Free Agent Wings Update: Barnes, Udoka, Kapono Possibilities?
Posted by Brian Robb on Jul 21, 2010
It’s been fairly quiet on the NBA Free agency signing front this week, with many dominoes having already fallen, leading to plenty of posturing on the free agency scrap heap. A quick look at the latest possibilities:
Matt Barnes: Everyone’s favorite free agent wing had his lucrative 2 year deal fall apart earlier this week with the Raptors, due to the realization that Toronto had no way of paying Barnes what they had intended with a lack of cap size and along with a lack of bird rights in Orlando on Barnes to create a lucrative sign and trade. Embarrassing situation to say the least.
The good news for C’s fans is this mishap has put the best free agent wing possibility back on the table for Boston, since according to ESPN.com he is still considering five teams, with the Celtics being on the list:
One source close to process said early Wednesday that Barnes continues to weigh interest from the Raptors along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and three title contenders he has been negotiating with since last week: the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
So where do the C’s rank on this list? Your guess is as good as mine, but the likelihood of Boston bringing home Barnes doesn’t seem to be too high. Why? The C’s (along with the Heat) can only offer him the veteran’s minimum. The Lakers likely have a portion of their MLE exemption remaining and the Cavs and Raptors can still give him the most sizable contracts.
This would appear to be a huge handicap for the C’s in negotiations, so why are they still in the mix? Playing time for a contender is the likely answer, as the C’s would have 15-20 minutes a night (at minimum) to offer Barnes, along with a chance to earn a ring.
Still, you can’t blame the 30 year old small forward to look for the biggest payday at this point, given he has only made around $8 million dollars during his entire NBA career, according to Basketball-Reference. It’s nice to know the C’s still have a shot, but I wouldn’t be counting on Barnes’ arrival in town anytime soon.
So who else are the C’s looking at?
Ime Udoka: CSNNE.com is reporting the 33 year old Udoka is on the Celts radar.
Udoka, who will be 33 years old next month, is a player that the C’s have had preliminary discussions about acquiring. However, his agent Mark Bartelstein, made it clear that no deal is imminent. “There have been some talks, but nothing close to being done,” Bartelstein told CSNNE.com.
While Udoka would address the team’s need to add a defender on the perimeter, the Celtics have a few more players still available that they have rated ahead of Udoka.
Count this as Plan G in the C’s backup wing sweepstakes. Udoka was a solid player a few years back, but has declined substantially in recent years, having been cut during the preseason by the Blazers last year. He signed on with the Kings after that, chipping in with 37% shooting and 26% from 3 point range for one of the league’s worst teams. His defense has also appeared to dissipate in recent seasons as well.
As a pure depth candidate, you could do worse than Udoka, but counting on the guy for a meaningful contribution on a Championship contender is a big mistake.
Jason Kapono: Marc Stein of ESPN.com, reported that the Sixers would likely be willing to trade the sharpshooter, who is making 6.6 million dollars in the final year of his deal next year.
The C’s need a shooter and Kapono is a 44 percent 3 point shooter, so this is a match made in heaven right? Not so fast. Sheed’s expiring contract matches up well with Kapono in a trade, but let’s be real here Kapono is a one trick pony. He can shoot, but his defense is beyond atrocious, and he brings nothing else to the table besides being a catch and shoot player.
Is that worth 6.6 million dollars to the C’s ownership, especially when you consider it will be actually more like 13 million when you factor in the luxury tax ramifications. Wallace’s expiring contract is a valuable trade chip and wasting it on an overpaid shooter is not a scenario Danny Ainge will be interested in, when a cheaper alternative may be available.
Kapono is potentially the best shooter out there, but he isn’t 5 million dollars better than the alternatives.
All in all, nothing looks to be on the horizon as of now, though Barnes looks to be the next chip to fall, as the pickings become slimmer and slimmer. If only the C’s could have pulled off that sign and trade with TA to Memphis for Ronnie Brewer…..