Free agency is here! It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15. But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.
With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in. According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill). While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key! This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head. Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink. Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!” Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie! Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:
Spencer Hawes - Well, poop. There goes one of my big sleeper calls in my Way Too Early Rankings. Don’t look at it, it’s silly now! “Then why’d you link it, JB!?” Signs with the Clippers to be a backup 4/5. I still think he does a little in just enough minutes to be draftable in 12ers. Might hit a trey and be close to a block per game. But will be annoying coupled with DeAndre Jordan’s ability to play big minutes as he proved last year…
Kyle Lowry – Has to keep his passport with him. “We’ve still got that good point guard, eh?!” That’s the Mounties reacting to his 4-year deal to stay in Toronto. I think the cold weather is what’s keeping healthy – ya know, you just walk outside and you’re automatically icing your joints.
Zach Randolph - Even less surprising was Z-Bo staying with Big Smo as key figures in Tennessee.
Kyrie Irving - Unlike LeBron, he likes Cleveland. I imagine while signing his extension he had the theme song from The Drew Carey Show playing in the background. With the emergence of so many good PGs in the top 30, he’s a guy I won’t be drafting.
Josh McRoberts - Yes! Uggo is outta Charlotte! Eh, I mean, I guess he was serviceable. But just so boring. Fits the Heat well, and could easily be a sneaky multi-cat fill in off the wire. The Heat still have the big decisions to make, but if the Big Three stay, Charlie Day would make a dynamic 4. They still have to pay LeBron’s troll toll!
Noah Vonleh - Yeah, boi! With no more Charlie at the 4, Vonleh just has to beat out Cody Zeller for big minutes. My money is on Vonleh!
Danny Granger - Doesn’t BronBron want the Heat younger?! Eh, it was a cheap two-year deal for Granger to take his knees to South Beach. He can just slip into retirement right after his last game! Get this guy a HurryCane!
Marcin Gortat - The Martian is staying with the Wiz. His tenure on that front line is as sturdy as a ten foot Pole! Career year for Gortat in 13-14, and could be a stealthy value since he didn’t really blow any stat cat up.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Gonna be a sleeper yet again! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… to reiterate how effing dominate he looked in the 13-14 season finale. I’ll be quoting this a lot, but torched the Thunder in a meaningful game for 11-19 30/6/0/2/1 with five treys – almost leading the Pistons to a big win (111-112). “Put me in coach!” Got really buried on the depth chart after the premature firing of Maurice Cheeks… those playoff were fun to watch, weren’t they Pistons management!? You can’t take too much from Summer League, but 26/4/1/6/1 then 30/12/3/2/0 so far. Ownage!
Jodie Meeks - Very frustrating signing since I love KCP. The Pistons picked him up for 3 years, and while it hurts KCP’s upside, there’s always the hope Meeks plays the 3. Of course that would mean Greg Monroe ends up somewhere else moving Josh Smith to the 4 (or Smith is traded), and Andre Drummond was recent quoted as saying Van Gundy thinks the 4 is a better fit for Smoove. Also, Monroe was reported to not wanna play with Smith. Mo’ big men, mo’ problems! Well, not Mo Cheeks’ problems anymo’!
Jameer Nelson - Waived by Orlando. The Pelicans have expressed interest for him to backup Jrue Holiday, and Nelson’s days of fantasy impactness seem to be over. Yes, I made up the word impactness. $1 REL buy? That might bring my middling squad some decent impactness. Impactness Everdeen, the girl on fire!
Elfird Payton - Clear room for big PT. Summer league debut was rough, going 2/3/5/0/0 shooting 1-4 in 18 minutes, but then a huge encore, for 12/8/9/1/0 on 5-5 shooting yesterday. Really nothing you can make out of that, but he’s a rook I’m a little scared of on draft day. I love his nickname though! Elfrid on the Shelfrid! Effing amazing. All you Slim, that’s awesome stuff. Gotta add that to the glossary.
