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Tag:Ty Lawson
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:19 am
 

Video: Ty Lawson goes Lawesome in OT

By Matt Moore

Ty Lawson is stepping up and becoming a regular clutch machine. After hitting a game winner just days ago, Lawson stepped up in overtime and helped the Nuggets overcome a 5 point deficit with 15 seconds to go in a win over the Kings

 

The Nuggets are starting to find that they have two closers, Arron Afflalo and Lawson. Both players played huge roles in the comeback Monday night, and both have the ability to score out of the ISO set, the preferred NBA offensive set. With big shots against Houston and Portland in the last week, the Nuggets are recovering their momentum they lost due to injuries. 

It's nice to see Lawson taking the next step. 


Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Nuggets extend Gallinari to 4-years, $42 mil deal

Gallinari has expanded his game and the Nuggets have inked him to a four-year extension (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the Denver Nuggets have signed forward Danilo Gallinari to a 4-year contract extension

Gallinari, 23, was the crown jewel of a trade package the Nuggets acquired from the New York Knicks for All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony at the 2011 trade deadline. A long, smooth forward, Gallinari was the No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

This season, he's averaging 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 34.2 minutes per game, all career-highs.  

The reported terms are more than reasonable. Gallinari is a solid second-tier player from his class, a clear cut below the max performers (Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love) but certainly no slouch.  He's currently ranked No. 35 in the league in player efficiency and he poses a match-up problem for opponents on most nights given his perimeter skills as a 6-foot-10 forward. The $10.5 million annual salary puts him in line with the likes of Andrea Bargnani.

Gallinari is a native of Italy, where he was a standout as a teenager for Olimpia Milano. His first season and a half with the Knicks was spent primarily as an outside shooter. But as the Denver Postreported this week, that's changed dramatically this year as a "New Gallo" has emerged. 
The Nuggets’ coaching staff has put the ball in Gallinari’s hands more than ever. In fact, Gallinari has not been this big a part of the overall look of any offense since before he came to America. He is shifted most often between the power forward and small forward slots. The biggest difference between the two in the Nuggets’ scheme is that the power forward has more screening responsibilities and plays in the pick-and-roll a bit more than the small forward.

Other than that, Gallinari said, “it’s pretty much similar – running and try to score fast.”

Karl admitted the coaching staff was “a little leery” of making the decision to experiment with moving Gallinari around from position to position.

“Moving him around and using him in different ways, it sounds good on paper,” Karl said. “But sometimes it messes with a player.”
via Danilo Gallinari’s responsibility shift sparking his breakout season | Nuggets Ink — Denver Nuggets news — The Denver Post.

Amazingly, as Gallo has taken on more of a ball-handling role in the pick and roll and other sets, his turnover percentage has actually dropped. His assists per game and per minute have nearly doubled. All this and he hasn't' really locked down his 3-pointer yet. There's nothing broken with his shooting form, his shot's just not falling, down to 31 percent from 37 percent last season. When that comes in, Gallo's all-around offense is going to be a nightmare for opponents. With the Nuggets' superb team passing in place, Gallo won't have to bear the brundt of being the sole producer offensively, and his salary leaves room for the team to continue to build around him. 

In short, that Melo trade continues to work out just about as well as can be imagined for Denver.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:15 pm
 

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

Posted by Ben Golliver andre-miller

You can't teach an old point guard new tricks.

Veteran floor general Andre Miller, traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets, says his talent outpaces his current role and he will likely seek a new home this summer, according to FoxSportsFlorida.com.
Miller, who becomes a free agent after the season, said before Wednesday's game against New Jersey that "probably not" would he return to the Nuggets next season if the role is to back up Ty Lawson. But he wouldn't completely rule that out as a possibility if no better situations were to be available.

"At this point in my career, I don't see myself as a backup," Miller, who entered the NBA in 1999, said in an interview with FOXSports.com. "For 13 years, I wasn't a backup before. This is a short season (due to the lockout), so I'll deal with it. But I don't see myself as a backup at this point in my career. I don't see that."

