In my morning Sacramento Bee I read that the Kings may be interested in the following four free agents: Steve Blake, Anthony Morrow, J.J. Redick, and Nate Robinson. While I appreciate Blake’s enthusiasm and professionalism, I hope to heck that he is NOT a guy the Kings sign.
Blake is not efficient. Never has been. He was 65th among PG’s in 2009-10. He is a decent three point shooter (although his shot is a line drive). On the positive, he brings it on every possession. But so do about ten guys at the local Y. Blake simply does not have the God given athletic ability to ever be more than a 11th or 12th man on a good team.
If a team thinking of signing Blake believes that he is somehow going to become more athletic as he ages - they are not thinking correctly. While not as old as Andres Nocioni, Blake is 30. He is about to enter that stage where nothing gets better athletically. In fact, a slight reversal in athleticism can be expected—which for a guy already limited is a horrible thing.
Redick is a better player than Blake but he too is limited athletically. J.J. improved to .403 EFR in 2009-10. That said, .403 is still just the efficiency rating you find in a back-up. Redick is a more natural TWO guard than a PG although his assist-to-turnover ratio suggests he could play PG offensively. At age 26, Redick’s .403 EFR ranked 44th in the NBA at SG, and 46th at PG last season. Blake, in my opinion, is the superior defender but neither player strikes in any fear in an opponent.
Morrow digressed from his rookie campaign but he still ranked higher than Blake and Redick. Morrow (24) is a GREAT shooter but he doesn’t do much else. His EFR of .432 was 31st ranked among Shooting Guards in `09-10.
"Little Nate” Robinson (pictured at left) would easily be our choice among the four players mentioned. He is an NBA caliber athlete on both offense AND defense. His hyper-athletic, hyperactive game has yet to reach its full potential. He has room to grow. He is dynamic. Fans love him. He has a huge heart. He never takes a play off. And most importantly—the data supports every claim.
There are no excuses to be made with signing 26 year-old Nate Robinson. At .471 EFR—Robinson rated 23rd at Point Guard, suggesting he is a starter-type talent in the NBA.
As a Kings fan - I am begging, please do not sign Steve Blake. I could live with Redick. I would be okay with Morrow. But Nate Robinson is clearly the best choice here.