NBA PM: Where Will Gilbert Arenas Land?
Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis and Nate Robinson have all been signed after being amnestied or bought out last month. It wasn’t hard for them to find new homes since teams can never have too many veteran point guards, especially when they’re available for the pro-rated veteran’s minimum.
However, there is one amnestied point guard who has to find a new team. We’re nearly two weeks into the NBA season and Gilbert Arenas is still an unrestricted free agent. After being amnestied by the Orlando Magic last month, Arenas wasn’t claimed off of waivers and hasn’t inked a new deal.
Over the offseason, Arenas worked out in Orlando and lost 20 pounds as he prepared for the upcoming season. The weight loss should prevent further issues with his surgically repaired knee, which was a cause for concern during his brief stint with the Magic. The veteran point guard is completely healthy and looking forward to proving that he can still play at a high level if put in the right situation.
In Orlando, Arenas struggled to come off of the bench behind Jameer Nelson. Stan Van Gundy had Arenas on a short leash and would often pull him from games if made a single mistake.
However, he did have the opportunity to start 16 games last year and he was extremely productive. As a starter with the Magic, Arenas averaged 18.6 points, 6.1 assists and 1.7 steals. He averaged similar numbers – 17.3 points, 5.6 assists and 1.4 steals – in 21 games with the Washington Wizards prior to the trade.
Arenas can still be a significant contributor, either as a starter or sixth man, if used correctly. He would love to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami HEAT or New York Knicks, but whether or not that interest is mutual remains to be seen. Other teams who could use help at the point guard position include the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers among others.
The 29-year-old believes he still has a lot to offer a team and he would be a low-risk, high-reward signing on a veteran’s minimum contract. During a normal offseason, Arenas would have had the opportunity to attend private workouts and show potential suitors what he can do. That’s how Tracy McGrady found a home last offseason, working out for a number of teams including the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers before finally signing with the Detroit Pistons.
During this year’s condensed offseason, many teams were in a hurry to assemble their roster and there wasn’t time for workouts. Now, with most rosters already set, Arenas will likely have to wait for a team to lose a point guard to injury before he can sign. After being overlooked throughout this process, a healthy and motivated Arenas may be able to surprise everyone if given the opportunity.
All-Star Ballot Released: The NBA’s All-Star Game will tip-off on February 26, 2012 in Orlando’s state-of-the-art Amway Center. Voting begins today and the ballots, comprised of120 players, have been released. The list of potential All Stars includes 24 guards, 24 forwards, and 12 centers from the East and West, with voters selecting two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference.
Here are the players that are listed on this year’s All-Star ballot:
EAST GUARDS: Ray Allen, D.J. Augustin, Jose Calderon, Darren Collison, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Richard Hamilton, Jrue Holiday, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Jackson, Brandon Jennings, Joe Johnson, Anthony Morrow, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Rodney Stuckey, Jeff Teague, Dwyane Wade, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Deron Williams, Nick Young.
EAST FORWARDS: Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Brandon Bass, Andray Blatche, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand, Luol Deng, Kevin Garnett, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, Kris Humphries, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Antawn Jamison, Jonas Jerebko, Corey Maggette, Paul Pierce, Tayshaun Prince, Josh Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, Hedo Turkoglu, David West, Thaddeus Young.
EAST CENTERS: Joel Anthony, Andrew Bogut, Tyson Chandler, Boris Diaw, Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, Greg Monroe, Joakim Noah, Anderson Varejao.
WEST GUARDS: Arron Afflalo, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, Raymond Felton, Manu Ginobili, Eric Gordon, Devin Harris, Jason Kidd, Ty Lawson, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Wesley Matthews, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Ricky Rubio, Jason Terry, Marcus Thornton, Russell Westbrook.
WEST FORWARDS: LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Michael Beasley, Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Derrick Favors, Danilo Gallinari, Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Grant Hill, Serge Ibaka, Carl Landry, David Lee, Kevin Love, Shawn Marion, Paul Millsap, Dirk Nowitzki, Lamar Odom, Zach Randolph, Luis Scola, Gerald Wallace, Metta World Peace.
WEST CENTERS: Andrew Bynum, Marcus Camby, DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert, Marc Gasol, Marcin Gortat, Al Jefferson, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Kaman, Nene, Emeka Okafor, Kendrick Perkins.
You can vote directly on NBA.com or by texting a player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”). Voting will end on January 31, and the starters will be announced live on TNT on February 2 during a special one-hour show.
Warriors to Sign Nate Robinson: The Golden State Warriors will officially sign Nate Robinson soon, giving them a spark plug off of the bench and an insurance policy should Stephen Curry be sidelined. The move isn’t a huge surprise since Golden State has been linked to Robinson in the past.
Prior to last year’s trade deadline, the Warriors tried to trade for Robinson, but the veteran point guard was instead shipped to Oklahoma City as part of the trade involving Kendrick Perkins and Jeff Green. Golden State’s new head coach Mark Jackson loves Robinson’s energy and believes he’ll be excellent off of the Warriors’ bench.
Robinson was bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder last month because he was unhappy with his role. He had fallen out of the rotation after playing in just four games with the Thunder last season.
Now, he’ll have a chance to play for a former point guard and be a significant contributor off of the Warriors’ bench.
Breaking Down the Three-Team Deal: As Bill Ingram wrote earlier today, a three-team deal involving the Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets is in the advanced stages and could be completed today.
In the proposed deal, Memphis would acquire Marreese Speights, New Orleans would receive Xavier Henry and Philadelphia would land two second-round picks. Other players and picks could be still be added before the trade is finalized.
Speights is completely healthy, but he hasn’t played in a single game this season. In the past, Speights was a productive reserve for the 76ers. However, his minutes have been gradually decreasing since the team hired Doug Collins. If this trade goes through, Speights will be a significant contributor in Memphis. The Grizzlies are desperate for interior help after losing Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur to injuries.
Henry hasn’t logged any minutes this season either, but that’s because he’s out with torn ligaments in his right ankle. He should return in the next few weeks, and he’ll likely get more touches in New Orleans.
The trade makes sense for Memphis and New Orleans, but it’s somewhat questionable for Philadelphia. Speights is only 24 years old and a pair of second-round picks doesn’t seem like the fair compensation for a big man who was selected 16th overall just three years ago. Speights’ was going to be paid $6,544,616 over the next two years so this trade does allow the Sixers to get out of his contract. However, his deal wasn’t that bad and it seems they could’ve gotten more – at least better picks – since Speights is a big man with a ton of potential.