2010 is supposed to be the NBA offseason to watch because of all of the top notch free agents, but this year has been one of the most exciting and action-packed we have seen in a long, long time. 2010 will be hard-pressed to live up to this drama. The major contenders all see their time as now, and that has unleashed a major arms race at the top. Great stuff. Here are six collected thoughts and questions about what has transpired:
1. Fourteen of the 30 teams in the league are now over the salary cap. How in the world do the owners expect us to believe their inevitable cries of poverty now?
2. One of the stories of this offseason is the overvaluing of players. Villanueva, Turkoglu, and Gordon are all nice players, but I’m not at all convinced that any of them are as nice as heir reported new contracts would suggest that they are. They are all more than adequate role players, and they can star from time to time, but none are superstar caliber by any means. They aren’t being paid at superstar caliber, either, but they are being paid more than enough that they could be faced with unrealistic expectations. My guess is that at least ole of the three will turn out to be major disappointments. My money is on Turkoglu.
3. Two players stand out to me as oddly homeless at this time. The first is David Lee of the Knicks. He’s a talented and quickly developing player. He’s averaging a double-double, and he can shoot the lights out. I know he’s a restricted free agent, but sooner or later teams are going to see someRFAs as worthy of the price and risk, and there aren’t many better candidates than Lee for that. He’s at least as useful as many of the players who have been paid a bundle this year. The other guy is Lamar Odom. I suspect that the silence on his front is because he intends to work something out with theLakers , but I still don’t understand why a team hasn’t taken an aggressive shot at him. Maybe throwing a bucket of money at him could cause him to reconsider staying on a team where he is going to see his role infringed upon by Artest.
4. Where are the Nuggets? All of the other major contenders have made changes, and most are quite significantly improved. The Nuggets showed that they can be players last year, but they haven’t done anything of note this spring to improve their chances. They need to get creative and aggressive at some point to keep pace.
5. At this point in their careers I really have to wonder why Jason Kidd has a new contract and Andre Miller doesn’t. Kidd is still trading on his name, but he’s a long, long way form the player he used to be. I’d want Miller on my team over Kidd a hundred times over right now.
6. I might be the only one on the planet who thinks this, but I would absolutely love to see Allen Iverson join the Magic. He’d be a potent factor off the bench, and could add something special. I’m an Iverson guy in a big way, so I don’t put a lot of stock in his negative aspects as long as the situation is right, and it would be right there. He’d probably go cheap, too, if he knew he had a good look at a title. And he would there.