Blogtable: Free-Agent Reaches

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Summer Loving | Free-agent Flop | Top of the East

Give me a free-agent signing that you just don’t like.

Steve Aschburner, I’m not a fan of World Peace. World Peace is overrated. New York is not a place conducive to World Peace. OK, enough playing around … But I don’t think Metta World Peace does much for the Knicks other than generate tabloid headlines. He’ll be 34 two weeks into the regular season, his game has more football than basketball in it now and he’s 10 seasons removed from his 2004 Defensive Player award. I know the price was right, given the Lakers’ amnesty move, and the personality is appropriately outsized for that market, but I think the city and the spotlight will distract him. Best thing about the move? He can hop in a cab when the NBA’s new discipline boss Rod Thorn calls him in.

Jeff Caplan, I could list a few the Bucks made, particularly handing O.J. Mayo $24 million over three years, but I’m going with the Mavs giving Jose Calderon four years and $29 million as he turns 32 before the start of training camp. Hey, the guy can shoot the 3, there’s no doubt about that, and he’s a heady player that doesn’t make many mistakes. But he’s a poor defender and can’t get to the rim. Seems like a lot of years and cash to give the Spaniard when they are also still expected to sign Devin Harris (his initial deal with Dallas fell through after the discovery of a toe injury that requires surgery) and have a couple of intriguing rookies that need developing in Israeli Gal Mekel and first-round draft pick Shane Larkin, both of whom now seem to be buried on the depth chart. The Mavs continually talk about developing their own, but they don’t stand by that.

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans (NBAE)

Scott Howard-Cooper, Josh Smith to Detroit. As much as Smith can make an impact, especially on defense, that money for that team at this time strikes of a franchise desperate for a free-agent splash. Desperate to the point of forcing it. How much time will he get at power forward to slow the development of the two young bigs, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond? How many shots will he take from the lottery-pick rookie, Kentavious Caldwell Pope?

John Schuhmann, NBA.comMonta Ellis, of course. He should be slightly more efficient playing next to Jose Calderon and Dirk Nowitzki than he was next to Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, but he’s still going to miss a lot of bad shots and hurt the Mavs defensively. He’s a player that makes more of a negative impact than a positive one and for $8 million a year, that’s not good. But hey, the Mavs were desperate.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comThe New Orleans Pelicans signing Tyreke Evans gives me pause for financial and fit reasons. The price, four years and $44 million, was steep. But adding Evans to a shooting guard group that already includes Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers doesn’t make much sense to me, unless the Pelicans plan on deploying Evans at small forward, where Al-Farouq Aminu is a much better option. Of course, the Pelicans could be embracing the “positionless/small ball” fad that requires LeBron James (or a LeBron James-like figure … though there is only one) to run properly. Keep in mind, the Pelicans added Evans after trading for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Signing Evans to potentially come off the bench for that price just doesn’t make much sense.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blogAndrew Bynum to Cleveland. I know the deal is only partially guaranteed and there’s a team option after the first year, but a risk is still a risk. And if you’re a young team trying to make the leap into being not only a playoff team but becoming an upper echelon team, I’m not sure taking a risk right now is the most prudent thing to do. I like Bynum, as a player and a person, but if I’m Cleveland, at this point I’d need him to prove himself first.



    Boston rules has a short memory.

    We refer to Artest’s very cheap,very dirty elbow shot to Hardin’s head.
    He will fit right in with Anthony, who was also the author of a blind from behind shot to an opponent’s head during a stupid courtside brawl a few years ago.’

    Great players for kids to watch.

  2. Mr. Doc says:

    Cavs owner Mark Cuban will rue the day he let Chandler, Stevenson, and Barea walk in FA two years ago after winning the title; then failed to acquire Deron Williams last season when he visited Dallas. Supposedly, Cuban decided to attend a taping of his weekly reality show “Shark Tank” instead. Williams responded by signing Brooklyn’s contract on his iPad, on a plane ride to NY. How do you not show up for a key FA interview/signing? Now, he’s burning his pockets on leftovers .

