Blogtable: A steal of a free agent

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

BLOGTABLE: The Carmelo Sweepstakes | The steal of free agency | Jason Kidd: Discuss

> Who’s going to be the absolute steal of this free agency class, a guy who signs way under where he could have signed and gives way more than most expect?

Steve Aschburner, If some of these reports prove true about the Miami stars’ reconfigured deals, I’ll say Chris Bosh. The prospect of getting a discount of 30 percent or more from his pre-opt-out 2014-15 salary ($20.6 million) would make him a terrific bargain for the Heat or any other contender. He’s got a flexible offensive game — he could do more inside if Miami hadn’t nudged him to the perimeter — and his defense is an asset, too. Other candidates, for opposite reasons: Boston’s Avery Bradley (he might get paid at his current level but take a big step up in game) and Indiana’s Lance Stephenson (assumptions about Lance’s behavior with big guaranteed money could drive down his price).

Fran Blinebury, He’s not The Matrix anymore, but I could see Shawn Marion joining a contender on a sweetheart deal and making a difference.

Eric Bledsoe (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

Eric Bledsoe (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, We know it won’t be Jodie Meeks. The lucky guard hit a nice pay day with the Pistons. My money’s on Pau Gasol. The odds of my favored scenario actually taking shape probably aren’t great, but I’ve been touting it all along — Pau needs to go play for Miami. He could be dynamite for this team as long as he can stay healthy — but that’s a prerequisite for just about any player over 30. The way the market is shaping up, Miami can give Pau a decent salary, maybe $7 million, $8 million, maybe even a little more. For a chance to play with LeBron and chase titles, that’s pretty good. The Lakers might be able to hit his preferred $10 million – $12 million, but that roster has yet to take any form — let alone the form of a contender.

Scott Howard-Cooper, LeBron James is going to be the steal, the guy who won’t get paid what he can deliver. But if you’re sticking to “a guy who signs way under where he could have signed,” that’s clearly more under-the-radar: P.J. Tucker. He should have received more attention for Most Improved Player. Now he’s going to become a great value as a free agent. Defense, 3-point range — he will produce more than he will get paid, probably just without a lot of attention.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comGreivis Vasquez made a big impact in Toronto when he arrived in the Rudy Gay trade. The Raptors were at their best when he was on the floor and his willingness to pass the ball was infectious. He’s a restricted free agent, but there are other point guards ahead of him on the free-agent market, including one – Kyle Lowry – on his own team. So he could be had at below mid-level money, and he could make a similar impact wherever he goes as a second point guard that can share the floor with the starter. If the Raptors can keep both Vasquez and Patrick Patterson, and Lou Williams returns to form, that could be the league’s best bench outside of San Antonio.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comEric Bledsoe. And he’s a restricted free agent, so whatever offer he gets is going to be below the mark of what he could command on the open market as an unrestricted free agent. He was spectacular during an injury-curbed season in Phoenix, but every executive I have spoken with seems to think he’s the one impact player of this summer that few people are talking about. The Suns have the opportunity to match whatever big offer comes his way, and that means some teams will be scared off, therefore reducing the dollars he can command.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I think so much of this depends on the place these players end up. If Greg Monroe, for instance, signs with Atlanta, that allows Al Horford to shift to the power forward spot and could have a huge impact beyond just Monroe’s stats. That said, I don’t think Monroe’s going to be undervalued. If Wade and Bosh and Bron all end up in Miami, as it seems, a bunch of teams who had money saved up may have extra cash to spread around. But the guy who I think is being undervalued right now is Luol Deng. He’s not a name that will sell season tickets, but he’s the ultimate team player, a former All-Star, and a guy who goes all out every night. Some team might be able to get themselves a superstar at a bargain.


  1. Daniel says:

    Amar’e Stoudemire anyone? The guy can play when he is healthy. Big risk but his price is low and could be a steal if he stays healthy.

  2. JM says:

    I think Bledsoe can help any team he’s in. I mean, look at him. He’s athletic and has good instincts for a point guard. His offensive game has certainly improved.

  3. Mike Martin says:

    A guy who nobody is talking about is likely to be the biggest steal. Like Marco Belinelli for the Spurs last year. A great team player who just adds that extra push to a great team. So I would say a top candidate may be a CJ Miles or a Shaun Livingston. And at a higher level if Boris Diaw goes to a team like the Blazers HE may be the biggest steal. But all in all the little moves usually work over the supposed big ones. And also watch Jodie Meeks prove you wrong as hell. That dude has always been underrated. Thanks for adding to that.

  4. saturnn27 says:

    if melo will sign in mavs, thats the time he experience the ring

  5. asa says:

    Miami should get Andre Kirilenko since Shaun livingston is in warriors now. He’s a good complement for Lebron James. HE can guard what lebron guards, helping lebron to have some rest on defense in the long run.

  6. Celtic Pride says:

    I think that bledsoe will definitely be the best steal this offseason because of his mentality and willingness and desire to play although I do think the suns will be able to keep him for quite a low amount and possibly even sign melo or lebron

  7. lowell says:

    melo to philly..and pau to okc..

  8. OKC says:

    Ariza for sure. Dude had a 40 point game this year and across all fantasy yahoo leagues Ariza was the most common player on championship teams i.e. most underrated value.

  9. Michael says:

    Bosh? Are you kidding me? He’s not even good value at $14M. He averaged 14 and 5 in the Finals. Old Man Riverwalk is 8 years older and averaged 15 and 10 in less minutes. Even Boris Diaw collected more rebounds than Bosh.

    • Nick Jones says:

      If you understood basketball, you’d know Bosh is forced to the perimeter more because of Miami’s style of play and LeBron’s ball demanding style. He will obviously get less rebounds as there are far less opportunities. Bosh could easily average 20 + 10 on another team where there is more focus on him.

  10. BeepBopBoop1 says:

    Melo Rockets if not retire ringless.

  11. LeBron=Miami: Melo=Bulls, should be Rockets; Gasol=Miami (Ring?) S.A.=Title

  12. Sam Reyes says:

    Melo should sing in Dallas, Only team with exp in finals against heat and knows how to compete with spurs, they should make a lond call for deng, carter even marion that will be good and cheap. i also like Vasquez way to play he could share well the ball for melo and dirk behind devin harris who is an ok defender.


  13. Rangers says:

    Bledsoe. Will be top 5 pg in nba

    Ariza. Elite defender that can shoot from 3pt very well (over 40% last year)

  14. aaron says:

    From a Long Time Wizards/Terps fan, Send Greivis Vasquez Back to DC. Greivis behind Wall, Nice very NICE.

  15. Max says:

    Bosh best stay with the Heat, too weak handling the ball. Bledsoe? Suns. LeBron one more year with the Heat. Pau Gasol too many injuries + plus age! If Lal will take him back? Best he stays. No longer a Super Star! Not good for Heat! Lal best hang onto young Players. Parson to Lal? Mavs will be better with T. Chandler back. guess Derk plans to finish up in “Big D”.

  16. LakerNation UK says:

    Definitely Luol Deng & Darren Collison. Deng especially

  17. Hawk says:

    ATL – Bazemore and Caron Bulter

  18. Kimmy says:

    For me it’s Swaggy P. I maintain that he is silly, but that guy as a basketball player is underrated and any team who picks him up will not be disappointed.

  19. Celtics fan says:

    I say Jordan Hill, Channing Frye, Jordan Crawford, Marshon Brooks