Tag:Free Agency
Posted on: June 30, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Lakers G Shannon Brown opts out to free agency

Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown has opted out so that he can enter free agency. Posted by Ben Golliver. shannon-brown

It's been a fairly quiet summer for the Los Angeles Lakers roster-wise. With one exception, that is.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Lakers guard Shannon Brown has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract so that he can enter free agency.
Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown informed the team Thursday that he was exercising his option to terminate the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

"We made the best decision for me and everybody around me," Brown said in a telephone interview. "It's an interesting time to do this because of the lockout, but I think this is the best thing for me to do right now."

"I haven't ruled out the Lakers," Brown said. "I don't know if they will rule me out. I'm staying open."
Brown, 25, brought an athletic and vertical presence to the Lakers backcourt, which was otherwise comprised entirely of veterans: Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake. Brown is probably most known for his leaping ability but he has grown during his time in the NBA, posting a career high of 8.7 points per game in 2010-2011. Brown has also been quite durable, appearing in all 82 games for the Lakers for the second consecutive season. 

Clearly, Brown is seeking a big-dollar, multi-year extension from somebody. By opting out, he is passing up the opportunity to make $2.4 million in the 2011-2012 season.

It's unclear exactly how aggressive the Lakers will be in working to keep him, as their payroll already hovers around a league-high $90 million and the team selected two guards -- Darius Morris from Michigan and Andrew Goudelock from the College of Charleston -- in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. We won't know until after the NBA lockout is complete.

Posted on: June 30, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 6:41 am
 

Report: Nene to opt out, become free agent

Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilarious will reportedly opt out and become a free agent. Posted by Ben Golliver. nene-hilario

The free agent class of 2011 isn't particularly strong. But it should be adding a fairly big name near the top.

The Denver Post reports that Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilario will opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent.
Nene is set to officially become a free agent.

The Nuggets starting center will opt out of the final year of his contract worth about $12 million and, as a result, become an unrestricted free agent, a source said Wednesday night. It means Nene can sign with any team without the Nuggets getting a chance to match the offer when free agency begins after the expected NBA lockout, which should begin Friday.

Nene had until Thursday to make a final decision.
Nene becomes arguably the second most desireable free agent on the entire market, trailing only Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol. His combination of size, athleticism, experience, proven production and age combine to make him a very attractive pick-up.  

The Nuggets, with Chris Andersen and Timofey Mozgov as their only big men currently under contract for next season, will be up a bit of a creek if they lose him to someone in free agency. 

Nene, 28, averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 75 games last season. Over the last three seasons, his production has been very consistent, as he's averaged roughly 14 points, more than 7.5 rebounds and at least a block per game.  He's showing no real signs of slippage -- indeed, he posted a careeer-high 61.5% field goal shooting this year -- and has missed just 12 combined games in the last three seasons.

His opt-out decision comes as a bit of a surprise, although he hinted that he would test free agency back in May. A few weeks ago, reports circulated that the Nuggets were close to an agreement, but nothing came to fruition. Their efforts to re-sign him will surely continue.

Here's a link to the 2011 NBA Free Agency tracker, where you can keep tabs on this year's entire crop.

Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Blazers tender qualifying offer to Greg Oden

Posted by EOB Staff greg-oden

Update (8:37 p.m.): On Wednesday afternoon, the Portland Trail Blazers confirmed that they have tendered a qualifying offer to Greg Oden.
"We've stood behind Greg Oden every day since he became a Trail Blazer and that continues with today's announcement," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller . "Despite the setbacks he's experienced, he continues to be resilient in working tirelessly on his rehabilitation. We're all very encouraged with not only his progress, but with his commitment and determination to return to the basketball court."
From Yahoo! Sports:
Portland Trail Blazers officials have told Greg Oden’s representatives they will tender the center an $8.8 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Blazers have until midnight ET Thursday to give the qualifying offer.
via Blazers to make qualifying offer to Oden - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

The move isn't surprising, the Blazers have been rumored to be making this decision for months. It does send a signal, however. In doing so, the Blazers are asserting that Oden does not have enough long term injury questions to justify abandoning him to the market. 

