The 2013-14 Hang Time Redeem Team

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — No one needs reminding of the importance of the 2013-14 NBA season for superstars like Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and others who are battling their way back from injuries that sidelined them for all or part of last season.

We watch their every move anyway, so when those stars do return, it’ll be an all-eyes-on-them proposition for certain. But for others, guys who have languished in the shadows the past couple of seasons for one reason or another, this season presents an opportunity for redemption as well.

Opportunity abounds for another group of players who comprise Hang Time’s Redeem Team this season, guys who need to leave a mark on 2013-14 in the worst way. Now is the time for these veterans to reclaim their positions in the league, to either resurrect or flat-out save their careers:

Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans

Now that he’s been cleared to crank up his conditioning and do whatever it takes to get into game shape, Gordon is potentially on the road back to the budding young star we saw during his third season in the league with the Los Angeles Clippers (when Gordon averaged 22.2 points and 4.4 assists in 56 games). The injury issues will follow him until he puts together a couple of seasons where he plays as close to 82 regular-season games as possible. But the game moves on without once promising young stars all the time. And Gordon is in the danger zone at this stage of his career. He’s on a team loaded with young talent (All-Star Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Austin Rivers) at the same position. He’s in a now-or-probably-not-here predicament, given his salary and the circumstances.

Greg Oden, Miami Heat

The fact that Oden has come this far in his comeback bid is a victory of sorts for the former No. 1 pick, whose arrival in the league had fans in Portland dreaming of contending for championships one day with a player who promised to be one of the best big men of his generation. Oden has the luxury of not having to rush back for a Heat team that has managed just fine without him the past three seasons. His is more of a personal pilgrimage from being completely out of the league to having a chance to contribute on a team aiming for a three-peat. “My main goal is to be back on the court playing,” Oden told the Sun Sentinel. “But every little thing is just a little step closer to what I want to do. In my head, I’m smiling. I’m back in the routine I’m back out here working out in front of fans.” Whatever the Heat squeeze out of Oden, who is one one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, is a bonus for all involved.

Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers

No player on this list has more to gain from a big 2013-14 season than Bynum, who just a couple of seasons ago served the other big man in the argument about who would serve as the challenger to Dwight Howard as the best in the business. Bynum’s stock fell so hard and so fast last season in Philadelphia, when he watched a disastrous season unfold from the sidelines after the Sixers scrapped a playoff team to acquire him and build around him for the future. The Cavs have other issues, obviously, mainly finding out what they have in the No. 1 pick in the June Draft, Anthony Bennett, who has shown some positive flashes in the preseason. Perhaps the greatest motivation for Bynum this seasons will come from another No. 1 pick, Kyrie Irving, who has designs on rising up the ranks this season himself.

Al Harrington, Washington Wizards

Maybe you’ve forgotten just how valuable a piece Harrington has been to playoff outfits throughout his career. He did it in Indiana, Golden State and Denver and the Wizards are hoping he can use some of the lessons he’s learned the past 15 seasons to help John  Wall, Bradley Beal and the rest of an up and coming crew move into the playoff mix. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has mentioned Harrington repeatedly as not only a player who will counted on to provide veteran leadership but also a symbolic figure, a vet with an eye toward reclaiming his career and doing it in a place (Washington) that others view as a team and franchise on the rise. With a fleet of young bigs working hard to get better and injury issues (namely Emeka Okafor), having a stretch-4 with Harrington’s versatility and history will be crucial for the Wizards early on this season.

Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks

The marriage between this former No. 1 pick (the third player of such ilk on this list) and the city of Toronto broke down early on and was beyond repair by the time the Knicks traded for him over the summer. This second honeymoon in New York won’t obviously won’t last seven years. The Knicks need Bargnani to find his niche now and be a factor on a team with playoff expectations he never experienced with the Raptors. Bargnani’s teammates recognize his skill set and Knicks coach Mike Woodson knows that he has to find ways to exploit Bargnani’s strengths and hide his weaknesses. With his shot and size, and the constantly increasing value for floor spacers in today’s game, Bargnani will surely get several more shots if things don’t work out with the Knicks. But if he’s ready to stop being a punch line, he needs to pounce on the opportunity staring him in the face right now.


