NBA Free Agents 2012: Analysis of the First Day of Free Agency
At 12:01 AM this morning, the 2012 NBA Free Agency period officially began. Teams instantly began to contact free agents in the hopes of coming to a contract agreement (players cannot sign until July 11).
Since the clock struck midnight, there have already been several agreements reached and multiple rumored offers being thrown around. Here are the highlights.
Nets F Gerald Wallace Agrees to Re-Sign at 4 Years/$40 Million Dollars
The Nets are just trying to save face after their horrid deadline deal, which saw them give up the 6th overall pick just to get a “second-banana” to PG Deron Williams. Wallace, a former All-Star, seems to have a bigger name than game at the moment, as $10 mill a year shouldn’t be given out to over-the-hill, aging combo forwards.
Like Stephen Jackson, he can be a role player or a contender… but he’s probably suited to being the fourth option on offense and preferably coming off the bench. In Brooklyn, he may be the second banana to D-Will—if Deron re-signs. If not, he may be the top option.
Welcome, everyone, to the 20-62 Brooklyn Nets, staring Gerald Wallace & Joe Johnson!
The Boston Celtics and PF/C Kevin Garnett Agree to 3 Years/$34 Million
I’m honestly torn on this one. On the one hand, I’m ecstatic that we retained KG and that he can mentor the young bigs we just drafted while keeping us relevant—and at a discount from his last contract.
On the other hand, if he were to finish out his contract, he would have played his 20th season in the league. I don’t remember a player having THAT lengthy of a career since Robert Parrish. I’m just not huge on having to pay KG after this season…
This makes me sound like a jerk, and I apologize. I’ll go back to my first point. We came so close last season—a lack of depth and HAVING to play KG over 36 minutes per game really hurt our ability to keep up with the Heat in Game 6—but by Game 7 the C’s were spent.
His contract could come in handy if Danny Ainge chooses to blow up the team in the 2014 offseason: when Paul Pierce’s deal runs out, they’ll have one year left for both KG & Rondo, and the deal on the table for Ray Allen would also expire that summer.
The Portland Trailblazers and Indiana C Roy Hibbert Agree to a 4 Year/$58.4 Mill
Well, the Blazers and new GM Neil Olshey certainly want to add some size to their roster, and they’re hoping that Indiana won’t match the verbally agreed-to offer. Portland would then be able to trot out a lineup of either rookie PG Damian Lillard, SG Wesley Matthews, SF Nicholas Batum, All-Star PF Lamarcus Aldridge and Hibbert.
At worst, Batum may decide to walk (to the T'Wolves, who have reportedly offered four years at $50 Million), but that’s still a real solid, young team in Portland—especially if Lillard works out. They could very well have a bright future in Portland.
However, this is great speculation. I ultimately think the Pacers will retain the former Hoyas’ services and match the deal. He’s an emerging center in the small conference, and that team is certainly on the rise after their past postseason run. You have to think that the Pacers will retain their RFA.
Bulls C Omer Asik & the Houston Rockets Agree to a 3 Year/$25.1 Million
I understand that Rockets GM/wizard Daryl Morey desperately wants to add size (he’s still angling after Dwight, after all), but to me this doesn’t seem worth it. RFA Asik has great potential, and a lot of people view his per minute average as a sign that he’ll only improve.
His per-36 minute average isn’t as impressive, as he averaged 7.6 points and 13 boards off of 50.6 percent shooting. Still, I don’t like giving Asic more than $8 mill a year—he’s still unproven and would become a salary black hole if he becomes Dwight Howard’s long-term backup. Then again, if they acquire Howard and are only able to keep him, Asik could become the starter and the Rockets will have a ton of cap.
On the Bulls side, if they match the offer sheet, it will mean that they will either look to trade overpaid PF Carlos Boozer or amnesty him next offseason to avoid cap problems.
The Boston Celtics Offer SG Ray Allen 2 Years/$12 Million
Like the KG decision, I’m somewhat torn. Allen’s salary would drop from $10 million annually to just $6 million, but he enables the Celtics to rebuild and go younger—which is what I believe Ainge should be after.
However, like I outlined in the blurb about KG, maybe the C’s can delay that until the 2014 offseason. While it’s just a rumored offer, it would be twice as much as the Heat can offer, and they are supposedly his top choice at the moment.
Toronto Raptors Offer PG Steve Nash 3 Years/$36 Million
On paper, this would make the Raptors an interesting and potentially playoff-contending franchise; they would have DeRozan, Bargnani and young Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas, making Nash a perfect compliment to the potentially emerging team.
Besides the Raptors, the Knicks have already met with Nash and the Nets will do so Monday.
Rumor: Atlanta Trades Joe Johnson for Expiring Contracts/1st Rd Pick
The discussed deal would have Brooklyn sending PG Jordan Farmar, C Johan Petro, SG/SF Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, a future 1st round pick and sign-and-trade DeShawn Stevenson.
Quite a mouthful, that one.
This deal seems to be a full back up plan if the Nets are unable to rope in Howard, who recently said he wanted to be traded to play there with PG Deron Williams. While the Nets have said they don’t want to add unnecessary salary, in my mind Johnson is one of, if not THE, most overpaid “superstar in the league.”
Remember the summer of 2010? Johnson...not Lebron, Wade, Bosh or Amar'e signed for as much as the SG got from Atlanta. Maybe the Nets view this as a last option, in case Williams signs elsewhere and they don’t want to open a new Arena with Gerald Wallace.
From the Atlanta point of view, this would be great for new GM Danny Ferry. He would get rid of his worst contract and can rebuild his roster next offseason with a plentiful amount of cash.
Maybe Ferry makes a play for Howard to come home and play in the ATL?