NBA Free Agent Signings: Gasol, Nene, Crawford, Hamilton

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marc gasol grizzlies

The 2011 NBA Free Agency frenzy has continued the past couple of days as big men Marc Gasol and Nene re-signed with their respective teams.  Meanwhile, a pair of shooting guards are changing addresses as Jamal Crawford signs with the Blazers and Richard Hamilton is headed to the Chicago Bulls.  Here is my breakdown of those moves and a few others:

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign C Marc Gasol to 4-year, $58 million contract
The Griz 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.

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.

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, 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.

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 dollars 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 should end up starting in New Jersey since the team used their amnesty clause on Travis Outlaw.

Dallas Mavericks trade SG Rudy Fernandez and SG Corey Brewer to Denver Nuggets for second 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.

lazar hayward thunder

Timberwolves trade SF Lazar Hayward to Thunder for SG Robert Vaden and two second 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 T-Wolves plans since they have Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams capable of playing the three.  Hayward has a chance to be the back-up small forward behind Kevin Durant and will certainly push him everyday in practice due to his toughness.  Vaden was immediately released by Minnesota.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign C Marc Gasol to 4-year, $58 million contract
The Griz 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.

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.

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, 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.

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 dollars 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 their amnesty clause on Travis Outlaw as they are expected to do.

Dallas Mavericks trade SG Rudy Fernandez and SG Corey Brewer to Denver Nuggets for second 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.

Timberwolves trade SF Lazar Hayward to Thunder for SG Robert Vaden and two second 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 T-Wolves plans since they have Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams capable of playing the three.  Hayward has a chance to be the back-up small forward behind Kevin Durant and will certainly push him everyday in practice due to his toughness.

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