The Free Agent Stock Market, Pt. 2

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As the first round of the playoffs winds down, whose value has gone up, and whose value has gone down? Part 2

If you missed part one, here's how this works: I went through next offseason's most notable free agents of interest for the Mavs (so mostly Point Guards, Hybrid Guards, and Centers), considered the ones who were actually in the playoffs, and decided whether their value has gone UP or DOWN from the regular season as a result of their playoff play. The idea is that if the value goes UP, the player has performed really well, but will therefore pull more money and probably be harder for the Mavs to get. Conversely, if the value has gone DOWN, they have probably not performed the way we would ideally want, but they'll be cheaper and easier to sneak onto the team in the offseason.

This part is based off of series that were already completed on and after 5/4/13, not including the Rockets (Clippers - Grizzlies, Knicks - Celtics, Pacers - Hawks, and Bulls - Nets).

Chris Paul

I'm not going to bother with a stock value for Chris Paul, we all know he's everyone's #1 priority, regardless of the playoff results. After the Clipper's first round exit, everybody's asking whether or not Chris Paul will actually be content to hang around in Los Angeles. I have to admit, where I was (and still am) dismissive of pulling Dwight Howard, regardless of an early exit, I think Paul is worth thinking about.

The problem with getting Dwight, even now, is that even if he wants to leave, we'd be on the bottom end of any list of reasonable suitors. The reason I'm not quite so skeptical about Paul is that I think that the market for CP3 isn't quite as big.

As I've mentioned before, the Hawks and the Rockets are the teams with the real Paul sized cap space going into next summer. Now, I think if both teams are going for a superstar, Dwight makes way more sense for them position wise. Both are more or less set in the point guard category.

The Hawks seem to be indicating that they're looking to keep and build around Jeff Teague in the future, and regardless of whether Houston and Darryl Morey think that Jeremy Lin is the future of the team, the revenue draw from having Lin in the biggest Asian market in the league is probably enough for them to keep him and find their stars in the bigger positions. Not to mention Lin's 15 million dollar cap hold for 2014-2015.

Now, I don't think that means that suddenly the Mavs are the go-to guys for CP3 who aren't the Clips. As others have mentioned, the Hawks could actually do some serious finagling, and if CP3 and Dwight are both willing to take tiny salary hits, they could potentially roster both of them and still have enough left over to roster the rest of a squad. Though that's unlikely, we've seen crazier things happen in free agency.

And of course, I think most teams would ditch any prior plans if it looked like Paul was an actual option.

But lastly, I think CP3 still has no real motive to leave LA. The Clips might have lost in the first round, but they still have some crazy young upside, and especially if they fire VDN (basically guaranteed) it'd be hard not to exploit that for future competitive pushes. Unfortunately, even Cuban would have a hard time selling that the Mavs are more competitive than the Clippers. All on top of the fact that there still just isn't enough cap space to get CP3 the kind of salary he's looking for.

I think Paul remains a Clipper. But if the Mavs are going to make a push at a superstar, he's going to be our guy, not Dwight.

Jeff Teague

SAME. I think Teague is as appealing a solution to the point guard problem as Jack, except that he's an even better scorer. Unfortunately, the Mavs have the same problem with Teague as with Jack: Atlanta loves him. They know he's awesome. They want to build their team around him in the future. And unlike Jack, Teague is a restricted free agent. And Atlanta has all the cap space in the world to use on him.

I don't think Teague's value has really been affected by the playoffs at all. Atlanta lost in small market TV times, so it's not like he blew up on everyone's radar, though his performance was pretty dang good and consistent with his borderline all-star performance throughout the second half of the year. But the facts remain the same: anyone who wants him has to go through Atlanta, and Atlanta REALLY wants him.

I think whatever is going to happen to Teague depends mostly on how the Dwight/CP3 saga goes. The Hawks are definitely going to have to pass on Teague if they want both superstars (really unlikely), they might be limited on what they can match if they go for either of them (kind of likely), but otherwise, it looks like Teague is going to stay a Hawk.

Tony Allen

UP. Allen performed wonderfully against the Clips this series, though it was mostly consistent with his borderline DPOY level play over the last few seasons. The thing is, with the Grizz pulling the upset in 6, the "Tony Allen the Chris Paul Stopper" narratives are already starting. As well, I can only wonder what narratives will build around his surprisingly great Game 6 offensive performance -- usually a weak point.

