Nelson’s system and he could very effective in spurts. He could fit in anywhere from small forward to center on this team and gives the many more looks than they had last year.
8/3 Re-sign Chuck Hayes
The terms were not made public but Hayes did get a four-year deal for an estimated $4 million. Hayes is not a star but every team needs a tough rebounder like this. Hayes’ 2006-07 season wasn’t as impressive as his debut but, at worst, the Rockets have a Popeye Jones-type who will crash and make a nice counterpoint to Luis Scola’s more offensive-oriented game.
Los Angeles Clippers
8/13 Sign Brevin Knight
8/14 Sign Josh Powell
Knight is a nice fit on most teams and the Clippers are no exception. With Cuttino Mobely, Sam Cassell, Tim Thomas and Corey Maggette, Knight’s passing style works. His price is pretty good too (two years and $4 million). Another interesting note is that Knight is now on his eighth team, which is a pretty high number for a useful player who doesn’t have a bad rap. Well, I suppose Knight’s poor jump shooting is his rap but he is well-regarded as a point guard and person. Knight is just good enough, however, to really bounce around and maybe threaten Jim Jackson’s 12-team tour of the NBA.
8/16 Acquire rights to Juan Carlos Navarro from Washington in exchange for a future first-round draft choice
Speaking of point guards, Navarro has long been regarded as a bona fide NBA caliber point guard. Navarro also fits well because he is a good friend of Pau Gasol, which could tame the Gasol trade demands. Navarro will have to battle for playing time with Mike Conley, who is the clear air apparent, and Kyle Lowry, who looked good in his brief tenure last year. Given the money that may have to be invested in getting Navarro, I could see Lowry being the odd man out next year.
8/9 Sign Anfernee Hardaway
Perhaps the biggest non-story of this off-season was the signing of Penny. Yes, it’s interesting that he was once Shaq’s number two guy but he has nothing left in the take at this point and hasn’t for quite some time. There is absolutely no way that Penny merits playing over Dorell Wright at this point. Of course all this assumes that Penny even makes the team, which is far from a foregone conclusion. You have to give Hardaway credit for wanting to still play when he probably doesn’t need the money (he’s made $120 million in salary over his career, not including his old endorsement deals) but without a time machine there is nothing to really do here but use the signing as a focal point from which to reminisce.
8/7 Sign Awvee Storey to a multi-year contract
Storey is an undersized power forward (6″6, 230 pounds) who is best remembered for fracturing a teammate’s skull in the NBDL last year. The story was that he got in a fight with Martynas Andriuskevicius at practice and punched Andriuskevicius in the face. Andriuskevicius went down like a ton of bricks and fractured his skull when his head hit the floor. Storey clearly didn’t have the intent to do such severe damage but you would think that a incident like that would be enough to keep out of the NBA. For better or for worse, the Bucks gave Storey. At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see how Storey is treated going forward.
8/3 Waive Troy Hudson
With KG gone, the Wolves now have give the payroll a spiritual enema and Hudson is a good place to start. Hudson was once a nice shoot-first point guard off the bench. The Wolves, for whatever reason, gave him a big long-term deal (six year and $37 million!) coming off of a year where he played only 29 games with bad ankle problems, perhaps remembering Hudson’s 2002-03 season, which was pretty good (14 ppg, 6 apg and a great playoffs where he put up 23.5 ppg in a against the Lakers in a first round loss). It was silly contract from the start that seemed to be inspired by the fact that the Wolves lost Chauncey Billups based upon a refusal to give a similar mid-level contract in 2002.
Still, no one ever confused Hudson with Billups. In addition, even if you assume that Hudson looked good in 2002-03, the Hudson deal was meted out in 2004 when he had barely played. Predictably, played poorly ever since the contract extension. Even worse, he barely played the last two years, averaging 35 games per season. Finally, Hudson seemed angry about the whole thing. With the team in a major rebuilding mode, Hudson had really no use. In this case, Hudson reportedly took 80% of the money due under the contract. Hudson should get an offer by some veteran team (Boston?) but his time in Minnesota will not be remembered fondly.
New Orleans Hornets
8/8 Re-sign Jannero Pargo
Pargo got the increasingly common two-year $4 million deal that’s been floating around this summer. Pargo is an interesting player because he made a big leap in efficiency last year and looks like he can definitely score, in the same vein as the aforementioned Troy Hudson. I don’t think Pargo has a future as anything more than a decent backup as a kind of anti-Brevin Knight (all shooting, no passing or defense), which isn’t a bad thing based upon the price he was re-signed for.
New Jersey Nets
8/16 Sign Robert Hite
Hite was a rookie with the Heat last year and played a little bit. He looked okay but showed absolutely no shooting touch (32% from the field). Hite may have a future but he’ll have trouble showing this behind Jason Kidd and Marcus Williams.
San Antonio Spurs
8/16 Sign Ime Udoka
Udoka had a nice year for the Blazers and finally established himself as a regular NBA player (8.4 ppg, 4 rpg and 40% from three in 29 mpg). It’s been a long haul for Udoka and he ended last year with a partially torn meniscus last April, so there is some degree of uncertainty (though this is generally a pretty mild injury). Udoka is very similar to the incumbent Bruce Bowen, an undersized but tough defender who can hit the three from the corner. Also like Bowen, Udoka’s first major minute season came at the relatively late age of 29. Udoka came at a very nice price too (two years and $2 million total). The deal has virtually no risk and it’s possible that Udoka can come in play Bowen’s role when Bowen finally slows down.
8/16 Acquire a future first-round pick from Memphis for the right to Juan Carlos Navarro
8/17 Re-sign Andray Blatche
Interesting week in D.C.. First, the Wiz turned Navarro, who wasn’t ever coming to Washington, into a draft pick and then they re-sign a decent young prospect to a long but cheap deal (five years and $15 million). Blatche didn’t help his bargaining position by getting for solicitation of a prostitute last week but the bottom line is he is big, young (21), and he has shown some promise (12 pts, 11 rebs, and 2 blocks per 40 minutes) and a cheap young player easily outweighs lapses in judgment. Expect the Wizards to try to deal Etan Thomas or Brendan Haywood and working in the cheaper Blatche.