NBA Roundtable

Current Free Agents List

In Free Agency on March 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm

The List

Big Men: Adonal Foyle, Austin Croshere, Antoine Walker, Paul Davis, Robert Horry, Courtney Sims, Michael Doleac, David Harrison, Steven Hill, Jelani McCoy, Rod Benson, Malik Bandiane,  Rafael Araujo, Lance Allred, Michael Olowokandi, David Padgett, Dwayne Jones, Jackie Butler, CJ Giles, Chris Taft, Wang Zhi Zhi

Wings: Bonzi Wells, Ira Newble, Kirk Snyder, Luke Jackson, Ruben Patterson, Michael Dickerson, Ronald Dupree, Partick Ewing Jr, DeMarr Johnson, Mikael Gelabale, Linton Johnson, Derek Anderson, David Noel, Eddie Basden, Doug Christie, Byron Russell, Eric Piatowski, Richie Frahm, Dwyane Mitchell, Marcus Williams, Demetrius Nichols, Derrick Bryars, Brandon Wallace, Rodney White

Guards: Sam Cassell, Shaun Livingston, Steve Francis, Quincy Douby, Salim Stoudamire, Mateen Cleaves, Will Conroy, Jeff McInnis, Keith McLeod, Eddie Gill, Blake Ahearn, Darrick Martin

Two Best Players

The best player by far amongst that group appears to be Bonzi Wells. A genuine rotation caliber wing, and a potential difference maker for a playoff squad.

The second best player would be Adonal Foyle who is a superb third string center and a usable primary backup center. Someone should, and likely will, pick up Foyle. He’s good insurance for a playoff team.

The Rest?

Mostly non-NBA talents, who even if they were signed, would be highly unlikely crack a playoff team’s rotation this season. A few 14/15th men there, like Austin Croshere and Kirk Snyder, who could provide some insurance for teams.

  1. Dave, from what I believe, Bonzi is currently based in China, right?

    I’m actually curious to know what the hell happened to Olowokandi? He was a number one draft pick that became a big bust.

  2. Hey John,

    No, actually emm … in one of Bonzi’s worse moments, he got himself cut from the team he was playing on in China. Wells was leading the league in scoring at the time and widely considered the best player to ever play in their league … but oddly enough his team’s record dropped, and continued to drop, after he joined the team. Reports say that his self-centered play hurt the team, so after Bonzi picked up an injury the team decided to cut ties with him.

    So Bonzi is completely available. He would have likely had an opt out NBA clause in his contract anyway, so it wouldn’t have mattered either way. I think he was only being paid $40k by that Chinese team, so I’m not sure why he bothered playing there.

    Olowokandi — I have no idea what he’s up to these days. His last stop was in Boston, and he managed to hang on there as a backup center on a minimum contract for awhile, but then KG arrived and there was some bad blood between them so the Celtics signed Scott Pollard instead.

    In his final years, the Kandi-man continued his consistently poor performances while mixing in with his usual irregular moment of promise/brilliance. He never changed, same type of performances throughout his career, never managed to put it all together and play consistently good basketball.

    Olowokandi did have two good seasons (averaged close to a double double) near the end of his Clippers career, but he was never able to reproduce those performances and his career went downhill from there.

    Olowokandi never retired, and did try to return to the NBA last season, so he may still be attempting a comeback — but I don’t know.

  3. Didn’t the roster freeze occur on March 1st, making all signings from herein unavailable for the playoffs?

  4. Hey EForAverage,

    No, you have the rule slightly wrong. This rule is actually reported incorrectly by major media, NBA writers, with shocking regularity, and it happens year after year. I find it amazing that so many veteran NBA writers who go through this every 12 months do not take the time to actually find out what the rule is, and then report the news. Instead we end up with mixed reports, and far too many incorrect reports.

    Explanation of the rule

    The rule states that a player must be waived prior to the 1st of March, but not signed. As long as the player is without a club past March 1st he is eligible to play in the playoffs that season. So technically a player can be signed on the 10th of April, so long as he was waived by March 1st. For example, Brent Barry was waived by the Sonics last year but he did not sign with the San Antonio Spurs until the 24th of March, and he played in the playoffs for San Antonio.

    Also, the player does not need to clear the waiver wire by March 1st, just to be placed on it. It takes 48 hours to clear waivers, so players waived on the 1st become available on the 3rd, and they too are eligible for the playoffs. For example, Sam Cassell last year when he signed with Boston and Drew Gooden/Joe Smith this year.

    So the rule states a player has to be waived by March 1st. The rule has no deadline for the signing. As long as they were waived on time they are eligible for the playoffs.

  5. i’m shocked bonzi wasn’t picked up earlier by someone, the guy still has game in him. must be a combo of contract demands and the attitude. sad really. i usually don’t feel bad for people who turn down multi-year multi-million dollar deals, but he was getting bad advice from what i could gather…whatever.

  6. Me too, Raps Fan, me too.

    I can’t understand why nobody signs Bonzi Wells, he’s a genuine difference maker and there’s plenty of teams that he could help that are in the playoff picture — starting with the defending Champs. Dallas are also near the top of that list.

    I always like to see players get the best possible paycheck. I still can’t believe Bonzi turned his nose up at that deal from Sacramento ….. poor lad.

  7. Hey Dave,

    Bonzi was earning 40k!!! That’s shocking. I always believe players leave for a better deal.

    Btw, do you think the Kings are becoming some sort of spoiler for other teams, judging by their result against the Nuggets?

  8. Hey John,

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bonzi was earning so little in China. What’s the point in him playing for so little cash? He must have been doing it for exposure, to try and get an NBA team to give him a contract.

    I think the Kings have underperformed all season and are thus capable of playing better than they have done. But their deadline day trades robbed them of a lot of talent, so I don’t really see them as a spoiler team. They’ll be a good offensive team who score above 100 points and put a lot of pressure on the opposition’s defense, but they’re also the worst defensive team in the NBA so most squads should beat them comfortably by the end of the day.

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