We are about to enter a flurry of free agent action. On Wednesday morning, we'll know how the restricted/unrestricted free agent pool shakes out and the offers will start rolling. By the time our next call in show comes around (Wednesday, July 8 at 9pm with Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog.com) players will start to sign with their new teams.
So it's gonna get busy. And the Celtics will certainly be in that mix… albeit with a few more limitations than other teams. We're working on a budget for the third straight year. Today, ProBasketballNews.com has a good list of what it calls the best basement bargains of the summer. There are some intriguing names. A few in particular caught my eye:
current players born on September 11, the 25-year-old Diogu made $2.9
million last season, when he barely played for Portland but showed
another of his intermittent flashes with Sacramento, averaging 9.2
points and 3.9 rebounds in 10 games. He has deliberate moves and slow
feet but can score in the post if you throw him the ball. A team
needing an extra big could have him for the five-year veteran minimum
Considered a throw-in when the Lakers dumped Vladimir Radmanovic for
Adam Morrison, Brown used the postseason to make himself desirable on
the free agent market. He averaged nearly 13 minutes and five points
per game in the playoffs for the champions, manning both guard spots
and sparking the Lakers with his athleticism. Brown is a restricted
free agent, which means the Lakers can match any offer he receives from
another team — which should be more than the $797,000 he made last
season. Given how poorly Sasha Vujacic played in the postseason, the
Lakers may want to keep him. But if another team offers Brown a
multi-year contract — say, $4 million over two years — the Lakers may
not match, based on their desire to keep both Lamar Odom and Trevor
Ariza and the fact they are above the luxury tax.
Desmond Mason. In his first seven seasons, Mason
missed just 34 games. But he has missed 66 over the last two, will turn
32 in training camp and does not appear to part of Oklahoma City's
long-term plan, especially with the selection of shooting guard James
Harden in the draft. Mason still has the ability to defend two
positions and score a little bit, too. He still can be a rotation
player for a good team. He may warrant a multi-year deal but not
anywhere near the $5.3 million he made last season.
If you're willing to bring in McDyess… I think you should be willing to bring in Diogu… especially if he'll come in for less than $1 million.
I think Shannon Brown's name has been tossed around this site more than a few times. And if he signs for $2 mil/year, then you've got a little flexibility to either bring in another guy with the rest of the mid-level… or just pocket that money for when you might need it down the road.
Mason is also interesting. A few years ago, he was a very good side-kick to Michael Redd in Milwaukee. He knows how to score and he's a decent defender. If he can stay healthy, the Celtics might be able to get a decent player with half their mid-level money.