Channing Frye - Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Four years, $32 million from the Magic. There hasn’t been this much money spent on Magic in Orlando since the Harry Potter theme park opened! Weird signing. Obviously Nikola Vucevic is cemented at C for at least 14-15, and he’s commented he wants to stay in ORL. So that means PF minutes have to be divvied out between Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, AND Frye. Maybe the former two can play some 3, and Frye some time at 5 with the backups, but I don’t like this one bit. ThrAGNOFs ruining everything!
Ben Gordon - Before Frye, Orlando preposterously dropped another $9 mil for two years of scrub city. I guess the Magic just want to have some cache with two Gordons… I dunno… I’m guessing they hope Gordon can be hot early on and they can deadline trade him for a draft pick.
Lou Williams - Traded from Hotlanta to Coldronto. The Hawks import Salmon[s] from the St. Laurence. That was a dumb joke – Hawks get John Salmons and a 2015 2nd rounder. Salmons is getting cut in a Hotlanta cap dump. No, “cap dump” does not mean drive-by shooting. The move was marginally intriguing until Lowry officially re-signed, but this could hurt Terrence Ross for a little PT.
Marcus Smart - It’s so funny how a communal perception that lacks pragmatism can change my individual perception. “I thought this was a fantasy blog, not a BS Philosophy course!” People are having Pavlovian responses to Smart hitting the NBA, and I was as pumped as anyone to hype him up. But the lack of treys and dimes is going to thwart his rookie output, at least for how much you’ll have to pay to get him with all the support I’ve seen his way. Not helping is his first two Summer League games, going 0-5 from deep for 10 Pts in his debut and 3-15 FG for 11 Pts yesterday. Playing great defense and an awesome real-life asset! But I have a feeling his ADP is going to be mucho loco.
Jordan Adams - 22/3/3/4/1 in his Summer League debut. Give the multi-cat guy minutes! Wait, didn’t we go through that with James Johnson last year…? Johnson is now going through awful legal stuff. At least that clears some roster blockage!
Chris Bosh - Getting a lot of buzz with a big offer from the Rockets. Geez, how many scorers do the Rox need?! Would really suck for Terrence Jones. And Patrick Beverley could just sit down at midcourt on offense to rest up to play D.
Thabo Sefolosha - Joining the Hawks and both OKC and Thabo are happy to get divorced. He had some acerbic parting words. Nothing to worry about for fantasy Hawks-wise, but in OKC it does open the door that Reggie Jackson could start. I like him; if he was a starting PG somewhere I’d be all over it, but I dunno how he fits as a starting 2… There’s been no commitment either way, and I bet the hype as a sleeper will outweigh my willingness to reach.
Nerlens Noel - Getting rave reviews so far in Summer League. Excellent post-hype sleeper. Which isn’t really fair given he hasn’t played yet. I could see ranking him really aggressively in the coming months.
Roy Hibbert - I love how if a story breaks about a guy getting shopped that the Pacers didn’t want leaked, people just say “they are ‘quietly’ shopping him”. It’s not quiet if it’s reported on, numbnuts! It’s also not quiet when your star C disappears in the second half and most of the postseason, blowing up a whole locker room.
Pierre Jackson - Heartbreaking. The D-League phenom that was looking at a possible role with the Sixers tore his Achilles. We’ll be rooting you to a strong recovery here at Razzball!
Shabazz Napier - 3-15 in Summer debut, with 8 TOs. Still a lot could happen, but even if he’s the starting PG, he’d have to last until the last round for me to think of him as a 12-team flyer.
Chris Kaman - Inks with the Blazers to be the primary big off the bench. Their backup 5 situation was awful last year, so makes perfect sense. If anything happens to Sideshow Bob injury-wise, Kaman would be really interesting off the wire.
Darren Collison - Signs with SAC giving a final blow to Isaiah Thomas’ sack. Well, IT2 knew he was probably out, giving Collison a very probable starting gig. With the depth of big-name PGs, Colly in the mid-rounds could be a pretty nice addition.
Shaun Livingston - Backup G for the Warriors’ elite backcourt. Yawn. But Stephen Curry has had ankle issues, so maybe Livingston can find his way into some fill-in starts.
I hope everyone is having a great summer, and we’re looking forward to a big 2014-15!