The Ridiculous Center Signings
It is well known that centers are always overpaid because of the premium on the position, hence good centers are often paid like fantastic guards. The truth is that it is very hard to find a quality center, as there simply are not many talented 7 footers in the world, but the amount of money being spent on centers this year in this free agency period is laughably high. Brook Lopez is a one of the best offensive centers in the league and the Nets either had to sign him to a maximum contract or he would have left, but 15 million a year is an awful lot of money for a center who cannot play defense or rebound and is coming off a year where he played four games. Like the Nets, the Pacers would have lost Roy Hibbert if they had not given him a maximum contract and even though he was an All-Star last year, he only averaged 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and two blocks a game. Nice stats, but once again that is not worth 15 million dollars per year. The Nuggets have signed Javelle McGee to a contract worth 4 years and 44 million dollars, but 11 million a year is way too high for a player who has become synonymous with the words boneheaded, immature and low IQ. There is no doubting his talent, but he simply has not done enough to warrant a contract of that magnitude. Based on his numbers and potential it is a fair
contract for a center, but if he made these mistakes while playing for a new contract, what will he play like when he has 44 million guaranteed dollars in his bank account. The Rockets decision to give Bulls’ backup Omer Asik a 3-year, 25 million-dollar contract is absolutely ridiculous. There is no doubting the fact that he is an imposing defender down low and may be one of the very best there in the league, but he really does not do anything else of note. The first two years of the contract will pay him around 5 million a year, which is more than fair for his production, but the final year will pay him 15 million dollars, which is maximum cash for a player who averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 points per game last year. The Rockets offered him this massive back-loaded offer sheet so the Bulls would not match the contract as they are nearing the luxury tax, but there are simply better ways to spend the money. Every year it seems that centers are being overpaid, but this year GMs really stepped it up in giving awful contracts to centers.
Ray Allen’s Decision
Ray Allen was loved in Boston and highly respected in the locker room, but his anger in the Celtics for attempting to trade him (which is the only possible reason he signed with Miami) caused him to make a horrible decision. His wallet is taking a big hit as the Celtics were reportedly willing to offer at least two or three times as much money than the Heat, in the range of 3 years and 18-24 million dollars. Second, he has gone from a beloved player in Boston to one that will be booed mercilessly every time he steps into the Boston Garden. This will hurt his reputation forever and will make him the villain for many years to come. He could have remained a Boston legend while making at least twice as much money, but instead he left.
Whatever Houston is Doing…
Houston is having a very odd off-season, as they have showed their cards and everyone knows exactly what they want and who they want and that is Dwight Howard. They have let it be known that they are willing to do anything to get him. They have already amnestied a more than capable starting power forward, let very good free agents walk and have traded proven talent for young players, cap space and picks. What really makes their moves confusing is that they are willing to trade for Howard without his verbal commitment to resigning with the team and he has gone as far as flat out saying he will not resign with Houston. Their poison pill contracts to Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik are also puzzling. They have already officially brought in Lin to the fold but they are still waiting to hear from the Bulls about matching their offer to Asik. Both contracts involved modest five million dollar contracts for the first two years and up to fifteen in the final year. Obviously neither player is worth that much money, but they offered the contract since both teams were pressed against the luxury cap and they knew there was a very good chance that they would not be signed. So basically, if the Bulls decline to sign Asik to his three-year contract offer from Houston,
the Rockets will be paying, Asik and Lin 30 million combined in 2014-15, which is simply insane.
The Lakers’ Risky Bynum Talks
The Lakers are going hard after Dwight Howard, who is the best center in the league and have been dangling Andrew Bynum who happens to be the second best center in the NBA. There have also been talks about Bynum going to Houston or Cleveland as a part of a three-way deal, but why are the Lakers doing this? Yes Howard is an upgrade, but why would they trade Bynum for the headache that is Howard, especially without a promise of him resigning. They are risking the second best center in the league for the hope of Howard signing long-term and they have to also
realize that all of the trade talks are going to hurt Bynum psychologically and will cause animosity, which will hurt if he does stay with the Lakers. Yes having Howard long-term would keep the franchise as true title contenders for years to come, but the risk of losing Bynum for nothing or him turning on the franchise for the drama is too big of a risk. They would be wise to just sign Bynum to a long-term contract and have him as a franchise cornerstone for many years to come.
Orlando Refusing Houston
This is the most puzzling decision so far in the off-season. The Rockets have done everything in order to make the best possible offer for Dwight Howard and they have even offered to take back all of the Magic’s horrible contracts and give them a bounty of young talent. The Magic would have the option to start over with a clean salary cap and a cache of young talent, which is ideal for any rebuilding team. The Magic may be holding out for a star, but it is unlikely they will find a deal as good as the one the Rockets have offered.