Can Leftovers Make A Free-Agent Dish?

HANG TIME, Texas — OK, let’s say it’s the middle of August, we just won the entire Powerball lottery and, in a grand farewell gesture, outgoing commissioner David Stern says he’ll let us buy a new NBA franchise.

We can play our home games on Maui or Mars. We can have our team wear those tight-fitting jerseys with sleeves, just like the Golden State Warriors or even sprint up and down the court wearing Capri pants, if we choose.

There’s just one catch. The only players available to fill out our roster are those still dangling on the list of unsigned free agents. Now that Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, Andrei Kirilenko and even Greg Oden are long gone, is it too late to put together a respectable team? Or even one that could outperform the infamous 9-73 record of the 1972-73 Sixers or the 7-59 mark of the 2011-12 Bobcats?

So for all those last-minute bargain hunters who don’t start their holiday shopping until Christmas Eve, here are the Leftovers:

Antawn Jamison, Forward — The 37-year-old veteran is coming out of the lost season with the Lakers where he played 21.5 minutes per game and showed that he can still shoot enough from the wings to score in double figures. After 15 years in the league, he’s still a reliable enough producer and ranks higher in efficiency rating than even two regular members of the starting lineup for the two-time champion Heat (Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier). The Leftovers will have to put points on the board somehow.

Lamar Odom, Forward — You’ve got to have faith that Odom hasn’t simply lost the spark and lost interest after his past two dismal years. Following the horrible flameout in Dallas, last season was supposed to be a shot at redemption as a key role player and solid influence in the locker room with the Clippers. Odom was particularly ineffective in the first-round playoff loss to Memphis. The birth certificate says he won’t turn 34 until the start of next season, but the odometer has racked up more miles than an old pickup truck. The Leftovers will keep believing that you don’t simply forget how to pass, rebound and do the little things and give Odom another chance.

Cole Aldrich, Center — After being taken with the 11th pick by New Orleans in 2010 and traded to OKC on draft night, Aldrich has never been able to establish himself as anything more than a space eater at the end of the bench for the Thunder, Rockets and most recently the Kings. Aldrich finally got onto the floor for 15 games in Sacramento at the end of last season and pulled down a respectable four rebounds in 11 minutes of playing time per night. He’s the epitome of the old adage: “You can’t teach height.” That’s why he’ll keep getting chances and the Leftovers are hoping that this is the one that will pay off.

Mikael Pietrus, Guard — We’re going to plug the swingman into our lineup in the backcourt and hope to ride that streaky outside shooting and penchant for playing in-your-face defense for production at both ends of the court. He played just 19 games last season with the Raptors before tendinitis in his knee forced him to the sidelines for good in the middle of March. But he’s too young (31), too athletic, too active, too disruptive on defense and potentially still too good not to have him on our side.

Sebastian Telfair, Guard — In a league where it has become increasingly critical to have an elite level point guard running the offense, you don’t simply find them in the discount bin. There’s a reason why the Clippers have gone from pretender to contender and his name is Chris Paul. From a free agent list that ranges from 35-year-old Jamaal Tinsley to 25-year-old Rodrigue Beaubois, we’ll split the difference and take the 28-year-old Telfair. He’s never lived up to the advance hype because though he’s quick and small, he can’t finish at the rim and has only recently become dependable as a mid-range shooter. His size hurts on defense, but he puts out the effort and when you’re a Leftover that’s good enough.


  1. theblatche says:

    The Knicks would be smart to give Cole Aldrich a chance at backup Center and let him get some actual minutes/.. He deserves a chance after being drafted 11th overall 4 years ago and never getting any real minutes. He proved he can play, he can rebound and block shots. This Hamed Haddadi guy the Knicks worked out would just be a waste of space, hes worthless. But Cole Aldrich or even Drew Gooden could actually contribute some to the team because they’re actually good. Their the best big men still avilable

  2. Patricio says:


  3. 414kings says:

    Odom to Lakers def he fits right in to what they are doing and playing along side kobe he would have no choice but get back to the old lamar.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mikael Pitreus would be a good pick up for pretty much any team. His defense is his strong point, but he is an okay shooter and would be a good help to any championship contender if he can stay healthy.

