Obviously not much news up on the Laker front in terms of past day signings except for a few training camp invitees. What the hell takes so long to sign Jimmy Jackson?
Anyways, this HoopsWorld guy for us, Kevin Pelton, takes a look at these transactions:
8/19 â€“ Signs rookie free agent forward Stephane Pelle.
8/15 â€“ Signs free agent center Eric Chenowith.
8/14 â€“ Signs rookie free agent forward Koko Archibong.
8/13 â€“ Signs free agent guards Maurice Carter and Ime Udoka.
7/29 â€“ Signs free agent center Horace Grant.
I hope, for your sake, that you look at that list and say â€œwho?â€? quite frequently. If not, there may be something wrong (and no, I am not the right guy to be delivering this message). Grant is a relatively important signing, but the rest of the guys are training-camp fodder. Iâ€™m not sure why the Lakers are the only team to publicize their training-camp guys during the summer. It was the same thing last year with Jannero Pargo (who did make the team) and Jefferson Sobral (who did not). As far as training-camp invitees go, these guys â€“ with the notable exception of Chenowith â€“ are pretty obscure. Archibong didnâ€™t manage double-figures in the Ivy League, which canâ€™t be a good sign for his NBA future, while Carter played in the USBL. Chenowith and Udoka at least have NBDL experience. The most famous player of the group, for non-playing reasons, is Archibong, who has become a cult internet hero. (For News@ subscribers, Jason Fleming explained the phenomenon over the weekend.)
Itâ€™s tough to make much out of an 85-minute sample, but Grant played well before the Magic released him for off-the-court reasons early last season. He also played well for the Lakers two years ago. With Shaquille Oâ€™Neal and Karl Malone up front, the Lakers wonâ€™t need a lot of minutes from their backup big man, and Grant should be okay in small doses. If nothing else, he knows the triangle well and can help his teammates there â€“ a role Phil Jackson has always liked to fill on his squads.
8/1 â€“ Re-signs free agent center Kevin Willis.
7/31 â€“ Signs free agent guards Devin Brown, formerly of the Denver Nuggets, and Anthony Carter, formerly of the Miami Heat.
Carter figures at the moment as the Spursâ€™ backup point guard, and heâ€™ll be one of the weaker ones in the league. Heâ€™s cheap, but I donâ€™t understand why San Antonio would choose him over one of the many veterans left on the market. Carter has rather conclusively demonstrated that he is the worst shooting regular in the NBA, so while heâ€™s a fine defensive player and solid ballhandler, he is not a rotation player. Brown is a San Antonio native who won the NBDLâ€™s MVP last year and showed some promise in a handful of games in the NBA. Heâ€™s a nice pickup. Willis returns for another year of action as the fourth big man and injury insurance. He continued to provide solid production in limited minutes and showed no signs of losing much effectiveness before he retires.
8/22 â€“ Signs free agent center Tony Massenburg, formerly of the Utah Jazz.
8/15 â€“ Signs free agent guard Anthony Peeler, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves (via the Milwaukee Bucks).
8/5 â€“ Acquires a second-round pick from the Utah Jazz in exchange for forward Keon Clark and two second-round picks.
Last yearâ€™s free agent coup is this yearâ€™s forgotten man. I know there are only a handful of teams with the cap space to take Clark and not return any salary, but youâ€™re telling me the Kings couldnâ€™t have gotten a deal where they even came out even in terms of draft picks? (Actually, itâ€™s possible they did, depending on where the picks are; I couldnâ€™t find that information anywhere.) Clearly, Clark is not worth $10 million per season to be the Kingsâ€™ fourth big man after the acquisition of Brad Miller. Sacramento did not expect him to exercise his option for this season. Since at worst they lost a second-round pick, it didnâ€™t end up hurting the team.
Peeler and Massenburg are okay signings . . . theyâ€™re certainly not anything worth celebrating, but they are both players who can give some minutes off the bench. There are other free agents Iâ€™d take over both players, but they might not be happy with the kinds of roles theyâ€™d play in Sacramento.
8/22 â€“ Signs rookie free agent guard Kirk Penney.
7/28 â€“ Signs free agent guard Fred Hoiberg, formerly of the Chicago Bulls, and free agent forward Mark Madsen, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Timberwolves fill out their bench, which was looking awfully empty thanks to free agency and the teamâ€™s trades this summer. Penney and Hoiberg will battle for the fourth guard role, though neither will probably see very much action, with Troy Hudson assumedly backing up both guard positions. Madsen could get the power forward minutes that Kevin Garnett doesnâ€™t play â€“ not very many at all. In both cases, I think the Timberwolves could have done better. Hoiberg is essentially in the league because of his shooting, but has shot poorly the last two seasons. Madsen, meanwhile, isnâ€™t anywhere in the league of Garnettâ€™s backup last season, Gary Trent. If Minnesota is still looking to add a backup forward, Madsenâ€™s an okay pickup, but they shouldnâ€™t count on him.
