Well, after this long drawn out labor agreement deal, the NBA is now back in business and we'll start taking a look at the deals that are going down across the league. Surprisingly, not too many head scratchers so far. Let's take a look:
Shane Battier (Heat) - $9M for 3 years - I think this is a great deal for any Heat fan. Battier can play the 3, hit knock down 3's from the corners and he can play some defense. He's not as young as he once was, but I can see him, LBJ, and Wade locking down 3/5s of your squad during crunch time. For $3M a year, you get a bargain.
Mike Dunleavy (Bucks) - $7.5M for 2 years - The Bucks need scoring and Dunleavy can do that at times. He's a 6'10" shooting guard/small forward that has limitations on the defensive side of the ball, but he's one of those glue guys. Hit a high percentage of his 3's last year and should be able to space the floor for Jennings and Bogut. Again, a little north of $3M ain't gonna hurt nobody.
Eddy Curry (Heat) - League Min for 1 year - If Riley can get this kid motivated, that would be a feat. Curry was a young star in the league but then his penchant for late night Burger King drive thrus got in the way. He ballooned and then it seemed the injury bug just attached itself to him. He has a big body and is a decent rebounder (things the Heat need) so he'll be given opportunities to make good in Miami. If it doesn't work here, he's done. I can honestly say that I think this will actually work out well because he won't have to be the star, like he was in Chicago, and he can work in obscurity.
Shannon Brown (Suns) - $3.5M for 1 year - This is the one guy I feel bad for. It's like he had a breakout in the playoffs a few years back and since then, nothing. Almost like his time was taken away from him. He's young, athletic, and has a decent jump shot, but really wasn't a fit in the triangle offense. Thought he'd be a good cheap fit for the Bulls, or at least an option, but now he gets to play along side Steve Nash (for as long he's a Sun). I guess we'll watch Brown put up some gaudy numbers and he'll get some looks next season in free agency.
Caron Butler (Clippers) - $24M for 3 years - Almost one that makes you hold your breath, but actually not a bad deal IF Butler comes back to his pre-injury form. Toughjuice is a scorer who loves the ball on the wing and he can shoot or put the ball on the floor. Butler is also adept at (Note to LeBron) posting up and using his size to get buckets. He provides scoring punch and should enjoy the LA limelight. If the Clips snag Paul (as rumored), this looks like an even better deal.
Greg Oden (Blazers) - $8.9M for 1 year - This is the qualifying offer from the Blazers to keep their rights on Oden. He's had injuries (as everyone knows), but I think all of us are wishing to see him healthy and playing at least 1 full season to see how good he can be. I don't think we expect him to put up 20 a night, but we just don't want to see the Sportscenter splash with the next Greg Oden injury.
Tayshaun Prince (Pistons) - $27M for 4 years - This is a head scratcher because I'm still wondering why Prince would go back to Detroit. I guess he likes it there and feels as though no one else would pay him that type of money? How many games did they win last year? And they lose Rip (buyout)? Does that make this team better anytime soon?
Jonas Jerebko (Pistons) - $16M for 4 years - Maybe this is the reason Prince resigned? I mean really, Jerebko may help on the boards and may provide a bucket or two, but what about this team makes anyone want to stay there? Is Dumars asleep at the wheel?
Tyson Chandler (Knicks) - $58M for 4 years - Well, talk about a bonus for winning a championship. I guess Chandler thought it'd come from Cuban but the Knicks ended up making this deal come to fruition. I like this deal because the Knicks can now have a frontline with Amare, Melo, and Chandler. Neither of the first two are good at defense, but it always helps to have a defensive force behind you to make up for any lapses. Who would have thunk that the two players the Bulls acquired (Chandler and Curry), 1 would have a ring and the other would be barely hanging on?
David West (Pacers) - $20M for 2 years - Great deal for the Pacers. West's game hasn't been about his athletic ability so hopefully his return from a terrible knee injury doesn't impact his game as much. The Pacers get a guy that rebounds well, can put up 20 a game and he's a 'thug' from Xavier (hopefully you get the joke). All in all, West is a good guy that can play and the only issue is no one knows just how he's going to rebound from his injury. If he comes out like the old David West, this may be the steal of the FA period.
JJ Barea (Timberwolves) - $19M for 4 years - Someone in Minny signed a point guard? Where have we heard that before? JJ Barea takes his hurt feelings and his championship ring to the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn, and Luke Ridnour are the other PGs on this team. I think they might try to make this 'small ball' thing take on a new definition.
Mike Bibby (Knicks) - ????? - Mike Bibby leaves the beaches of Miami for the city life in New Yawk City. Bibby has always been a heady player with the knack for hitting timely 3 pointers, however he wasn't hitting those 3 pointers for Miami. In this uptempo system with a legit big man, I expect that Bibby finds his rhythm again and makes for a decent backup PG for this team.
Rasual Butler (Raptors) - ????? - Butler barely played for the Bulls last year after they picked him up and I'm not sure how he'll fare with the Raptors. He might find the stroke that made him deadly a few years ago or he might be out of the game soon. We'll all get to see what happens.
Brian Cardinal (Mavericks) - Veterans min - You always need guys that can play defense, dole out some tough fouls and be a glue guy. Mavs did just that.
Daequan Cook (Thunder) - $6.5M for 2 years - Cook has been a 3 point shooter for the Thunder and they wanted to keep him in that role. He can get hot from time to time, but his job is to hit those shots when Durant is team teamed. Not too bad for the price.
Lamar Odom traded to Dallas Mavericks for pieces - Odom cried when he was initially traded for CP3, but then he was just traded outright to the Mavericks. Was this punishment for not showing up at practice after the CP3 deal fell through? Did Khloe want to move to the big state of Texas so that they can start a new reality show there? Either way, Odom is out of LaLa Land and I'm not sure if his fragile persona will be able to take it, but he should be able to go to Dallas and pick up that $9M he'll make this year.
Glen Davis and Von Wafer traded to Orlando for Brandon Bass - I'm not totally upset with this deal for a few reasons. Big Baby wanted more from the Celtics (money and clout) and he just wasn't going to get it. He has had his moments for the Celtics as he has provided a spark for that aging team but I doubt that the Celtics playbook had several plays for Big Baby. Brandon Bass is probably a slight upgrade over Big Baby at least in one area, rebounding. Bass is a beast in the box as far as hustling and banging. But at the end of the day, these guys are very similar to each other with the difference being age and a few pounds (maybe more than a few pounds). Von Wafer was the throw in for this deal and he'll be missed as the Celtics are already light with back court bodies. Wafer can be a spark plug off the bench and he is more scorer than anything else.
Brandon Roy - I am still tearing up about this. Roy was by far one of the best 2 guards in the league and I still wish the Bulls (I'm pretty sure they do too) would have drafted Roy instead of that buster Tyrus Thomas. Nevertheless, Roy, it's been fun while it lasted. Good luck on the next part of your journey.
More to come,.......