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News » Expiring contracts may surpass talent in value


Expiring contracts may surpass talent in value


Expiring contracts may surpass talent in value
With American retailers pricing almost everything in sight to be sold immediately, we've been inspired to assist our NBA pals in similar enterprise.

Must-read:

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    Worth a thousand words:

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But before listing the names of uniformed employees who could or should be goners, let's eliminate some otherwise obvious heave-ho candidates.

Stephon Marbury, for example, may leave the room. With an expiring contract representing 21 million scoots in the New York Knicks' march toward salary-cap freedom, Steph only will work elsewhere this season if he's bought off and signed for a relative pittance.

Newly-minted Detroit Piston Allen Iverson is rowing in the same financial boat, but his current employer may either offer him another deal or decide that blowing up a team philosophy should be rewarded by having $21 million off the books. The Pistons may feel the same way about grumpy power forward Rasheed Wallace ($13 million going away), and if they don't, it may be tricky finding a contending team with $13 million in worthwhile salary coming back to Detroit.

Lamar Odom had been the big star of trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers, who probably can't swap him for anyone capable of providing his impact and versatility off the bench during their push to glory.

I also believe $17 million in expiring Shawn Marion stock is worth more than the flotsam and jetsam a contending team might part with to nab his stat-stuffing tendencies before the deadline.

Anyway, with those names off the table, be advised that the league is not without workers who still deserve to be shown the door.

  • Baron Davis, Los Angeles Clippers

    Please note that I'd rather have Baron as my floor leader than Mike Dunleavy as my coach and personnel king.

    But these rascals have yet to find a common ground and Baron is in the first year of his big Clips deal, so this week's chatter regarding a return to Golden State seems fine by us.

    Unfortunately, the Warriors have little in the way of heavy salary (Davis makes a little more than $11 million this season) to send back. Well, a trade package that included Corey Maggette could work, but the Clippers reportedly seem to feel better when Corey's not around. It has been rumored that Dunleavy once acquired Maggette for his fantasy-league team just so he could trade him.

    Now Mike's in charge of anything but a fantasy team.

    A deal might happen if Golden State decided to move wounded guard Monta Ellis, allowing the Clippers to have two young shooting guards or assume the duty of proving the Ellis-to-point guard experiment is a mistake.

  • Chris Kaman, Los Angeles Clippers

    That's right, everything must go. Actually, Kaman is a fine item to have in the marketplace now that the Clippers are paying Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph to work on their baseline.

    It has been posited that the Clips will keep all three because Camby has the ability to become injured and Randolph (who's injured now) has more baggage than the area just south of Jerry Tarkanian's eyes.

    But if offers are being entertained, Kaman, a rare legitimate center with back-to-the-basket scoring chops, might be a swell addition to the block-starved Chicago Bulls. In return, the Clips could take on (currently infirm) point guard Kirk Hinrich and the three additional years on Kirk's deal ... if Baron is moved.

    The Charlotte Bobcats, another of the many teams with zero productivity at center (unless we're calling Emeka Okafor a center) could or should be interested in Kaman, with Raymond Felton coming to Los Angeles as Baron's replacement.

    Larry Brown would still have rook D.J. Augustin to run his team; the Bobcats could kick in Adam Morrison to make the salaries work and no longer serve as a reminder that Michael Jordan pulled the trigger on the Gonzaga marksman when Brandon Roy, among others, was still on the draft board.

    The Miami Heat certainly need a center, but it's hard to make a case for the Clippers taking back what they'd have to offer in matching salary (just under $10 million for Kaman).

  • Joe Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder

    When people in Oklahoma take a break from chatting about the Sooners and Florida Gators, they're wondering if this veteran power forward will be traded.

    But wouldn't Joe's expiring salary (a modest $4 million ... modest? Easy for me to write) be worth keeping in Oklahoma City? Think about it. How much is cap room worth to a franchise that (for now) very few players are looking to join?

    The rumored and/or reported suitors include the NBA champion Boston Celtics, who don't seem to have any decent nonrotation players worth what would be needed in matching salary coming back.

    Miami still could use taller players, and may be able to scrape up a player or two with that level of redeeming value.

    Kevin McHale may want Smith back in Minnesota, but we've been led to believe that ol' Kevin isn't free to make those moves anymore.

  • Eddy Curry, New York Knicks

    With 6-foot-8 David Lee working inside, Mike D'Antoni's chuck-wagon Knicks definitely need a center who can score.

    But after Eddy injured his knee in another successful attempt to avoid a rebound, D'Antoni reportedly doubted his 6-11 big man was working hard enough in rehab. The first-year Knicks coach adjusted by shortening his rotation to three (just kidding. ... Mike never uses fewer than seven players in any game).

    There's been recent evidence to suggest that Curry might be returning to practice, so the kid once referred to as "Baby Shaq" could step in and become that beefy low-post presence D'Antoni needs.

    Or does he need a beefy low-post presence? We all know what happened when Mike had access to "Full-Grown Shaq" in Phoenix.

    If Eddy can get on the floor and show off that legit offensive skill before the deadline, he might generate some interesting offers, despite having two more years and almost $22 million on his deal.

    The previously referenced, center-starved teams could make a move, although the hometown Bulls were Curry's original employer. Perhaps they would go for a homecoming and send Andres Nocioni (yea, another shooter!) to D'Antoni.

  • Raymond Felton, Charlotte Bobcats

    With two point-guard-sized point guards logging big minutes, the Bobcats might consider moving the former Tar Heel before another former Tar Heel (Larry Brown) can diminish his value.

    A rumored deal had or has Felton heading to Minnesota for ex-Heels teammate Rashad McCants and salary filler, but that doesn't sound particularly sweet to me.

    Kaman would be pretty nice to have, but the Clippers may be able to do better than Felton and salary filler for a real center.

    By the way, if the player you've been hoping your favorite team could get rid of failed to make this list, please don't take it personally. And always keep the faith.

    Given the state of general-manager awareness in the NBA, the player currently killing your team already may be coveted elsewhere.


  • Author: Fox Sports
    Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: January 6, 2009

     

     
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