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NBA AM: The Playoff Free Agent Shooting Guards
Posted By Steve Kyler On April 24, 2013 @ 10:45 am In NBA | No Comments
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Andrew Harrison at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland and talked with him about his upcoming season and what he’s been working on through the high school All-Star circuit.Watch More Video Here
Scouting The Two-Guards: On Monday in this space we took a look at the point guards who are currently headed towards free agency after they finish up in the playoffs. Today let’s take a look at the two-guards with options for free agency in July who are playing in the playoffs.
Kyle Korver – Unrestricted
Korver may be one of the most obtainable players on this list, likely setting himself up for a nice payday. Korver has said several times this season that he is looking forward to free agency and with his deadly range and all-around effectiveness he might be the best second tier player available come July 1. There is a chance Korver is retained by Atlanta, who can offer him more money and more years than any other suitor, but the problem is Korver has appeal and is not likely going to wait around while Atlanta tries to line up big fish. He’ll grab his long-term security as soon as he can which, means he may be out in Atlanta come July.
Marco Belinelli – Unrestricted
Despite injuries, Belinelli has been pretty solid for the Bulls. The problem with his pending free agency is that unless he agrees to stay on a low dollar deal like the $1.9 million he is earning this year, he may be priced out of Chicago’s range simply because of how much they have invested in other core players. Sources close to the situation suggest that the Bulls will look to upgrade at the two guard spot, meaning they could look at better players leaving Belinelli on the outside looking in. Belinelli is an interesting “value-priced” free agent. As bigger names fall off the board he could find real interest in his services on a multi-year deal.
Tony Allen- Unrestricted
The Memphis Grizzlies have to be terrified of Allen’s pending free agency. He is going to want far more than the $3.3 million he is earning this year and with more than $57.67 million in firm salary commitments the Grizzlies are going to have a hard time handing out dollars to Allen and improving the roster. The Grizzlies have become one of the NBA’s best defensive teams and Allen has played a huge role in that. Losing him without compensation would be a brutal loss for the Grizz. The one saving grace for Memphis is that Allen and teammate Zach Randolph are very close and Allen has a real affection for head coach Lionel Hollins. The question is how long are both in the picture for Memphis? That’s surely something Allen is going to want to understand. With Allen and reserve guard Jerryd Bayless both eligible to walk away in free agency, this could be a brutal offseason for the Grizzlies, especially if they lose both players to high dollar offers.
Lance Stephenson – $930,000 – Non-Guaranteed
The Pacers have an option on Stephenson worth roughly $930,000 and given how well he’s played as of late there is almost no scenario in which the Pacers are letting him go. Next year will be his final contract year, so Indiana will have to make some decision on what Stephenson’s long-term future is in Indiana. Given his low-dollar salary he may not return much in trade, but if the prospect of having to seriously pay Stephenson factors into the thinking this summer, the Pacers could package him with another contract to return real value. The smart money says that Stephenson and his inexpensive contract stay where they are, but as Indiana tries to improve in the offseason Stephenson, who at one time was viewed as a knucklehead, might be an interesting trade chip.
Willie Green- $1,399,507 – Non-Guaranteed
The Clippers hold two more non-guaranteed years on guard Green, and while he is absolutely a serviceable veteran guard, the Clippers do gain some flexibility with Green’s non-guaranteed contract, as those are very attractive trade chips and are often the filler used to amp up a trade using a rookie scale player. On Monday we talked about the inevitability of the Clippers trading guard Eric Bledose, and if the Clips decide to pull the trigger on a Bledose trade this summer, packing in Green might be part of the deal to get more return for the Clips. Equally luxury tax teams that are trying to shed luxury Tax dollars might give the Clippers a real asset for the disposable contract Green carries. It is unlikely the Clippers are cutting Green loose on their own, they simply don’t need the cap room, but packing Green into a bigger trade deal makes a ton of sense especially if the Clippers are bringing back Chauncey Billups next season.
Jodie Meeks – $1,550,000 (team option)
It is unlikely that the Lakers are letting Meeks walk, but they do hold a team option on him worth $1.5 million and for the Lakers that’s a real number as almost every dollar they spend is a luxury taxed dollar. Meeks has been decent for the Lakers, but is far from indispensable and as the Lakers look to shape their roster going forward, Meek’s place is far from secure, especially with the emergence of Steve Blake as a bona fide scorer in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Meeks is a great shooter and in the grand scheme he is relatively inexpensive. It is possible the Lakers look to trade Meeks as he could be disposable to a team looking at his option or in the same vein he is a quality veteran shooter that might return something in trade. The smart money says at $1.5 million the Lakers won’t find a better replacement, but as the Lakers look at everything this offseason moving Meeks as a means to improve is more than possible.
Monta Ellis- $11,000,000 – (early termination option)
Ellis holds as player option for free agency in July and there is no real consensus on what he’s going to do. One week he’s opting in, the next he’s opting out. The smart money says Ellis is cashing in $11 million for $40 plus million in free agency and is likely walking to a team with a brighter future. The Bucks do hold Ellis’ Bird rights, so they can offer more money and years than anyone in free agency. The question is how much is too much? When the Bucks traded for J.J. Redick it was in part for insurance. If Ellis won’t stay for $8 to $9 million per year on a four or five-year deal, then the Bucks will look to Redick with that money. Ellis will basically control his future and given how much of an impactful scorer he is and with so many teams with real free agent money to offer, Ellis might be one of the top free agents come July especially if the Bucks get swept by the HEAT.
