Couldn't agree more. Berman is one of the top 10 (wait...let's double check ESPN's roster...), top 5 talents ESPN has. In fact, I propose a White House petition to bring back, back, back, back, back the Berman/Jackson NFL Primetime.
San Antonio Spurs re-sign SF Richard Jefferson to 4-year, $38.8 million deal and G Gary Neal to 3-year deal
The Jefferson signing confuses me more than the newfound relationship between Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough. Spurs GM R.C. Buford has a terrific track record of building a winning franchise but this move combined with the 3-year, $39 million extension he gave Manu Ginobli during the season are two moves that I just do not understand.
I thought Jefferson was insane for opting out of the final year of his deal that would have paid him $15.2 million this season. Instead, his plan of getting a long-term deal before the possible lockout next summer worked to perfection.
The criticism for Buford stems from the fact that no team could have or wanted to offer Jefferson a deal of this length or price. The only other interest he likely would have received was a mid-level type deal for a couple years. There couldn't have been a bidding war for his services since no team really had the cap space to sign him.
I assume Buford wanted to show Jefferson some loyalty and not lowball him since he fits with the Spurs M.O. of an experienced, veteran team. Still, for a guy who underachieved in San Antonio last season averaging 12.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and is clearly heading towards the downside of his career, $38.8 million over four years is a lot of money.
Neal, meanwhile, had a terrific summer league for the Spurs, leading the team in scoring and hitting 50 percent of his three-pointers. The former Townson product played professionally in Spain and Italy the past three seasons and will provide some depth at the two-guard.
Los Angeles Lakers sign SF Matt Barnes to 2-year, $3.6 million deal and C Theo Ratliff to 1-year, league minimum deal
While many teams have made a major splash in free agency, the defending champs have flown under the radar and remained at bay. Barnes comes to Hollywood at an absolute steal as he will make $1.7 million next season. The second year of his deal has a player option meaning he will likely opt out and try to cash in on a bigger payday. For now, you have to admire him for taking less money to play for a contender rather than signing a more lucrative contract with a Cavs team in limbo.
Ratliff brings some defense and experience to the front line and will back up oft-injured Andrew Bynum. Last season Ratliff proved he can still be an effective big man despite being 37 years old and should provide some needed insurance down low for the Lakers.
Miami Heat re-sign PG Carlos Arroyo to 1-year, league minimum deal
Arroyo played solid in the second half of the season for Miami, eventually taking the starting job from Mario Chalmers. While he may not wow you with his numbers, Arroyo won't need to this season. He is the perfect role-playing point guard to pair with the Big 3 as he had a terrific 4.17 assist-to-turnovers ratio last season. There is a good chance he could be the team's starting point guard when the season tips off.
Boston Celtics re-sign SG Marquis Daniels to 1-year, $2.5 million deal
In using their entire mid-level exception on Jermaine O'Neal and having no cap space, the Celtics have few options when filling out their roster. Due to torn ligaments in his thumb early last season, Daniels never found his niche off the Boston bench and will try to bounce back from a disappointing season. Daniels will likely be asked to take over the role left behind by Tony Allen who signed with the Grizzlies earlier this month.
Philadelphia 76ers sign C Tony Battie to 1-year, league minimum deal
New head coach Doug Collins will hope Battie can provide some veteran leadership both on and off the court. He will likely see limited minutes up front and provide some mentorship for Spencer Hawes who is need of a swift kick in the butt.
Golden State Warriors sign PG Jeremy Lin to 2-year deal
After going undrafted, Lin made an impact on the Mavs' summer league team which caught the attention of several general managers. In Golden State, Lin will provide some depth in a backcourt which has recently lost C.J. Watson and Anthony Morrow to sign-and-trade deals.
Oklahoma City Thunder sign G Royal Ivey to 1-year, league minimum deal
Ivey will be a third-string point guard in a crowded Oklahoma City backcourt and won't see any playing time unless Russell Westbrook or Eric Maynor gets hurt.