    Say what you want about

    • Mr. Doc says:

      …Bynum’s cheap contract. Show of hands, which of you wannabe GMs out there would guarantee six mill to a dude who sat 82 games after knee surgery, has never played more than 66 games in any season, and REFUSED to wokout for any teams interested in him? 18-12 or not, you can have him. Go ahead with that.

  3. Michael says:

    Bynum was a steal. Only 6 mill Guaranteed and the second year is a team option. And they should take risks like this bc no one wants to go to Cleveland, who else are they going to spend it on THIS year?

  4. Nathan Futey says:

    Sorry Lang… But the Cavs never would get Andrew once be he was a proven player… There would be 10 team out there looking at him than cause he would be a top 3 center in everyones eyes again and would be worth alot more money than too… Also Name the last great free agent to come to Cleveland Cavs… there were only 4 players that had any part…. Old shaq, pretty old Jamison… Both had LeBron… Hot Rod Williams… And then when Jim Chones went down back in the old days of richfield in are best shot at the title until are injury making us bring in Nate Thurmond that turned off the chestristy some and toke us down a notch back in the 1976… So this was how the cavs had to go about doing this…. Plus it gave them back ups at both point and center and gave them some Def. and blocking which they needed… Plus with the new cap rule the had to use 95% of there money and Andrew was there last guy… Also it not like its a more than 1 year deal unless the cavs want it to be, and he is the one who needs to prove to not just the cavs but to the whole NBA that he is back… And last the cavs set them up nice to put them in position for next year to be in the playoffs and have a look at Andrew B. or Varejao cause they both have team options and planning on who they play and who is not hurt you might see a trade or they still have cap space with getting rid of team options to get a max contract before they deal with the start of there core meaning Kyrie and others… sometimes it’s just a win win… Nathan…

  5. Nore says:

    There were many free agent signings which i personally could not understand. First of all the Mavericks signing Jose Calderon. I mean i like Jose, hes not a bad playmaker and shoots the 3 but hes a poor defender and 7,25 Mill per year for 4 years at his state – hes 32 already is not a good signing. If Cuban really wanted to bring him in – why not – but then do it for about 2 Years and 8 – 10 Mill. Then the Mavericks again – i dont get it you losse O.J. Mayo and get Ellis for the same price per year? Ellis is a poor defender, undersized at his position as a shooting guard, is very inconsistent and has almost every game a bad shooting percentage – so well i would say Milwaukee got the better end of this “swap”. Josh Smith to Detroit is arguably – maybe a good move, if Detroit has the backdoorplan to trade Monroe away. If not then Drummond, Monroe and Smith as a frontcourt looks pretty scary – ON PAPER – but in reality Smith is not a Small Forward anymore like in the beginning of his carear and Monroe is not really a Power Forward – hes a Center just like Drummond. So I dont get the deal if Detroit don’t really plans to trade monroe away. Especially because what will their backcourt look a like? Knight and Bynum? Or Knight and Billups? Or Knight and Stuckey? I mean they are all not bad players but Billups got to old and the others i mentioned are more like good backups. To throw 11 Mill per Year at Tyreke Evans when you alredy have Eric Gordon and Rivers as your shooting guards, Holiday as your Point and Aminu as your Small Forward is a Luxury the Pelicans just cant afford when they don’t have a legit Center on their Roster after givving up Lopez. Evans is to my mind neither a Point guard (not the best playmaker) nor a small forward (even if he got some minutes at this position last year at sacramento) – so to me hes a shooting guard. So well Tyreke as a backup for gordon is a real luxury when he could have started at other teams. Well i also want to state that Michael Jordan is surelly one of the when not the best player ever – but as good as a player he was as bad he is as an owner. Throwing so much money to an getting older Jefferson whose a defence liability, undersized as Center and his knees … The next thing is Bynum. At first the reported 24 Mill for 2 years were a shok – i thought Grant you just cant do such a fault ( no offence to Bynum but we all know his injuries). After i read that “only” 6 were granted this sounds a risk which is takeable. but i also don’t think that this Cleveland team as young and upcoming as it is needs a gamble like that in this stat. Also Bynum said himself before a year that he does not know if he ever comes back on the court. And just think about when he feels like he wants to go bowling again ;-).

  6. Willie Black says:

    I think the Pelicans signing Tyreek Evans was a very good move they are reshaping their back court with the addition of Jrue Holiday they can’t count on Eric Gordon playing a full season as he is often injured, so I would figure that they would try to move him at some point and go with the 3 man guard rotation with Jrue, Treek, and Rivers all three can play at the 2 and the 1.

  7. Pedro says:

    Why do teams keep spending money on guys that don’t play at all?

  8. Sit Down says:

    To those people in support of the Bynum signing, here is the problem. BTW, I’m completely neutral about the deal, IDC if that deal is worth it or not. (What I’m about to say are all from ESPN, sports talk shows, and Yahoo! Sports) It was said that Bynum never trained for the teams that went after him, (Cavs, Mavs, etc.) no drills of what he can or cannot do, nothing. Personal doctors (of Cavs, Mavs, etc.) were used to check him out and they said that his knee WILL NEVER get better, and WILL ONLY stay the way they currently are or deteriorate. He has tried the Kobe knee treatment, and he ended up playing as much minutes as the people who wrote/contributed to this article (0 minutes). Lastly, he has immaturity problems, I don’t think I need to go into detail on that one because I’m sure everyone has heard about it. Don’t get me wrong, he is top two in the league’s centers when healthy but given what I just explained, that is the reason people doubt him, they know more than any of us here about Bynum and what happened. But on the other hand, this is a great plan to try and lure LeBron if Bynum plays well, they have Kyrie Irving at PG and Bynum at C, they just need LeBron to have a Big 3. Lastly, I want to make sure that this is not received as hating, I honestly don’t care about the Cavs, I’m a Clippers fan, I’ll care about them if the Finals ever consist of Cavs vs Clips, which will happen… never.

  9. J says:

    world peace cause knicks haven’t got a lot of mins to go round with melo shumpert smith chandler with lots of mins plus felton prigioni stoudemire martin and bargnani taking another big chunk of the mins he prob get bout 10-16 mins a game… not much for a player who can still play for a few more years and average 7 pts and defend well

  10. Flizz says:

    Seriously though.. all jokes aside… The bynum signing is nuts… The knee doesnt heal well… and he is 7 feet tall and heavy.. as a person runs or sprints.. it doubles and triples pressure on the knees… and he has 2 bad knees and coming off of multiple surgeries… Tall heavy guys with knee issues are not built for NBA play…

  11. Kimmy says:

    I think the Pistons will get ripped off for their deal w/ JSmoove. But I’m happy the Hawks got rid of him. He was too cool to be cool and never broke a real sweat. I think the Cavs took a chance w/ Bynum but it will work in their favor. I have more faith in Bynum than JSmoove. I think the Knicks got Metta for a steal and he will be humble and work really hard for them, like Derrick Fisher did for the Thunder. Shame on Denver for cheating out Robinson. I’m glad he left the Bulls but for only 2 million? What cheapskates!!! He may need to apply for food stamps and housing! I could care less about all the other trades.

  12. Dean says:

    Agree with the Mavs being crazy for signing Calderon. Meanwhile the Nuggets steal Nate Robinson for only $2 mill a year.

  13. tantale says:

    “a risk is a risk”
    “taking a risk is not a prudent thing”
    Lang Whitaker, I’m French and no English speaker but I think you’re just stating the obvious
    there’s no such thing as a prudent risk. a healthy Andrew Bynum is worth 6 or 12 M$

  14. Onaje says:

    When was Metta World Peace last in trouble? What a pointless and unnecessary attack on him from someone that is supposed to really be thinking about the game…guess being a tabloid journalist over a bball writer pays the bills…

    Anyway…I agree the Calderone and Tyreke Evans signing are just for too much money and wrong fits…Teague was over paid to me…

    The lack of a guy like Nate Robinson getting the years and money is just as egregious as any signing. All he did was play big for a team that needed him. He was a game changer on a team that desperately needed one. I just don’t get Calderone making 29mil, Teague 32mil, but Nate Robinson only 4mil?? Wow…

  15. WTF? says:

    Wth is Lang Whitaker talking about? He says he needs to prove himself first, thats the reason why the 2nd year isn’t guranteed. Its so he can “Prove” himself

  16. boston rules says:

    World peace is overrated?? Steve Aschburner quit your job now

  17. Diogo says:

    Wow, 6 M for Bynum is bad? What if Bynum really starts to play well again? Is that a bad deal? Even if he can’t be playing 100% he will still be able to teach something to the young guys, Zeller, Tristan and Bennet.
    I think u can’t say a move is bad before u see what it really does to a team. GM’s are there for a reason, they have an entire team behind them to decide these things.

    • allen says:

      agreed, u can’t get a starter for much less than $6M anyway. i don’t see how this is a risk. some writers just have to put words down in order to get paid so they just babble.

    • Sit Down says:

      What is he going to teach the young guys? Dude he played one full season ONE, the rest are known for his injuries, immaturity, and getting carried to two rings.

  18. Mike Kelly says:

    Bynum could possibly earn $24 million combined (last year and this year) and never play 1 play. PLEASE give me a job like that!

    • PutYourNameOnIt says:

      Think the contract is such that only 6 of it is guaranteed. meaning, he can’t play, they cut him, they’r only in for 6. Pretty good deal.

  19. Cactusball says:

    Lang Whitaker is really reaching with his choice. Six million dollars for the CHANCE to have Bynum is worth it, but if he actually puts in the work to get that 12 million Cleveland has made a huge stride forward. You can’t win in this league without taking risks and this is a well-calculated risk.

  20. Stephen says:

    I’m actually one of the few who likes the Bynum signing.
    First,he might even play,and in the remote instance he does and plays well,the Cavs got a bargain.
    But what seems to be lost in all of the discussion-his second yr isn’t guaranteed. Which makes his contract a HUGE plus at the trade deadline.
    The Cavs have multiple future Firsts and w/Bynum’s disappearing contract,they can aggressively target someone they want to help a Play-Off push or just for the future.

    • celtic533 says:

      THANK YOU!Finally someones not hating on Bynum.This was a great move for the cavs.The price was very reasonable and the terms of the contract give the team a lot of flexibility later depending on how Bynum plays now.If Bynum comes back strong then they just need one mre good player to make them a championship

      • Toocrunk says:

        I like the signing of Bynum as well. Irving needs a Center in the paint with Championship Pedigree and Bynum is it if he is healthy…..again….if he is HEALTHY. People forget the championships he got with the Lakers….and the guy is only 25.

    • AjPablo says:

      Yes! Someone who finally likes the sign instead of hate it! Yes, it’s still a risk, but with only 6M guaranteed and a team option, it’s a low risk for a potential high reward and could help them make an okay playoff run.

  21. steppx says:

    I think dallas wins it by desperately signing two…the two WORST signings of the summer. Calderon is slowing…is a good, not great BACK UP…..and Ellis simply makes your team worse, not better. AWFUL desperation moves. And why not give Larkin a shot when he is back, hell try Beaubois….and then try the israeli kid. I mean christ……pathetic. The only signing to compare is Bynum. I would bet the farm he never plays. His knees are much. BOTH of them, not one, but both. I ve heard from a doctor i know, who is in sports med…….he was literally willing to bet Bynum cant play more than a week..TOPS. And then josh smith. I dont know….i get it, i guess, on one level…………but its just throwing money away. Smith is starting his decline….a guy who relies on being athletic. Its all just for marketing. Smith doesnt make them better. Durmmond’s continued development will. Figuring out how to keep Monroe will, too. (bad draft with Pope….eeeesh…….why not take Schroder and have a pg…something they lack.)