Saturday, May 05, 2007

2007 NBA Free Agency: An Early Look

The NFL Draft is seemingly behind us. While news will continue to trickle down, the focus turns to the NBA Draft on June 28 and free agency which begins shortly thereafter.

1) Free Agents (Today)

2) Team Needs (Tomorrow)

3) NBA Mock Draft (Monday)

p-opt: Player has option to pick up contract for next season
t-opt: Team has option to pick up contract for next season


Atlanta: None

Boston: Ryan Gomes (t-opt), Sebastian Telfair (rumored to be released)
The Celtics are likely to take up Gomes’ option for a paltry sum of $800,000 next season. And, of course, there’s Sebastian Telfair, who comprises one of the worst recent draft-day deals in NBA history when he was traded for the 7th pick (Randy Foye).

Charlotte: Primoz Brezec (p-opt), Matt Carroll, Gerald Wallace (p-opt)
Charlotte has many of its pieces in places, but now it must retain them. If you play fantasy basketball, you should know all about Wallace’s abilities. He plays three positions, often guards the team’s best (non-center) scorer and is an inside/outside threat. Matt Carroll is a solid contributor too. Brezec is expendable, but will probably take up the player option.

Chicago: PJ Brown, Andres Nocioni, Mike Sweetney
Unless he decides to take a drastic pay cut, PJ Brown and his $8M per year salary will be playing elsewhere next season. Nocioni may be a prized second-tier free agent this summer.

Cleveland: Sasha Pavlovic, Anderson Varejao
The Cavs have a confusing free agency period forthcoming. Both Pavlovic and Varejao are the types of players who teams have overpaid for because of their energy and drive. If Mike Bibby opts out of his player option, then expect the Cavs to become a major player for his services; thus, reducing the signability of the aforementioned duo.

Detroit: Chauncey Billups (p-opt), Dale Davis, Antonio McDyess (p-opt), Chris Webber
Chauncey is due to make the big bucks in Detroit, as his production continues to spike. As for McDyess and Webber, it’s hard to believe that both will take cut-rate deals to stay in Detroit. If Detroit drafts a big man with the 15th pick (from Orlando), then we’ll know that at least one of the big men will not be back.

Indiana: Darrell Armstrong, Keith McLeod
No real free agent notes. I can’t believe GM Donnie Walsh took on the horrific contracts of Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy. It baffles me.

Miami: Michael Doleac, Eddie Jones, Jason Kapono, Gary Payton, James Posey
Word on the street is that the Heat needs to get younger quickly, so you can say au revoir to Doleac, Jones, and Payton. The Heat have many holes to fill and it will start with the 20th pick in this year’s draft.

Milwaukee: Charlie Bell, Earl Boykins (p-opt), Ersan Ilyasova, Ruben Patterson, Mo Williams
For as bad as the Bucks were last season, their future can be really decimated by free agency. When healthy, Mo Williams was spectacular. Charlie Bell can play 3 positions and Ersan Ilyasova is a budding international player. Patterson and Boykins are no slouches either.

New Jersey: Vince Carter (p-opt), Eddie House, Mikki Moore
Come July, Vince Carter (and Rashard Lewis) will dominate the NBA free agency talk. Whether he signs with an established team on the brink of excellence and takes less money remains to be seen. Also, Mikki Moore will garner a mid-level exception due to his energy and production following the season-ending injury to Nenad Krstic.

New York: Malik Rose (p-opt)
Let the purging of the bad contracts begin. If Zeke is smart, he’ll seek a buyout for the overpriced Rose. Additionally, Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis may also be buyout candidates as they are owed an estimated $75M over the next two seasons.

Orlando: Pat Garrity (p-opt), Grant Hill, Darko Milicic
Grant Hill may very well retire. As for Darko, he would be smart to re-sign for less with the Magic, as he’s poised to break into the starting lineup next season.

Philadelphia: Joe Smith
Hello, 3 first-round picks!

