Blog Entry

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 6:48 pm

By Matt Moore

All the big names have landed, and while there are still a handful of guys working out where they'll be playing in 2011-2012, we have a pretty clear image of how free agency worked out this year. So to give you a recap on how teams managed to do, here are your winners and losers for NBA free agency.


New York Knicks: It takes a lot for them to get a winning status when they picked up Mike Bibby and re-signed Jared Jeffries. Tyson Chandler is a lot. Chandler gives them exactly what they need at center, for a reasonable price considering he's coming off winning the Finals as a difference maker starter and compliments Amar'e Stoudemire well. This could wind up as a disaster, but for pursuing defense over offense and size over speed, they get into the winner's circle.

Los Angeles Clippers: Two days ago I would have planted the Clippers in the losers circle with a dunce cap. $24 million for Caron Butler over three years? DeAndre Jordan for a ridiculous price? Are they stoned in Clipperland? Chauncey Billups who may or may not hate the ground you walk on for denying him free agency? But then they landed Chris Paul. And you go "Oooooooh" like you just figured out that they got off the island and it's a flash-forward not a flash-back. Shooters to go with Paul, veteran defenders to go with Paul, and the big man to provide long-term support for Griffin. The Clippers avoided disaster by getting CP3. But funny how that makes everything seem better.

Miami Heat: Eddy Curry already looks like a waste (has had conditioning issues already). Mario Chambers is a divisive point guard, but he's good enough to start for a team with no cap space. Landing Shane Battier, though, genius. Battier is going to miss threes like all Heat spot-up shooters do. But he's going to make their defensive rotations even better, their team chemistry even better, their basketball IQ even higher. He's worth the money and a win for them.

Indiana Pacers: We were all convinced the Pacers were going to splash onto the scene and overpay for a big man in such a way as to cripple the franchise. Instead, they got David West on a low eight-figures, 2-year deal that guarantees if his knees or production go, they have options and are not stuck. They re-signed Jeff Foster to give them another center, and they were prudent with not re-signing Josh McRoberts for more than he was worth. Good upgrade for them.

Phoenix Suns: Shannnon Brown is a great fit for the system, and they managed to convince Grant Hill to return. Brown in the run-and-gun system under Gentry should excel with Aaron Brooks stuck in China. Hill still played brilliantly last season and staying in Phoenix means he stays with that training staff which has extended his career after one filled with injury issues. The Suns didn't make any significant step forward, but in terms of just making good value signings, they did as well as most. 

Mid-level centers: Kwame Brown got one-year, $7 million. DeAndre Jordan made out like a bandit. Marc Gasol walked away with more money than Kendrick Perkins and Nene (though Gasol is arguably the best free agent in this class, just without the name value). It's a league short on legitimate star centers, and while the biggest free agent center names (Chandler, Nene, Greg Oden) did not land monstrous deals, the mid-level centers available rose up to meet in the middle of the band. Good year to get paid. 


Boston Celtics: They had David West stolen out from under them in the midst of the Chris Paul debacle. They re-signed Marquis Daniels which isn't bad but isn't great. They traded Glenn Davis in a sign-and-trade for Brandon Bass which is pretty good but doesn't address most of their concerns. They gave Jeff Green a big one-year deal after which it was discovered he will miss the entire season after surgery when a heart condition was revealed after a stress test. Their bench is unbearably thin with starters that can't log big minutes. No, it was not a good few weeks for the Celtics.

Orlando Magic: Giving Jason Richardson and Glen Davis mid-size contracts is not the way to keep Dwight Howard, I don't care how good a friend he is with them. The Magic sacrificed their future, which is going to become very important to them in the next six months, in order to try and make another run with the same team that didn't succeed last year, plus Davis who is a big who doesn't help their issues in rebounding and has conditioning issues. Re-signing Earl Clark doesn't make a big enough impact to matter.

Detroit Pistons: Re-signing Tayshaun Price at that price makes no sense whatsover, especially not for four years. They need to be looking to the future. I understand the desire to reward Prince for his time and send him off in Detroit white, but this team has questions it has to answer quickly, and Prince gets in the way of development for Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko. Rodney Stuckey's re-signing gets in the way of Brandon Knight's development and continues his very mixed-results stay in the Motor City. 

Dallas Mavericks: Maybe 2012 will make up for it. But if we're just judging the Mavericks on what they gave up and what they got back, this wasn't a good offseason. Even outside of the trades which brought in a quality player and sent two out, Dallas lost its starting center and part-time starting two-guard in agency, without really bringing in anyone. They're deep enough to survive it but this was a team that would have been considered favorites had they brought back the gang. As it is, there are questions about the Mavericks this season and beyond.