  1. whitty1516 says:

    I like this article for the reason that it draws attention to players other than the leagues superstars. The 2013/14 season will see more than a few high profile players return and, as usual, a great deal of focus will be placed upon them and other emerging players. However, it is still interesting to read news on the players who have been out of action for a considerable amount of time and the impact that they might have. It will be exciting to see the influence Eric Gordon will have this season with the Pelicans, but I cant help but wonder what Greg Oden will bring to the Heat. Charles Barkely offered a valid opinion on Odens return by stating that technically he is still in the rookie period of his career. Having played the equivalent of only one season out of the five that he has been signed, suggests that this may be true. On a positive note, he appears to be fit and has mentioned in several interviews that there is no swelling in his knee. As far as the Heat are concerned, they can definitely use his presence in the paint against players like Tim Duncan and Roy Hibbert, but is he up to the challenge? What are your thoughts?

  2. mark says:

    Dwight howard is still the #1 center in the nba because he’s a true center not jump shooting center a true low post anchor anyways I feel eric gordon might need to redeem himself somewhere else he did not want to play there anyways and now n.o has playmakers and shot takers at his spot so where does he fit I figure coming off the bench would be best now for oden he has nothing to prove in the nba because the nba has already wrote him off as being a bust and injury prone so whatever he does or does not do with the heat won’t make s difference if he come of the bench for 3 to 5 mins a game and can stay healthy his minutes might go up to like 7 to 10 trying not to rush him to play a lot besides if I’m the heat I rest my bigs as much as possible and my vets like wade give them to really stay fresh they will be needed when playoffs come in a 7 game series with 7 footers bangin down low and half court pressure comes so they need a good rotation to get ring 3

  3. manie says:

    wade should be on this list.
    just like Kevin Durant said don’t tell me show me. Wade 5 good games performances in the entire 2013 playoff is not good enough for a guy who is among the top 10 earning players in the nba. Its time for wade to show us he still has it.

  4. justsayin says:

    What’s to redeem if you’ve already had a 15 year career? We’ve probably already seen Al’s best.

  5. Amro says:

    I think Heat and Spurs are the best in the league when it comes to managing players. Worst is Bobcats, Bucks and Kings. Cavs finally started to make good roster moves.

  6. J says:

    eric gordon 20 points a game
    I think greg oden should start and play 20 mins and slowly increase because if he plays well it obviously helps the heat, if he gets injured (which I don’t think he will) it does no harm to the heat.
    Andrew Bynum and kyrie irving will be a terrific team to lead the cavs into the playoffs. Bynum will dominate after he gets rid of any rust
    I think amare stoudemire should start can somebody tell me why he isn’t?!?!? and I think bargnani will play about as well as he played last year prob a little worse cause of better players on the team

    • Unkle Daddy says:

      He’s terrible on defense and he’s not getting any better on offense. He takes away from Melo’s game, who needs to hog the ball to have any game. They have three guys who are scorers only and don’t make anybody on their team better.

      • The Joker says:

        FYI, Amare averaged 14.2 ppg on a 57.7 FG% in 23.6 mpg (minutes per game). I agree that he is not a very good defender but, even in limited minutes in the few games he played, he provided the Knicks with an efficient and potent offensive weapon off the bench.

        Furthermore, the Knicks were an old team that ended up struggling with injuries this past year. While I do not believe that Melo made his teammates better in the past, he made great strides in doing so this past season as evidenced by his finishing 3rd in MVP voting, as well as being the only reason why LeBron James did not get all the 1st place votes.

