5 Remaining 2012 NBA Free Agents Every Team Must Continue to Avoid
Usually there's a pretty good reason a guy is still unsigned this late into the NBA offseason.
Unless he's been busy playing in the Summer Olympics—like Leandro Barbosa—there's a pretty good chance his career is either coming to an end or that he has an unrealistically inflated sense of his market value.
There are still some big names left on the free-agent market, but many of them (Kenyon Martin, Mike Bibby) earned their reputations long ago. Others earned those reputations for all the wrong reasons (Eddy Curry, Darko Milicic).
For every bargain that could help the right team improve its depth, there are two or three mistakes just waiting to happen.
Here are five such mistakes that teams shouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.
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Regardless of just how diminished his quickness and explosiveness are these days, chances are Gilbert Arenas can still play—at least well enough to provide a backcourt the occasional spark, or, some insurance at the very least.
The well-publicized problem, however, is that he's something of a head case.
That obviously hasn't stopped players from making an impact in the league, but it's one of those risks that begins to outweigh the rewards when said head-case begins to slow down physically.
Yes, someone could very well take another gamble on Arenas. Or, he could also go the way of Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson, and take his unwanted talents overseas.
Or, he could just live on the countless millions he's made (assuming his financials are not an issue) and call it a day.
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Despite standing at 6'9", Brian Cook has never been much more than a three-point shooter.
But, he certainly wasn't a very good one last season, shooting just 19 percent from behind the arc in 16 games with the Los Angeles Clippers and 22 percent in 16 games with the Washington Wizards. Cook played consistent minutes in 2010-11, but the two seasons before that were pretty brutal with Houston.
Given the interest in spreading the floor with a power forward who can shoot, someone will almost certainly give Cook, who turns 32 in December, another chance.
They will do so at their own risk. Even if his shooting touch returns, Cook is pretty useless on the defensive end and won't turn any heads with his work on the glass either.
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Since the 2007-08 season, Eddy Curry has played in just 24 games.
There's a reason for that.
He was a fine scorer during his tenures with the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, but he's never been mobile enough to make an impact on the defensive end. And, given his size, you'd expect him to at least be a solid rebounder.
That's never been the case, and it's hard to imagine that changing anytime soon.
On the one hand, Curry is still just 29 years old, so making a legitimate comeback isn't entirely out of the question. But, he'd do well to work on his game in the D-League or play overseas for a season before making an earnest attempt.
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Darko Milicic isn't a bad shot-blocker, but you have to really need a shot-blocker to give this guy another chance.
He's not a good scorer. He doesn't contribute anything on the defensive end other than a few swats. And he's not an especially good rebounder for a seven-footer.
We'd all like to see this guy amount to something after his now-infamous second-overall selection by the Detroit Pistons in the '03 draft. He's still just 27, and it's tempting to think he could somehow put it all together one of these years.
Don't count on it, though. After nine seasons, he is what he is, and that is a backup worth marginal minutes.
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After a dismal 2010-11 campaign interrupted by injury, Troy Murphy began to rediscover his shooting touch a bit last season, but the 32-year-old's best days appear to be behind him.
He averaged a double-double in consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2010, and continued to shoot well from beyond the arc. Perhaps it's too soon to declare him altogether washed-up, but it's also too soon to expect much from him unless he can prove otherwise.
He certainly wasn't able to convince the Los Angeles Lakers to play him for more than 16 minutes a game last season. Part of the problem is that he's not very mobile and won't make an impact on the defensive end.
Like Brian Cook, though, teams will be interested in him for one reason, and one reason only: He can spread the floor.
Unfortunately, that's probably not a good enough reason to leave him on that floor for very long.