All around the league, power forwards are finding new homes, or returning to their respective franchises. Rasheed Wallace, Brandon Bass and Antonio McDyess all found new addresses and Anderson Varejao, Carlos Boozer and Zaza Pachulia elected to stay put. Meanwhile, Utah’s other free agent big man, Paul Millsap, signed an offer sheet with Portland.
So, where does that leave Glen Davis? Unlike the other big-time restricted big man, New York’s David Lee, Davis hasn’t been reported to be making extravagant money demands, but he’s still out there looking for a team. Perhaps the waiting is getting to Big Baby who posted this on his Twitter page Tuesday.
celtic have to do what best for them and you guys the fans! You guys need to facebook or myspace and tweet everybody. Keep Bigbaby in bos.
Man I love Boston , this is where I started my career! But sometimes you forget that this is a business!!!!
While Davis frets, there were two other moves earlier this week that may have an impact on where Big Baby eventually lands.
First, Detroit traded Arron Afflalo and Walter Sharpe to Denver for a draft pick, and the subsequent cap room. According to reports out of Detroit, the Pistons now have about $3.5 million in cap space to take a run at a free agent big man. Like Davis. (The rest of the names include Joe Smith, Drew Gooden and Chris Wilcox at the high end, all of who are unrestricted.) Would the Celtics match at $3.5 million? That’s a good question.
Owner Wyc Grousbeck certainly sounds like someone who would be interested in retaining Davis.
“We'd love to have Baby back,” Grousbeck said Tuesday in an interview with WEEI.com's Jessica Camerato.
The Celtics will be over the luxury tax next season, as they have been since adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. That means any deal for Davis needs to be seen in the context of the dollar-for-dollar tax penalty. Grousbeck and the other owners have not been shy about paying the tax.
“We are investing based on the support and loyalty of our fans and sponsors, the best in the league,” Grosubeck said in an e-mail last week. “We put it right into the team and the supporting staff and hope it leads to more banners.”
Still, there is always a limit and the Celtics have been coy about what that limit actually is.
The other move may not have been so beneficial to Davis. Orlando elected to pick up the tab on Marcin Gortat who had signed an offer sheet with the Mavericks. The Magic also added Bass, ironically late of the Mavericks, and that would seem to take Orlando out of the running.
As for Dallas; owner Mark Cuban said last week (or Tweeted -- it’s really the same thing) that the Mavs were not pursuing Davis and reports there indicate that they may be making a run at Lamar Odom.
New Orleans is still considered a potential destination, but the Hornets are struggling financially and might have to move Tyson Chandler before getting into any sign and trade discussions with the Celtics.
But the biggest domino still to fall may be Boozer. After toying with Utah all season, Boozer elected not to exercise the opt-out in his contract and now he may be in play for a trade. Boozer certainly hopes so. He went on a Chicago radio station and floated the idea himself. Chicago, Miami and maybe even Detroit could all be in the mix.
So, where does this leave Big Baby? Still in limbo, it would appear.
Danny Ainge wisely allowed the market to come back to Davis, and from a financial standpoint that appears to be paying off. At the dawn of free agency there was talk of teams throwing their entire mid-level exception at him. That talk has cooled considerably.
It’s been a whirlwind first week of free agency. Here’s where the teams in the East stand so far.
New addition: Rasheed Wallace
Still to do: Backup point guard and a swing player who can take some minutes away from Paul Pierce. Depending on the Davis situation, another big man wouldn’t hurt. The Celtics do have internal options with Gabe Pruitt at the point and Bill Walker and JR Giddens at small forward. Ainge said after Wallace’s press conference that he didn’t have a positional priority one way or the other, only that he would be seeking the best talent.
Now that the majority of big names are gone and the restricted free agents are beginning to get play, the Celtics will presumably pick over what’s left. It’s worth remembering that Ainge struck gold with Eddie House and James Posey who signed late in the process in 2007. Veterans who are, or who are likely to be bought out (Bruce Bowen, Jerry Stackhouse, Ben Wallace) could also be interesting.
New additions: Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker.
Still to do: Not much, especially because they locked up free agent Anderson Varejao for a princely sum, although there is word that they have interest in Joey Graham, the better player of the Graham brothers.
The O’Neal trade obviously dominated the headlines, but the Parker signing was a nice under-the-radar coup. The 34-year-old is a solid piece who can add size to the backcourt and also back up LeBron James. The Shaq move carries a whiff of desperation, but bringing in Parker was a solid decision.
New additions: Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass
Still to do: Orlando has been throwing out money at a furious pace inking Bass, re-signing Gortat and taking on the remaining three years of Carter’s contract. It will be interesting to see how Stan Van Gundy plays his new roster. He can move Carter and Rashard Lewis around at the 2-3-4 spots and maybe even team Gortat with Dwight Howard in a twin towers look.
