NBA Free Agents 2013: Teams Sure to Waste Their Money on Free Agents
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The NBA free-agency period has begun, and the New Orleans Pelicans are one of a few teams that will waste money on free agents.
Wasting money can mean a couple of things. It could be overspending for a solid player, or it could be giving a below-average player an above-market contract.
There have already been some shocking deals made in the offseason, and there are sure to be more as the July 10 signing window opens.
Contenders will be forced to outbid teams for role players, which could cost them more money. Several teams are in rebuilding mode and are unwilling to spend much money.
Let's take a look at who joins the Pelicans on the list of teams sure to waste money on free agents.
New Orleans Pelicans
He is a restricted free agent, which means the Sacramento Kings will get the chance to match the offer. However, Marc Stein and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported that Evans does not want to remain with the team because of the way this offseason has gone.
Tyreke Evans has given the New Orleans Pelicans a verbal agreement that he'll sign the four-year, $44 million offer sheet, I'm told.ESPN 1st— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 4, 2013
The Kings could decide to not match the offer instead of keeping a potentially disgruntled player.
If the Kings don't match, $11 million per season is a bit much for New Orleans to give a player like Evans. The Pelicans just traded for Jrue Holiday, which means Evans would be playing out of position at shooting guard.
He did shoot a career-best 47.8 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from deep, but that's a lot of money to give a player who averaged just over 15 points per game last year.
Not only did they just get a quality point guard, but they also have Eric Gordon at shooting guard. He didn't play every game last season, so he still needs to prove that he can be a big-time scorer.
New Orleans has a young core. Holiday, Gordon and Anthony Davis can lead this team in the future, so spending $44 million on Evans would not be a wise move.
The Pelicans' willingness to overspend on Evans could show that they are going to spend a lot of money this offseason.
Los Angeles Lakers
This is with the assumption that Dwight Howard is going to sign elsewhere, as various reports have suggested. Los Angeles would then be forced to find players who could help it contend in the Western Conference next season.
Even if Howard re-signs, the Lakers need help on the perimeter. They were in the bottom half of the league in three-point percentage despite taking more shots than most teams. They were also the second-worst team in the postseason in three-point percentage.
It's an area that needs to be addressed, and Los Angeles will be forced to overspend.
There aren't many great shooters on the market, so the Lakers are going to overspend for an average shooter.
Kobe Bryant isn't going to be around for the next decade, so the Lakers need to focus on winning in the next couple of years. Keeping Howard is the top priority, but the team will have to overspend on average shooters either way.
Another team waiting on Dwight Howard is Dallas. Unlike the Lakers, the Mavericks don't have a solid team if Howard doesn't sign with them.
Dirk Nowitzki is still a great player, but he can't win by himself. There are not many other players on this roster that can make a difference.
Rookie Shane Larkin could be expected to play a big role. An aging Vince Carter averaged 13.4 points per game last year, but he's not going to be a star like he once was. He can have a couple of good games, but he's not going to carry the team on offense.
The Mavericks have eight free agents from last year's team. They missed the playoffs last year, so they have a lot of work to do if they want to contend this year.
Owner Mark Cuban isn't afraid to spend if it's going to help his team. As much as he might want to avoid spending this year to save cap space for next year's free agents, Cuban wants to win.
He isn't likely to pursue someone like Andre Iguodala or Andrew Bynum, but he could overspend to get players like Devin Harris.
Teams in the Howard sweepstakes could be in trouble because they can't offer other free agents contracts until they know what Howard decides. Once he decides, the teams he spurns are going to be forced to overpay average players because many players will have already signed.
*All statistics are courtesy of NBA.com
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