Let’s take a snapshot of some of the most significant NBA free-agent signings and trades thus far. Also included are links to breakdowns of several other free-agents deals that have already been posted.
RYAN ANDERSON will shoot the Rockets into and out of ball games. Moreover, his defense is pitiful. Look for him to be stationed somewhere beyond the arc and wait (and wait, and …) for kick-out passes from James Harden.
HARRISON BARNES lost his winning aura in the finals. With the Mavs he’ll be revealed as the so-so shooter and energetic but easily overpowered defender that he really is.
ANDREW BOGUT can defend in the pivot, block shots, rebound and, given more attack-zone touches than he had with the Warriors, a reliable scorer in the low post. If he can keep his body parts healthy, he’ll be a good get for Dallas.
MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA goes to Milwaukee for still another bloated out-of-proportion payday. There are rumors that he’s going to be the focus of the Bucks’ new advertizing blitz with a catchy new nickname — “Dellave-Dove Into Your Knees.”
LUOL DENG could be the steal of the week. If he can stay injury free, and has any gas left in his tank, the 31-year-old might still be able to play earnest defense and be a dangerous pull-up shooter and baseline scorer. Could very well be a rare good hire by the Lakers.
BORIS DIAW can pass like a point guard, shoot like a 2-guard, score in the pivot like a big man and eat like Fat Albert. If he can get, and stay, in top-notch playing shape, he’ll be a big plus for the Jazz.
MIKE DUNLEAVY is a terrific one-on-none shooter and one of the physically weakest defenders in the NBA. But since LeBron has the strength of two normal players, the Cavs’ defensive equation balances out.
KEVIN DURANT signed with the Warriors for several reasons, one of the most important being to get away from Russell Westbrook — the dribble king of the NBA. Westbrook’s reluctance to play team ball led to KD having to take too many shots under pressure from defenders and the shot clock.
LANGSTON GALLOWAY is a one-and-a-half. Too slow and confused to be a point guard, as well as being too small and too shaky a shooter to play the other guard position. As such, the projected $5-6M contract he’s been offered by New Orleans is one of the more absurd deals of the last madcap week.
ROY HIBBERT can always find work selling Mr. Softee ice cream.
AL HORFORD doesn’t want to bang with the bigs. He’s strictly a mid-range jump shooter, and a highly overrated one at that. Even at age 68, Dave Cowens is still much tougher than his latest successor in the middle.
AL JEFFERSON is a big load in the middle. He can score in there and also with mid-range baseline jumpers. All fine and good, as long as the Pacers don’t expect him to pass or defend.
JOE JOHNSON brings his iso-only game to Utah. Too bad he won’t pass and can’t play lockdown defense like he used to do.
JEREMY LIN brings Linsanity Redux to Brooklyn. He’s not a terrible shooter and excels in screen/roll situations. If only he were quicker and could at least guard his own shadow then the sad-sack Nets could improve to solid mediocrity.
VICTOR OLADIPO can play both backcourt positions and is a super-quick, high-hopper wherever he plays. If his jump shot is streaky, he can always find a way to score. Plus, he’s an ace defender. While he won’t make OKC fans forget (or forgive) KD, this guy is the real deal.
MARREESE SPEIGHTS won’t rebound much or play adequate defense, but he’s a big bruising guy who can score in the paint and shoot from distance. A nifty pickup for the Clippers.
TIMOFEY MOZGOV can roll hard hoopwards after setting solid screens, and also take up lots of space — giving the Lakers not nearly enough bang for their big-time bucks.
ZAZA PACHULIA can hit an occasional mid-range jumper, produce an occasional putback and pull down a fair share of minimally contested rebounds. But he cannot supply the defensive rim protection that — even with Kevin Durant on board — the Warriors desperately need.
CHANDLER PARSONS had better be the Grizzlies’ go-to scorer or else he’ll lapse into his usual snide, discontented persona. But he’s certainly a hell of a player.
JEFF TEAGUE operates at warp speed and can do everything a point guard is supposed to do. But he is often out of control and tends to shoot too much. If his wild brilliance can be domesticated, then he’ll add plenty of zip to Indiana’s offense.
DWYANE WADE likes to run his isos on the left side, while Jimmy Butler wants to play one-on-one on the right side. But since Rajon Rondo will have the ball in the middle, the Bulls are in for an interesting season. Too interesting for them to be as good as they should be.
DAVID WEST has been banging, bumping and alligator-wrestling at the high- and low-posts for 13 seasons, and at age 36 he’s too worn out to provide more than a handful of productive minutes per game for Golden State.
DERRICK WILLIAMS is one of the most talented and athletic players in the league. He’s as big a threat to score from coast-to-coast as anybody, plus he’s an OK shooter. While he showed signs of finally living up to his potential last season in New York, he still needs to work harder to figure out when (and when not) to shoot, pass, cut, hit the glass and get back on defense. He’ll be popular with his new Miami teammates, and if he continues to grow into his talents, he’ll be unpopular with anybody who has to guard him.