New Orleans Hornets: Setting aside losing Chris Paul in trade and impending free agency, the Hornets re-signed Carl Landry for a high one-year deal and brought back Jason Smith for three years. The deals are cheap. It's not a bad set of deals. But it's still a little perplexing considering the overwhelming need for this team to tank in order to ensure a top five pick to go with  

Arron Afflalo: Afflalo hasn't signed yet, which isn't a problem but the fact that no team was willing to bother with making him an offer knowing the Nuggets would match means he may not sign for as much as he could have. Bear in mind DeAndre Jordan is a less established player than Afflalo and was helped by the Warriors' attempt to free him from Los Angeles. Afflalo could have likely wound up with top dollar as an unrestricted free agent. Denver may wind up as the best thing for his career, though.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:17 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

Terrible article. Learn how to spell idiot!

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:17 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

The obvious loser was the Lakers who lost Odum (for virtually nothing).  Thank you David Stern.  However, maybe the really BIG, BIG deal is still looming.  Perhaps the Lakers can still send Gasol to Houston and Bynum to Orlando along with that valuable Trade Exception.  In exchange, Houston would send Scola and Martin to the Majic and Drajic to the Lakers while Orlando would send Howard, Reddick and Turgolu to the Lakers.

While I am not sure how the salary numbers would come out, I am certain that with draft picks and fringe players, this could be done.  And all three teams would be better off at the end of the season.

Houston would have their guy in the same trade as proposed while possibly saving their draft choice.  Orlando would get three solid players and be assured something instead of nothing including the trade exception.  Lakers would get the big guy, a little more speed at the point and hope that Turgolu can play just a little.  He actually may be inspired.  Reddick will give them 3-point shooting which they badly need.
While I am not holding my breath, watching Howard last night tells me sooner rather than later is a good deal for Orlando.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2011 4:17 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

Seriously? I'm not rich or famous. And poor grammar drives me nuts. Get a life? Are you really defending ignorance and laziness? Maybe you should get a dictionary. Or try reading a book now and then.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:29 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

What does Joe D need to do to get fired?  Either the Prince or the Stuckey deals would have gotten anyone else fired, so how does he still have a job?  Loyalty to a former great is fine and all, but the guy is running the team even further into the ground.  

And how is Kwame worth $7 mil and someone is willing to pay Curry even a buck to play?  Good to see nothing changed and the owners are still letting their GM's shoot themselves in the foot with these idiotic deals.   

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:31 am

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

It's always the rich and famous that point out grammar errors.  GET A LIFE PEOPLE!

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:01 am

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

The much hyped "Free Agent Frenzy" has not lived up to expectations for me. Of the power teams, the only team that did anything was the Knicks, who gave up one of their big 3 for different part of their big 3.

You forgot Kris Kardashian Humphries as a major loser so far. The guy put up solid numbers, but I guess some GM's think it may be a product of playing on a bad team, someone has to get the numbers.

In Washington, we call it the Andray Blatche Syndrome.

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2011 12:23 am

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

These are just a few of his blunders. Mario Chambers has never played in the NBA either. Slow down, and get it right dude.

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2011 12:15 am

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

I'm sorry, but this guy really needs to spell check his work. Does this guy really have a college degree? I hope not. I don't think Mark Bibby has ever played in the NBA. Winers must be the dudes in Napa valley. Or Doug and Wendy from SNL.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: December 18, 2011 9:43 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

I've been a Knicks fan for 17 years now and I think this is the best offseason they have had in all those years. Last year they laid the foundation by getting Amare and then trading for Carmelo during the season. However, I love the approach they have taken in this offseason because they actually addressed needs instead of "wants". Everyone knows that this team's weakness was their defense so they went out and hired Mike Woodson as an assistant coach to help patch up the defense, then drafted a good defensive player in Shumpert, and then to everybody's surprise, they went and got the best defensive free agent in Tyson Chandler. They did have to shed Billups' contract in the process causing him to be waived but they rebounded quickly by signing Bibby and now Baron Davis.

The team has improved drastically. Chandler might be the perfect guy to team with Amare and Carmelo on the front line. I think his enthusiasm and energy on defense will become infectious on this team. Not to say they will become a top 10 defense but they will definitely improve. As far as Bibby and Baron Davis, they both may fill that PG spot better than Billups in D'Antoni's offense. Billups may be the best player out of the three but he is better in a half court offense with a slower tempo. If Baron can get healthy, he can be an outstanding player who will have no problem with a high tempo, and he has never played with the kind of talent that he has on this team. I think that might give him the motivation that he has needed for the past few years.

I'm very excited to see how the Knicks fare this year. I think at this point they have to be considered a title contender. With that being said, they get an A for their offseason.

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: December 18, 2011 9:38 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers

I dont think the Lakers did that bad I know people will say that they will miss Odem but that 1St RD Pick that they got in return and the salary they let loose was a pretty good idea if they are going to make a run at D Howard Which Im sure they are.
Also J Kapono gives them a real 3pt shooter with the 2 Big guys anf kobe able to get a Ton of double teams Kapono will be open a lot!!!! AlsoTroy Murphey is no slouch!! he can still give you 14-20 a night on any given night. I also think 1 of the rookies will make the team and make an impact. The Lakers will be the team to beat in the West hands down again The Clippers will be a bust once again and I can see the Lakers and the Heat in the finals. Lakers win in 6!!!!!

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