Miller said he hasn't spoke of not liking his backup role to Nuggets coach George Karl, and that he doesn't plan to have such a conversation. Karl said this was the first he'd heard of Miller's disappointment. "I'm glad he's proud of himself and he wants to play," Karl said. "But I think this still is the best opportunity for him."
Miller, 35, is in his 13th NBA season. He's currently backing up Ty Lawson, 24, who is clearly the team's point guard of the future and has breakout potential for the Nuggets, who are currently 6-4 on the season and boast a top-10 offense. Because of Lawson, the marriage between Denver and Miller is a short-term match unless Miller is willing to embrace the reserve role. While he's past his prime, Miller, like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, remains effective late in his career. 

He's right that there are teams he could start for in the NBA, even at 35. While generally regarded as one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA, Miller is unyielding in his deliberate style and need to have the ball in his hands. An excellent passer who makes up for his lack of athleticism with elite vision, Miller was a solid starter for the Blazers, a one-and-done playoff team, last season.

However, he and Portland coach Nate McMillan had their own squabbles over Miller's role, as former Blazers guard Brandon Roy dominated the ball and preferred a floor-spacing shooter to play alongside him, rather than Miller. McMillan opted to begin the 2009-2010 season by starting current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake over Miller, and McMillan and Miller later engaged in a shouting match during a practice that was overheard by the media. Miller eventually moved into the starting lineup and was a key factor in the development of Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the 2010-2011 season.

Miller is currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.9 assists per game so far this season. He's playing 28.1 minutes per game, the fewest since his rookie season.

Interestingly, Miller's teammate Al Harrington had this to say on the CBSSports.com NBA podcast this week:

"I think that we share the basketball, which is probably some of the best team passing that I've been around in my career. Guys are really pulling for each other. No one's really worried about being the top scorer or man on the team, we're just trying to win. Whenever you have that kind of chemistry, I think you can do special things."

Apparently Miller isn't on board with that idea as much. You can listen to the rest of our interview with Al Harrington below:

 
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:58 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 2:02 am
 

Report Card 12.26.11: Mavs crushed again



By Matt Moore


The first full night of games and it was a doozy. Rookie debuts, buzzer-beaters, and some vomit. The NBA is back in all its glory. Here are your grades for Monday, December 26th, 2011.

A: Denver Nuggets: Yeah, it was against the same team the Heat ran out of the building Sunday, this time on the second night of a back to back. But the Mavericks are still the defending champs and the Nuggets ran them out of their own building. It wasn't just the offense, either, though they were en fuego (49 percent from the field, 56 percent effective field goal percentage). Denver was also dialed in defensively. The best wins are those in which your offense allows you to set your defense to attack, which creates opportunities for your offense and it becomes a vicious cycle for your opponent. The Nuggets were like a race car wheel roaring down the track. They forced 19 turnovers, creating 20 percent more opportunities for themselves, and they took full advantage. Ty Lawson was a speed demon and when the Mavs did get in front, he smoked them from the perimeter (3-6 from the arc, 27 points). Al Harrington not only provided a huge offensive lift off the bench, he was engaged defensively. At one point he created a steal which bounced to Danilo Gallinari, who ran the floor then stopped and shoveled it back to a sprinting Harrington for the dunk. The Nuggets played so wel they could mess around on fast breaks. Dominant performance in their first season opener since 2003 without Carmelo Anthony.

B: San Antono Spurs: A little bit of revenge after the Grizzlies eliminated them from the playoffs last spring. The Spurs, six months removed from a season where they were an offensive juggernaut but couldn't stop anyone, especially down low, got back to their roots. They held the Grizzlies to an 86 offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions),which is elite status. They got back to defending, rebounding, and grinding their opponent to dust. Throw in a surprising performace from Richard Jefferson and an impressive debut for Kawhi Leonard, and all of a sudden, the "past their prime" Spurs look like they might be getting back to what made them great.

C: New Jersey Nets: Well, they were down 21 points at one point to the Washington Wizards who were playing without the fifth pick in the draft, Jan Vesely. The Nets looked lost, inept, ridiculous. And then they turned it on. Outscoring the Wizards 53-39 in the second half, they fought their way back into it and watched Flip Saunders' team self-destruct. Deron Williams was the exerienced All-Star. And Kris Humphries, man of the hour. 21 points and 16 rebounds, cleaning up misses and killing the Wizards down low. This was a game that's hard for either team to feel good about because of the opponent, and being down 21 to the Wizards is madness. But they won, and they'll take it.

