NBA Roundtable


In Free Agency, General NBA on February 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Completed Buyouts

A list of potential buyouts

  • Bobby Simmons
  • Raja Bell
  • Kurt Thomas
  • Devin Brown
  • Tony Battie
  • Jarvis Hayes
  • Mark Blount
  • Fabricio Oberto
  • Mike Miller

Free Agents — Other Available Players

Guards — Antonio Daniels, Brevin Knight, Shaun Livingston, Speedy Claxton

Wings — Rashad McCants, Bruce Bowen, Wally Szczerbiak, Desmond Mason, Ricky Davis, Morris Almond, Darius Miles, Linton Johnson

Big Men — Brian Cardinal, Melvin Ely, Chris Richard, Brian Cook, Mikki Moore, Courtney Sims, Shavlik Randolph

The Buyouts

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Big Z has been bought out — RealGM has three reports — the press release (link one) + two links on savings (link two + link three)

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived center Zydrunas Ilgauskas after coming to a mutual agreement on a contract buyout.

“We agreed to terms with Zydrunas on a contract buyout, giving us further financial flexibility and allowing our young big men to continue to develop over the remainder of the season,” said Grunfeld.

The savings — ESPN reports

Indications are that Ilgauskas will receive around $9-$10 million of his $11 million salary.

Michael Lee’s twitter

Ilgauskas buyout is finalized. Big Z had to give up Big $. Source said he paid $1.5 mil for his freedom. How much are championship rings?

Michael Lee also writes that the Wizards have lowered their payroll from $79.2 million + luxury tax payments to $68 million due to suspensions, trades and buyouts.

Big Z is a lock to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers but the Hawks + Nuggets will make interesting offers due to the guarantee of playing time. Boston will also make a run at him.

Ilgauskas is a solid rotation player. A very good complementary offensive player, a good rebounder and a serviceable defender. He can help somebody.

Update: Since Z was paid most of his contract up front by the Cavs he had to write a check of $1.5 million to get out of his contract.

Update: Article on the Hawks interest in Ilgauskas.

Update: Big Z has made up his mind and has decided to return to Cleveland after his 30 day waiting period finishes.

Update: Cleveland reaches out to Big Z — link.

Update: Big Z choose to stay in Cleveland — link.

Update: Big Z rejoins Cavs — link.

Larry Hughes has the press release

The Sacramento Kings today waived guard Larry Hughes. Hughes was acquired from the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade on February 18, 2010, and did not appear in any contests with Sacramento.The Kings roster now stands at 14.

Link — Hughes interested in playing for the Bobcats. The article mentions that the pro-rated league minimum that Hughes would receive is worth around $240k.

Larry Hughes is a decent backup guard. His inefficient and inconsistent scoring is a major flaw but his defense and rebounding is a solid. Hughes played poor-to-very poor defensively last season but he was performing well this year for the Knicks. He is an unreliable player but potentially a solid addition.

A good third string player, however, Hughes will want regular rotation minutes.

Update: Charlotte decided to pass on Larry Hughes. Nice story about a game of Horse between Michael Jordan and Gerald Henderson on that link too.

Update: Charlotte changes their mind and signs Hughes.

Mike James

ESPN reports

Wizards guard Mike James has been granted an indefinite leave by the team in anticipation of a buyout, according to team sources.

The Wizards held onto James through Thursday in the event that his $6.6 million expiring contract might be included in a trade.

The parties are now expected to negotiate a buyout settlement before March 1 that will make James eligible to play in the playoffs with his next team.

It’s been a couple of years since Mike James was a good rotation player so I wouldn’t be looking to depend on him as a rotation player. A decent insurance policy to a non-NBA player.

Update: Several unnamed teams have contacted Mike James according to Mike James — link to Hoopshype interview.

Kenny Thomas

Sam Amick reports via twitter

Just confirmed. K9 is gone. RT @WojYahooNBA: The Kings have waived Kenny Thomas, a league source tells Y! Sports.

Kenny Thomas was playing fairly well earlier in the season. Doing a good job on the backboards and a serviceable job offensively but poor defensively.

At the end of the day though, I don’t think he’s shown enough in recent years to be a trustworthy signing if someone is looking for a rotation player, a first or second big off the bench.

As an insurance policy? A fifth or sixth big? He may be worth a shot.

Michael Finley

Per Marc Stein’s Twitter

Just filed to Spurs agree to release former All-Star and Stein Line fave Michael Finley so Fin can sign elsewhere before playoffs

Michael Finley is a net negative and has been for some time. He takes away a lot more from his team with his poor defense + rebounding than he creates with offensive play. He’s not good enough to be regular rotation player. A situational substitute at best.

In that role, as a fifth wing in the depth chart, he could be a valuable addition.

Update: Marc Spears reports that the Celtics are indeed interested in Michael Finley.

Update: Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich was surprised at Finley’s request to be waived — link.

“He started talking about it about two weeks ago,” point guard Tony Parker said. “We had back-and-forth conversations about it after he told me. He wasn’t playing, and he wished he could be playing.”

When Finley finally presented his request to Popovich, the coach was caught unaware.

“I was very surprised,” Popovich said, “but we granted his request.”

Popovich stressed that the Spurs did not “cut” Finley. Rather, they reluctantly granted the request of a player Popovich often described as a consummate professional.