Oden has had microfracture surgery... on each of his knees. Think about that. The most severe knee procedure that players have performed on them, and he's had it on both knees. Amar'e Stoudemire is considered an injury risk because of one microfracture surgery five years ago. Chris Paul is questioned without having had said surgery. And Oden has had it on both knees and broke his patella. 

So yeah, buyer beware there.

If Oden does receive an offer from another team, the Blazers will have seven days to match the offer. Usually, a team will frontload a contract to try and force the player's team to not match. But with Oden, they face the quandary of front-loading a contract for a player who is still recovering from injury, versus backloading a contract for a player with injury issues who may not be able to play, no, scratch that, definitely won't be able to play if he has another severe injury.

The Oden Problem is a tough one to figure out.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 5:52 pm
 

The Top 40 Players in NBA Free Agency

Posted by EOB Staff

When free agency starts there's a relatively lackluster class to choose from. Nevertheless, here are the top 40 players available in unrestricted or restricted free agency now that they tentatively have this sorted out.

Rankings are based on overall value, factoring in production, age, potential, star power, interest and market value. For the full list of free agents this offseason, check out our tracker

1. Nene, C: You're looking at a cornerstone piece in Nene, which means someone's got to pay cornerstone money. He's just now hitting his prime at 29 years old and as the second half of last season proved, he's top guy material. The Nuggets are definitely looking to put pretty much all of their eggs in Nene's basket, but there could be another big spender that tries to swoop in and grab him. He's a prize and someone that can be a building piece for the next four or five years. 

2. Marc Gasol, C:
The perfect combination of factors lead Gasol to our No. 2 spot. Talent, capitalizing on a stellar playoff run, centersmarc-gasol being at such a premium in the league and Gasol's age of 26. There are bigger names on this list, but no one is as valuable as Gasol. His restricted free agency status only drives his value farther, as a front-loaded contract is the only thing that might push the Grizzlies off matching an offer.

3. David West, F: Were West not coming off of a significant injury at 31 years old, he'd likely be in the top spot on this list. A former All-Star with excellent mid-range skills and a heap of attitude, West opted out and enter free agency, presumably to attempt to get a front-loaded contract before any CBA restrictions drive down his long-term value. He'll have bidders if the Hornets don't quickly recapture him once free agency begins.

4. Tyson Chandler, C: Hitting free agency just after being the starting center and a key factor for a championship team -- talk about great timing. Chandler is a lock to return to Dallas as there's no way Cuban lets the guy who validated all that work escape. But Chandler's going to have whatever offer he wants. Which is stunning for a guy who can't contribute much offensively outside of the lob. But that's the difference a ring makes.

5. Jason Richardson, SG: Richardson's age is kind of a concern here; he'll be 31 next season. But he's the best overall offensive weapon and has a few more years of contribution left in him and is the kind of veteran that teams look for. Orlando may be looking to make room for a bigger trade, so Richardson could fetch offers on the market. But if teams have learned anything from the Joe Johnson valuation, they'll keep it within reason.

6. Thaddeus Young, PF: It's really hard to imagine Philadelphia letting one of its very best young options get away, but Young has become one of the most lethal bench weapons in the game. He can realistically play three positions and is one of the game's most versatile players. He became a legit Sixth Man of the Year candidate and as he matures -- he's still just 23 -- he could become one of the 76ers prized future pieces, making him a valuable asset.

7. J.R. Smith, SG: Unstable? Probably. Unreliable? Possibly injured? He may be all of these things. But Smith's a scorer whose not on the downslide of his career. A sixth-man scorer with guts. Think Ben Gordon a few years ago with a worse attitude.

8. Glen Davis, PF: "Big Baby" has a championship ring and has shown he can contribute to a winner. The only thing keeping him lower on this list is a disappointing playoff run after a tremendous season; 14 points and 7 rebounds per 36 with great defense and the ability to take charges will get him the rest of the way.

9. DeAndre Jordan, C: In a normal year, Jordan's the top of the B rankings. This year, he's the seventh-best available player considering value. Jordan had a tremendous year for the Clippers and is nearly a lock to be re-signed by the Clippers. Then again, it's the Clippers. Jordan averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 last season but more importantly started to show understanding of defensive rotations, which makes it much tougher to turn away from him.

10. Grant Hill, SF: Anyone else think Hill's career is going in reverse? If Hill doesn't want to return to Phoenix, there will be contenders left and right vying for his services.

