NBA Free Agency 2012: 8 Biggest Locker Room Disasters
The NBA has many ways to build a team, but for those middling teams who aren't quite good enough to compete for a title and aren't quite bad enough to get good draft picks, free agency is where it's at.
On one hand, free agency is the best way to add mid-level players to put your team over the top, as you know what you're getting and it's harder to look at the stats a guy has put up over his career and be bamboozled.
However, there are often many questions you have to ask when signing a free agent, almost more so than when a team signs a rookie. If a guy is a brooding, selfish player and a team adds him via free agency then he can absolutely ruin a team. It often depends on what team signs him, however.
So, with that in mind, we have the players that are riskiest to the chemistry of a locker room in the 2012 NBA free-agent class.
8. Gilbert Arenas
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Gilbert Arenas is beginning to fall into the "happy to have a job" category, so he may not be doing much this year to screw up anything that would get him fired, but he's certainly a guy to worry about if you're planning on using him extensively.
Arenas is a guy who thinks very highly of himself at this point, as he should having put together a nice career. The only problem is he's well past his prime and there's not much he can offer a team beyond a contributor off the bench.
If he gets signed and thinks he deserves more minutes, look out for a potential blow-up.
7. JaVale McGee
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JaVale McGee is no longer the knucklehead that he was in Washington, but there's still a good chance he's a bit of a knucklehead.
McGee never does things in spite of anyone or to take someone else a peg. He usually means well, he just ends up doing dumb things every once in a while.
Should the Nuggets end up signing another knucklehead that he can hang around with like he did with Nick Young in Washington, then there could be trouble.
6. J.R. Smith
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Nobody likes a chucker. Even further, nobody likes a chucker who gets moody, which is pretty much J.R. Smith to a tee.
Smith can be a valuable player to a good team at this point in his career, but he's a guy you're going to have to hope gets along with everyone, and if not, you'll know it before the season is into December.
He's an asset if he reins himself in, but if he gets wild, shoots whenever he wants to and starts to rub people the wrong way, then things can go very wrong.
5. Baron Davis
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Baron Davis is on his last legs, he knows that and we know that. But at times that's when players are the most dangerous to a locker room.
It could be he gets to a team and wants to prove that he's still able to play so badly that he gets antsy for minutes and starts to rub people the wrong way.
Beyond that, if he goes to a team sitting in the cellar of the league, then there's no way he's going to be a help to them. He'll show up fat.
4. O.J Mayo
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O.J. Mayo went from a huge distraction in the Grizzlies locker room to a completely mature player, accepting his fate as the team's sixth man.
However, now that he's out on the free-agent market and looking for a new team, it could be he's got it in his mind that he's ready to take the next step to become a starter, which could easily be a disaster.
Mayo is a fine player, but he still seems like a really good sixth man over a decent starter, but he might think differently.
There's no telling if he's actually matured for good at this point or if he's going to revert back to his old self.
3. Nick Young
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Nick Young seems like a nice young fellow who is easy to get along with, but there's just something about him that makes him do dumb things.
The way he plays goes right along with his personality. He'll start shooting, and once he makes a few shots, he'll keep taking them. If the shots stop falling, he'll keep taking shots, going until he's yanked out of the game and shouted at.
Young was one-half of the knuckle-headed tandem with JaVale McGee in Washington, but when McGee left, he had George Karl to settle him down; Young had Vinny Del Negro.
2. Kenyon Martin
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Kenyon Martin seems like a guy who you would either get along with great or he would be your biggest enemy, which isn't exactly the type of guy to bring a locker room together.
At one point in his career he was fine on most teams as he had a lot to contribute and they were able to overlook his sometimes grizzly, abrasive nature. At this point, however, he's going to have to reel himself in off the court and save the mean, brooding attitude for on the court.
1. Jamal Crawford
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Jamal Crawford is a ruiner of chemistry and he's a creator of chemistry. It all depends on the Jamal Crawford your getting on any given day.
When Crawford is rolling and in Sixth Man of the Year form, he's happy and getting along with everyone as well as he can. However, he hasn't really been that guy in over two years, which is a big problem.
Bad Crawford is a guy who shoots too many shots, holds the ball until there's six seconds left in the shot clock, complains about fouls, argues with referees and shoots dirty looks at his teammates if they try to correct him on something.
This is a guy who can be great for a team if he gets into his groove, but as the Blazers learned last season, that's easier said than done.