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NBA AM: The Potential Odd Men Out
Posted By Lang Greene On August 6, 2013 @ 9:26 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
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The Potential Odd Men Out
As the smoke continues to clear from the draft, free agency period and trade market, there are more than a few players who may hear their respective names mentioned on the trading block early next season.
Some of these players saw their teams draft someone at their position. Others watched as their franchise signed or traded for a less expensive option.
Let’s take a look at a few guys who could be the odd men out in their current situations:
Phoenix entertained offers for Gortat at varying points last season and used their top five pick in June’s draft on center Alex Len. So there’s no surprise rumors quickly started surfacing that Gortat may be on the move in the near future.
But for now Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has downplayed much of the talk and even hinted Gortat may be a part of the team’s future. New head coach Jeff Hornacek has also echoed those sentiments publicly. However, keep in mind the Suns are in the beginning stages of a rebuild and most teams retooling are in the hunt to acquire younger more inexpensive assets. Gortat is arguably a top-10 center in the league, which makes him a commodity, and also one of the Suns’ most attractive trade chips currently on the roster.
Varejao was playing at an All-Star level last season before a quadriceps injury and blood clotting issue limited him to just 25 games. In total, Varejao, while still effective, has played in just 81 games over the past three seasons.
The Cavaliers flirted with the idea of moving Varejao last season before the injuries plummeted his market value. The Cavaliers signed former All-Star center Andrew Bynum in free agency and second-year big man Tyler Zeller showed promise during Summer League, which gives the team options.
The last year of Varejao’s deal is non-guaranteed, which could be attractive for a team looking to rebuild by shedding payroll.
Anthony was a consistent rotational figure in Miami’s championship run of 2012, but saw his role significantly diminish last season. The addition of free agent center Greg Oden, who signed for the veteran’s minimum, may also foreshadow Anthony’s limited future with the team.
Early estimates show the HEAT are on the hook for close to $19 million in potential luxury cap penalties. The club used its amnesty provision on Mike Miller earlier this summer to alleviate some of the tax pressure. There are reports surfacing the team could be interested in a future second rounder for Anthony in a deal.
Michael Beasley - Forward – Phoenix Suns
Reason: Acquisition of Caron Butler and the development of Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris
Key Notes: Owed $12.2 million over next two seasons ($6.2 million non-guaranteed in 2014-15)
There’s no question Beasley has immense talent, but the forward has yet to put it all together consistently for a long stretch as a professional. The Suns are in a clear rebuild but the team has even more options at forward now with the addition of Butler, Gerald Green and the Morris twins.
Beasley’s market value isn’t at its highest point at the moment, but it wouldn’t surprise if Phoenix shopped the former lottery pick at some point this season.
Mack is on an inexpensive deal and consistently provided the Hawks with solid production as the team’s third point guard last season, but the presence of rookie Dennis Schroeder is one to watch.
Mack has received interest from numerous suitors overseas but at the moment is banking he sticks with the Hawks for the season.
Also keep an eye on: Jordan Crawford (Celtics), Ekpe Udoh (Milwaukee Bucks), Jimmer Fredette (Sacramento Kings) and Ben Gordon (Charlotte Bobcats)
Expectations Growing In Charlotte: The Charlotte Bobcats are likely still two seasons away from competing for a playoff berth, but the franchise is seemingly turning the corner. After bottoming out during the lockout shortened 2011 campaign, winning just seven games, the team tripled their victory total in 2012.
Entering next season, the franchise has a new head coach in former Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, signed a borderline All-Star caliber player in Al Jefferson during free agency and drafted promising rookie Cody Zeller in the lottery back in June.
To complete the summer of improvement, Charlotte re-signed guard Gerald Henderson to a three-year, $18 million deal. Henderson was the team’s second leading scorer in 2013, averaging 15.5 points in 68 contests.
During Henderson’s rookie campaign in 2010, Charlotte reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. But ever since that point the team has finished at least 14 games below .500.
The guard has been impressed with team’s moves this summer and believes the future is getting brighter.
“I always said getting a big man like Al Jefferson would be great,” Henderson said according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “And then they got Al Jefferson.”
“Cody Zeller is a guy who can instantly help us with his athleticism,” he added. “He’s ready to play. Like any rookie, he’s going to have tons of room to grow, but he is ready to play.’’
Henderson has also been impressed during his interactions with Clifford, who has vowed to put players in positions on the floor to succeed.
“One of the first things [Clifford] said to me is, ‘I can make you a great scorer by putting you in better positions all of the time. If there’s something you’re not particularly good at, I’m not going to put you in that in volume,’” Henderson said.
The amount of losses over the years has been a sour point for Henderson, but the guard is confident the team is on track to win at a higher clip with the new additions now on board.
“You go through anything tough and it’s easy to give up and say you want to move on or whatnot,” Henderson said. “As bad as it got, and I was part of the problem, it was kind of one of those things where you look at as it can only get better. With the pieces we’ve added we can find our way out of it.”
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