Thursday, July 05, 2007

Early Free Agency and Post Draft Trades

The free agency season has begun and rumors are abound. Word is also circulating about the ridiculous contracts being signed by mediocre players. Here are the most discussed signings to-date as well as post-draft night trades that have taken place.

Big Signings Thus Far
Orlando signs Rashard Lewis to a contract lasting 5 years and costing a meager $75M. Orlando gets a star sidekick for Dwight Howard, but I doubt that Lewis is a max player. Though he's in the weaker Eastern Conference now, Lewis has never had to be the man. He's also struggled with longevity. Furthermore, the max contract signifies that the Magic had to withdraw their offer on the table for Darko Milicic.

Chauncey Billups is staying in Detroit. He agreed to a 5-year deal worth $60M. Sources say that it's essentially a 4-year, $46M deal, with the fifth being a team option. Detroit absolutely needed this news after the debacle that transpired at the Eastern Conference Finals versus the LeBrons.

New Jersey is expected to re-sign Vince Carter to a 4-year, $61M contract with a team option to follow. VC is going to produce, but how is that production going to be affected if and when Jason Kidd is no longer a member of the Nets?

Toronto inks Jason Kapono to 4-year, $24M deal. An average of $6M per year to a shooting specialist whose a lackluster defender and has plenty of mileage dating back to his 9 years at UCLA. A cheaper option could be found somewhere and the Raptors have no one like DWade who can draw double teams and kick with great effectiveness.

Charlotte re-signs Matt Carroll to a $27M contract over six years. Quite a pricy deal for a player who will provide depth at the 2-guard position behind Jason Richardson. However, the palatable contract allows for Charlotte to move Carroll in order to address needs on the frontline. This begs the question: Why not address needs on the frontline directly?

Post Draft Night Trades
Seattle trades PF Carl Landry (#31 overall) to Houston for future second rounder and cash. Houston's draft finally makes some sense, because they get their hands on a big forward who can immediately contribute.

Philadelphia trades PF/C Kyrylo Fesenko (#38 overall) to Utah for PF Herbert Hill (#55 overall). I assume there are other incentives for the 76ers, but it seems that the Jazz are content to swap instant gratification for molding a potential stud.

Orlando sends SF Reyshawn Terry (#44 overall) to Dallas for C Milovan Rakovic (#60 overall). For Orlando, the free agent signing of Rashard Lewis makes Terry expendable and Dallas is a definite buyer because they did not address the small forward need at the draft.

New York obtains the rights to SF Demetrius Nichols (#53 overall) from Portland for the Knicks' 2008 second-round pick. Nichols slipped to #53 in a deep draft, so this is good value for the Knicks. I'm surprised that they didn't go after Taurean Green instead.

San Antonio trades the rights to Giorgos Printezis (#58 overall) to Toronto for a 2008 second-round pick. This is not surprising at all given Toronto's affinity for international players.

Other News
Gerald Wallace, who opted out of his last year with Charlotte, is trying to command $10M per year in a multi-year deal. As many people more intelligent than me have indicated, signing a pure athlete to such a deal may have some serious downside towards the tail end of the contract.

Juan Carlos Navarro, whose rights belong to the Washington Wizards, has reached an agreement with FC Barcelona that will allow him to venture into the Association.

Fellow Spaniard Fran Vasquez, who's loved in Orlando, wants to honor his contract with Barcelona.

PJ Carlesimo will be named head coach of the Seattle Supersonics.

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