Thursday, June 30, 2016

Free Agency Bonanza

Bazemore offers two-way value
The NBA free agency bonanza will begin later tonight. Your favorite team is probably, at minimum, going to have discussions with potential players and their representatives. We have seen reports of teams liking some players that we deem sketchy. A mistake in free agency can be costly to a team's future. It should be all about getting VALUE, and being realistic about your team's place in the NBA. 

So, as a public service, we are going to list the 15 players (among point guards and wings) that we would be targeting. As always, our lists are based on a combination of knowing the landscape of the NBA, being "data-informed", and perhaps most importantly, "feel". 

Kevin Durant - We pride ourselves on independent thought and not necessarily following the herd. However, in the case, the mass media has it right. "KD" is the main man. Durant is the definition of a "max player" in the NBA. 

Nicolas Batum - A top flight NBA small forward is a commodity. Batum is a top-ten offensive efficiency guy at his position. On D, he's in the top 20 among small forwards. 

Kent Bazemore - He is a terrific wing defender and he has improved enough on offense that he should be ranked much higher than what we believe his perceived value is. 

Turner is a play-maker
Evan Turner - The theme is two-way play. Turner can be a playmaker and he can also team defend with the best in the NBA at the wing. Turner's DEFRTG of 100 ranked 14th out of 109 shooting guards. 

Manu Ginobili - There is probably zero chance he goes anywhere but San Antonio but this certain Hall of Fame combo guard is worth every penny. He can still play and he can mentor. 

Marvin Williams - After years of teasing with his talent, Williams has become a real pro ball player. His shot selection is better, and he can guard multiple positions, including some small forwards which is why he cracked this list. 

Jonas Jerebko - We are still waiting to see what Jerebko might be able to produce if was given 20-plus minutes per game as a wing. His DEFRTG of 98.5 was good enough for tenth among small forwards in 2015-16

Harrison Barnes - We like Harrison Barnes but we are also pretty sure someone is going to overpay for him. 

DeMar DeRozan - See above. 

Tyler Johnson - In our opinion, Johnson, along with Bazemore, are the two guys who offer REAL value. You could probably sign Johnson for a fraction of what DeRozan will cost. Yet, in our opinion, the gap between the two on the floor is a lot smaller than most would think it is. 

Jeremy Lin - Lin showed again last season that he can be a valuable combo guard. He is a smart team defender and a good teammate. 

Dwyane Wade - You figure he stays in Miami. His price will be high. But quality is quality. 

Luol Deng - An absolute pro's pro. Deng remains among the few who rate in the top 30 at their position on both offense and defense. 

Mike Conley - The only point guard we think is really worthy of BIG money in this free-agent class. 

Wesley Johnson - Johnson is a top-tier wing defender. His offense is mostly about the three-ball but he isn't as far off as he once was. 

Hopefully, your team does not screw it up. 

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