11. Tayshaun Prince, SF: Part of the worst locker-room environment in the league last year, Prince should have a higher value, even at 31. He's still capable of excellent defense and averaged 14 points on 47-percent shooting last season. Seeing him in another jersey would be bizarre, but after last season's hijinx, it's a coin flip.

12. Wilson Chandler, SF: Chandler's a young and versatile player. Denver is unlikely to re-sign him considering their need to get Nene back in house and they have Galinari and drafted Jordan Hamilton. Chandler has been rumored to be interested in a return to the Knicks, if they've got the scratch to pay him.

13. Jeff Green, SF/PF: This one is mostly on account of his market value. Green is not a good rebounder. He can't really take over offensively, and he's not a great defender. But Danny Ainge thinks he's the bee's knees and will overpay to keep him, plus he could theoretically develop any of the aforementioned skills. This one caused some debate among our crew in developing these rankings.

14. Jamal Crawford, SG: Crawford made it public knowledge that he wanted a big extension last year, but the Hawks declined to oblige him. Crawford is 31, and his numbers took a dive last season (42 percent FG percentage, 14 points per game down from 18). But he's likely to still pull offers based on star power. The question will be whether it comes close to matching what Crawford thinks he's worth. His playoff heroics should help matters on that front.

15. J.J. Barea, SG: Barea's stock could not be higher coming off the Mavs' championship win. He answered every question about himself and showed the ability to compete at the highest level. He won't dictate a huge asking price due to his diminutive size, but for a role player, he'll collect a tremendous amount of interest, though like Chandler, it's certain Cuban will re-sign him.

16. Caron Butler, SF: So many Mavericks, such a poor free-agency class to drive up their value. Butler's over 30, coming back from injury, and has been on the slide for quite a while. Still, veteran defender who can shoot (or at least can have a few hot shooting nights) is going to get offers. Cuban will likely re-sign Butler in a wave of goodwill on his championship high.

17. Aaron Brooks, PG: The best point guard in the free agent class. How depressing is that? Brooks is a high-usage, low-assist-rate pointaaron-brooks-suns guard who's undersized. And yet because of his work in Houston before getting shuffled off to make room for Kyle Lowry, Brooks is rumored to be on the radar for Sacramento among others, but as a restricted free agent, the offer will have to be significant for Phoenix not to match.

18. Marcus Thornton, SG: Guys who can drop 40 in a night are rare in this league. "Buckets" has that ability coming off his rookie contract. Yes, his shot selection needs work, and he's undersized for a two-guard, but he's scrappy, hustles and can hit big shots. Thornton should be high on every team's list if the Kings elect to let him slide after adding Salmons and Jimmer.

19. Arron Afflalo, SG: A 26-year-old guard with great athleticism who shot 50 percent from the field last season coming off his rookie contract? Afflalo could be a steal if the Nuggets decide not to match for some reason. Odds are that he's headed back to Denver, though.

20. Samuel Dalembert, C: Dalembert played surprisingly well last season for Sacramento. But he's an aging center with injury questions who has never contributed much offensively. So why is he top-20? Seriously. NBA centers. Not good right now.

21. Carl Landry, PF: A below-average rebounder who learned to work well with Chris Paul (who doesn't) late last season. Landry didn't gather a huge contract last time he was in free agency and will probably not draw much this time. Still, he's a reliable power forward who's great defensively even if his defensive rebounding is a significant letdown.

22. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG: A combo guard's combo guard, Stuckey may have outstayed his welcome in Detroit, even in restricted free agency. Teams looking for quality guard play could definitely look to Stuckey who may have some improvement left in him at 25.

23. Kris Humphries, PF: The Incredible Hump is looking to cash in after averaging a double-double, finding himself in the Most Improved Player discussion and locking down a Kardashian last season. The Nets have expressed interest in David West but will be very motivated to retain Humphries if that chase doesn’t work out.

24. Shane Battier, SF: After taking part in a miracle run past the San Antonio Spurs, it would be heartbreaking to watch Battier and the Memphis Grizzlies part ways. At the same time, Battier has reached the “latch on with a contender as a very valuable role player” stage of his career. Would be a huge get for a team looking for an experienced, gritty wing defender.

