There are only five days left in the month and the free agent class has dwindled down to a very small fraternity of players who are a) refusing to budge on salary, or, b) weighing their narrow options with distaste, or, c) close to signing with a team.
Here’s a list of the available free agents.
J.R. Smith: He opted out of his deal for any number of head scratching reasons only J.R. Smith can explain. No one was interested in giving him the $6 million he was making last year so why not play the last year of the deal and became a free agent when the cap balloons. But no one has ever accused J.R. of ph.d type logic. The Cavs are still the front runner and have all the leverage. They can match his $6 million of last year or they can low ball him with a price he doesn’t want to accept. The issue is the length of the deal and how much do the Cavs really want to be bothered with J.R.? He’s 29. A three or four year deal may be what’s the sticking point rather than the actual number.
Numbers Don’t Lie. J.R. Smith shot over 40% from every area on the floor except 3-10 feet (34%)and three point shots (38%). He shot 50+% from 0-3 feet and long 2’s.
Tristan Thompson: He wants as close to a max deal as he can get. Can the Cavs give it to him? Yes. They have his Bird Rights. Right now it’s a game of who blinks first? Is Thompson willing to accept the qualifying offer of $7 million and become a free agent in 2016 or will he accept the last offer on the table? The only team remotely interested is Toronto. Any offer the Raptors make the Cavs can match. The Raptors don’t have max dollars to offer, they would have to work a sign-and-trade. There is this too: LeBron James was a little pissed at how the Miami Heat lowballed contracts of the supporting cast to avoid a tax bill. Are the Cavs willing to flirt with danger?
Numbers Don’t Lie: Tristan Thompson shot 54% on two point shots. He’s a mediocre mid-range shooter, in the thirty percentile. He grabbed 20% of Cavs defensive rebounds and 15% of offensive rebounds. He’s a horrible free throw shooter: 64%.
Dorell Wright: A small forward who can drain threes, Wright has a bankable skill but needs to play with exceptional talent to create open spacing for looks. His last three years he couldn’t crack 40% field goals which may be hurting his opportunities. But he won’t be 30 until December. If he isn’t signed he’ll be on a training camp roster.
Numbers Don’t Lie: He shot 14% on long two’s, 28% 10-16 feet, 33% 3-10 feet. He was a 38% three point shooter and was 60% finishing at the rim.
Andre Miller: The veteran point guard is a valuable asset to a team with a young backcourt who needs leadership at the position. Miller still has something in the tank. The problem is the league has gotten so young and quick at the guard position Miller is a defensive liability even as he is crafty and able to get off his shot.
Numbers Don’t Lie: He shot over 40% from every spot on the floor except three point shots (20%). He shot 53% on two point shots, 63% on long 2’s, 62% at the rim.
Jason Terry: In September he’ll be 38 years old. But he can still shoot 42% and drain 39% of his three point shots. He’s a 18 minute player but can come in for quick offense and is still a streaky shooter who can go on binges.
Numbers Don’t Lie: He shot 45% from every spot on the floor except three point shots and even then he was proficient: 39%. He made 50% of his two point shots, 50+% 0-10 feet.
Norris Cole: Not a true point guard but not a great shooter either, he’s one of those combo back court players who can give a team 24 minutes a night but he is not going to do anything spectacular. He can go on binges but he’s not identified by that. His defense is inconsistent but he plays hard.
Numbers Don’t Lie: The only part of the floor he was miserable at was 3-10 feet (30%). Otherwise he was very good. 53% at the rim, 50% on long 2’s and 37% on three point shots.
Kevin Seraphin: A good back up power forward/ center who can make the occasional shot, his rebounding is average and he’s not explosive enough to be a rim protector but he’s a big body on the inside to give breathing room to a starting forward/center.
Numbers Don’t Lie: 70% at the rim. He’s a 45% shooter from other areas on the floor.
photo via portaldenoticas.com