D: Kobe Bryant: Here's what is working for the Lakers right now, without Andrew Bynum, and why they fell apart in a loss to the Kings. Ball movement, hustle and intelligent, efficient play. And the Lakers, after a lackadaisical game had them out of reach, fought their way back with that exact kind of play. And once again, Kobe Bryant went hero mode and once again, an opportunity to win was squandered by the Hall of Famer. The entire Lakers get a "D" here for failing to play any on the perimeter. (Seriously, Mike Brown, what's it going to take for Derek Fisher to get yanked? How many times must Tyreke Evans blow past him or block him?) But the Lakers keep getting within range through team play, and then Bryant attempts to take the team on his shoulders like he used to. That Kobe is gone, at least until the wrist heals. 24 field goal attempts for Bryant, who leads the league by a mile in usage percentage (percent of possessions used -- tricky stat that), and two turnovers, including an offensive foul late. A bad month for the Black Mamba gets worse.

F: Dallas Mavericks: You have GOT to be kidding us.

Other notable grades:

Incomplete: Chicago Bulls: Are they as bad as they have looked in the first two games after a loss to the Warriors on the road to open the season? No. But they do look bad. Really bad. But with a 1-1 mark, considering the schedule (two West coast road games to start the season on consecutive nights) and the opponent (a Warriors team with confidence after nearly nailing the Clips, even if they were on their own second game of a back to back). The Bulls fought back in and made it a game late, but if they don't make up their homework to the teacher, bad grades are coming.

E for Effort: Minnesota Timberwolves. Open the season with a narrow loss to the Thunder? Rubio looks great. Derrick Williams looks promising. Kevin Love is an All-Star. The effort was there for the Wolves, and they're only going to get better.

Gold stars: Eric Gordon (CLUTCH). Alonzo Gee. Ed Davis. Danilo Gallinari. Sean Williams. Roy Hibbert. Manu Ginobili. Marcus Thornton. Stephen Curry. Tristan Thompson. Tyreke Evans. LaMarcus Aldridge.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:46 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 6:52 am
 

The Nuggets, free of Melo, control their destiny

By Matt Moore

When trading a superstar, you look at two options. You can try and aim for a similar, albeit lesser star, or you can aim for financial flexibility and young players. When the Denver Nuggets traded Camelo Anthony last February, they received young players and financial flexibility, but they also recieved something better. Choice. 

The team was not so devastated by Anthony's deparure as to be forced into a pure rebuilding episode. They had young players like Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson, and got back more in the form of Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov. But they also had cap room to bring in someone, or, if they wanted to bring back Nene. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that's just what they did, inking the 29-year-old to a 5-year, $67 million deal which puts him at less per year than Marc Gasol, and which is less than the reported four-year, $70 million offer from the Nets. In locking up Nene, the Nuggets are entering into exciting but dangerous territory.

The Nuggets can compete for the playoffs right now. If Lawson continues his progression and Gallinari becomes a full-fledged star and young players like Jordan Hamilton and Kenneth Faried contribute anything, along with Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer, who the Nuggets acquired Tuesday in a trade with Dallas, then Nene allows them to push for as high as a five-seed in the West. With the Lakers undergoing signs of a possible implosion and Dallas clearing space for 2012, along with San Antonio's age finally wreaking havoc on them, the Thunder really only stand as a major long-term challenge in the West, provided the Clippers don't get Chris Paul. A deep, talented, versatile team with depth, size, experience, youth, athleticism and range? The Nuggets have everything you'd want in an all-around collection of talent.

The Nuggets are expected to zero in on restricted free agent Arron Afflalo, according to Berger, and as a result, will have a killer lineup of Lawson-Afflalo-Gallinari with some combination of frontcourt players beside Nene filling out the roster. They'll still have long-term flexibility, with only Al Harrington standing as a major impediment and will still have the amnesty clause as a weapon to use to clear space. Most of that cap space will be absorbed by extensions for Lawson, Gallinari, and potentially Mozgov, but that doesn't alter the fact that they can use those contracts and players to upgrade or go in different directions.

Still, the re-signing of Nene has its drawbacks. They are a win-now team. They are not aiming for the next superstar, they're trying to grow one out of either Lawson, Gallinari, or, less likely, Nene. They're trying to catch lightning in a bottle and that's a difficult act in the NBA. It's said that the worst thing you can do is end up in NBA purgatory, a constant 5-8 seed playoff team who never winds up going anywwhere. But the Nuggets might get to have their cake and eat it, too. With the kind of young roster they have, and a viable anchor in Nene to bolster the interior, Denver can have it both ways.

