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2011 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis – Dec. 16
Memphis Grizzlies re-sign C Marc Gasol to 4-year, $58 million contract
The Grizzlies said they were going to do whatever it took to keep Gasol in Memphis, and they did just that after the Rockets offered the Spaniard a similar contract. Memphis has ponied up the cash to re-sign Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley in the recent future, and keep one of the up-and-coming big men in the league. Is this nucleus enough to get the Grizzlies to the promise land though?
Denver Nuggets re-sign C Nene to 5-year, $67 million contract
The market for Nene began to shrink as not many teams had the cap space to make a serious run at him, so the Brazilian ends up returning to Denver. The Nuggets had plenty of room to offer Nene a pricey extension and needed to do so as their roster lacks a lot of star power.
Cleveland Cavaliers cut PG Baron Davis
Davis was released via the amnesty clause which gives the Cavs both salary cap relief as well as luxury tax relief. This move should come as no surprise as Davis was slated to make almost $14 million this season. Davis is expected to miss at least two months with a back injury, and was going to be replaced by first-overall pick Kyrie Irving as the team’s point guard. Davis could still be attractive on the open market to a playoff-caliber team like the Knicks or Heat looking to add a veteran floor leader.
Chicago Bulls sign SG Richard Hamilton to 3-year, $15 million contract
This deal was originally rumored near the end of last season when the Pistons were considering buying out their disgruntled shooting guard, so it should come as no surprise. Rip adds a needed scorer in the backcourt alongside Derrick Rose and provides the Bulls with a veteran, experienced winner. He averaged 14 points in just 27 minutes a game last season so he certainly has some punch left in his game and improves Chicago’s starting five.
Portland Blazers sign SG Jamal Crawford to 2-year, $10 million contract
Crawford found his options in free agency dwindling as teams were trying to low ball him due to a lack of cap space but provides the Blazers with a scorer who can replace the retired Brandon Roy. Crawford has been one of the top sixth men in the league the past couple of seasons in Atlanta and will likely assume that same role in Rip City playing behind Wesley Matthews.
New Orleans Hornets sign PF Carl Landry to 1-year, $9 million contract
Nine million is a ton of money to spend on 66 games of Carl Landry, but the Hornets were desperately in need of experience and a power forward since David West left via free agency. Plus, they had the cap flexibility to throw such a massive offer Landry’s way.
Los Angeles Lakers sign PF Josh McRoberts to 2-year, $6.2 million contact
McRoberts provides the Lakers with some needed frontcourt depth especially since the team gave away Lamar Odom. The lefty will give the Lake Show a big guy who can stretch defenses with his perimeter shooting; something the team lacked before his arrival.
New Jersey Nets sign SF Shawne Williams to 2-year, $6 million contract
Despite the Knicks’ desire to keep Williams, he decided to hop across the border and sign with the Nets for a rather affordable rate. Williams revived his career last season and could end up starting in New Jersey if the team uses its amnesty clause on Travis Outlaw as it is expected to do.
Utah Jazz sign SF Josh Howard to one-year contract
Howard has battled injury the past two seasons and is not the player that he once was. It is worth the risk for Utah to bring him in for a year and see if he regain some of his old form, and also officially marks the end of the AK47 era in Salt Lake City. Howard won’t need to play a major role for the Jazz though, as they already have Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles at the three, as well as first-round pick Alec Burks, who can also play some small forward.
Dallas Mavericks trade SG Rudy Fernandez and SG Corey Brewer Denver Nuggets for 2nd round pick
This is a steal of a deal for Denver as they add a pair of young, role players who give the team some needed depth on the wing. The Mavs made this move to save some cap space and had the flexibility to do so since signing veterans Vince Carter and Delonte West.
Oklahoma City Thunder acquire SF Lazar Hayward from Minnesota Timberwolves for SG Robert Vaden and two 2nd round picks
Since being drafted by Minnesota, I have been on a “FREE LAZAR” campaign for my former Marquette Golden Eagle, and I finally get my wish. Hayward didn’t factor into the Timberwolves’ plans since they have Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams capable of playing the three. Hayward has a chance to be the backup small forward behind Kevin Durant, and will certainly push him every day in practice due to his toughness.
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2011 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 12/22
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