25. Mario Chalmers, PG: Chalmers got buried behind Mike Bibby for no apparent reason by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra but, nevertheless, made a solid name for himself by being the most capable and consistent member of the Big 3 support staff. He enters free agency as a young talent with upside if given more minutes, but the Heat, without another point-guard option, will likely do what it takes to keep him.

26. Nick Young, SG: When given the opportunity after Gilbert Arenas was dealt, Young became quite the scorer, finishing up at better than 17 points per game. He was a bit trigger happy however and one has to wonder how he'd fit in a more traditional offense. He's not a go-to scorer but will make a nice bench option or even second or third starting scorer for someone. But that's the thing: He has to realize that.

27. Luc Mbah a Moute, SF: It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for the Bucks to retain him. Even though the Stephen Jackson trade muddles up the available minutes on Milwaukee’s wings, a low-cost, quality defender is worth keeping around.

28. Jeff Foster, C: Life isn’t very complicated for Foster. He’s a lunch-pail worker who does the dirty work and not much else. He’s getting up there in years but always seems to find a niche. Indiana’s frontcourt is fairly shallow aside from Roy Hibbert, so if the Pacers strike out in their attempts to get bigger fish in free agency, Foster could be a good fallback option.

29. Jonas Jerebko, SF: A tough-minded wing who has been lost because of injury and the coach-killing mess left by his higher-profile teammates. President Joe Dumars is preaching a fresh start after Thursday’s draft, and it makes sense that Jerebko, a fresh-faced worker, would be a part of that.

30. Andrei Kirilenko, SF: The Utah Jazz are finally freed from one of the ugliest contracts in recent memory. Where will AK land and at what price? Very difficult to say. He’s a quirky guy who brings loads of versatility and should have some miles left. If a contender throws its mid-level at him, that could get real interesting.

31. Marco Belinelli, SG: The Hornets have concerns than Belinelli. Namely, David West. Belinelli's future is uncertain, although his shooting is a clear role player asset that should draw interest, if not big dollars.

32. Kwame Brown, C: The only other big man Charlotte has on its roster is DeSagana Diop, so if Brown leaves in free agency, there will be a gaping hole in the middle. That will be a sure sign that the Bobcats are truly committed to a full-scale rebuild. Once a punchline, Brown has emerged as a serviceable defender.

33. Greg Oden, C: One less knee surgery and Oden's probably a top 15 free agent on this list. Two less and he'd be top five. Butgreg-oden then, that's another universe, and the reality is that Oden is too much of an injury risk to devote money to. For all the promise born in his frame, there's a desperately terrible injury to go with it. At some point there's only so much damage you can do before you're relegated to lemon status until you prove you can stay on the floor.

34. Marquis Daniels, G/F: Daniels wasn't a terrific player but a pretty good one. But he's coming back from a gruesome injury, and that's going to raise red flags.

35. DeShawn Stevenson, G/F: The only Maverick free agent not in the top 20. Stevenson did a fantastic job in the Finals, but the "Ariza effect" is something to be wary of. A strong playoff run does not make up for an overall career of questionable production. Still, Stevenson could be a value pick up for another team... or they could overspend dramatically, blinded by the shine of his championship ring.

36. Earl Clark, F: This one caused some consternation within the committee for where to put Clark. Athletic, low production, warned off in the draft, cast off by Phoenix, produced marginally for Orlando with some intriguing potential. But Clark is young, healthy and can be had for cheap. This is a value slot.

37. Tracy McGrady, F: McGrady actually wasn't bad last year for the Pistons. I mean, the Pistons were bad last year for the Pistons, but still. McGrady isn't going to be a difference-maker, but he can contribute some points, assists and rebounds every now and then to finish out his career. Provided he stays healthy. You can file that under "Famous last words."

38. Josh McRoberts, PF: McBob was surprisingly productive for the Pacers last season, and in a league where big men are overvalued, he'll find a spot.

39. Kenyon Martin, PF: There are dozens of reasons not to sign Martin. But if you need someone with experience to bring a metric ton of attitude to your team, Martin's as good a pickup as any. Remember when this guy was part of a Finals squad?

40. Yi Jianlian, PF: An unrealized offensive talent, Yi still seems like he should be every bit the player of an Andrea Bargnani. Yi's not a strong defender or rebounder, but at seven feet with touch to the 3-point line and just 23 years old, he's going to be worth a contract to see if he can sniff a little of that lottery potential.



