The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet
The Clippers made the mistake of assuming that DeAndre Jordan would end up returning to Los Angeles. Now that he’s signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks, the Clippers are left with no real center on the roster. Glen Davis is a free agent and they traded Spencer Hawes for Lance Stephenson. What’s worse is they already used a good chunk of the mid-level exception on Paul Pierce. So, at this point, they can’t even sign a decent center because they have very little money to offer. Perhaps they’re able to swing some type of trade, but basically, the Clippers are screwed.
Rajon Rondo is signing a one-year, $10 million dollar deal with the Sacramento Kings, who are having the most interesting offseason of any team in the NBA. After the embarrassment that was his time with the Mavericks at the end of last season, Rondo’s value was at the lowest point of his career. This deal is good for him for two reasons: he gets paid an eight-figure salary this season and gets a chance to rebuild his value to go after a big contract next offseason. It doesn’t hurt that the cap is supposedly going to explode into the $90 million range next year, either. If he’s going to look like the old Rondo, playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins isn’t a bad place to do it.
The Bulls accomplished their early goals in free agency, which were bringing back Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler. Now that they have, essentially, everyone important from last year’s team locked up (except Aaron Brooks, who’s expected to be gone), they need to focus on bringing in a new backup point guard. A few of the names available include Jeremy Lin, Cory Joseph, Rodney Stuckey (who plays most of his minutes at shooting guard), Jameer Nelson and Will Bynum.
While Robin Lopez doesn’t have the offensive skills of his brother Brook, or the ability of LaMarcus Aldridge or Greg Monroe, he still has skills that fit with what the Knicks need. He’s good at setting high screens and rolling to the rim. He’s active on the floor, even without the ball, and is a good offensive rebounder. Lopez doesn’t require the ball in his hands to be successful, which is important to his value with the Knicks. With Carmelo Anthony and Arron Afflalo on board, they already have guys that dominate the ball. The Knicks may not have landed a star at center, but they got someone who fits.
The Heat are having an interesting offseason. First, Luol Deng was expected to opt out, then opted in. There was some ugliness with Dwyane Wade, but Wade got a new one-year deal. They met with Aldridge, but that was never anything more than a long shot and basically telling him he wants him in the next year or two. Now, they’re in the market for a sixth man and are looking hard at Lou Williams. Williams put up 16 points per game last season, and the Heat’s weak bench could use someone who can put the ball in the basket. This would take some serious cap magic to pull off, but Riley’s no stranger to pulling that off.