Allen is a particularly intriguing prospect because he's currently being paid so little, and the Grizz have such little flexibility moving forward. I was wondering if Allen might be the kind of real difference maker that the Mavericks could pull on the cheap this offseason (in a move to start to build a defensive roster; imagine Allen-Crowder-Marion-Brand!), but I might expect some bidding this offseason now.

Devin Harris

UP. It would certainly be weird/fun/interesting to have Harris back in a Mavericks uniform after these last few years. The Mavs could also certainly use having him back in a Mavs uniform: since the Lou Williams injury, Harris found himself with a respectable assist rate in the mid 20s for a combo guard, and shooting respectable percentages. Couple that with his defense, and he's quite a bit better than the Mike James, Collison types.

The thing is, he was one of the more underrated players in this last Pacers series. He played more than anyone else, out of the need to have him guarding Paul George at all times. Despite that, he finished the series only -4.1; and finished even some of their losing games with a + in the +/- spread despite guarding Paul George the whole time.

I think some of that performance may have gone unnoticed by fans, but I doubt it went unnoticed by the front offices that might be courting him. It'll be worth watching him this offseason.

D.J. Augustin

DOWN. Frankly, Augustin didn't do much in the first round against the Hawks. His percentages were awful (less than 30% from the floor, net negative in off/def efficiency), but for the most part he did what he needed to do to hold down his 17 minutes a game with a squad that doesn't particularly cater to his strengths as a spot up shooter and pick and roll creator.

BUT, the Pacers advanced, and since he's an afterthought with the squad anyway, that kind of team endorsement is usually an implicit endorsement for him and his value as well, as far as most of the league is concerned.

All of that said, I don't know that the Mavs would particularly cater to his strengths either, and he might be better left alone.

(Edit: Of course, I said all of this, and then Augustin went and had a HUGE Game 1 in the second round against the Knicks. So much so that this was tweeted:

So maybe his value is going up after all).

Andray Blatche

UP. Who'd have thought Andray Blatche would be relevant? But he was, and he played really well for the Nets. Actually, shockingly well: his offensive efficiency numbers were wonderful, and while Brook Lopez was on the court with Blatche the two reamed the Bulls on both ends of the court.

Blatche still wasn't a defensive presence on his own, and was still prone to bad decision making, but he was a real difference maker, and relevant for the first time in a long time. Expect some bids from around the league.

Regarding the Mavs, I personally don't think they need to be on the market for a questionable offensively oriented PF, small Center. But maybe Cuban can foresee uses for him that I can't.

Nate Robinson

UP. SO MUCH UP.

I still don't think that Nate Rob is a great option for the Mavs. He's wonderful for the Bulls as instant offense when they just can't score worth anything, but he's definitely no where near the great vision, smart decision making, hard defending point guard the Mavericks need. But holy cow. His value skyrocketed this series.

I mean, this happened.

And this happened.

Jerryd Bayless

UP. With Bayless we have another guy who's going to benefit from the Grizz upsetting the Clippers, especially since he's been the only guard for the Grizz who can score reliably (other than Mike Conley, as of the last few months). He's basically Nate Rob lite.

Unfortunately, Bayless is an on and off scorer who might be able to play hybrid guard, but probably won't fill any role the Mavs really desperately need filled.

CJ Watson

UP. People are talking about his flubbed dunk in Game 4 that would jumpstart the Bulls' comeback, but people are also talking about the fact that he was otherwise surprisingly good. In his limited bench role, he did his part to ignite a few runs amid the Bulls' stifling defense, and displayed pretty good court vision, both on and off ball; though his percentages were just decent.

He'll have to overcome the stigma of years past and that dunk, but overall he was probably more of an asset than not. He might be worth looking into for limited bench production.

Pablo Prigioni

UP. Basically, his stock goes up by getting playing time in an NBA playoff game for a high profile team. He didn't do much other than hit a few threes, his numbers are mediocre, but not really bad, etc. Being on a team that's iso-ing Melo and JR more than 30 times a game certainly can't help whatever reputation he's trying to build though, so it's hard to know what he's really worth if given real time. Probably not much.

Nazr Muhammed

UP. Nazr did things! He hit game winners! TWO OF THEM! HE PLAYED GOOD DEFENSE!

Given the perpetual lack of playing time, it's really hard to know how much of an outlier all of this was. But man. It was exciting anyway, if for no other reason that I get to make fun of how exciting it was. Thank you Nazr, from basketball bloggers everywhere. Thank you for being great, for 5 minutes a game.

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