By Keith Alrick @Kramerica100 on July 24, 2014
The NBA free-agency period is typically one of optimism. Fans sit back and watch their team bring in players that they hope will improve the roster. Unfortunately, there are always a handful of signings that don't end well. Here are the five players that will struggle in their new surroundings.
I didn't want to put Thomas on this list because I like his game, but I don't like his new situation. He was the clear starter in Sacramento; he will likely be coming off the bench in Phoenix. The Suns thrived playing with two point guards last season with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. They got away with this because Bledsoe can guard most wing players. Thomas doesn't have that ability and will be a liability on defense.
Carlos Boozer's stat-line will probably look similar to what it has in past seasons. So why is he on the list? For starters, you can't see how bad a player is defensively from just looking at numbers. Boozer could get away with his lack of defense in Chicago because he had Joakim Noah there to clean up his mistakes. He won't have that luxury with the Lakers. It won't be long until the fans grow tired of watching guys blow past him.
Fair or not, Luol Deng is going to be replacing LeBron James in the Miami Heat lineup. Good luck with that. More importantly, I don't think Deng's game fits in with this current Miami roster. Deng needs to play alongside a play-making guard who can create opportunities for him. Unless Dwyane Wade turns back the clock, which I doubt, Deng will have a hard time getting open looks.
Paul Pierce was going to be on this list regardless of where he signed. He averaged a career-low 13.5 points per game last season. I don't think he can be a starter on a good team at this point. He won't be able to match the athleticism or defensive ability that they got from Trevor Ariza last season. His greatest asset to this team will be veteran leadership, which is important, but production on the court is better.
This signing was by far the strangest of the offseason. The only winner in this deal is Channing Frye's bank account. He was in a perfect situation in Phoenix. He was playing with two guards that excel in the pick-and-pop game. He can say goodbye to all of those open looks in Orlando. I give it about two months until both sides are deeply regretting this move.
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