The new additions look good on paper (keep an eye on Anderson as a shooter off the bench), but they came at a cost. Hedo Turkoglu is now in Toronto and he was Orlando’s best (only?) creator off the dribble, a role that Carter now fills. Don’t forget that Courtney Lee went in the Carter deal and he impressed during the playoffs.
THE NEBULOUS MIDDLE GROUND
New addition: Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague (draft)
Still to do: The Hawks have re-signed Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia, but they still have restricted free agent Marvin Williams to deal with. Crawford gives them a shooter and adds depth to a backcourt that was not deep, but is that enough to get them over the 45-50 win hump? Crawford has his admirers but he’s essentially a shoot-first guard, which means he’ll fit right in with Atlanta.
New additions: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Flip Saunders (coach)
Still to do: Ernie Grunfeld did his work before the draft flipping his pick and some deep rotation players to Minnesota for Foye and Miller. They should go a long way, along with the return of a healthy Gilbert Arenas, toward making Washington a playoff team again, and really the NBA is a much better place when Agent Zero is around. (Remember when Arenas’ blog was all the rage? It seems so Windows '98 now that we’re in the Twitter era).
There is word that Grunfeld is also working on bringing in Fabricio Oberto, late of the Spurs. Of all the teams behind the top three the Wizards have the best chance to challenge the ruling triumvirate.
New addition: Jannero Pargo, James Johnson and Taj Gibson (draft)
Still to do: What, Pargo doesn’t do it for you? Actually, he’s a decent addition for their bench now that Ben Gordon is in Detroit, but Pargo doesn’t really move the needle one way or another. The epic quest for a big man who can score on the low post continues.
(That’s Carlos Boozer over there waving his hand saying, “Pick me. Pick me.”)
New additions: Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye (draft)
Still to do: That frontcourt is a little thin -- and we don’t mean the 190-pound Daye -- now that Wallace is in Boston and Antonio McDyess signed with the Spurs. The Gordon deal is a little perplexing since it’s been shown fairly convincingly over the years that while he’s a wonderful shooter, he remains completely one-dimensional (witness his 42-point, one rebound, zero assist game against the Celtics in Game 2 of the playoffs).
While he still has some wiggle room, Joe Dumars essentially burned his cap space on Gordon and Villanueva, which will help make them competitive, but not exactly a championship contender.
LOOKING FOR THAT 8TH SPOT
New additions: Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, Reggie Evans, DeMar DeRozen (draft)
Still to do: Bryan Colangelo said there would be more moves coming and he has signed Indiana restricted free agent point guard Jarrett Jack to an offer sheet. In addition to being a competent young point guard, Jack has the added benefit of being friends with Chris Bosh from their time together at Georgia Tech. The Raps should be better, but they still have holes on their bench and asking DeRozen to be an immediate contributor might be asking a bit much.
New additions: Jrue Holliday (draft).
Still to do: No one can accuse the Sixers of blindly throwing money around in free agency. They entered the summer with five free agents and they still have five free agents… and no signings. According to GM Ed Stefanski, the Sixers are looking to add a point guard, a wing and two bigs. Aside from that they’re all set.
The point guard should be Andre Miller, but things are progressing slowly. Philly is fighting a losing battle for interest in the city and the Sixers still haven’t assimilated Elton Brand yet. So, uh, no rush Ed (either Brandon or Kareem.)
New additions: None.
Still to do: Convince Dwyane Wade that they’re serious. The flirtation with Allen Iverson seems to be in that vein, but what the Answer can provide at this stage of his career is still very much a question. They have been named in the Boozer sweepstakes and that would make an awful lot more sense than bringing AI to South Beach.
New additions: Darko Millic, Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas (draft)
Still to do: The Knicks struck out on Jason Kidd and Grant Hill, and now they are left looking at what could be a significantly diminished salary cap in 2010. Mike D’Antoni is already downplaying expectations and if it wasn’t clear what the plan was before it is now: LeBron or bust.
New additions: Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, Terrence Williams (draft)
Still to do: Anyone else left from when the Nets were good? No. Rod Thorn’s work is done here.
New additions: Kurt Thomas, Amir Johnson, Brandon Jennings (draft)
Still to do: Shed more salary. The Bucks are in luxury tax hell, which seems odd for a team that isn’t any good. They also still need to re-sign Ramon Sessions, which should be a no-brainer, but hasn’t happened yet (see: hell, luxury tax). If nothing else they have become vastly more interesting with Jennings. Forget Terrell Owens. The free-spirited Jennings and coach Scott Skiles should get a reality show.
New additions: Dahntay Jones, Tyler Hansbrough (draft)
Still to do: I’ll admit I have no idea what Larry Bird is doing with this team. Hansbrough was a reach, but why Jones? Did the Pacers really need a defensive-minded swingman for four years?
New addition: Gerald Henderson (draft)
Still to do: Find a new owner, preferably one who will spend money. The shame of it is that Charlotte isn’t that far away from being respectable and with another year under Larry Brown the Bobcats could finally make a playoff push. Raymond Felton joins Sessions as an as-yet unsigned restricted free agent point guard.