NBA Lockout: 5 Players Whose Value Is Bleeding Away
The NBA lockout is preventing teams from engaging in a high-priced summer of free agency. That's bad news for those who thrived in their contract years and expected big money this June.
While LeBron James and Chris Bosh reaped the benefits of free agency in 2010, the big names of this year's class like Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith and Nene aren't hearing any offers thanks to the lockout. These guys will probably get their money eventually as they've been contributors for a long time.
Short, Puerto Rican point guards (ring a bell?) who may have broken out in the playoffs are at risk because of the diminishing memory of their accomplishments.
And of course, old players are at risk because of their aching joints and arthritic bones. Yao Ming knows about those all too well.
With each day that passes, the value of certain free agents falls. Here are five fallers for the (hopeful) 2011-2012 season.
No player has more to lose during the NBA lockout.
Remember how J.J. Barea entered games for the Dallas Mavericks during the playoffs and completely changed the momentum and pace? Of course you do, because the memory is still just a few months old.
Imagine what happens if we lose an entire NBA season. Barea's postseason heroics and Dallas' NBA Championship put him right at the top of the free agent list. He could have easily become another overpaid player, but the lockout is forcing his electric quick dribble drive into the back of our minds.
DeShawn Stevenson is suffering the same fate as teammate J.J. Barea. Stevenson played well last season, helping the Dallas Mavericks win the 2011 championship. However, his accomplishments will soon be forgotten.
Stevenson will be relegated from "that guy who shot threes and smothered LeBron James" to "that guy with the Abraham Lincoln tattoo on his neck who thinks he's better than LeBron James."
Unlike Barea, who deserves to get paid, there are 20 Stevenson's in the league who don't have an NBA title's worth of salary under their belt.
Delonte West essentially took over as the Boston Celtics' floor general after Rajon Rondo suffered a gruesome elbow injury against the Miami Heat in the playoffs. Delonte should have started, especially after the Heat re-learned how to stop the injured Rondo.
At the end of the Celtics' run, Delonte might have been considered an indispensable player as the C's made one final run at another championship. But as time wears on the memory of his solid play fades and Delonte becomes expendable. Personally, I hope this isn't true because he's good enough to start on any team in the league.
Notably absent from this list: Glen Davis. The lockout will help us forget about his dismal season and playoffs. Hopefully the Celtics don't forget though and just let him go.
Ideally, Kenyon Martin could be a perfect bench rebounder and energy guy for a contender. Picture Martin on the Los Angeles Lakers spelling the thinner Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. It's a pretty good fit.
Unfortunately, at 33 years old Martin has limited games left on his knees. The oft-injured power forward is already a risk and if the lockout keeps players off the court for another season, he will find less attractive offers as he enters free agency a full year later than expected.
Kris Humphries averaged a double-double in 2010-2011 with 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. The New Jersey Nets tried to garner attention for the league's Most Improved Player award, but the Nets didn't improve enough for The Hump to get much attention.
With the lockout in effect, the main Kris Humphries story in circulation relates not to free agency but to his bride-to-be, Kim Kardashian.
The longer the media focuses on Humphries' relationships, the sooner they'll forget about his solid production in 2011.