The quality of available NBA free agents continues to dwindle as the start of the season is fast approaching. Here is a breakdown of the latest signings including Baron Davis joining the Knicks and Nick Young, Aaron Afflalo, and Rodney Stuckey all re-signing with their teams. Plus, the Sacramento Kings have to void the contract given to Chuck Hayes after he fails his physical.
New York Knicks sign PG Baron Davis to 1-year, $2.5 million contract
This was the likely destination for Davis as soon as he was amnestied by the Cavs. He does have a herniated disk that could reportedly keep him out from anywhere to 4-10 weeks. However, if Davis plays with a chip on his shoulder, he provides the Knicks with a much-needed veteran experience in the backcourt and unlike Mike Bibby, can still productive in the downside of his career. Unless of course, the overweight, selfish, “I don’t care about playing team basketball” Davis shows up, then this signing will be a disaster. I’d guess the former happens and not the latter.
Washington Wizards re-sign SG Nick Young to 1-year, $3.7 million contract
Young couldn’t find the long-term deal that he was looking for (probably because his asking price of $9 million a year was more than any team was willing to pay) so he accepted the qualifying offer on the final year of his rookie contract. It is a steal of a deal for the Wizards as Young is coming off a breakout season and is starting to develop into a dynamic scorer alongside John Wall. Young now becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Denver Nuggets re-sign SG Aaron Afflalo to 5-year, $43 million contract
Afflalo has developed into a solid role NBA player due to his ability to defend and knock down triples. I think he was one of the more underrated free agents of the 2011 class and received a contract of proper worth. Plus, Denver needed to sure up their play at shooting guard and Afflalo certainly does that.
Detroit Pistons re-sign PG Rodney Stuckey to 3-year, $25 million contract
I don’t get this deal. At. All. Sure he led a crappy Pistons team in scoring last season but more than eight-million a year for Stuckey seems awfully high especially when the team just used their first round pick on Brandon Knight and still have Will Bynum under contract for the next two seasons. Joe Dumars has now paid $70 million dollars to bring back Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and Jonas Jerebko. That is a lot for an average core of players on a pretty awful team. It’s not as bad as the Ben Gordon/Charlie Villanueva off-season, but it’s close.
Sacramento Kings void 4-year, $21.3 million contract of C Chuck Hayes
Just signed last week, Hayes failed his physical reportedly due to some sort of abnormality with his heart. We just saw the same thing happen with the Celtics Jeff Green who had his one-year $9 million contract rescinded as he must now undergo open heart surgery. I liked this signing for the Kings since Hayes would have provided them with a junkyard dog type player who was more interested in rebounding and doing the little things, rather than jacking up shots; something Sacramento needs. Hopefully, his condition is not as serious as Green’s.
Indiana Pacers acquire PF Louis Amundson from Golden State Warriors for SG Brandon Rush
Rush had sort of been lost in the shuffle with the Pacers but was still a steady contributor for them. I think they gave up a lot to simply acquire Amundson who is pretty much a less talented Tyler Hansbrough. Plus, it is not like Indiana has a ton of depth on the wing. Rush now ends up with the Warriors and will likely compete for minutes off the bench with rookie Klay Thompson behind Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright on the wing. Amundson became expendable when Golden State overpaid Kwame Brown to a one-year $7 million deal.
Charlotte Bobcats acquire C Byron Mullens from Oklahoma City Thunder for 2013 second round pick
The Bobcats are so desperate for size that they were willing to acquire a seven-footer who played in just 26 games during his two-years in the NBA in hopes that he can at least bring some sort of inside presence to their roster. Granted all it cost them was a second round pick and Mullens is only 22 years old so why not, right? The Thunder had to make some sort of move since they had 16 players under contract with their recent acquisition of Lazar Hayward. (By the way, I was very adamant about Mullens making a huge mistake by leaving Ohio State after his freshman season. If this were Twitter, I’d add a #Iwasright.)
Los Angeles Lakers sign PF Troy Murphy to one year deal worth league minimum
Murphy suffered through injury last season which then resulted in a massive drop-off in his production. However, the Lakers are starved for depth inside and take a chance that the lefty can revive his career and give them some quality minutes. My only issue with this signing is that the Lakers just signed a young, better Murphy clone in Josh McRoberts.
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.
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