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2010 NBA Free Agency Update

While not all of the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship confetti hasn’t had a chance to tumble down to earth yet, it seems the free agency frenzy has gotten my fantasy basketball juices percolating up a bit once again.

Big Names

So far none of the “big names” have committed to anything (anywhere) concrete yet. While James, Wade, and Bosh are still tiptoeing through the hoops to what may or may not be an “awesome threesome,” guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce have re-signed (or at are about to) with their teams, pretty much as expected. As far as fantasy is concerned, we probably won’t see much variance in their stats from last season. Well Pierce might get a bump up if the Celts don’t re-sign Ray Allen, but that’s still speculation at this point. So far, things look good for Boston’s “Old, I meant to say Big, Three” to remain intact and go for one last run for Championship gold. Dirk will be, well, Dirk. Same old, same old. Just a little bit more on the “old,” of course. I was kind of hoping he try his luck with another team, and ignore his “loyalty bone” and stick it out with the only team he’s really ever known. Yes folks, expect a solid regular season from them (Dirk, at least) once again, and unless they make some moves to improve, Dirk will end up looking like THIS (in a basketball kind of metaphor) come the Playoffs:

No, I don’t think Joe Johnson is worth a max deal. Not based on real life. Not based on fantasy. Apparently, the Atlanta Hawks think otherwise. It’s their dime, so I suppose they can overpay players as much as they desire. It’s not like they saw that they had a rabbit’s whisker of a chance to join the “Royal Rumble” of teams seeking, the much more talented, LeBron James’ services. Assuming we do see JJ sign that lucrative deal from the Hawks, we can most likely rest assured that we’ll see his usual second to third round fantasy form once again this coming season. I’d say that works out for all parties concerned. God forbid, we (at GMTR) would have to speculate on what round to draft Jamal Crawford, in the event that Joe decides to play second fiddle to a legitimate superstar.

Amar’e Stoudemire’s stock has already fallen, slightly, in my book; now that events appear to point to his departure from Phoenix. Why? Well, I’d leave that to those hardcore Shawn Marion fantasy fans to fill you in on those gory little details. The Knicks are supposedly offering him a big deal. I’m not too keen on that from an investment’s perspective though. I mean he’s got bad eyes AND battered knees. Yeah he’s explosive, but how effective will he, can he, be? It’s Channing Frye and his shiny new multi-year contract who’s going to be smiling all the way to the bank. Who would have thunk it, Frye getting inked to a five-year, $30 million deal. Just a season ago, he was all but forgotten. I guess his practice shots from beyond the arc during his stretch of time in the chiller has finally, and literally paid off.

Hakim Warrick may have been signed by the Suns as well, but he will not likely be too much of a threat to Frye’s boost in value. Robin Lopez and his projected improvement, might be more of a threat.

Big Bucks

Drew Gooden has been hit by lightning! Well more to the point, has surprisingly found the a four leaf clover in the form of a five-year, $32 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. I like this, in the sense that Luc Mbah a Moute just simply wasn’t cutting it. Gooden has been the duct tape that many teams have used to fortify their front courts in recent history (eight teams since 2002). I’m worried that he’ll end up being a slouch now that he’s got his guaranteed “ka-ching!” in the bag. I’m not holding my breath either that he’ll suddenly learn the finer art of DEFENSE. I kind of like oxygen flowing through my body, thus keeping me ALIVE. Gooden and well more due to the softness of the Bucks’ front court, will be there to bring in some PTS, REB, FG%, for the most part. It does help a bit that he’s generally friendly on the FT% category. He will, however, need to curtail himself from growing his Amish-styled beard. It’s nasty and just way too, uh, Amish. It’s just going to clash with Brandon Jennings’ diagonally inclined Kid ‘n Play doo, should he decide to bring it back in vogue.

John Salmons’ rejoining the team for 2010 is a good thing. Him sharing the floor with recently acquired Corey Maggette, not so much.

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