Free Agency Wrap-Up: Breaking Down the Latest NBA Signings
With NBA free agency winding down, teams around the league have some business to attend to. Training camp rosters need to be filled. Practice bodies need to be found. Stopgaps need to be added.
There aren't any blockbuster trades to be made or big-name free agents to be signed, but the pieces picked up at this stage in the offseason are still worthy of note based on their potential impact as rotation players. Here's a look at a few of the recent additions (and could-be additions) coming across the offseason wire.
Martell Webster signs with the Washington Wizards (via Marc Stein of ESPN.com)
The Wizards may be getting a bit crowded on the wings, but considering that four parts of the Wizards' likely starting lineup—John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor and Nene—lack three-point range, head coach Randy Wittman could use all of the spot-shooting he can get. Martell Webster, though limited in other capacities, meets that specific need; Webster is coming off of the worst individual shooting season of his career from beyond the arc, but in 394 games Webster has converted 39.4 percent of his long-range tries.
Otherwise, Webster is a slightly above average perimeter defender and not altogether useless with the ball in his hands. That may be an underwhelming package of skills relative to the roles Webster has been asked to fill in the past, but for Washington he'll likely be slotted as a deep reserve wing behind the likes of Ariza, Bradley Beal, Jordan Crawford and more.
Donté Greene signs with the Brooklyn Nets (via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports)
Donté Greene brings a rare and attractive combination of length and speed to a lacking Brooklyn bench, but up to this point in his career he's shot terribly from the field. It's never too late for actualization, I suppose.
The Sacramento Kings never seemed to find a well-fitting role for Greene, but the Nets are clearly hoping to see something new out of him. All it might take is some improved shot selection; the four-year swingman did himself no favors by consistently attempting shots beyond his range in Sacramento, but if Greene committed to more offensive movement and less standstill chucking, he could make far better use of his natural advantage.
Then again, even that wouldn't do much good in rectifying Greene's regularly underwhelming defense. The Nets won't exactly be burned by bringing him in on a non-guaranteed minimum deal to compete for a roster spot, but at this point Greene doesn't have much to offer on either side of the ball beyond raw potential.
Miami tries out Josh Harrellson (via Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com's Heat Index)
The Miami Heat have cycled through all kinds of options at center over the past two seasons, but haven't had an opportunity to work alongside a 5 who could reliably stretch out to three-point range. That could very well change if Pat Riley deigns to use Miami's final roster spot on Rocket castoff (and former Knick) Josh Harrellson, a useful big who rebounds effectively, converted 34 percent of his three-point attempts last season and has room to grow into a role as a perfectly useful reserve.
Harrellson hasn't done enough on the NBA stage to warrant considerable investment, and he certainly doesn't make sense for every roster. But a team that utilizes LeBron James and Dwyane Wade so heavily can always use some complementary shooting, if only to keep opposing defenses honest. That's why Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were brought to Miami this summer, and it's where Harrellson could pay off for the Heat—he wouldn't have to do all that much save hit the boards and convert uncontested spot-up jumpers without being a defensive sieve.
Miami's quick rotations on D can afford a poor defender or two, and though Harrellson isn't atrocious, he'd certainly need the benefit of the system to cover his weaknesses on that end.
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