With the free agency period at near completion, the teams may have stacked up or lost their players. The finalisation of the rosters of Southwestern teams is the topic I will discuss. I will include the trades during and after the draft, and all players after the draft signed. I will avoid low minimum salary players like Oliver Layfette for the Celtics, as well as draft picks (since they have not produced any NBA talent to assess). Shamsports provides the best contract info which is used for this post. Lets Begin, shall we?
Dallas Mavs: Dirk Nowitzki re signing for 4 years and $80 Million, A+. Getting Dirk to resign, with a hometown discount, is the best move the team made. It avoided Dirk making the Mavs into the "new" Raptors or Cavs. His shooting and defense are the necessary tool for the team.
Brendan Haywood: re signing for a 6 year, $52 Million dollar contract, with last year fully unguarenteed, C-. Not the best move, since Tyson Chandler, Alexis Ajinca, and Ian Mahinmi came over. His production will decline in a few years, unless he becomes like Marcus Camby. Needs to be enthusiastic about playing games, not playing to be paid. Still better than Dampier, however.
Tyson Chandler: acquired in the DUST Chip trade, 1 year at $12 Million left, B. If Tyson is injury free this season, we may see some of his best basketball yet. A good rebounder and shot blocker, able to distribute the ball. Not very good shooter, needs lobs, dunks, or put backs to score. With Kidd and Dirk, hs job is to focus on his qualities. Most likely to be discussed in trade deadline, hopefully with OKC to gain some assets out of Chandler.
Alexis Ajinca: acquired in the DUST Chip trade, 2 years at $1.46 Million for this year, team option for $2.2 Million for 2010-11, C. How does Ajinca earn a C, you ask? By having upside. With the Bobcats having many centers, and Larry Brown's dislike of young players, Ajinca was sent to the D-League. He tore it up there, averaging 17 PPG and being selected to the D-League All Stars. Being part of a NBA team made him ineligible, however. If his stats translate to NBA levels, he may be worth keeping.
Brad Miller: signed to a 3 year, $14.2 Million dollar contract, D. Miller for 3 years? And $14 Million dollars? His stats have lowered since he left Sacramento, and unlikely to be improving anytime soon. Decent back up to Yao, but way too high. A 3 year contract should have been in the $7-8 Million dollar range, based on his production.
Kyle Lowry: signed for 4 years for $23.4 Million with the Cavs, matched by Rockets in less than 24 hours, B. While his PPG was lower than 2008-09, he improved his rebounding and assists. Reminds me a lot what Roddy B will be like, but less explosive.
Luis Scola: signed for 5 years, $47 Million dollar contract, C+. His stats lowered a bit in all categories except shooting. Good for first 3 ears, but will be low performing by the last two years, if his stats decline more. Good PF/C, but not for such money.
Rudy Gay: signed signed to 5 year, $82 Million dollar contract, B-. Produces and scores a bunch, but needs to assist his team mates more. An injury to him would kill the Grizz, since he plays about 40 minutes a game. Needs to work on his FT% as well.
Tony Allen: signed for 3 years, $10 Million dollar contract, A. When you sign a back up that has a higher win shares because of lock down defense than your current starter(O.J Mayo), you know it is a great pick up. These are the pick ups the Mavs need to use their MLE for, not players such as Al Harrington. Poor scorer, but with Gay on the team, scoring is not on the need list.
Trevor Ariza: traded to NOH with 4 years, $28 Million dollar contract, C. Did good with the Lakers since his role wasn't to shoot. Once signed with HOU, he was made a designated shooter, lowering his shooting %. Now on the Hornets, he can become to be like the Laker player he was, and the Hornets will gain more wins that Morris Peterson and Darren Collison would have made.
Marco Bellineli: traded to NOH with a year and $2.3 Million dollar contract, A. Trading the non productive Julian Wright for a nice sharpshooter, something missing on the Hornets team once Mo Pete was wracked by injuries. Good job for the new GM Dell Demps.
Richard Jefferson: re signed to a 4 year $38.8 Million dollar contract, after opting out of a 1 year, $16 Million dollar contract, B+. San Antonio got under the luxury tax, and Jefferson got guaranteed money for more years, everyone wins. His shooting % has gone up compared to his years in Milwaukee, but his 3PT% has lowered. Other stats are lowering because of age.
These are the main FA's that Southwest teams signed. These are not all of them, since I avoided minimum salary players, as well as draft picks. I will list the picks, however, and let readers determine how to grade them.
Dallas: Dominique Jones
Houston: Patrick Patterson
Enjoy, and other analysis of the remaining divisions will come.