Posted on: April 28, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Wilson Chandler may head back to the Knicks

Wilson Chandler is a restricted free agent this summer. Could he return to the Knicks?
Posted by Matt Moore

Wilson Chandler was pretty comfortable in New York. He had the whole New York thing going on, he was a featured part of the offense, he had some chemistry with his guys and Amar'e. Then Donnie Walsh James Dolan Isiah Thomas came along and ruined all that, shipping him as part of the kitchen-sink package for Melo.  Chandler's going to be semi-available this summer once the CBA gets sorted out, though, and the Knicks are reportedly interested in bringing him back in. From the New York Post
Chandler, who was dispatched to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade, will be a restricted free agent, and a source said he would love to return to the Knicks. And the Knicks would love to have him back, as coach Mike D'Antoni believes he's the perfect versatile fit for his system who does so many things, including rebound. Chandler's Nuggets trail Oklahoma City 3-1 in the first round.

Chandler's new agent is Happy Walters, who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire and Knicks surprise reserve standout Shawne Williams, also a free agent whom the Knicks would like to bring back.
via Chandler may come back to Knicks - NYPOST.com.

Chandler is a versatile wing who had a 54 percent True Shooting percentage this year, even after the drop when he came to Denver. He took to Mike D'Antoni's system, can work off-ball and as a ball-handler, and is only 24 next season. Bringing him back would be a big boost for the Knicks. It's surprising that Chandler didn't take the trade more personally, though. He lived through the end of the Isiah reign, dealt with inconsistency in his role and kept coming back and playing, only to succeed, and then be traded. Coming back would mean more time spent as a third banana to Melo (Melo takes up two banana spots) on the wing. 

But hey, it is New York, after all. 
Posted on: April 20, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Magic fans launch StayDwight.com

Magic fans launch Dwight.com to try and keep All-Star in Orlando after free agency in 2012. 
Posted by Matt Moore




You have to give it to Orlando fans. They are getting a big head start on putting an effort forth to keep Dwight Howard that will only compound their disappointment and heartbreak when he abandons them for somewhere he can star in even more commercials (he will then comprise 80 percent of all television programming). 

Magic fans have started StayDwight.com, "the campaign site to keep Dwight in Orlando where he belongs." The site is well constructed, features a lot of social media integration, encourages fan submissions for photos and videos to give their opinions. It's working in conjunction with an ad agency that donated a billboard to talk to Dwight and urge him to say when he becomes a free agent in 2012. It's a genuinely cool effort from a group of fans that have already seen what it's like to lose the franchise center to a bigger market. You have to pull for him.

The standard formula here is I'm supposed to crack jokes about how it doesn't matter. And trust me, Dwight's provided more than enough fodder for us to be cynical. He keeps talking about winning a championship without taking that responsibility upon himself. He does seem focused on his business and celebrity interests, with his movie in China, the aforementioned endorsement barrage, and kid-like demeanor which seems more and more "look at me" as he gets older and we become tired of the performance (even though he's not really doing anything different). 

But the reality is we don't know what Dwight Howard's going to do. We don't know if the pleas of friends in the area will get to him. We don't know what impact his faith will have on him. His faith has always been something of crucial importance to him personally, regardless of my or your opinion of his behavior relative to its tenets.  Abandoning a small market community that has embraced him as the favorite son in favor for a land filled with opulence certainly doesn't speak to those values, even if from a business perspective, the decision is clear. It's Howard's decision, not ours in the media's, nor the fans in Orlando's. He has to search through all of that experience to decide what is best for him. But an effort like this from the fans can't hurt. 

But if those fans really want to be effective? They'd be better served launching "CreateAFranchiseTagDavid.com."
(HT: PBT)
Posted on: March 23, 2011 11:05 am
 

Barnes likely back with Lakers next year, Brown?

Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes have options to play for L.A. next season. Their decisions are at once complex and simple. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes will have the ability to test the market next season, under whatever weird new skies the CBA will then fly under. The Los Angeles Times reports that while Barnes' intends to stick around and exercise his option to stay with the Lakers as they make their first championship run with this core without Phil Jackson, Brown's a bit unsure. Barnes, though, made it quite clear what his top priority is:
Barnes, on the other hand, is mainly seeking stability. He is on his eighth team in an eight-year career. He has stayed with the same team for entire back-to-back seasons only once (Golden State in 2006-07 and 2007-08). "At this point, I want to win," Barnes said. "Unless it's something where people say, 'You're dumb for turning that down,' I don't really see myself making a move."
via Lakers FYI: Lakers' reserves keeping their options open - latimes.com.

Brown's in a different spot. He's having a career season, and while he turned down more money to return to L.A. this season, with Phil Jackson gone and the core getting older, Brown may want to go pursue his own career. The worry for him should be the effect that often occurs where a role player who dazzles on a loaded team with superior weaponry, then finds himself only average to below-average elsewhere. There are a lot of names for this effect, the most recent being "the Ariza corollary." 

Barnes should stay in L.A.. They need someone who brings his attitude and toughness, plus he can stretch the floor. It's a good fit and if money's not the issue, there's nowhere better to be. The Lakers will maintain the ability to bring back quality players at discounted prices even after Jackson moves on. After all, not like Kobe's going anywhere. 



 


Posted on: March 22, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 2:43 pm
 

The Knicks looking at Billups long-term. Why?

Knicks looking to re-sign Billups long-term, but is that the right move? 
Posted by Matt Moore

Mike D'Antoni's system requires a great point guard. That isn't just an implication from Steve Nash's prolific success in Phoenix. A team that runs that much and relies on spacing needs an elite distributor.  Forwards, bigs, they're all elements but the engine that really makes the Knicks go will be a great point guard to quarterback the offensive weapons. 

So it's surprising to learn Tuesday that according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks are considering bringing Chauncey Billups back past next season. 
Head coach Mike D'Antoni and team president Donnie Walsh are in favor of holding onto Billups beyond next season. Of course, there are no guarantees that D'Antoni and Walsh will be around beyond next season but most coaches would advocate keeping a point guard whose value extends beyond the court.

D'Antoni has publicly endorsed Billups on several occasions and believes that the one-time NBA Finals MVP can still play at a high level even though he will be 35 years old by the start of the 2011-12 season. D'Antoni has compared Billups favorably to Steve Nash, who at 37 is still going strong. The same is true of Jason Kidd, who turns 38 on March 23.

"Oh yeah, people get hung up on age," D'Antoni said. "(The talk) is he's done. He's got five more years. He was an MVP of the Finals. He's been at All-Star level. He is at an All-Star level. I just think he has at least four, five good years left."

via It makes sense for the Knicks to keep Chauncey Billups around a few more years .

Billups also told ESPN that he's interested in returning to New York. 
Chauncey Billups said late Monday night that he’s hoping to remain with the New York Knicks next season and “going forward.” Billups’ contract contains a team option for 2011-2012 for $14.2 million. The Knicks can pick up the option or buy Billups out for $3.7 million. “I haven’t ruled anything out. Obviously, I’m hoping to be a New York Knick next year and going forward after that. But I can only control so much,” Billups said.
via Billups: I hope to be a Knick in 2012 - Knicks Blog - ESPN New York .

It's interesting that Billups is so receptive to staying in New York after saying repeatedly that he wanted to retire in his hometown of Denver. But he may just be saying the right things now that he's a Knick and understanding how quickly situations can change. More perplexing is a long-term commitment to Billups, unless it's at a discounted rate. Billups, as D'Antoni said, is a former Finals MVP and former All-Star. He is a great point guard. But he's not a great point guard for D'Antoni's system. 

D'Antoni needs a distributor, someone who will probe the defense, get out in transition, open up lanes, and work for the hard pass to create open shots. Even a younger guard like Darren Collison is a better fit going forward. Billups is only going to slow down and struggle more, physically, as he gets older. Extending him will be a costly process, because he can still play at a high level. And when his price goes up, the odds of the Knicks making a move for a player like Chris Paul or Deron Williams go down. And when that happens, the Knicks settle in for the long-term with an incomplete roster shackled by an aging point guard. 

If, however, they can get Billups with a reasonable contract, to stay with the Knicks and mentor the team as a veteran, possibly working as combo-guard in the two-spot, they could really have something. It's only committing to Billups as the starter, as a member of a theoretical "Big 3" that is fraught with risks.
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com