Here’s a pair of free agent deals that will top the alphabet chart: Arron Afflalo to Sacramento and Bismack Biyombo to Orlando.
AA’s PROS AND CONS
Even with his 31st birthday on the horizon, Afflalo still has plenty of game left. Using a variety of spin-moves and especially turn-around-jumpers, he’s a very effective scorer when he posts near the right box. Moreover, taking clutch shots doesn’t scare him. Afflalo is also a reliable three-point shooter, but only from the left sideline.
He used to be a lock-down defender, and still plays all-out at that end of the game. But his overall quickness and diminished lateral movement have reduced Afflalo’s defense to slightly above average.
The biggest problem facing his new team is AA’s insistence that he be a featured scorer. However, he’ll have to get in line behind DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Darren Collison to get the scoring opportunities that will satisfy him.
And since, with the exception of his post-ups, Afflalo really can’t create his own shots, he might eventually descend into the same kind of funk that characterized his one-season stint with the Knicks.
Yes, he’s grossly overpaid at $25M for two years. But I’m sure he’s happy to join that particular club.
Overall, though, Arron Afflalo is a nice addition to the Kings.
GRADE = B-
BB’S PROS AND CONS
Next to the ludicrous four-year $64 million deal that the Lakers gave to Timofey Mozgov, Biyombo’s new four-year $70 million contract that he will sign with Orlando is the most ridiculous thus far.
For sure, Biyombo is a plus rebounder and an awesome dunker. Period. He’s also celebrated for his shot-blocking ability, yet he’s out of position so often that the layups and dunks he fails to attack are much more numerous than his dramatic swats.
What other deficits are there in BB’s game?
His shaky free-throw shooting encourages opponents to employ a Bang-a-Biyombo strategy.
He can neither pass nor dribble, which translates into his having more than twice as many career turnovers as assists.
Except for put-backs and lob-passes turned into dunks, Biyombo can’t score with a pencil. Which means that the Magic’s offense will routinely be playing in four-on-five situations.
Worst of all are his clang hands, i.e., the ball routinely bounces away, or is swiped, from his grasp as though his hands were made of hard, cold iron slabs.
Really, this guy is of limited value.
What’s worse is that BB’s signing either reduces Nikola Vucevic to irrelevance or forces Orlando to trade him. That’s unfortunate because although Vucevic is a slightly-below-average defender, he can shoot, score in the low-post, create his own shots, block 1.8 shots per game (compared to BB’s 1.6 last season), make profitable passes, and is the kind of seven-footer around whom winning teams can build an offense.
In other words, Vucevic is a much more valuable player than Bismack Biyombo. Unless, of course, Orlando can surround BB with at least three high-octane scorers—which, at this time, they certainly do not have.
GRADE = D