Toronto: Morris Peterson
The rich shooting guard draft class will hurt MoPete’s stock as he enters free agency. Will he accept a role as a key bench player, or bolt for a starter’s role on a less-than-stellar team.

Washington: Andray Blatche, Jarvis Hayes, Antawn Jamison (p-opt), Michael Ruffin, DeShawn Stevenson (p-opt)
There are actually a total of nine free agents, five of which are unrestricted. It’s inconceivable that the Wizards re-sign all of the players listed; however, signing all but Jarvis Hayes is a realistic possibility. Nevertheless, they must look ahead to re-signing Gilbert Arenas to a long-term deal. He has two years left on his deal, but can opt out next summer.


Dallas: Austin Croshere, Devean George (p-opt), Jerry Stackhouse
Mark Cuban won’t blow up the team, but he’ll go with a younger squad providing more energy.

Denver: Steve Blake, Eduardo Najera (p-opt)
The Nuggets now have the nucleus. They must now fill its parts. Steve Blake will get some looks like by some teams missing a true point guard, but he’s a good fit in Denver and may take less to stay in a good situation.

Golden State: Kelenna Azubuike, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus
Chris Mullin silenced some of the haters (myself included) by pulling off a great deal with Indiana for Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. The next test includes re-signing the likes of Barnes and Pietrus, both of whose stock is exploding due to their performances in the playoffs.

Houston: Chuck Hayes, Dikembe Mutombo, BonziWells (p-opt)
Hayes and Mutombo have revitalized the Rockets and given them a mean streak. Both are priorities in the offseason. Bonzi’s nightmare in Houston will soon come to an end.

LA Clippers: Jason Hart, James Singleton (t-opt)
How much longer can Corey Maggette be shopped?

LA Lakers: Chris Mihm, Smush Parker, Ronny Turiaf, Luke Walton
Two starters and a key contributor on the go? The Lakers are likely to sign Walton and Turiaf, but they’re expected to make a splash at the point guard position.

Memphis: Dhantay Jones, Chucky Atkins
The emergence of Tarence Kinsey and healthiness of Kyle Lowry will make Atkins expendable.

Minnesota: Craig Smith
Very little activity (other than re-signing Smith) is to be expected by the Wolves because of their many bad contracts.

New Orleans: Devin Brown, Marc Jackson
When forced into duty, Devin Brown excelled, which will get him onto a NBA roster next season.

Phoenix: Jumaine Jones, Jalen Rose
The Suns will focus entirely on either putting together a deal for or trade Shawn Marion, who could leave Phoenix for free come next summer. I’d be shocked to see either free agents return to the Suns, unless both agree to a position outside of the Suns’ 8-man rotation and accept a league-minimum contract.

Portland: Raef LaFrentz (p-opt), Jamaal Magloire, Travis Outlaw, Ime Udoka
The gutting of the Portland frontline begins. It’s very possible that none of these men return to the Blazers, but Udoka was quite the revelation, as he went from training camp invitee to a starter. His minutes will be reduced as Nate McMillan will either find a way to sign Rashard Lewis or select a small forward with his 1st round pick.

Sacramento: Mike Bibby (p-opt), Justin Williams, Corliss Williamson
In what was an otherwise abysmal season, the Kings found a low-cost defensive playmaker in Justin Williams. The big question is Bibby, who can opt of his $15M and take less in a situation better suited to winning an NBA title.

San Antonio: Matt Bonner, Melvin Ely, Michael Finley, James White
The Spurs will look to lock up Tim Duncan, who can opt out of his contract next summer. This will undoubtedly affect their ability to re-sign Finley, who is playing for less than he’s worth.

Seattle: Danny Fortson, Rashard Lewis (p-opt)
Despite a broken hand that kept him out of action for two months, Lewis can opt out of the final two years of his 7-year, $65M deal. As it is, Lewis is set to make money, as he is in the prime of his career and is a proven scorer.

Utah: Dee Brown, Paul Millsap
Both played beyond expectations in their rookie year. The Jazz would be wise to avoid free agency hiccups because they can address their only major need (shooting guard) through the draft.

No comments: