Freedom Isn’t Free

Benjamin Polk —  July 1, 2010 — 6 Comments

Photo by Bohman

We all knew that Darko and Rudy Gay would get a late night call from David Kahn. The other lucky fellow? The Knicks’ David Lee.  From Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune:

“The NBA’s free-agency clock finally clanged late Wednesday night and Memphis forward Rudy Gay and New York forward David Lee quickly accepted the Timberwolves’ invitation to visit Minnesota.”

Despite his size and so-so D, Lee is really the only other player among the second-tier of free-agents who makes sense for the Wolves, especially if they move Al Jefferson in the process (wow, a possible front line of Lee, Love and Darko–how Auerbachian is that?). But let me inject a note of caution here. Chances are, in order to entice either Gay or Lee, the Wolves will have to massively overpay them, and likely give up some players in order to facilitate a sign-and-trade (especially now that they’ve evidently committed $13 million over the next three years to Nikola Pekovic). Just ask Detroit how much value you get when you massively overpay second-tier free-agents.

And if the Wolves do manage to sign Lee or Gay, then what? So much for that cap room we Wolves fans have been fantasizing over for the past thousand years. A starting lineup of Flynn, Webster, Johnson, Lee and Love, with Darko and Brewer coming off the bench–everybody comfortable with that for the next five seasons? I realize this sounds ridiculous, but if you’re asking me, the Wolves should either pull out all the stops to sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh or sit out the big-money free-agent game entirely. There’s just no reason to spend that much cheddar and give up your flexibility for the foreseeable future if it’s not going to completely transform your team. Ok, I’m done now.

Benjamin Polk

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6 responses to Freedom Isn’t Free

  1. I agree that we should be trying to swing for the fences, but the problem is none of the big guys want to come here. Why should they?

    Flynn/Webster/Johnson/Lee/Love/Darko/Brewer is a nice core, but it’s not going to win us a championship, much less get us into the playoffs (unless Flynn transforms into an elite point guard and Johnson exceeds all expectations).

    My one complaint about going after Lee: I think the Wolves’ biggest weakness is interior defense. How does getting Lee (and potentially playing with Lee and Love as our frontcourt) help that glaring problem? It doesn’t. Hmm.

  2. Cavs fan here. I just have to completely say that I feel for you guys. David Kahn…not even sure what to say. Darko 20 million??2nd round draft pick 13 million??Offering Rudy Gay a max deal???He’s purposefully trying to keep you guys irrelevant. NEed to protest outside of his home tonight.

  3. I’d just like to thank Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace for saving David Kahn from himself.

    As for David Lee, well he is using Minnesota for leverage pure and simple.

    Disappointing the Al/Wolves relationship now seems over; I doubt we’ll get anything remotely like good value in a trade for him.

    But it could be worse. You could be a Bucks fans watching your GM spending 71m on Gooden and Salmons.

  4. Agree with you Auswolf. I understand the Bucks are feeling frisky with their Jennings/Bogut core but yeesh. Drew Gooden and John Salmons? Exactly what part of “small market team nowhere near serious contention overpaying to lock up aging mediocre players who disappear in the playoffs on the rare occasions they make it” was the part of the plan that appealed to the Bucks? If nothing else, it strikes me as amusingly overoptimistic to hand out five-year contracts to Gooden and Salmons, two guys who have played for a combined 14 teams in the past eight years. Drew Gooden in particular is so transient that I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of each season he just clears out his locker, packs the contents into a bindle and hitches a ride on the next freight train out of town.

    It says a lot about this league when Darko getting four-years, $20 million was one of the BEST deals (in the “no great harm done” sense of a good deal) of the day. Jiminy christmas what a bunch of horrible deals. Amir Johnson at six years, $34 million? “Amir saw no need to play the free agent game”, his agent was quoted as saying, presumably giggling the whole time. I would think so, a team offering triple what your client is worth on the open market tends to make other negotiations kind of moot.

  5. Also, I understand that the Thunder are planning to extend KD for 5 years, $80 million. The Grizzles just gave Rudy Gay 5 years, $80 million. That’s why one of these teams is well on its way to being awesome and the other one is the Memphis Grizzlies.

  6. Of course the kicker with Milwaukee is that they have Maggette on the books until 2014 as well. At least they can all grow old together….

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