Eat a fattie, ESPN! Those couch-lickers already copyrighted “buy or sell” for that show that used to be good. So we had to come up with something that wouldn’t get us sued. I hear Howard Cossack is ruthless when he’s in heat. We at The Diss came up with: “Purchase or Pass”. But to make it grammatically correct, it’s gotta be “Purchase or Pass on”. And then I’m ending that sentence with a preposition, which is an awful thing to look at. Fuck! I did it again.
Anyways, our Diss-cussants purchase or pass on some of the more notable free agent signings that have been inked since the whole shindig started this past Sunday. Also, Dave Gold and Brian Swann enter the fray. That’s fun. Let’s get to it.
1. Purchase or Pass on: Deron Williams to the Brooklyn Nets (5 years, $100 million).
Omar Bagnied: Purchase. He’s a franchise player, no doubt. Proficient scorer, superior court vision to find the open guy, and big enough to grab plenty of rebounds. If Dwight signs with Brooklyn, then look out for this team. Really. They’ll have superstars at the two positions you build a franchise around, point guard and center. Add a great scorer in Joe Johnson, who was out of place as the team leader in Atlanta but shone as a third option scorer in Phoenix, and an explosive swingman who plays really good defense in Gerald Wallace, and you have a legit shot at a title.
Brian Swann: Purchase. There’s only 3-4 other point guards in the league you’d want ahead of him (Paul, Westbrook, Rose and maybe Rondo when he’s hitting his jumper).
Long Bui: Purchase. Dude’s a stud. Compared to JJ, you’re getting a deal here. Plus your owner’s a billionaire. This is pocket change. Purchase without remorse.
Dave Gold: I’m purchasing. If resigning Williams allows them to get a big three with Dwight then this is a great move. They’ll be the anti-Heat, meaning they are strong in all the areas the Heat are weak (Center, Point Guard, 3PT), if I can call the Heat weak.
Luke Hasskamp: The logical answer is pass. The league is littered with so many bad contracts, and this smells a lot like them. I’m just playing the odds. Sure, it could work out, but history tells us that it likely will not. This is money you pay to a Top 5 player, and Williams just isn’t that. He’s a 28 year old who has played in just 44 career playoff games with a 19-25 record. He was in the conference finals once, back in 2007. In ’08, ’09 and ’10 he never made it past the second round, courtesy of the Lakers. For that kind of money, you’d expect greater success. In reality, however, the answer is purchase. The Nets have a billionaire owner for whom money is no object. Williams is a very talented and popular player who has encountered essentially no seriously injury during his career, so he should be around for a while. Plus, you’re trying to lure some other major talent to the city, so who gives a damn about the luxury tax?
2. Purchase or Pass on: Omer Asik to the Houston Rockets (3 years, $24.5 million).
Omar Bagnied: Pass. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a valuable commodity as a defensive big man. But if Houston signs him he’s likely to start. And this guy has no offensive game. I root for Turks, so I hope he develops one over the summer, but for what he’s shown so far he’s duping whoever pays him $8.2 million a year.
Brian Swann: Pass. This is tough, as I am a sucker for players who can deliver quality minutes without the ball. But this is WAY too much for someone that will likely get 25 minutes a night.
Long Bui: Purchase. 25 for 3 is not terrible in these truly outrageous times. You’re minimizing risk with a shorter deal and I guess Omer is decently athletic and he certainly is tall. In any case, considering the absurd contracts handed out to very marginal big men (think Dampier, Erick; the Custodian, Mr. Brian Cardinal; and Haywood, B.) this contract registers a “Whatever” on the “What Would Isiah Do?” scale, which is basically a good heuristic to govern all GMs, just do the opposite. Purchase, and move on.
Dave Gold: Pass. $8 million a year on a bench player who is probably over valued because of his height. He is no Hedo Turkoglu.
Luke Hasskamp: Pass. They love their centers in Houston, apparently too much. We may be entering an era where big men don’t fit into elite offenses like they used to. Smaller, faster teams seem to be the next BIG thing, and Asik just doesn’t fit that mold. Also, stat line: 3.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 14.7 minutes this season. Sounds a lot like fan favorite Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen, who I doubt earned $25 million in his entire 9 year career.*
3. Purchase or Pass on: Roy Hibbert to the Portland Trail Blazers (4 years, $58 million).
Omar Bagnied: Purchase. But at $14.5 million a year, just barely. What he needs to do is get more aggressive. Other than that he’s 7’2”, blocks shots on the regular, has a good offensive game and will average a double-double.
