As you know James Brocato of Shut Up and Jam has been working on Free Agency to help figure out the best players to go after to improve your team. He looked over Point Guards (or lack thereof) and Wings (Shooting Guards and Small Forwards). Today he’ll review the available bigs in free agency with a little help from myself and the talented Heat bloggers Mosi Platt and Alfredo.
The Talent Pool
|Player||Status||Age||Avg. WP48*||Avg. WP*||Value*||2011 Salary|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||Restricted||25||0.094||4.0||$6.41||$0.88|
Table 1: 2011 PF and C Free Agent Pool. Salary and Value in Millions. Average WP determined via weighting the last three years with the most weight put to the 2010-2011 season. Value is Wins Produced times $1.58 million per win.
To help out, here are the teams who the restricted free agents are tied to:
|Marc Gasol||Restricted||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Jonas Jerebko||Restricted||Detroit Pistons|
|DeAndre Jordan||Restricted||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||Restricted||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Greg Oden||Restricted||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Thaddeus Young||Restricted||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Spencer Hawes||Restricted||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Hamed Haddadi||Restricted||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Jeff Green||Restricted||Boston Celtics|
|Hamady Ndiaye||Restricted||Washington Wizards|
|Darnell Jackson||Restricted||Sacramento Kings|
|Dante Cunningham||Restricted||Charlotte Bobcats|
|Jason Smith||Restricted||New Orleans Hornets|
Table 2: PF-C Restricted Agent Teams
Rather than simply — and objectively — listing in order the Free Agents each team should go after, we decided it would be more fun if a few of us just gave a quick take on the three free agents we’d pursue and three we’d avoid like the plague. Here’s our takes.
Who I’d pursue
- Nene. He’s probably the most efficient scorer in the league and he’s effective in other areas as well. An offensive post presence like Nene isn’t easy to find. He’ll probably go for a pretty high price, but he’s worth it.
- Samuel Dalembert. He doesn’t seem to get a lot of love from the media (probably because he doesn’t score a lot of points), but he’s been very productive his entire career and he’s a great defensive presence. A team will probably be able to sign him for far less than what he is worth, so in terms of bang for your buck, you can’t do much better.
- Kris Humphries. How many people heard of him before this? Well, here at the Wages of Wins network, all of us. That’s because he’s been surprisingly productive. Another great value-for-your-dollar player, he could be a great asset to any team, especially one lacking rebounders.
Who I’d Avoid
- Spencer Hawes. I had the pleasure of watching his team crumble numerous times in college to my beloved Cougs, so I knew early that he wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. Nothing has changed since he joined the NBA: Hawes is still very unproductive.
- Glen Davis. Davis is easily the most overrated player in free agency this season, and someone is going to grossly overpay for him. But let me let you in on a secret: he’s going to hurt your team if you get him. As in he will actually cost your team wins. Avoid him!
- Yi Jianlian. I read somewhere the other day that Yi has all the tools to be as good as Andrea Bargnani. I laughed out loud. But then I realized it made sense. Yi has all the tools to be the least productive player in the league.
Mosi and Alfredo’s Targets
Mosi of the Miami Heat Index and Alfredo from Heat Freak discussed this topic a while back on the Miami Heat podcast. Here are some notes from their podcasts on big men to pursue, which is a subject many Heat fans are interested in.
Who They’d pursue
- Samuel Dalembert. Both Mosi and Alfredo are hoping to see him in a Heat uniform next season. To quote our experts “I think you need a seven footer to grab eight rebounds a game…Philly should never have gotten rid of him.”
- DeAndre Jordan. He is the most athletic seven-footer Alfredo’s ever seen. Both Mosi and Alfredo think it will take too much to pry him from the Clippers due to his restricted status but he’s another name they’d love in Miami
- Kris Humphries. One sentence from the Miami Heat podcast summed this up – “That guy can rebound!” Humphries increased pay day is a concern but Riley has been a master at free agency before.
Who They’d Avoid
- Kwame Brown. “To me Kwame Brown is a stupid basketball player” – Mosi. He has athletic talent and his killer game against the Heat last season turned some heads. That said Mosi and Alfredo say pass.
- Chris Wilcox. “I don’t think he can play anymore” – Alfredo. He had a good last season but Alfredo and Mosi question if he can still play. Alfredo says the same question would be much easier in 2008. Not the big to try and revive your franchise though.
- Kenyon Martin. On the podcast Mosi and Alfredo both said they would actually sign him but only as a warm body for the veteran minimum. His age and injury are a concern. Not only that his choice in tattoos set off Mosi’s alarms (For fun listen to the podcast for the most in depth analysis of player tattoos.)
Who I’d Pursue:
- Nene. He’s been the best player on the Nuggets the last three seasons, enough for me to not be worried about his injuries. A top offensive center is not an easy thing to get and many teams know that. I doubt he’ll ever hit superstar status, but as a great center any team will be lucky to get him.
- Marc Gasol. The last few seasons he’s been an above average center. In the second half of last season he saw a big boost in his production and I think his ceiling is high. In the worst case a team might slightly overpay for a talented seven foot center (which is a rare thing) and in the best case a team may end up with another championship caliber big man. I think Memphis knows that and will likely match any offer.
- Tyson Chandler. Man is he back. When paired with a talented point guard he’s been on contenders. A defensive presence in the middle is super rare in the NBA these days and it’s no wonder adding one to Dallas last year got them over the hump. Getting him will require outspending Cuban, which I doubt will happen, but I can dream right?
Who I’d Avoid
- Jeff Green. In the best case he’s a bad small forward and in the worst he’s a terrible power forward. Leaving Oklahoma actually improved the team! He’ll be a test to prove if the Boston front office actually knows what they are doing. His scoring will no doubt fool some team in to overpaying him and I will be waiting to mock them.
- David West. At his best he’s been slightly above average. He’s now over thirty and there really is no hope of that changing. Somehow he’s been flagged as a top free agent and that will only make his already inflated value worse. He’s benefiting from Chris Paul being underrated and some team will pay the price.
- Glen Davis. I feel bad to point at two players on the Celtics, but man, let’s talk terrible. In seasons he played less than 1,000 minutes the Celtics made the finals. In seasons he had to take on more responsibility they didn’t. He crossed the ten point per game threshold last season and unfortunately that means he’ll cost some team a fair bit of change while giving them very little in return.
This year’s free agent crop for bigs is actually quite good. There are a few landmines (David West, Glen Davis and Jeff Green) but most of the names out there are actually worth the money. The only downside is that many of the teams that have these players will likely fight to keep them (at least that’s what Dre hopes when it comes to Denver) but that said it’s easy to predict that more than a few fans will be happy at the end of free agency.
-James with Alfredo, Dre and Mosi