        Lastly, as to your comment about his having to “hog the ball to have any game”, I have to applaud your extensive knowledge about the Knicks team and the game of basketball on a whole. I mean it’s not like Melo is a scorer whose main job is to put points on the board as the team’s go-to-scorer. I’m pretty sure that the coaches he’s had throughout his career (e.g. George Karl, Mike Woodson) always woke up and said “Hey, maybe I should not let my best player and best scorer, who may arguably be the best scorer in the league, touch the ball at all, because it’s not like his ability to go off for 25+ points every night (when healthy) is going to help us win any games.” And I’m pretty sure his teammates hate having a guy that can create offense for himself and can single-handedly win a handful of games on the back of his scoring abilities which helps make the game easier for them which ultimately, if both healthy (which the Knicks clearly were) and utilized properly, help make his teammates better.

  7. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Bynum is DONE! he’s not ready yet, he’s going to re-injure himself because he’s trying to rush back… he knows that this is his last chance at a big contract before he ends up like Greg Oden & having to take a couple years off before making a comeback on a veterans minimum contract lol. Bynum lucked up with a 2 year 24 million dollar contract with the Cavs, and he’s even luckier to have been getting paid all of last season while sitting on the bench for the Sixers.
    I think Oden has the best chance of staying healthy over Bynum..

    • chigchig says:

      scuse you? Bynum has at least been healthy for a season and been productive at some point in his career.. same cannot be said for Oden, Like i dig the comeback attempt but Oden is to a point where it is astonishing if he plays a full 4 game week.. Bynum aint far off but still well above Oden on health concerns

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        According to reports, Andrew Bynum “might not be ready to play any time soon” … I don’t know what your talking about lol

    • justsayin says:

      Ahh the vapid delusions of LeBron-nabees! ™

      Oden: 82 games, last played 09-10

      Bynum: 392 games, last played 11-12

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        ….let me break it down 4 u kid ….

        In comparing who will be more successful with their comeback attempts between Bynum & Oden, its not just about looking at the total amount of games they’ve both played in their careers.
        I said that Bynum is trying to rush back before he’s 100% healthy because one more year off and he wont be guaranteed such a large contract (2 yr 24 mil) which is only a partially guaranteed contract with Cleveland, the rest of the money is based on a variety of games-played and minutes based incentives…. Bynum is not ready to play any time soon according to all reports …

        Meanwhile Oden just had his first full court full speed practice with the Heat and has given his knees plenty of time to rest and heal properly… Oden’s role will also be very small in comparison as to what is expected from Bynum, after signing him for 12 Million a season. Oden may not play in his first game until after the all-star break and he will only truly be needed come playoff time, and for only limited minutes per game.

        try to pay attention next time 😉

  8. okc2014 says:

    For Cleveland’s sake, I really hope Bynum does not dissapoint. Kyrie and Co. need a lifeline if they are to make the playoffs this season. Good luck with that.

  9. GHOST says:

    Hopefully, Gordon can do what James Harden did. Go to a new team and completely take over. ALL-STAR Season!

    • Nba fanatic says:

      That’s what he did when he came from the clippers to the hornets in my opinion. But he just have to stay healthy

    • Bigwes95 says:

      And why is that? Sure he whines, but the man is still the best center in the league even when he was injured. Just look at his stats before and after the all-star break, his points and rebounds both went up by 2 while averaging 3 bpg.

      • Kome the Black dumba says:

        Lakers fans just mad that he didn’t perform well and cannot co-exist with Kobe and they thought adding D12 will ensure a ring.
        I thought he’s a decent center, not great but enough to compete with nowadays center.

      • His Airness says:

        He needs to redeem himself by playing and not talking. By us not having to hear anything anymore about him anymore. I’m so glad he has a long contract finally done so he can hopefully only make statements through his play. That being said, I blame the writers more than Dwight. Props for not including him here Sekou!

        Not great enough to compete with nowadays centers? A vast majority of people would disagree.

      • Steezy says:

        “Not great, BUT enough to compete with nowadays center” Read bro.