  5. Chris says:

    Fran Blinebury….thats got to be a one of a kind name, theres no way there are 2 Fran Blineburys out there.

  6. alex says:

    What about Alexandar Pavlovic,he is a good defender solid shooter he would be good aset for the solid club.

  7. Joey says:

    Alex: Nets have Shaun Livingston who is better than Telfair. Odom needs to come back to L.A. Jamison is good anywhere and who cares about the rest.

  8. ace8557 says:

    Odom and Jamison to the heat fo sho 3rd ring for the Mia Heat baby

  9. episode36 says:

    Why does no one know that Lamar Odom signed a deal with the Miami Heat? He is no longer a free agent as of a week or two ago! Very big oversight in this article and with anyone commenting on Odom.

  10. Jereac54 says:

    Lakers could benefit from both Pietrus and Odom’s skills.

  11. Celtics Fan says:

    Odom to the Celtics cause we need centers

  12. caloyski says:

    Nobody would dare invest i n Odom– he was affected very much by his celebity wife and in laws–distractions

  13. Mrr. Silas says:

    If this team is on the East, they’ll win at least 15 games

  14. TTKIN says:

    In other words…no, this team will not outperform the Sixers and Bobcats haha. This team would for sure be worse.

  15. joe cagliostro says:

    Odom@lakers 4 life….

  16. Alex says:

    Jamison –
    Team where he would fit best would be the Heat. Adding Oden will help a great deal IF he can ever get on the floor, but besides that they didn’t make any major changes, and Wade’s health is in question. If they added Jamison it gives them size and shooting ability.
    Odom –
    Now he would best fit with the Lakers, they need each other. LA needs everything they can get and Odom would be most comfortable and would most likely be near his old self if he was running with the team where he saw the most success.
    Aldrich –
    For him, the best destination for him would the Spurs simply because he would be under the best coach in the league and would be able to learn from the greatest PF in NBA history. It seems no matter who Popovich puts on the court, they all contribute and play well together. It would be best for Aldrich’s career if he could somehow wind up there.
    Pietrus –
    It would be great to see this guy land on OKC or Houston. The Thunder are gonna need all the help they can get a the SG position right now the best they have there is Jeremy Lamb, he is talented but not proven in the NBA. As far as Houston it would add yet another shooter to surround Howard and Harden(Pietrus has previously played with Howard) and he is aggresive on defense and defense is always good.
    Telfair –
    The Brooklyn Nets would ideal for him and the team. They don’t really have that pure PG back up for Deron Williams, they have Tyshawn Taylor but he hasn’t proven a lot and Telfair is a veteran.

  17. Mark says:

    jamison to houston
    odom back to the lakers

  18. m says:

    Ronnie Brewer should be in the line up. He is underrated.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Isn”t he still under contract with the Spurs? I thought he signed a two year deal with them last year.

  20. Suns says:

    We will take Jamison!

  21. JuJu says:

    Why not Houston, Lamar easily can slide into the starting lineup.

  22. Kiko says:

    That was the most depressing thing I have read tonight.

  23. J says:

    what a great article!!! great as always Fran!

  24. RNY says:

    lamar odom is a perfect pick for miami. i think they should sign him.

  25. Hot Curry says:

    I don’t know if referring ton Odom’s ‘Odometer’ was a deliberate pun…but well played, sir.

  26. banan says:

    Tracy McGrady???

  27. I’m still surprised why Odom’s skills has dimished that quickly

    • DeBrosh says:

      motivation? people are not machines ! Odom has always been emotional, that’s why he doesn’t have a HOF career. he certainly has HOF skills !

  28. Desmodeus says:

    Hello worst record in NBA history 🙂

  29. Matthew says:

    Odom and Jamison back to the Lakers!
    Why not, Jamison had a solid Season for the Lakers, and Odom can continue where he has stopped with the Lakers.
    I know this Szenario is very unlikely because the Lakers have aquired a lot Players and probably don’t have enough space.
    and enough Players at the PF spot.

    It would just be that what the fans want to see.

  30. SAM REYES says:

    Please pietrus to Dallas, he is great at def really good IMO.

  31. matthew mathis says: