NBA Free Agents 2012: Blake Griffin and 5 Guys Who Aren't Worth the Cash
Blake Griffin is not worth a max contract.
If the 2012 NBA free-agent bonanza taught the adoring public anything, it's that the lockout was just an excuse for the negotiators to rack up fees and live in nice hotels, because nothing was actually accomplished.
Ridiculous offers were thrown out to below-average on down to middling players. Max contracts were handed out like they had an expiration date.
Frankly, the whole production was frightening. These are just a few of the monstrosities.
The Bostons Celtics Re-Signed Jeff Green for Some Reason
The Celtics needed to get younger, but this isn't how you do it. The seventh man on your roster does not need to make $36 million over four years, although take that statement with the obvious caveat that maybe he's a heck of a rah-rah guy.
Danny Ainge wasn't able to get Dwight Howard, so he resorted to locking up a career 13.9 point-per-game scorer who only averages 5.5 rebounds and is coming off heart surgery. The man needs to learn that you don't always have to go all in on a pair of twos.
Brook Lopez Ropes the New Jersey Nets in for a Max Deal
Once upon a time, Lopez was scoring 24 points a game.
Apparently no one explained to the Nets brass that when you have a garbage team, someone has to score. It's simple math.
To make matters even more interesting, the max-deal big man played a whopping five games last year. I understand that big men historically demand a premium, but the league is shifting toward up-tempo and athletic (see: Heat, Miami). If you're going to lock down a center for this kind of cash, at least make sure he averages double-digit rebounds (Lopez's career average is 7.5).
Blake Griffin isn't worth $95 Million for the Los Angeles Clippers
There will be some heat for this selection, but there is a method to my madness.
Griffin doesn't seem capable of playing defense. Being a high-flyer doesn't translate well to stopping players in the post.
Additionally, his style is conducive to injuries. He missed his entire rookie year and is currently nursing a torn meniscus. If he is going to keep getting hurt, how can he possibly earn that $95 million?
So if he changes his style to account for the injuries, what he is going to do? He doesn't have a reliable jumper, and without being able to jump out of the gym, his value instantly drops.
The Toronto Raptors Gambled on Landry Fields
Nobody played with their money like the Raptors did.
Consequently, nobody got burned like Toronto did, either.
The front office thought they could lure Steve Nash back home to north of the border if they signed his buddy. They should have checked on that first, because there is no such theory as the Jose Calderon Effect.
Now Toronto is stuck paying a career single-digit scorer $20 million over three years.
Will the Raptors ever be relevant?
The Indiana Pacers Like Them Some Roy Hibbert
The easy retort is that Hibbert was an All-Star. Sorry, that doesn't mean he deserves a max deal.
The above-mentioned Miami Heat proved just how useless a big man can be when they decided to turn the series around. Hibbert disappeared, and the Pacers were eliminated in quick fashion once the switch was flipped.
His rebounding skills are average, at best, as he hauls in 8.8 a game. That definitely doesn't excuse his occasional defense or his average of 12.8 points.
The NBA needs a legitimate lockout and a collective lobotomy. Until then, enjoy the loot, fellas. Apparently, you've earned it.
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