Masai Ujiri caught flak from everyone for waiting on the Melo deal last fall, seemingly squandering opportunities to get better deals. Instead, not only did he take in a king's ransom for Anthony, he has converted that haul and the cap space it afforded into a team that isn't struggling to fill roster spots, one that can take risks and make savvy moves, a team on the rise that can also compete now. There's no telling where Ujiri will take the Nuggets over the next several years, but unlike so many franchises beholden to the fate of one player, the Nuggets have options, now.

Wherever they're going, it's their decision which path to take.
Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:39 am
 

Ty Lawson is not enjoying his European stay

By Matt Moore

It started innocently enough. Ty Lawson is whiling away the hours, conferin' with the flowers in Lithuania during the NBA lockout with a team called BC Zalgiris. But Lawson started tweeting on Tuesday that things aren't going swimmingly with the club.
I coulda sat home and played NBA 2k12 and got the same thing accomplished that we did in practice smh
via Ty Lawson (tylawson3) on Twitter

OK, well, that's not a very nice thing to say about your coach/team, but no big deal. Except Lithuanian fans on Twitter didn't take too kindly to it. And things got personal. Quickly. Especially after Lawson said:
A lot of wack things happening
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: A lot of wack things happe ...


And then after a response from a particularly abusive fan of the team, saying he is "complaining:"
@pranas_balsys I would slap the shyt outta u if I seen u in person... I play hard every game
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: @pranas_balsys I would sla ...

Well, now. That's not very nice on either side's part. 

Lawson then said he had "said what he had to say" and that he was done... but then the tweets kept a comin' from both sides.
funny thing.... i see all these lithuanian ppl starting to follow me..here comes the hate tweets.... in 3...2..1 lol..
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: funny thing.... i see all ...

And then it got worse. The replies to Lawson took on a decidedly racist turn. Which is always fun. And predictable. And sad.
this ridiculous... didnt kno racism still existed... might have to pack my bags
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: this ridiculous... didnt k ...

Ha, just kidding, he says!
lol..i aint gonna pack my bags.. life in a another country is crazy as u can tell... im a tough dude..aint gonna run away from a situation
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: lol..i aint gonna pack my ....

And finally, possibly my favorite tweet in all the world:
they call me chico baby.... if u gonna be racist dont forget about my mexican side
via Twitter / @TyLawson3: they call me chico baby... ...

Now that, friends, is how you troll the fanbase of your own team. 

Lawson's facing abusive fans, but he would be facing abusive fans anywhere, including Denver, if he or the team struggled. One of the problems is that the players who are overseas aren't really committed to it. They know they're only there till the lockout ends. This isn't a career move, it's a part-time gig. That affects your outlook and the level of hassle you're willing to deal with. Like everything else with the lockout, it's complicated. 

(via IAmAGm.com)
Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Manager steals millions; gets 3 years in jail

Posted by Ben Golliversteve-francis-nyk

Infinitely wise advice from the rapper Nas: "Watch them [people] that be close to you."

Those words should have been heeded by a number of Washington, D.C. area professional athletes who were taken for a million-dollar ride by their crooked sports manager. 

The Washington Examiner reports that a D.C. manager who worked for multiple NBA players and a prominent heavyweight boxer copped to misusing and pilfering millions of dollars generated by his clients.
Nathan A. Peake, 41, of Silver Spring, admitted in federal court in the District that he didn't file tax returns from 2000 through 2007 and diverted about $5.8 million in management and agent fees from his business to personal accounts.

He also admitted to misappropriating proceeds from a $3.5 million line of commercial credit that one of his athlete clients guaranteed and paid off.

"Nathan Peake's efforts at tax evasion were much less successful than the careers of the professional athletes he managed," said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. "Today's sentence sends the unmistakable message that everyone -- especially those bringing in millions in income -- must pay their fair share."
There's nothing quite like a good lawyer zing. Or a bad lawyer zing for that matter.

Among Peake's clients, the paper reports, were Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson and former NBA All-Star Steve Francis.

Francis raked in more than $103 million in salary during a 9-year NBA career playing for the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and New York Knicks. Most recently, he played professionally in China.

Lawson is still on his rookie deal with the Nuggets and has career NBA earnings of less than $3 million. Back in August, he signed to play professionally in Lithuania. 

