Orlando Magic sign Jason Williams out of retirement for one year and $1.3 million. After trading away Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie to the Nets for Vince Carter, the Magic were left with their PG position players at the start of last season with all star Jameer Nelson and Anthony Johnson. Between the baseline reason why the Magic felt they needed a playmaker in Jason Williams? Nelson and Johnson were the PGs before Rafer came. But when Nelson went down, Alston helped them get to the finals. Perhaps a playmaking guard off the bench is VITAL to the team's success when Nelson is on the bench. But if Nelson goes down and Williams leads them to the Finals... maybe Stan Van Gundy sticks with what gets him there this time around.
Quentin Richardson traded for the fourth time to the Miami Heat for Mark Blount from Twolves. Q Rich isn’t good. Isn’t going to be the sole reason Wade stays in Miami. With a PER rating of 11.6 and averages of 10.2/4.4/1.6 and 1.7 3ptm (4.6 3ptA), Q Rich isn't the Ying to Wade's Yang. Which is why you read between the baselines. Q Rich is in the last year of his contract and in the Free Agent class of 2010, the Heat will have $9.35 million off of their plate to get Wade some REAL help. Mark Blount is also in the last year of his contract but owed $7.9 million. So with Q Rich, they have more money to get rid of (?) for the FA class of 2010.
And what’s the deal with writers reporting that because two players are good friends, they will automatically be happy and have a good season? This happened two years ago when Kevin Garnett was almost a Laker and one of the selling points was that 3rd team pg bench warmer Shammond Williams was his cousin. Just because they are cousins, that will be the deal maker? (By the way, KG didn't go to the Lakers even when his COUSIN WAS THERE, who got cut from the team that year, anyway).
Leon Powe signed with Cleveland Cavaliers. Of course he won’t be able to play until after the All Star break. But this is a very nice addition if and only if Powe is able to play at the level he played at during the 2008 Finals. Powe provides energy and skill and can create problems for other teams. But he also has a knee issue. He signed for 2 years for the minimum a 3 year player can get. His reasoning, trying to get his knee back in shape and sign for more money in 2 years. This is probably why the Celtics didn't re-sign him. They’ll probably put a lot of money toward retaining Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins anyway and they'll need the roster space and can't afford (playing wise) to have a player take up roster space to sit on the bench. Cavaliers are thinking they need all the help they can get at a price they can afford for a playoff run to please King James.
The Clippers waived Mark Madsen. And if you read RBTB’s previous post regarding the Clippers, you’ll see that although Madsen is a “good locker room guy” (whatever that means), he was due 2.8 million that came off the books next year. If they could get him off the books sooner, even better for the Clippers. Good for Mark too because I doubt he'd get much playing time (even though he hasn't had decent playing time for almost his entire career) behind Griffin, Camby, Kaman and Deandre Jordan. But these are the fragile fragile big men of the Clippers we're talking about...
Amare Stoudemire is 50/50 about returning to the Suns next year. Can you blame him? The Suns aren’t good anymore. Steve Nash, Amare, Grant Hill and Jason Richardson is not greater than or equal to Steve Nash, Amare, Grant Hill, Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and one of Shawn Marion or Shaq. Amare hasn’t cemented anything about his legacy other than All Star appearances and a rookie of the year award. His future in Phoenix looks dim.
The Atlanta Hawks signed Joe Smith (his 10th team). Terms weren't disclosed but it would be safe to assume it's the league's veteran minimum like Jason Williams of the Magic ($1.3 million/1 year). Joe Smith is ol' reliable and averaged 6.6/4.6 last season for the Thunder and Cavaliers. He'll likely average the same in Atlanta behind Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia.
Those are the facts. And that's a couple ways to read between the [base]lines.