Originally written July 28, 2013 on Taking Bad Schotz:
1. Devin Harris Remember when Devin Harris was the man for one or two seasons? Yeah, it’s hard or me to remember too because he’s been so mediocre since then. Harris scored 9.9 ppg with the Hawks last year and he shot 43.8% from the field. With 9 years under his belt, he should be a fairly steady veteran PG and he can really score the ball when he has the chance. 2. Mo Williams Mo Williams is a scorer. That’s all you need to know. If you need someone to efficiently put the ball in the basket, get five assists a game, and be a veteran presence in the locker room, Williams should be your guy. I would be shocked if Mo Williams didn’t make a roster spot somewhere in the NBA this year. 3. Greg Oden I’m sure Greg Oden is a very nice man and I’d be very happy for him if he pulled off a successful comeback, but I just don’t see it happening. Sounds like the Heat, Mavs, Pelicans, Spurs, Hawks, and Kings are interested in giving Oden a shot. The defending champs have no one they love at the center position and the Kings are completely rebuilding so neither team has much to lose, plus Oden appears to be a low risk/high reward situation. The Spurs resigned Tiago Splitter, but may be looking for an eventual replacement for Duncan. The Pelicans have no business checking out Greg Oden with four quality centers on their roster (Anthony Davis, Jason Smith, Greg Stiemsma, and rookie Jeff Withey). Lastly, the Hawks have two rookie centers on the team, Al Horford, and recently signed veteran, Elton Brand. Oden’s decision will likely come down to choosing between taking a pay cut for the chance to go to the Finals with the Heat/Spurs or getting paid more and playing for an up-and-comer like the Pelicans or Kings. 4. Drew Gooden Gooden was amnestied by the Bucks this offseason after only playing 16 games for Milwaukee last year. In 2011-12, however, Gooden averaged more than 13 points and 6 rebounds per game. He’s a big (6’10”, 250lbs), decently athletic veteran with 11 years under his belt and any team in need of a backup PF or C should be taking a look at Gooden. 5. Beno Udrih Udrih is a simple case: if you need veteran depth at the PG position for a reasonable price, he’s your man. I watched him for a few years in Sacramento and he’s reliable and that’s about it. He doesn’t make many bad decisions or spectacular plays, but he can still put up around ten points and turn the ball over less than twice a game. 6. DeJuan Blair Blair only played 14 minutes per game last season for the Spurs and all his averages went down, but he has shown during his other 3 years in the NBA that he can be a productive big man. He shoots a great percentage from the floor (52.8% career average) and, if given enough minutes, he can compete for the starting PF position on a lot of teams in the league. 7. Lamar Odom This one pains me to even mention, but the free agent list is getting thin. Lamar Odom has played like a complete trashpile the last few years and I think a lot of people (including me) believe he’s just finished. That being said, he’s probably more talented than a few benchwarmers in the league and will likely find a home somewhere. Don’t be surprised to see him back on the Lakers as a part of their mission to “get the band back together.” I like to think this is karma for getting involved with the Kardashian nonsense. (Kanye is inexplicably immune to this curse.) 8. Tyrus Thomas Charlotte amnestied Thomas this offseason after a disappointing couple of years. Thomas is one of these very athletic big men whose height is somewhat wasted because he doesn’t really rebound. The 6’10” forward can’t hit the three ball and isn’t a very good free throw shooter either, so what can he do? Not much. He’s capable of ten points per game, but hasn’t reached that potential for a couple seasons. Perhaps finding the right spot for him will allow him to return to solid production. 9. Sebastian Telfair I remember when Sebastian Telfair came into the league straight out of high school. He’s Stephon Marbury’s cousin and was supposed to be the next big star from New York. Sadly, Telfair has never averaged more than ten points a game and never got close to the levels he was supposed to reach. Most of Telfair’s problems stem from the fact that he’s just not a very good shooter. His career averages for FG% and 3P% are 39.1% and 32.0%, respectively. Any teams looking for an athletic, undersized shooting guard should consider Telfair, but he should not cost much. -Pearce
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