Brian Swann: Purchase. Hibbert continued to improve this year, though that seems odd to type that given that he averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks a game. I would at least want 17, 12 and 3 if I’m paying him almost $15 million a season. But one hopes his steady improvement leads him to those sorts of stats, and one hopes that the Big Man Curse of the Blazers passes over Hibbert.
Long Bui: Purchase. You’re the Blazers, and this isn’t 1999. Don’t kid yourself; you’re not a premier FA destination so if Roy freakin’ Hibbert wants to sign with you, you give him anything he wants. Purchase and throw away the receipt.
Dave Gold: Pass. While centers are always a hard position to fill with elite players, Hibbert is not an elite player. He can rebound and block, but is not a max contract player you build your franchise around.
Luke Hasskamp: Pass. A lot of what I said about Asik applies here: centers just aren’t as valuable in the league as currently constituted. With that said, Hibbert is a very good player, and he showed a lot of spirit during the playoffs this season. He’s also only 25 years old who seems quite durable for a big man. But still, the Blazers are basically offering him the exact same contract Kevin Love received, and Hibbert is no Kevin Love. He’s worth good money, but not this much.
4. Purchase or Pass on: Landry Fields to the Toronto Raptors (3 years, $19 million).
Omar Bagnied: Purchase. Here I’m assuming that Steve Nash signs with Toronto. We saw what Fields could do playing with a true point guard in Jeremy Lin. $6.3 million a year may seem like too much, and I get it if others would pass on this, but he’s young and I like what I’ve seen of his scoring ability and unselfishness. Nash is likely gone after a couple seasons, but Fields will gain confidence and I like him as a piece for Toronto’s future.
Brian Swann: Pass. He regressed this past year. While his defensive skills are valuable, there’s no way he’s worth $19 million.
Long Bui: Umm…purchase. Colangelo, I think this is more about messing with the Knicks than anything revelatory Fields will do on the court in the next three years. Ruins the sign and trade deal for Nash and basically any chance New York gets Lin, Novak and Fields together. I like it. And even if Fields was a sack of bricks (Jonny Flynn anyone?), 20 over three, whatever, purchase, move on, and laugh at the Knicks.
Dave Gold: Purchase. This seems like a good deal for the Raptors (based on a weak FA class and based on the ridiculous contracts other players are getting [years and dollars]), but I am shocked at how poor Landry shot this year. He doesn’t appear to be good at shooting 3 pointers and has a horrid FT% for a shooting guard. Toronto is counting on 2012 being a sophomore slump. The dude went to Stanford, and seems to have some upside, but do the Raptors really need him?
Luke Hasskamp: Purchase. This is a very good deal for a player of Fields’ skill and potential. (Seriously, he’ll be making less money than Omer Asik!). Fields is a guy who got lost in New York when dudes names Carmelo and Lin showed up on the scene. There just wasn’t enough to go around with the Knicks, but in Canada he has the potential to flourish, or at least become a viable Fantasy option, which should be a priority. It’s still a gamble, but if it doesn’t work out, this isn’t a contract that comes back to haunt the Raptors.
5. Anything else?
Omar Bagnied: I’m not done talking about the Nets. With Dwight, they can beat Miami. The NYC market is more attractive to complementary players than Miami as there are more financial opportunities to supplement their low [relative] salaries. Furthermore, they’d be playing with an exceptional point guard who can get them the ball in good spots, maximizing their output. Brooklyn’s anchors will be at center and point guard, the two positions most likely to pass, and with Joe Johnson you have an unselfish shooting guard. If I’m a role player choosing between Brooklyn and Miami, I’m choosing Brooklyn.
Brian Swann: BONUS! Eric Gordon. Purchase. If he stays healthy, he’s a bargain.
Jacob Greenberg: What’s this * doing here? Oh yeah. Mark Madsen. According to HoopsHype, Mark Madsen earned about $15.8 million in his career. The more you know.