A crazy Friday free agent signing day with owners tossing mad amounts of money around. We discuss…
I think this day is perfectly summed up by Mike Conley, perhaps the sixth best point guard in the NBA, and not a top-10 player, being the highest paid player in the NBA. Will he ever be able to live up to his contract?
C.J. Hampshire: No, but that’s the beautiful thing about this whole day. No one will live up to their deal. Because everyone is overpaid, in a way, there is equality. Everyone is in the same boat and salary is irelevant.
Mallory Stith-Wheat: He shouldn’t make more than players who played in the Finals but that is how the system is currently constructed so work it to your advantage. But every time he misses a shot and turns the ball over or the Grizz lose, he is going to be the fall guy. Fans don’t care about money unless you don’t make it count, meaning getting to the conference final. I don’t think anyone thinks the Grizz are going to do that.
Julian Billick: It’s a ridiculous amount of money but what the players did on this day is to prove the owners right. In the lock out (2011) the owners bet that players greed would trump anything else. This was a perfect summer for two or three players to team up but no one did. The owners bet the players would breathe money. They were right.
Brendan Gillespie: Mike Conley is going to have this listed right under his name in his bio. It’s going to elevate the pressure. But the Grizzlies overpaying him is on the Grizzlies. Conley just had his hand out. Last I heard, no one was desperate to bring in Mike Conley. The Grizzlies were bidding against themselves.
Dwight Howard proved everyone wrong, he got his $24 million.
Mallory: This goes back to the owners contention that all players want to get paid more than they want to win a title. Dwight wanted the money. The Hawks aren’t going to win. Dwight Howard isn’t the difference maker against LeBron. As if that person exists.
Julian: If he can’t be a superstar, why not get paid like one? I give him one month before he quits on the Hawks when they discover he can’t make threes and wants the ball every possession.
Brendan: His fourth team; he is proving that you just need one team to want you.
C.J.: Dwight taking the money is the path of least resistance. People hate Dwight. The money has nothing to do with it. So in an odd way, he can take the money and not have to defend it. He’s Dwight. So much else is wrong with him, the money is an afterthought.
Of the rest of the money takers today, who shocked you?
C.J.: Jeremy Lin. With all the money being thrown around, he only is able to snag $12 million a year? That’s more than he’s worth but I thought someone would give him about $16 or $17mil. He’s back in NY though, so it will be like old times.
Julian: Nic Batum, $24 million a year. He’s not even the best player on the team, that’s Kemba. Michael Jordan has his first max player. Batum is a solid two way player but he’s never been an All-Star and never will be.
Mallory: Al Jefferson, $10 million a year. That seemed on the low end plus I don’t get the signing. The Pacers want to play fast. Jefferson is an offensive player but he is not running up and down the court.
Brendan: It’s a tie. Timofey Mosgov, $16 million a year and Chandler Parsons, $23 million a year. The Lakers needed a big but Mosgov doesn’t fit a team with rookies and second year players. Parsons has had knee surgery and can’t guard a paper bag but the Grizzlies need a floor spacer
Does OKC pull off Durant/Horford or is Horford destined elsewhere?
Mallory: I say Horford re-signs with the Hawks. He plays power forward instead of center.
C.J.: Sam Presti gets it done and makes OKC the favorite in the West
Brendan: Horford goes to Boston.
Julian: Horford is back in Atlanta. I just can’t see him leaving after everything he put in. I think signing Howard makes him think twice about the Hawks. But if not, he’s with KD.
How much credence do you put in Wade leaving South Beach?
Mallory: None. Giving Whiteside the max is backing off Durant. They’d have to offer him less money now. Wade is South Beach. He wants what Kobe got as far as organizational love but at the same time I think that is what is pissing him off. The Lakers honored Kobe all the way to the end.
Brendan: Yes and look where it got them, out the playoffs for three years in a row, and rejected by every top tier free agent. I like Wade in Milwaukee. He’s in LeBron’s division. They have the Greek Freak and Greg Monroe. Wade will be that star the Bucks need. He played college there. If he can’t go back to the Bulls, why not where he became a star?
Julian: I hope he ditches Pat Riley. I wouldn’t be surprised if he calls Riley’s bluff. Riley put Wade on the back burner two years in a row. If he leaves, it’s what Riley deserves. The Lakers got ripped for their Kobe blindness but it kept the fans in the seats. If the Heat lose Wade they are an 8th seed.
C.J.: I think Wade is closer to leaving than people think. Wade is always ahead of the curve. He was willing to sacrifice and take his game back a level when LeBron came. I can totally see him going to New York and playing with Derrick Rose for the most injured backcourt in NBA history.
All of this money drama and no one cares that O.J. Mayo got kicked out the league, right?
Mallory: The last time I heard of a player getting kicked out it was Roy Tarpley. O.J. you are an embarrassment.
C.J.: Getting punked by Tony Allen on the team plane was less humiliating than this.
Julian: O.J. was all hype, no substance. He was a joke of a lottery pick. No one will miss him. Hopefully Wade replaces him in Milwaukee.
photo via llananba