8/22 â€“ Signs free agent guard Travis Best, formerly of the Miami Heat.
8/18 â€“ Acquires guard Jiri Welsch and forwards Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, and Chris Mills from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guards Avery Johnson, Antoine Rigaudeau, and Nick Van Exel, forward Popeye Jones, and center Evan Eschmayer.
7/29 â€“ Signs rookie free agent guard Marquis Daniels.
Now hereâ€™s a big deal to take a look at. Daniels can be the guard the Mavericks have been looking . . . wait, not that one. Don Nelson moves yet one step closer to seeing how many scorers you can have in the same starting lineup, and the Mavericks complete their search for a scoring small forward that started last year with Rashard Lewis (and Michael Redd). Jamisonâ€™s a similar player to Lewis, the difference being that he comes with a higher price tag in the short term and costs Nick Van Exel but allows the Mavericks to shed some unwanted contracts (fare thee well, Evan Eschmeyer).
The Mavericksâ€™ strategy requires me to take you back to Econ 101 in college. The question in adding Jamison is, what is his marginal value to the Dallas offense? Naturally, the value of a player depends on the situation heâ€™s going to. Putting Jamison on last yearâ€™s Nuggets is a tremendous upgrade, because he takes away shots from guys like Junior Harrington. On a team already as deep offensively as the Mavericks, the difference between Jamison and Raja Bell or Adrian Griffin is not so large. There are only so many possessions that five players can use, and Jamison is probably the fourth option offensively for Dallas. I think Jamison is a better scorer than most others do, but his impact on the Mavericksâ€™ offense isnâ€™t going to be that huge. Defensively, Jamison is a huge, huge downgrade from the Bell/Griffin platoon. Michael Finley now has to take the oppositionâ€™s best perimeter scorer every night, which will make it difficult for him to go hard for 40 minutes a night. On the boards, this actually isnâ€™t that much of an upgrade for the Mavericks. Bell was a terrible rebounder, but Griffinâ€™s 9.2 boards per 48 minutes were better than Jamisonâ€™s 8.2.
Van Exel is the only real player the Mavericks lose, and I donâ€™t think theyâ€™ll miss him as much as is generally believed. Thereâ€™s a lot of talk about Nashâ€™s durability, but heâ€™s played all 82 games and more than 2,700 minutes each of the last two seasons. His production may wane down the stretch, but it did last year with Van Exel anyway. With Van Exel playing a lot of his minutes alongside Nash, the Mavericks only have 13-15 minutes to fill at backup point guard. I might have chosen someone other than Best for that role, but if he can handle playing limited minutes, he should be adequate. If not, Daniels could step into that role, and I think he would surprise a lot of people with how well he performed. Daniels was one of my top sleepers in this yearâ€™s draft based on his college stats. I rated him the fourth-best college shooting guard, behind three first-round picks (Dwyane Wade, Jarvis Hayes, and Dahntay Jones), but he went unselected. The Mavericks got Daniels for their summer-league team and he shined on a squad that was, other than him and Josh Howard, pretty devoid of talent. That got him a contract for next season, and Daniels should find some minutes. He played both guard positions in college, adding to his versatility and value.
Back to the trade, the Mavericks got other NBA players besides Jamison. Many experts are touting Fortson as the steal out of the trade, but I canâ€™t agree. Fortson is an awful defender who thinks heâ€™s a vastly superior scorer than he is. Kudos to Fortson for accepting his spot on the end of Eric Musselmanâ€™s bench last season, but the only area in which he is superior to Eduardo Najera is rebounding (he is, of course, possibly the leagueâ€™s best rebounder). Welsch is more interesting. He saw very little action as a rookie (just 234 minutes) and showed nothing in that time to warrant more, but he is a 23-year-old that the Warriors thought enough of in the 2001 Draft to give up two picks to get him. Thatâ€™s a good throw-in. Mills, meanwhile, is in the last year of his contract and will fill the Walt Williams shooting small forward off the bench role next season.
The Mavericks add a fair amount of guaranteed money with Jamisonâ€™s contract, which has five years left to run, but thereâ€™s still little question that they won this deal. The fact that they get several potential contributors in addition to Jamison makes this a very solid deal for Dallas.
Sorry, I'm just obsessed with the WEST. They're so tough.
By the way, I like these guy's comments.
Minnesota has no bench and just replenished it, Dallas made that trade to redeem their offseason efforts, the Kings just plain screwed up their offseason, the Spurs just got these no-namers these past couple of days (oh yeah I'm no Anthony Carter fan either), and the Lakers of course, with those training camp invitees (Is Koko Archibong really that good? Please I don't want to pay the money to see the hoopsworld article, if any of oyu are HoopsWorld members, please post what they say here.). Well, that basically sums it up, if you don't want to read long boring comments.