“We didn’t let him go,” Popovich said. “He requested a buyout so he could leave, and we granted that. That’s different from saying we let him go, or it could be to people that read the paper. I want to make sure that distinction is made.”

I find it strange that Finley wanted to leave San Antonio too. Good on him for thinking he still has something left in the tank but he doesn’t really have much left. He is a borderline rotation player player and preferably a non-rotation player which is exactly the role he had in San Antonio. He didn’t want to admit to himself how far his game has fallen.

Update: Finley is the Celtics top target

A Celtics source confirmed yesterday the primary target is veteran swingman Michael Finley, who was bought out of his contract by San Antonio on Monday. Finley is expected to clear waivers tonight. The team also is interested, to a lesser degree, in free agent guard Larry Hughes.

But Finley clearly has a rapt audience in the Celtics, who admittedly could use another shooter even after trading for Nate Robinson last week.

“Every team has some holes, and shooting is something we can’t have enough of,” Doc Rivers said after yesterday morning’s shootaround. “You look at some of these other teams, their shooting was ridiculous.”

I think Finley offers the Celtics more than any other buyout player available. They need another wing and preferably someone who adds something a little different than Tony Allen and Marquis Daniels and that means someone with a quality jump shot which Finley does still have.

Travis Diener

Marc Stein’s Twitter

The Pacers just announced the release of G Travis Diener

A solid third string point guard due to his excellent jump shooting + solid floor leadership. A liability defensively.

Mark Blount

Marc Stein’s Twitter — two reports — link one + link two

Source tells that Wolves will release C Mark Blount later Monday, making Blount eligible to appear in the playoffs for another team

Blount hasn’t played this season but ‘Sota agreed to let him go now that trade deadline has passed. Lotta teams still looking for extra big

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Mark Blount play regular minutes. At last sighting, Blount was a liability defensively + on the backboards. He was also a marginal offensive player with a good midrange jump shot but wanted more touches/shots than he deserved and disrupted his team’s offense as a result.

Mark Blount is the most talented player after Zydrunas Ilgaukas on the buyout market so far but he’s also a consistent underachiever. A solid third string center and a risky fourth big in the rotation.

Reports On Others

Bobby Simmons

My apologies, I misplaced the link. The report said that Simmons wasn’t enthusiastic about giving up any money in a buyout and that consequently there was a fair chance that he’ll remain with the Nets.

Linkclick here

Since the trade deadline passed, many players would need to be bought out if they want to play elsewhere and be willing to take less than what they’re due. Bobby Simmons, who makes $11.2 million, didn’t seem as if he was willing.

Raja Bell

ESPN reports

It sounds as though contending teams that expected to have a shot at signing defensive ace Raja Bell for the stretch run are going to be disappointed.

Reason being: Bell is not seeking a buyout from the Golden State Warriors.

Devin Brown

The Chicago Daily Herald reports

The Bulls still might release a player and sign an extra big man. Monday is the deadline for released players to be eligible to participate in the playoffs for a new team, so that could conceivably serve as incentive for someone such as Devin Brown to accept a buyout.

It sounds like they’re having discussions about a buyout. I would be surprised if Brown accepted one though. He doesn’t have a considerably better chance at playing time anywhere else and he is already on a playoff time. I don’t understand the incentive here for him.

Thoughts On Others

Bobby Simmons — Solid rotation player who provides good size on the wing as a backup small forward. Good rebounder, decent defender, and a good-to-very good perimeter shooter.

Tony Battie — Ideally a fifth or sixth big man in the rotation. He is not a rotation caliber player in this league anymore. Battie is a poor-to-decent defender and a solid rebounder. He has a serviceable jump shot offensively.

Kurt Thomas — Thomas needs to play the five position at this point in his career. He has declined too much physically to adequately defend the majority of power forwards in this league. However, Thomas is still a strong post defender who plays excellent positional defense and has excellent anticipation and reactions to danger defensively. He is also a very good rebounder and has a good midrange jump shot. If used as a center, Kurt Thomas is a good rotation player.

Raja Bell — Hard to say due to injuries. It’s unclear what he’ll be able to offer. When healthy, Bell is a good defender + good perimeter shooter. A good role player and useful rotation player.

Speedy Claxton — Hasn’t shown anything in years. A questionable third string point guard. Likely finished.

Brian Cardinal — A fifth or preferably sixth big man in the rotation. A comobo forward type. An intelligent perimeter orientated power forward with a very good jump shot.

Antonio Daniels — an adequate third string point guard. A very poor defensive player but a smart floor general and good passer. Poor jump shot.

Brevin Knight — a good third string point guard who runs an offense well but plays poor defense. Also has a poor jump shot.

Wally Szczerbiak — A borderline rotation player who plays poor-to-decent defense and is a very good shooter. Solid rebounder.

Mikki Moore — A borderline NBA player. Eh, maybe a non-NBA caliber player. A very poor defender, poor-to-very poor rebounder, with a good midrange jump shot offensively.

Desmond Mason — A borderline rotation player who plays good defense, rebounds the ball well, and is a good finisher offensively. His lack of a jump shot detracts a significant amount of his positive contributions.

Devin Brown — Not a rotation caliber player but a decent fifth wing in the rotation. A mediocre defender and rebounder with solid ball-handling and passing skills for a wing. An inconsistent jump shooter. A slasher with declining athleticism.

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