- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
NBA AM: Latest From The Unemployment Line
Posted By Lang Greene On September 18, 2013 @ 7:00 am In NBA | No Comments
HOOPSWORLD catches up with New Orleans Pelicans center Jeff Withey at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.Watch More Video Here
Latest From The Unemployment Line
We’re just under two weeks away from when the majority of NBA teams open their doors for training camp. However, despite the season rapidly approaching, there are quite a few veteran free agents remaining on the market just waiting for a phone call and an opportunity to make a roster.
Last season, Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin were forced to watch the early portion of the campaign from their couches before signing with Miami and New York respectively. Both guys paid huge dividends for their clubs and were ultimately rewarded with new deals this summer.
The names below aren’t flashy and some of the guys may be a bit past their primes, but all of these guys could potentially contribute in the right role or situation.
Hamilton’s best years are in the rear-view mirror, but in a specialized role the veteran could be effective. Toward the end of last season, Hamilton and Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s relationship deteriorated and Hamilton subsequently found himself riding the pine. However, Hamilton showed he could still score the rock during limited action in the playoffs. Houston and New York were rumored to be interested in Hamilton’s services, while a source told HOOPSWORLD last month that the veteran would prefer to join a contender on the East Coast.
The Bobcats elected to make Thomas an amnesty victim this summer, unceremoniously ending a very disappointing tenure in Charlotte. There’s no question Thomas possesses athletic potential, but the forward remains a huge injury risk, appearing in only 175 out of 312 possible games the past four seasons. Still, Thomas has posted numerous double-digit scoring campaigns in his seven-year career and, when completely healthy, is a proven weak side shot blocker. Thomas reportedly spent time working with former NBA guard John Lucas this summer, but the market for his services since his release has been cold.
At 35, Jackson isn’t the borderline All-Star performer he once was but the veteran is still capable of being productive in spots. The problem for Jackson though could be one centered on perception in a league with front office personnel opting to go with youth over experience. Many teams perceive Jackson as a risk to bring into their locker room, while his former teammates routinely give him high reviews. Classic case of perception versus reality.
Milwaukee used its amnesty provision on Gooden this summer, sending the veteran forward into free agency. Gooden, once a full-time starter in the league, has missed 117 games over the past three seasons and seems headed to a reserve role in his future destinations. But it’s important to note the 2013 campaign was the first in Gooden’s 11-year career where he averaged under double-digits. Gooden will be 32 when training camps open and could provide interior depth. However, the potential injury risk here is real.
Telfair never quite lived up to his draft hype, but has turned into a serviceable reserve guard to have in the rotation. Telfair had interest in joining the New York Knicks this summer but the team opted to sign guard Beno Udrih. Telfair has reportedly garnered preliminary interest from the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs as we approach training camp, but no deal appears to be imminent.
Tinsley is no longer the dynamic starting guard he was during his prime years, but the veteran still has a knack for racking up solid assists numbers (8.6 per 36 minutes last season). Tinsley received interest from Brooklyn early in free agency and Charlotte, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix reportedly have contacted the guard at various points during the summer.
Once thought to be one of Dallas’ young building blocks of the future, the team didn’t issue the guard a qualifying offer this summer. Injuries have really limited the guard throughout the early portion of his career. The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly one of the teams giving Beaubois a strong look heading into training camp.
Wilkins won’t win many popularity contests with the casual fan, but the veteran has carved out a niche as a solid defensive minded role player. The Atlanta Hawks, who Wilkins played for in 2011, have reportedly worked out Wilkins recently.
Maggette has scored over 13,000 points in his career, but has only managed to make 50 appearances over the past two seasons. Maggette has earned a reputation as being a trusted mentor to young guys just entering the league so his value remains strong although he would like to end his career on a contender.
Pelicans Looking To Make More Moves
The New Orleans Pelicans have been busy throughout the offseason reshaping the roster for the 2013-14 campaign. The team will feature six new players, headlined by Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.
“I think we will probably add a couple of guys before camp,” Demps said according to Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune. “Coach (Monty) Williams and I, we talked about it (Monday). … We’ll probably add more guys for training camp with the opportunity to make the team.”
The team’s biggest area of need is more depth at the center position with the unheralded Jason Smith, Greg Steimsma and Arinze Onuaku competing for quality minutes.
For now, Demps is happy every member of his revamped roster has made an appearance for voluntary workouts at the team’s facility.
“That’s the great thing that the guys are here right now,” Demps said. “They are getting to know each other. I’m also pretty excited that we play a number of games on the road in the preseason. So that’ll make the guys spend more time together, traveling together. We will be playing on the road in tough environments because of the renovations that are ongoing at the Arena. I look at that as a positive.
“Whenever you have so many new pieces, it’s going to be important for the guys to start learning. That’s why we are so excited the guys came here in the offseason voluntarily.”
The Pelicans finished the 2013 campaign 27-55, missing the playoffs for the second straight season. The team’s 2013-14 HOOPSWORLD season preview can be found following this link.
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-latest-from-unemployment-line
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.