Today is the day that free agents can sign their new deals and officially become members of their new teams as the moratorium on free agent signings has ended.
Chris Paul wasted no time making his deal with the Los Angeles Clippers official this morning while Dwight Howard will ink his deal in Houston at some point this afternoon. Those are the deals we can comprehend, but some inexplicable signings and trades also become official today, leaving fans wondering why they themselves fall short of a general manager job in the qualifications department.
Here are five deals that make little to no sense in my view and today they already have or are expected to become official.
1. Andre Iguodala to the Warriors-Why you would sign a 29-year old small forward who is going to bury your up and coming 21-year old small forward on the bench, I don’t understand. The Warriors had a good thing going and all the young talent you could want in their starting lineup. What they needed was a reasonable backup for the injury prone Andrew Bogut at center and someone to replace Jarrett Jack in their guard rotation, but instead of beating Los Angeles to a guy like Chris Kaman they’ve been focused on this Iguodala deal. I have nothing against the former All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, I just don’t see how he is a necessary acquisition for the Warriors.
2. Josh Smith to the Pistons-Smith falls short of his desired max contract again and ends up in a place where he is going to be the go-to guy, but it’s not the big market he desired either and goes in the complete opposite direction of winning. The 28-year old Smith’s decision is as bizarre as is the Pistons desire to sign the swing man when they have a big whole at point guard that they should be addressing first. The move doesn’t really make the Pistons a playoff team as Smith is a pretty poor three point shooter and is really a guy more suited to complementing a big star. In Detroit, he’ll be the biggest name on the roster and though a front court with Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe is formidable, the Pistons will find themselves falling short of postseason basketball again with a rookie in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the two and Rodney Stuckey at the point. Signing Smith doesn’t make Detroit that much more of an attractive destination for free agents, so I don’t see them making any more big news the rest of the summer.
3. Everything the New Orleans Pelicans are doing-Why do you trade away the No. 6 overall pick when you landed talented center Nerlens Noel, who could have gone No. 1, and are a year away from having one of the best front courts in the NBA? Cause we’re getting All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday in return. Okay, why do you acquire an All-Star point guard when you have the league’s leading assist point guard of last season? Because we’re going to trade said leading assist man for former Rookie of the Year shooting guard Tyreke Evans. Okay, why do you need to blow $44 million on Tyreke Evans when you signed Eric Gordon to a $14 million per season contract for the next three years just last summer? And why do you do the Evans sign and trade in a three team deal that also sees you send your only center in Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers? Because we can…. Or at least this is what I’m guessing the Pelicans brass would say if this was a real interview. Quite frankly, I’m lost as to what their game plan for the future is.
4. The New York Knicks trade for Andrea Bargnani-From one extreme to another, I can’t wait to see Andrea Bargnani come on as sub for Tyson Chandler next season. It’s going to make their teammates heads spin to go from a guy who can’t score and is only on the floor to play defense to a guy who can’t defend to save his life and is only in the NBA because he’s a decent scorer. What makes this deal unfathomable is that the Knicks gave up so much to make it happen. Trading Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson should have been a plenty good return for Toronto on a player they’ve been pretty public about their desire to dump, but the Knicks actually through in their 2016 first round pick as well, meaning they have all but given away every draft pick they have over the next five years in deals for Carmelo Anthony and now Bargnani. His role is backing up either Chandler or Amar’e Stoudemire, but the Knicks will now pay him $23 million over the next two seasons. That’s an expensive backup, especially when he costs you one of the best three point shooters in basketball and a future first round pick.
5. Paul Millsap to Atlanta-I suppose Danny Ferry was a big Utah Jazz fan last season because he has recreated their front court in Atlanta by signing Millsap to play alongside a center named Al. Atlanta’s Al Horford is a solid player, a guy who averaged about 14 points and 10 rebounds per night which is very similar to Al Jefferson’s 16 and 9 per night efforts in Utah last season. The Jazz had good but not great play from their point guards last season whether it was Mo Williams, Earl Watson or Alec Burks and you can probably plan on much of the same from Jeff Teague and Louis Williams in Atlanta. The Hawks will probably remain a low seed contender for the postseason in the Eastern Conference unless Ferry can work some magic to trade for a big name player to replace Josh Smith on the wing. If not, that’s all their going to be again next season completely defeating the purpose of their cap space clearing strategy for this summer.