NBA free agency is notorious for its poor evaluation of talent, eventually leading to some of the most bizarre contracts in professional sports. Should Josh Childress really be making $33 million over the next five years? Is six years/$118 million a fair price for Rashard Lewis’ 7.8 points per game?
But what makes contracts like these even worse is when NBA GMs target players before considering what kind of a difference they can make on their own roster.
Exhibit A: New York Knicks
Rumors indicate that the New York Knicks have an interest in 16-year veteran Marcus Camby, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN.com. At 6’11’', Camby can grab boards and block shots, but he’s rendered useless on the offensive end, averaging just 4.9 points per game in 2011.
Interestingly, Camby would be the Knicks’ fourth center under contract for the 2012-13 season.
Camby can be considered a poor man’s Tyson Chandler, but at 38 years old he’s quickly becoming a thing of the past. Camby’s numbers have been on the decline since 2008, and if Ferris Bueller can’t reverse an odometer reading, neither can Camby.
New York recently signed 39-year-old point guard Jason Kidd to a three-year/$9 million contract; so investing more money on a pair of well-traveled legs is the wrong direction to steer this team.
Exhibit B: Portland Trail Blazers
From Bill Walton to Greg Oden, Portland is not the most enticing destination for an NBA center. Let’s hope Roy Hibbert stays clear of Oregon.
Labeled as one of the best young-talents at center, the Trail Blazers have offered Hibbert a maximum contract, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, but as a restricted free agent, the Indiana Pacers will likely match any offer on the table.
Portland’s next move will likely be towards Denver Nuggets’ restricted free agent JaVale McGee.
McGee is capable of putting up impressive numbers, but as we saw with the Washington Wizards, he sometimes forgets that his team’s point total is more important than the number of rebounds he collects in a game.
Portland is welcoming a new head coach this year in 34-year-old Kaleb Canales. And while Canales has been praised for his high basketball IQ, we have no idea how he will cope with McGee’s NBA attitude.
With 24 years of coaching, George Karl was able to tame McGee’s ego in Denver, but asking a rookie coach to handle McGee could prove to be detrimental.