The Grand National Championships

August 18, 2008

Are there any Free Agents worth having?

Remember when the NBA Free Agency Wire got rolling? That was fun. There were seismic shifts and I was talking basketball with a drunken shamelessness. But now? It’s a week before I rise up and kick a little ass for the USA, and the Free Agency wire has been picked mostly clean. Is there value to be had?

Kind of.

Sure, you could make an offer on Dorell Wright or J.R. Smith but they’re likely to get matched or get gone. And Ben Gordon could laugh your Mid Level Exception off the table. But among the unrestricted, who’s worth your time? I will attempt to find you the best of the junk drawer.

1) Bonzi Wells
Flaws: Poor conditioning, consistency, and has baggage.

However? He can do pretty much everything with the basketball, and is a pretty fierce defender. At 6’5″, he can do some wonderful things offensively in the low post. He really is a 2-guard swiss army knife. And if he’d take the Mid-level exception? He’d make some team really lucky to have him.

2) Kirk Snyder
Flaws: Inconsistent, with a shaky jumper.

However? His all-around game is decent, and his defensive skills are delveloping. He has the strength and athleticism to develop into something special. After all, he’s been traded three times before he turned 25. It’s not as if you’re the worst 2 in the world if three teams have wanted you. Unless it’s because they wanted to get rid of you? After all, why else is he here?

3) Shaun Livingston
Flaws: His knee. Long range shooting, strength.

However? If he’s healthy, he has excellent point guard skill. Great vision. Great handles. He takes care of the ball. If he’s healthy, he has uncoachable skills and skills that a bad knee doesn’t exactly take away from. But as appearances go? He may be looking at a tragic Jay Williams in the mirror.

4) Quinton Ross
Flaws: Offensive game.

However? If you want a defensive stopper at the 2? You want Quin-ton. He’s a great rebounder for his size, and he can stop many opposing two guards. Quite frankly, and this is the homer in me talking, I want this guy as a Buck. I know that’s a virtual impossibility, but he’s a glue guy. Anybody who wishes to contend, needs a glue guy.

5) Jamaal Magloire
Flaws: Ego.

However? If you want a center who won’t make you look stupid, Magloire can be your hero. He’s an aggresive defender with a good wingspan who may find himself getting disappeared like he was Nazr Mohammed or something. He has passable skills on the offensive side of the ball, and could be a 12-8 guy if pressed to start. He shouldn’t be done.

Now, considering Cleveland’s guard situation, Delonte West could be yours if you’re in desperate need of a point guard. But unless Miami and Cleveland decide to sign and trade West for Wright, Delonte may be facing a truly Russian experience.

But that’s just me. What do you think about who’s left?

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