Monday, July 1, 2013

NBA Free Agency Fear Rankings

Chris Paul headlines the 2013 Free Agent Class
(Editor's Note: We're happy to welcome a guest post from Josh Garvey, a Pistons fan, facial hair enthusiast, and the unofficial president of the Chris Paul Man-Crush Association)

By Josh Garvey

Instead of just ranking the NBA free agents in a normal fashion, I'd like to discuss the amount of terror hearing "My team just signed (insert name here)!" inspires in you.  All of this is, as always, dependent on contract, but it's my best guess.

Tier 1 – No terror: This is reserved for players who are very likely to meet the value of their contract and not give you excessive headaches

  • Chris Paul: Well, he's not going anywhere, but hey, he’s the best, so you knew he would get some love.
  • David West: His game seems to be aging well, and I don't think anyone is going to throw a particularly long contract at him. Also, most likely going nowhere.
  • Paul Millsap: Doesn't seem the type to get overpaid, good locker room guy, fairly consistent, hustles.
  • Chris Andersen: His age means he probably won't get an excessively long contract, one of the best bench energizers, incredibly fun saying "BIRDMAN, BIRDMAN" and "CAW CAW CAW" every time he does anything.

Tier 2 - Mild Terror: You have slight reservations, but are overall generally positive on the signing

  • Dwight Howard: I sort of wrote myself into a corner with that headache line from tier one. Dwight should be up there, but even if you sign him, you are sort of prepared for being annoyed as hell at him at least a few times a year, so this seems fair.
  • Jose Calderon: He's on my team (the Pistons) and I wouldn't mind bringing him back. I also barely care about him – he's like the opposite of JR Smith – a very steady hand who it's hard to get really excited about at this point.  Of course, he sucks at defense and is pretty old, so I'm assuming a short contract.
  • Andre Iguodala: He's already declining offensively, which could make a max level contract scary, and his free throw shooting woes are downright weird, but he's one of the best defensive players in the league and he can contribute on offense in subtle, effective ways. Also a great dude by all accounts.
  • Josh Smith: He jacks some shots and he's not that mature, but he can also be a force to be reckoned with, so the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Andrei Kirilenko: I dunno, had to put him somewhere.
  • Martell Webster: He's not going to break the bank, so whatever.
  • Kyle Korver: Good veteran, tries as much as he can on defense, the three-point shooting isn't going away and he's apparently going to Brooklyn on the cheap, so yeah, no terror.

Tier 3 – Medium terror: You're getting a bit sweaty about the signing, but can convince yourself it's a good move

  • Tiago Splitter: I figure this range is a good place for the good players who are RFAs. You know you're going to have to overpay to get them away from their current team. It's especially a bit scary for Splitter, where if you go for him you're going against the smartest team in the league.
  • Nikola Pekovic: A bruising center, but also an RFA who the wolves want to hang on to, meaning you wouldd have to throw a LOT of cash to get him away.
  • Nate Robinson: On the one hand, he's an amazing energy guy. On the other, he's 5'9 and every time he gets big time minutes I always think something like "oh, crap, Nate Rob is getting major burn, that's never really a good sign."
  • J.J. Hickson: I don't know, I don't care about the guy.
  • J.J. Redick: Doesn't seem likely to get overpaid, has specific skills that are useful. 
  • Jarrett Jack: Highly variable terror level – for the right contract on the right team, could be a godsend. For other teams, could be a tier 5 nightmare, so I split the difference.

Tier 4 – High terror: You immediately start counting down until the contract is over

  • Tony Allen: On the one hand, he's a defensive wrecking ball and straight beloved in Memphis. On the other, he's an offensive headcase and you're going to have to pay enough to get him to leave a place where he's beloved. Not the best bet for most teams, especially considering his age.
  • Al Jefferson: Playing centers that suck this bad on defense always worries me.
  • Tyreke Evans: A chance he figures it out and owns crap, a much higher chance he gives you some impressive buyer’s remorse.
  • Gary Neal: Outside of the protective cocoon of the Spurs system, he could be downright heart attack inducing.
  • OJ Mayo: High chance of overpayment. I also kind of figure he'll get some GM to overpay him based on him "figuring everything out."
  • Marco Belinelli: It's not terror; I'd just be pissed off if I got this guy. Have you seen his face? God. To hell with him.
  • Jeff Teague: Now that Chris Paul's staying put, you'd have to really overpay for him, cause RFA.
  • Kevin Martin: Had to put him somewhere. I dunno, I'd be kind of pissed if my team threw much money at him.

Tier 5 – The highest terror imaginable: The dull haze of alcoholism sounds preferable

  • Monta Ellis: Probably the highest terror level possible.
  • J.R. Smith: You're going to have to pay him extra to get him out of New York and he's J.R. Smith.  He's a rollercoaster ride. The worst part is that he will put it together for amazing games, and they will be followed by some late period Hibachi levels of insanity.
  • Brandon Jennings: About the same as Monta, a bit higher cause he's an RFA, but a bit lower cause he's a little younger.
  • Andrew Bynum: Didn't play at all last season, cultivated some sort of weird mushroom hairdo, is refusing to work out, is going to get big money from someone, is abjectly terrifying.

No comments :