Ball Don't Lie - NBA

The offseason is winding down, there's precious little fodder out there, so why not go over a list of un-signed free agents, as several other sites have done

Today, we're taking on the forwards, and the list directly reflects who I think can help a team the most from top-to-bottom. Or, toward nearly the bottom, because I just started throwing names out there at the end.

Andre Iguodala (Restricted Free Agent)

With no real cap space out there, no sign-and-trade suitors lining up (despite our best efforts), and no real anonymously-sourced enmity spiraling out of both AI and/or Philly's camps, you're left to believe that it's just a matter of time before things settle down, and Iguodala signs for something around 12 million a year.

Which, even considering a market that gives Luol Deng about the same amount, still has me wondering how Andre Iguodala can make 12 million a year.

Josh Smith (RFA)

It would leave most wondering if there was a wink-wink/nudge-nudge agreement in place, which the NBA can't stand and could not prove, but that's what the league leaves itself up against when they wander back down the way of the restricted kind of free agency. Players are going to talk with teams, sign with teams, and then they won't be able to stick with the team they signed with.

And that is why I'm wondering if Smith won't sign a one year deal (or a three-year deal, with one year guaranteed and the rest player options) with a team for around the average salary under MLE provisions, knowing that Atlanta will match. This would allow Smith to play under a 2008-09 salary closer to what he thinks he's worth rather than his (relative to Ben Gordon or Andre Iguodala) somewhat smallish Qualifying Offer of just over 3.6 million.

He could then opt-out in 2009, working as the same unrestricted free agent he would have been had he signed to the QO, but having made a few million more in the process. After that, he would return the favor to the team that initially signed him and work toward a longer deal.

Carl Landry (RFA)

Houston is finally moving salary in order to bring Landry back, but it shouldn't have come to this. They know, probably more than any other team in the NBA, how good this guy is, but chose to act as if he was a bit of a one-year fluke.

Bonzi Wells

Outside of my brother witnessing him chuck his golf clubs into a man-made lake somewhere outside of Muncie, Indiana; it's been a quiet summer for Bonzi Wells.

He can still play. He can still board, score, and contribute. But he's not going to want to for 82 games plus the playoffs. He still takes games, quarters, and plays off, and won't want anything to do with your training camp. What sort of coach wants him around at this point? Phil Jackson? Will Bonzi's ball-pounding ways work in the Triangle?

Shavlik Randolph

Randolph took a pretty nasty fall in practice a few years ago, and hasn't played much since. Pity, because when he could play, Randolph was a damn good rebounder who was worth a rotation spot. He'll turn 25 this fall, and could be a surprise for a team if he shows up in shape and loses some of that smirking homophobia.

Nick Fazekas

Chortle if you want ("the Clippers didn't want him!") but this guy's per-minute stats are fantastic. He'll likely jump at the first guaranteed contract he'll find (cue the other bad joke about Fazekas' jumping ability), so here's hoping your favorite team makes a move.

Kasib Powell (RFA)

Probably staying with the Heat, though with Shawn Marion on board and Michael Beasley around, it's going to be hard for Powell to get the minutes he deserves. Bummer, because he can play.

Dorell Wright (RFA)

Pat Riley doesn't appear to be head over heels about this guy, even though Wright can contribute at this level. That's a warning sign, for me at least. After all, Riles was spot on about Todd Day.

Austin Croshere

Wasn't worth the contract he signed in 2000, but that doesn't mean he still can't be a solid part of a rotation.

Louis Amundson

I can see why the Warriors haven't made things official, they are short of roster spots at big forward, but whoever signs Amundson will be getting a guy who turns 26 in December and will be ready to contribute.

Yakhouba Diawara

Not the sticky defender most had him pegged for, but he can play, but probably lost a solid option once Phoenix picked up Matt Barnes.

Demetris Nichols (RFA)

Supposedly a shooter, still, and probably NBDL fodder again this season for whatever team picks him up after the Bulls cut him in training camp.

James Augustine

An NBA-level talent, should find a home.

Mickael Gelabale

A good player who tore his ACL late last season, Gelabale probably won't sniff the NBA this year.

Ryan Bowen

Not sure why Bowen sniffed the NBA for so long while minor league talent had to stay in Fort Wayne, but that's how this league works. He'll probably be on a roster next season.

Paul Davis

Also tore his ACL last year. Davis will get some training camp interest in order to gauge his recovery and what sort of shape he's in. Choose wisely, Paul.

Jeremy Richardson

This is an NBA talent who really needs a chance, and it's going to bug the hell out of me if Richardson gets passed over by anyone below him on this list for a guaranteed contract.

Linton Johnson

Linton can play, but he's going to have to probably work for an un-guaranteed deal and sweat out most of December.

Othella Harrington

Can't get any lift on that jump hook, so this is likely the end.

Juwan Howard

Depends on whether or not he's embarrassed to work for an un-guaranteed deal or sweat out training camp cuts. Howard is getting paid a little over 5 million by the Minnesota Timberwolves anyway, so this is a love of the game scenario. And I wouldn't rip on the guy for wanting a break after 14 NBA seasons.

Sean Marks

Really doesn't belong in the NBA, but that hasn't stopped teams for years.

Devean George

Step slow on defense, can't get lift enough to shoot anymore, and never could dribble. Hopefully I'm wrong, I like Devean, but what am I missing? Name recognition alone doesn't put points on the board or get stops on the other end.

Pat Garrity

18 trillion bucks says Doc Rivers finds a way to get this guy minutes next year.

Ira Newble

Not much left in the tank, though I would like to see the Lakers give him another try, assuming he's picked up the offense.

Robert Horry

Nothing left in the tank, and unfortunate circumstances (the Rockets know what they're doing, the Heat don't need another forward, Danny Ainge can't stand him) could conspire against Horry latching on with a known commodity.

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