Ball Don't Lie - NBA

You know the drill, because we did this last week, with forwards. Listed in order of desirability, kind of. 

Ben Gordon (Restricted Free Agent)

It might be a plant from Chicago's front office, but then again Gordon's camp has done little to dissuade people from believing that the rumor of the Bulls offer of six-years and 59-million dollar deal is true. If it is true, then your first and second instincts are correct. Gordon should have signed on the dotted line yesterday.

We know why he hasn't. Compared with the five-year, 50-million dollar deal the Bulls offered last fall, Gordon is stuck in Chicago for another year at a reduced per-year price. In order to come in under the luxury tax, Chicago has set up the deal so that Gordon's first year wouldn't be worth much more than he could make with the Qualifying Offer. And because Ben has been Chicago's leading scorer for the last few years, a fact he has incessantly offered in every interview Gordon has given this summer, he feels that he should be paid more than Luol Deng.

He shouldn't be. And because Chicago made a bum move in overpaying Andres Nocioni last summer and because it also refuses to spend big boy money and pay the luxury tax for a winner, Chicago won't budge, and Gordon's going to have to take the deal sooner or later. Because it's not as if there is any more money to be had (stateside, at least) by accepting the QO and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Delonte West (RFA)

Cleveland is telling the press that they still want West back, even after taking on Mo Williams and his contract this week, and you'd like to believe them. After all, Williams has played more than 68 games in a season just once in a five-year career, Eric Snow is in bed most nights before 8:30, and West can act as a minutes sponge.

Then again, he was revealed last season to be a bit of a "bleh"-guard, not quite there defensively, not quite there offensively, and the Cavs have to be careful how many contracts they pile up.

Then again, Danny Ferry only recently became careful about how many contracts he's piling up.

Then again, who knows what's going to happen?

Kirk Snyder

Radioactive, already.

Apparently playing for four teams in four years will do that. Apparently offering the NBA's most ubiquitous skill-set (a wise man once told me that being an athletic wing player with an iffy jump shot in the NBA is like being an attractive blonde working out of Hollywood; though I think Desmond Mason and Elizabeth Banks were the intended examples) doesn't help either.

Snyder's only 25, and he can play. Somebody, give him a try.

Juan Dixon

Want to know something interesting about Juan Dixon? He'll be 30 on opening night, assuming he latches on with a team. 30! That's why you don't draft 24 year-olds.

Shaun Livingston

Go to any message board on any site for any team on the interweb, and you're bound to find a "Shaun Livingston???" thread. I promise.

He might be the most sought-after free agent in the NBA, at least by people with More Cowbell .gifs as avatars. Livingston hasn't even begun to play five-on-five yet.

Chris Quinn (RFA)

This guy has to end up with the Heat again. Several teams have shown interest, but nobody's going to waste their time because the Heat are going to match any reasonable offer. And because only Memphis is left to make an unreasonable offer, Quinn and Mario Chalmers get to not make eye contact a lot next season.

Devin Brown

A month ago we were hearing that several teams were after this guy, but it looks as if he's just going to have to sweat out a wait until October. Unfortunate, because he's well worth a guaranteed couple of years.

Gordan Giricek

Even though he's more comfortable shooting what is a three-pointer in international competition (and a crummy 21-footer in NBAville), Giricek's somewhat rugged game might be better suited for the pros. And you get the feeling he'd prefer to say in the NBA. How can I tell? It's August 15th, and he's still considered an NBA free agent.

Quinton Ross

Another strange one. Ross can play, he's athletic, he's long, he can stick that corner jumper and defends like mad. And yet, crickets. Everywhere. Noisy buggers.

Kevin Ollie

Probably the most under-handed compliment I ever gave a bad contract in "Under-Handed Compliments for Bad Contracts"-history, came back in the summer of 2003.

"Sure, it's way too long and for too much money, but Ollie's contract is quite tradeable!"

Sure enough, he was traded ... well, once, over the length of the deal. I look as bad as Jim Paxson, on this one.

No I don't.

Sam Cassell

I was recently reminded of this interview while tooling around the internets. Emphasis on "tool."

I don't have any news about Cassell, but I can tell you that it's OK to hate the internet because of people like this guy. What an utter pillock.

Jannero Pargo

Strangely courted by the Spurs, to the chagrin (to say the least) of some of San Antonio's fans, Pargo still remains a free agent.

Don't worry. Somewhere, somehow, he's shooting an 18-footer.

Update: Pargo is headed to Moscow! Which NBA team plays there?

Darrell Armstrong

I don't think I'm really ready to say goodbye to the idea of Darrell Armstrong, Professional Basketball Player.

I constantly rail against bringing back ancient vets instead of signing more productive (and much cheaper) minor league youngsters, but I'm making an exception in this case.

Damon Stoudamire

Not in this one, though.

Lindsey Hunter

Detroit or bust. If Lindsey wanted to retire, he'd have done it by now.

Blake Ahearn

Has game, can play, please sign him.

Michael Finley

Not a lot left, and with Roger Mason Jr. in San Antonio, it appears Mike's days are up down there. Way up down there.

Fred Jones

Not a horrible player. That sound like a backhanded compliment, and it is, but Fred Jones can't get a job? Was that part of Isiah Thomas' buyout plan with the Knicks, that Fred Jones would have to remain unemployed as well?

Salim Stoudamire

I'm with Sham on this one:

"I want to sign him. I'm the only one, though."

You're not the only one, but the other one in this case, Sham, doesn't have a team of his own, either.

Can I get him, Skeets? Can I? Can I? Can I?

Derek Anderson

Considering how creaky he was for years, Anderson's play in Charlotte was a bit of a surprise. In 2006-07, really, but it was still a surprise.

He's 33, and hasn't played more than 75 games in a season since before Kevin Ollie signed that tradeable contract.

Casey Jacobsen


DerMarr Johnson

Never got it. Never figured it out. We should have known, back in 2000, but it doesn't make it any easier to admit.

Ronald Dupree

Can still defend. Can still miss 5-footers.

Eric Piatkowski


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