Hat tip: @NZbeFree
Posted on: September 3, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 3:50 pm
 

NBA's five most risky overseas signings

Posted by Ben Golliverderon-williams

University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly recently was asked whether he felt it was a risky move to schedule his team's opener against perennial power LSU rather than a directional school doormat.

"There's risk waking up and getting out of bed in the morning," Kelly replied. "It's all about how you look at life."

Kelly's defense of his aggressive schedule-making shouldn't be read as reckless. Certainly, there's risk in getting out of bed in the morning and there's risk in standing in front of a locomotive. Those risks clearly aren't equivalent and, in turn, the decision-making behind each shouldn't be viewed in the same light. Kelly, one of college football's most notorious gamblers, might view an early season test as a net-positive for his team, even if it results in a loss, but he surely wouldn't schedule a full 12-game slate of top competition if he intended on cashing in on the incentives in his contract and winning a national title. An early, tough test can be great preparation and won't sink a season; a four-month long gauntlet of tough tests would be foolish and, ultimately, suicidal. 

As self-protecting creatures, humans are remarkably good at assessing risk on the fly. We know danger when we see it, we can process the presence of warning signs in advance, we can coach ourselves to be patient and, if all else fails, our "flight" instincts kick in and we run the other way as fast as possible. 

We've learned this summer that professional basketball players possess those very same skills. Indeed, in more than two months since the NBA lockout went into effect, RidiculousUpside.com has tracked more than 50 NBA players, free agents and draft picks who have agreed to play overseas should there be a work stoppage or cancellation of the 2011-12 NBA season. Yet when you survey the list of names, you realize that it's a carefully self-selected group.

That self-selection process boils down to risk-assessment. The guys on the list, by and large, fit a number of key criteria. They don't have a lot of guaranteed money remaining on their NBA contracts, assuming they have league contracts in place. The majority do not have a major role in their team's rotation. Almost all are young and have not reached the prime of their careers. Just about everyone is in good health too. 

This is no accident. The three biggest risks for a professional basketball player involved in a move overseas are: 1) a catastrophic injury that causes the loss of guaranteed money already owed 2) an injury of any magnitude that prevents or limits future earnings 3) the loss of NBA opportunities by virtue of being "off the map." The type of players most subject to these risks -- stars, veterans in their prime, fringe veterans with injury histories, up-and-coming players with the potential to be stars, first round draft picks in 2011 waiting on guaranteed rookie deals -- by and large have opted to wait out the lockout. They've spied the railroad tracks, heard a whistle out in the distance and opted to stand clear. It's a bit of a bummer for the viewing public who would prefer to watch these guys perform, but if your brother or son made the same decision, you wouldn't just approve, you would be proud of his common sense.

Not everyone has been completely careful, though. It's fair to say that no NBA player has yet made a reckless decision with their career, but there are a few who have more at stake and are risking more in agreeing to play overseas. Here's a look at the top five riskiest overseas signings of the summer so far.

5. Nicolas Batum, F Portland Trail Blazers

There aren't many budding stars among the group that has committed to play overseas next season, and some would dispute whether Batum, 22, has star potential. With that said, he started on a playoff team at age 20, has established a reputation as an above-average defender, has developed his offensive game each year in the pros (despite a relatively cold shooting year from outside in 2010-11) and is viewed as a core building block piece. He complements the team's franchise player, forward LaMarcus Aldridge, nicely and has an upbeat attitude that is endearing to fans and a solid work ethic that appeals to coach Nate McMillan.

The risk in the move overseas for Batum isn't his current contract, as he's still tied into a rookie deal through next season. Instead it's all about the threat of injury, as Batum missed more than half of his second season in the NBA with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Batum is clearly thinking with his heart as much as his head in signing with SLUC Nancy of France; he wants a chance to play in front of his home country's fans and is a gym rat who has played year-round for years, thanks to his participation with Team France. Batum plays a hard, two-way, high-flying game and isn't afraid to lay his body out. The Blazers figure to offer Batum a long-term, big-dollar extension in the future. Risking that by playing overseas this year isn't an insane proposition. 