Kevin Martin – Unrestricted
Martin is in the final year of his deal and will earn north of $12.4 million this season. Martin has fit in nicely with the Thunder and routinely talks about how much fun he is having in Oklahoma City. Martin is a small town guy and has said a few times this season that his pending free agency won’t just be about money, but him having the chance to really make decisions that will make him happy. It’s naive to think money won’t play a role in Martin’s ultimate free agent decision, but he says that won’t be the only consideration. The Thunder have already told Martin they want him back on a new deal this summer and with Martin’s Bird rights intact they can offer him more dollars and years than anyone in free agency. The question becomes how much will OKC invest in Martin, who has a history of injuries, and with the team staring $64.79 million in salary commitments in the face? Early salary projections peg the 2013-14 NBA salary cap to clock in just at $60 million for next season with a luxury tax line at or about $73 million. If those numbers hold true once the final revenue numbers are in the Thunder would have roughly $8.2 million to play with and remain under the tax and that’s before they consider using their amnesty provision, which is still available to them.
Manu Ginobili – Unrestricted
Does anyone believe the Spurs won’t re-sign Ginobili this summer? Its seems almost impossible to fathom that he’ll be playing anywhere else, but how much and for how long can the Spurs continue to count on the aging Ginobili? The Collective Barging Agreement has restrictions on how much a contract can be reduced, so letting Ginobili hit free agency allows the Spurs to get him locked in at a much smaller number than the $14.1 million he is earning this season. Ginobili has hinted that he may not want to play for many more seasons, so you have to wonder is a new deal that lines him up with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker (both have options through 2014-2015) is what is likely in July? The Spurs don’t have a ton of money locked in for next year and could actually be serious free agent players, so being smart with Ginobili matters. He is an unrestricted free agent so he could opt to leave for another team, but does anyone really believe that Ginobili’s free agency is anything more than an adjustment to what he’s going to be paid?
Gary Neal- $1,116,099 – Qualifying Offer
The Spurs hold the cards on Neal, and given how well he has played its impossible to believe the Spurs wouldn’t issue him the offer sheet and restrict his free agent rights. The real question for Neal is how much would other teams offer? It is possible that someone looks to poach Neal from San Antonio; he is a good player. But with the Spurs always being smart about how much they’ll pay, can someone steal him away with a similar poison pill-type contract that landed Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in Houston? It is unlikely that anyone is going to start Neal at $5 million next season, let alone offer a third or fourth year, but it is possible. The smart money says Neal is back in San Antonio, but with the league’s affections for all things Spurs and with so many teams having money to spend is someone going to test San Antonio?
J.J. Redick- Unrestricted
As we covered above, Milwaukee views Redick as the insurance in free agency. If point guard Brandon Jennings gets a massive free agent offer the Bucks could shift more money to Ellis and Redick. If Jennings is retained and Ellis walks than the Bucks would shift most of Ellis’ money to Redick. That’s a reasonable plan for the Bucks, however, it does not account for Redick being completely unrestricted as a free agent. One of the key reasons Redick ended up in Milwaukee is because they were the only team that was not swayed away from Redick after his camp made it clear he would be exploring his options this summer. Nothing has really changed on that front. The Bucks do hold Redick’s Bird rights, so they can offer more money and more years. That might keep Milwaukee in the mix, but given how average Redick has been in Milwaukee its more likely than not that Redick goes looking for a better situation unless Milwaukee makes the money so silly he’d be foolish to pass.
If you are looking for the complete 2013 NBA Free Agent list, you can find it here.
If you are also looking for how your team is situated for next season in terms of salary cap commitments and roster space, you can find each team’s salary situation here.
We Want To Know: On Monday we asked you which former All-Star should be back in the NBA and with no surprise Allen Iverson won the vote by more than 41 percent of the vote with Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady coming in almost tied with 23 percent and 25 percent of the votes respectively. Stephon Marbury, despite having rejuvenated his career in China, was dead last with 11 percent of the voting.
With this concept in mind, today’s poll question to you is:
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The Return Of Mike Brown: Word out of Cleveland is that Mike Brown has agreed to take the Cavaliers coaching job and that the team and Brown are simply working through the details of a contract that could be as long as five years.
If you recall when Brown was let go, it was more about trying to keep LeBron James in Cleveland than anything Brown was doing. There was a sense from owner Dan Gilbert that Brown had to go in order to keep LeBron. Byron Scott was tapped specifically for that purpose.
With LeBron clearly out of the picture, and let’s not kid anyone about 2014, as long as Miami is winning and winning big, LeBron is staying right where he is. So the idea that re-hiring Brown is somehow related to getting LeBron in 2014 is ignoring the fact that Brown was fired because of LeBron.
Brown’s return has more to do with the Cavs finding themselves with a roster full of amazingly talented players who can’t defend anyone. Bringing back Brown makes a world of sense both for Brown, who has a great set of tools to work with, but also for the Cavs that are trying to ignite excitement about a franchise that is floundering.
Brown had the most success when he was calling the shots in Cleveland and the Cavs mattered last when he was at the helm. Sure the talent is different, but when you look at what Cleveland really has in its stable and the fact that they’ll add even more in June’s NBA draft and have cap cash for free agents, this might be the best roster (minus LeBron) that Brown ever had in Cleveland. If anyone can teach the young Cav players how to defend its Brown and if the Cavs can become a passable defensive team they might have enough talent to contend for the eighth seed in the East next year.
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NBA Chats: There are two NBA Chats today starting with Alex Kennedy who will hold down his weekly NBA Chat at 3pm EST. Lang Greene will hold down his weekly chat later tonight at 8pm EST. Both chats tend to fill up quickly, so get your questions in now. You can always find the next upcoming chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.
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