NBA Free Agency: Monday News and Notes Wrap
- By: Perry Missner
- On: 7/8/2013 8:46:00 PM
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After losing Dwight Howard on Friday to the Rockets, the Lakers took the weekend to lick their wounds and announced their response on Monday. They signed Chris Kaman to a one-year deal. Captain Ka-man! spent the first eight years of his career in Los Angeles with the Clippers, but has spent the last two seasons in New Orleans and Dallas, respectively. Kaman should see a significant bump up in minutes from his 20.7 with the Mavs in 2012-13, so he could be a sneaky fantasy center to latch onto. He won't be the guy who snagged 12.7 rebounds in 2007-08 or provided 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in 2009-10, but if he plays 30 minutes per game, he could provide 13 points and eight rebounds with solid percentages and a decent total of blocks. With Kobe Bryant out until at least 2014, someone is going to shoot. Kaman will get his opportunities. The Lakers only signed him to a one-year deal, which keeps their options open for the free agent market in 2014 (ahem, LeBron James).
The Lakers also made news on Monday after it was reported that they will use their amnesty clause on Metta World Peace. The former-Ron Artest is owed $7.7 million in 2013-14 before his salary comes off the cap. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 33.7 minutes in his fourth season with the Lakers. It could be that MWP will find a new team in which he will accept a bench role. After 14 years in the league, World Peace no longer has the athleticism to be a defensive stopper, but he can still throw his weight around and hit a 3-pointer from time to time. It will be interesting to see who shows interest. The Lakers only have Steve Nash's $9.7 millions on the cap for 2014-15.
Another former Laker, Andrew Bynum, has received a two-year contract offer from the Cavaliers who are clearly going from win-later to win-now mode. If he chooses to play with Cleveland and Mike Brown (for whom he had his best season in 2011-12 with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds), he could start next to Anderson Varejao and push Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson to the bench. Anthony Bennett would also likely fall out of Rookie of the Year contention because his minutes would be limited. Of course, this all depends on Bynum's ability to stay on the court since he missed the entire 2012-13 season.
Two of the bigger names without contracts are Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, who comprised Milwaukee's high-usage backcourt in 2012-13. Ellis turned down a player option with Milwaukee for 2013-14, and his avenues of revenue are drying up. Teams that have shown interest in Ellis include Atlanta, Sacramento, and Denver. A report on ESPN.com also noted that the Hawks may have interest in Jennings as part of a sign-and-trade for Jeff Teague. Marc Stein did mention that Atlanta would not have interest in pairing Jennings and Ellis. While it is true that the Bucks made the playoffs last year, they were not competitive against Miami and there were two teams in the Western Conference (Utah and Dallas) that did not make the playoffs, but had better records. Teague and Jennings are similar players, but Teague's ego may not be quite as large and new Bucks' coach Larry Drew knows him. With Devin Harris in Dallas, the Hawks have a hole in their backcourt that seems likely to be filled by shoot-first point guard.
We have a few other minor deals to report. Marreese Speights will sign with the Warriors and Randy Foye will make his way to Denver as part of a three-team trade in a roundabout way for Andre Iguodala. Speights has long been touted by statheads for his per minute numbers. However, there is a pretty good reason that the former-76er and Grizzly has only played more then 20 minutes per game once: he's not that good. He will serve a bench role for the Warriors and try to emulate some of what Carl Landry (now with the Kings) brought to the team. Foye is heading to his fifth franchise in the last five years. He did hit 41 percent of his 3-pointers with the Jazz last year, but seems likely to play behind Evan Fournier for coach Brian Shaw's Nuggets. Lastly, Will Bynum re-signed with the Pistons. He scored 20 pointers or more with Detroit seven times in 2012-13, but finished with averages of 9.8 points and 3.6 assists. Bynum will likely back up Brandon Knight again.