Every year around this time, veteran players on horrible teams get bought out so those veterans can go compete for a title and those teams can sink ever lower in the standings, and/or give their young guys playing time to see what they’ve got that’s worth keeping. Players who want to be playoff-eligible need to be waived before March 1 if they want to join a playoff-bound team (but don’t care about their Bird Rights).
Every title contending team (or, team that thinks they’re title contending) scrambles for veteran contributors after seeing what P.J. Brown did for the Heat in 2010. Is there a Brown in this year’s crop of bought-out vets? Knee-jerk reaction, below:
1. Danny Granger
Where was he?: Philadelphia, by way of Indiana.
Where’d he go?: Los Angeles — the Clippers.
Knee-jerk analysis: This guy is the biggest question mark of the bunch. He was an All-Star a few years ago, but now his knees are all kinds of screwed up. Granger went to the Clips specifically because they offered him playing time, and he could find himself playing a lot of meaningful minutes as a bench scorer or even starter. That is, if his knees hold up. If they don’t, it could be the difference between a title and a second-round exit for the Clips — and a big contract and jack shit for Granger next year.
2. Caron Butler
Where was he?: Milwaukee, for some reason.
Where’d he go?: Oklahoma City.
Knee jerk analysis: Good move. Butler signing with the Bucks never made much sense outside of a “going home” tour, and he’s still a valuable contributor. But bigger than OKC signing him was that he didn’t go to Miami. The Heat wanted Butler, he has a history there with D-Wade, and he could have been their knockdown-three guy in place of the departed Mike Miller. Instead, he’s in Oklahoma City.
3. Glen Davis
Where was he?: Orlando.
Where’d he go: Los Angeles — the Clippers.
Knee-jerk analysis: The Clippers’ big man rotation was a disaster outside of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Ryan Hollins? Bro, do you even basketball? Big Baby was a starter in Orlando, for what that’s worth, and he’s got championship experience, if you can believe it. Damn good pickup.
4. Jimmer Fredette
Where was he?: Sacramento.
Where’d he go?: He’s still unsigned, as of this writing, but we’re hearing the Bulls want him.
Knee-jerk analysis: Three year vet, Jimmer Fredette! Who wants a 6’2” point/shooting guard that may or may not be good? A real roll of the dice here. The Knicks were rumored to be on his list for awhile, but somebody must have shaken some sense into him. I don’t see him being much of a factor wherever he goes.
5. Metta World Peace
Where was he?: New York, New York.
Where’d he go?: Unsigned, as of this writing.
Knee-jerk analysis: Seems like he’d be a good fit for the Spurs. I also weirdly want him to join the Grizzlies. A hard-nosed player on a hard-nosed team that could use a little shooting. Yeah, go to the Grizz, dude. Or the Spurs. Somewhere where you’d have to lockdown a premier scorer for a couple of possessions a game, like the old days.
6. Ben Gordon
Where was he: Charlotte.
Where’d he go?: Unsigned, as of this writing, but rumors say Chicago, L.A. (Clippers) and Houston.
Knee-jerk reaction: Now here’s an undersized shooter the Bulls should gamble on. He was great for Chicago back before Detroit signed him and ate his soul. It’d be great to see him back with his old team. Houston would also be a good fit, but maybe that’s my “Ben Gordon in a red jersey” bias talking. He needs to show he can still contribute if he wants to make more than a ripple in the free agent market next year.
We’ll update this page as news breaks. Here’s to hoping your team found a diamond in the rough, and not just this year’s version of Tracy McGrady.