4. Ty Lawson, G, Denver Nuggets

Lawson, like Batum, is still locked into a rookie deal that pays him below what he would be worth on the open market. Even though he's only played two years in the NBA, Lawson has done well to establish a very high earnings potential. An excellent outside shooter and one of the league's fastest players, Lawson transitioned into a starting role last season and watched as Denver traded his competition for the job -- Raymond Felton -- to Portland for veteran Andre Miller, who probably makes more sense as a backup at this point in his career. In other words, Lawson was handed the keys to the Nuggets' car at an early age and, given how many players they are likely to lose in free agency, he should have all the touches and shots he wants to start building a track record that will mean a big payday down the road.

Foot and ankle injuries have limited Lawson during his UNC days and as a Nugget, but he's coming off a season in which he appeared in all but two games. The risk here is simply future earning potential. It's possible that his time with Zalgiris in Lithuania will help him improve -- or at least maintain -- his skills. But the uncertainty in adjusting to a new country, team, style of play and everything else looms over a young man already tasked with helping rebuild an NBA team in transition.  

3. Nikola Pekovic, F, Minnesota Timberwolves

Would you believe that Pekovic in second only to Deron Williams on the list of players who have the most guaranteed money coming to them on NBA deals who have committed to playing overseas? It's amazing what a terrible David Kahn contract is capable of! Pekovic, a plodding 25 year old big man who played just 13.6 minutes per game in his rookie season, has $4.5 million coming to him in 2011-12 and another $4.9 million coming to him in 2012-2013. When you look at those numbers compared to his production, your first thought is, "Don't blow it by getting injured! You'll never sucker another GM into giving you those numbers!"

Pekovic's risk is mitigated here because he's familiar with the overseas game, having played professionally there since 2003. He's set to return to one of his old clubs -- Partizan Belgrade in Serbia -- next season. Those familiar surroundings plus the ground-bound, tough-guy nature of his game limit his exposure. Plus, the worst case scenario is that Minnesota is able to void his contract. Given that assistant GM Tony Ronzone simply walked off the job this week, maybe that's not so bad after all.

2. Wilson Chandler, F, Denver Nuggets


Maybe the most curious move of the summer was Chandler's decision to sign a one-year deal in China, a contract that prevents him from returning to the NBA in the event that the labor situation is resolved. In other words, Chandler has already sacrificed the difference in money between the $3.1 million he would have made next season with the Nuggets and the reported roughly $2 million that he will make with Zhejiang Guangsha. 

That's not the only money that was at stake for Chandler, though. Chandler was set to become a restricted free agent in a weak crop, meaning there would have been some fairly good-sized dollars available to him. Denver, of course, would have been highly motivated to match any offers given their newfound weakness at wing following the team's trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. One way or another, he was getting paid and the amount would have been significantly higher than what he's receiving in China. The only potential reason for taking the Chinese money and running is if Chandler simply doesn't want to play in Denver long-term. The most likely result for most coveted restricted free agents is they sign multi-year deals with their current team. If Chandler didn't like his new, post-Knicks digs, the move makes a little bit more sense, as he can potentially return to the NBA waters down the road as an unrestricted free agent. But will an NBA absence affect his perceived value?  

1. Deron Williams, G, New Jersey Nets 

This one shouldn't come as a surprise. Williams bucked convention by becoming the only current NBA All-Star to agree to play overseas, signing a much-ballyhooed deal with Besiktas of Turkey. Name a risk and it applies to Williams. He has $16.4 million coming to him in 2011-2012 and could pick up a player option for $17.8 million more if he wants, or he could enter free agency next summer and be a no-brainer candidate for a max contract. He has a lingering wrist injury that required surgery and is reportedly still giving him problems. He's 27 years old and primed to enter his peak NBA years. Put all of that together and Williams has -- by far -- the most to lose of anyone on this list. Sure, he's already made more than $43 million in career earnings, but he's got far more than that coming to him over the next 5-7 years.

Even considering all of those negative warning signs, his decision is defensible. The Nets mortgaged their entire franchise to trade for him and they could not be more motivated to retain him. At some point, it's more than likely they will literally beg him to sign a max extension. They have no choice; the rest of the roster has proven it's not competitive and the team is not a desireable free agent destination, at least until the move to Brooklyn is completed. In other words, Williams has New Jersey over a barrel and he knows it. He's in a position where he can cash checks from Besitkas while staying in shape and pull the "injured wrist" card and come back to the United States if he isn't comfortable with the team, the country or his accomodations overseas.

When you look at it like that, even the riskiest overseas signing starts to seem like a bit of a no-brainer.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com