The 2010 NBA free-agency period has started to die down with all of the top free agents already signing with their respective teams. As we all know, it is highly unlikely that every team can sign a tier one free agent, due to the fact that most of these major players want to play together. But now, some teams, like the New Jersey Nets were unable to bring in any big names.
This has not stopped Rod Thorn from wasting his cap space.
The New Jersey Nets were nearly $30 million below the salary cap. They were looking to bring in two or three tier-one free agents—LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, or Joe Johnson. The Nets were unable to get any of those players.
Thorn has started to waste money on average players. He has given them money that the players have never seen before. The Nets will end up competing for the top pick in 2011.
It seemed like a promising offseason for the Nets, drafting Derrick Favors and trading for rookie Damion James, and then signing decent free agent rookies Ben Uzoh and Brian Zoubek. But that's as good as it has gotten for the Nets thus far.
To start things off, Derrick Favors has not progressed as well as some would have hoped thus far. By has shown some improvement and signs of potential further into the games. It is still early but right now it seems as if Damion James was the better pick.
The free-agent signings started with the signing of struggling small forward Travis Outlaw to a five-year, $35 million contract. I liked Outlaw when he was playing for the Blazers, but then he was traded to the Clippers, and things just went downhill. I would have thought you could have gotten him on the cheap. I never would have given a player coming off a struggling year a multi-year deal.
Their second signing was the best by far—signing Anthony Morrow to a three-year, $12 million offer sheet. That's a steal for the type of player Anthony Morrow will be in New Jersey. Morrow is a pure scorer and shooter. With this signing, Thorn seemed to be getting some sense back.
But then came his next signing.
Thorn then hands out $10 million over three years to center Johan Petro. Petro never lived up to what the Sonics were hoping from him. But he did improve a bit in Denver, averaging three points and three rebounds. Hey, he is almost getting paid $1 million for a rebound and scoring one point! Besides, he is going to be a backup anyways, so a great investment for the next three years (sarcasm).
Thorn's latest signing is former Lakers point guard, Jordan Farmar. Thorn inked Farmar to a three-year deal worth $12 million. Farmar is a good player, do not get me wrong, but is he a starting point guard? Because Thorn had said that by signing Farmar he would trade away all-star point guard Devin Harris. So is Farmar a worthy starting point guard in this league? Or will he just end up being a $4 million back-up?
Now, I know some of you might be thinking well this is not that much money for these type of players. But if you are $30 million under the cap, and your last season you were a lottery team, will adding these four players really put you over the edge? Or why not wait to make a trade next offseason and go after Carmelo Anthony or other all-stars?
The one fishy thing that I find very interesting is that Thorn is days away from leaving the President and GM role of the Nets, and in this process he is still signing low-profile players. So could this be Rod Thorn's way of screwing the Nets over?