Almost all of this year’s NBA free agents crop has now been signed. Of the few that remain, most have already finalised which training camp they’re going to, and training camp contracts have already begun to be signed. However, these are far from being the only players in the world. A shedload of remaining NBA-calibre players remain unsigned, as rosters across the whole of FIBA are being trimmed and cheapened due to the current economic thing that you may have heard about.
At the moment, including qualifying offers that are as-yet pending, there are 421 players in the NBA, out of a potential maximum of 450. That total does not include people who have committed to sign but that haven’t done it yet (Garrett Temple, Rodney Carney, Curtis Jerrells, Russell Robinson, etc). Assuming (wrongly) that all of those 421 are here to stay, there are a maximum of 29 places left in the NBA; however, considering that many teams will run with 13- or 14-man rosters this year, and we’re already averaging 14 players per team, the real amount is even less than that. As such, there’s nothing but a scant few places available in the world’s strongest basketball league, and several jillion candidates fighting for them. But this shouldn’t stop them from fighting, and nor will it stop me from listing.
– Raymond Felton: The only guards who shot a worse percentage on inside shots than Raymond Felton last year were Derek Fisher, Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair. The fact that Felton shot only 29% from three-point range doesn’t help, either. But despite Felton’s perpetually inefficient scoring, the market for Felton shouldn’t have been as slow as it has been. It’s been non-existent, in fact. The only suitor, it appears, is the Bobcats. A report came out the other day, presumably based out of whispers from Felton’s camp, that said a deal in the $7 million a year range would get it done. It probably would. But it’s also too much. Felton looks like an inevitable candidate to re-sign for his one-year qualifying offer, being as it is for a sizeable (and apt) $5.5 million.
– Nate Robinson: Robinson, too, looks like he’s inevitably re-signing to a on-year deal. For those unsure of quite how annoying the Knicks 2010 plan is, let me tell you that it’s really, really annoying. And if it works out, it will be even more annoying. Not because of jealousy (although that will factor), but because this is no way to manage an NBA team. If you want to make salary-cutting moves such as Jamal Crawford for Al Harrington, then feel free to do so. Good move, that one. And if you want to attach an asset to a bad contract just to shift it for more cap space, then that’s fine too. But don’t do nothing at all. That’s not good for the game. And it’s also really boring.
– Jamaal Tinsley: Tinsley sat out all of last year (without wanting to) and played only 39 games the season before. He is now 31 years old, and hardly viewed upon in favour by an NBA world that hasn’t seen him for God knows how long. But despite all that, despite his startling inconsistency, despite his tendency to be around while crimes are being committed, despite his self-admitted penchant for cheeseburgers and despite his jarring scoring inefficiency, Jamaal Tinsley is very talented. Not many people can pass and handle like he can, and not many point guards can rebound and disrupt like him, when he puts his mind to it. He can defend pretty well, too. Of course, it doesn’t help that Tinsley himself only plays like Jamaal Tinsley can once a week, but there’s really a lot of talent there. This is a man who posted a 23-assist game in his rookie year. That one outing may have been eight years ago, but it was also only 18 months ago that Tinsley was averaging 8.4 assists per game. That, too, is a lot of assists. Miami were said to be interested, but other teams should be too.
– Tyronn Lue: Reports came out that said that Tyronn Lue had signed in Greece. Then reports came out that said that Lue had turned down the offer from Greece. Now, a new wave of reports have come out saying that Lue has signed in Greece. I don’t know where we stand on that right now. Either way, the team that’s trying to sign him (PAOK) only just staved off bankruptcy two months ago, so this doesn’t seem like a long term solution. Boston were said to have been chasing Lue at one point, but that broke down, which is a shame because they could use him.
(EDIT: It’s now been said, again, that the PAOK transfer fell through because Lue asked for too much money. PAOK have now signed William Avery instead. Slight difference.)
– Carlos Arroyo: Arroyo has been the compelling protagonist in a lot of made-up rumours about him this summer. From Chicago to Milwaukee, via the Clippers and the Sixers, lots of teams were said to have been interested in his services, sometimes with seemingly no truth to it whatsoever. So, always keen to get in on trends, I’ll play along; according to an unnamed Western Conference executive, Arroyo is set to sign a three-year deal with the expansion North Texas Fresh of the ABA. You heard it here first. You heard it here only. Because it’s not true.
– Chucky Atkins: Atkins is not a free agent, yet. But he will be. Currently, Minnesota holds his unguaranteed contract, which has only $760,000 of $3,480,000 guaranteed. They’ll probably hold onto it for a while – they essentially have a free player until December – trying to use him as a trade asset. There’s lots of teams that need to save money this year more than Minnesota does. But wherever he ends up, Atkins will be a free agent at some point in the next three months, adding another veteran point guard to a market quite heavy in them. The difference is that this one can shoot.
– Earl Boykins: Boykins’ year in Italy didn’t go too well. At all. He was almost released at Christmas time for going home without permission. Nevertheless, he saw out the season with La Fortezza Bologna, but I don’t think they’re friends enough for a redux. This puts Boykins back on the market for an NBA team, should they so choose. If you need a mi-drange jump shot-shooting offence-first player with no three-point shot and permanent defensive disadvantages, then this is the guy for you.
– Dan Dickau: The Celtics have apparently invited Dickau to training camp, which ones again dumps on my stupid theory that no one ever goes to the German league and comes back to the NBA. I don’t know why I say these things sometimes.
– Brevin Knight: Knight had a good bounce-back season last year, after a few years of steady decline. Oh wait, no he didn’t; he boasted a career low PER of 9.3. Never mind then.
– Mike Wilks: Perhaps against my better judgement, I have long advocated the virtues of Mike Wilks. He’s only 5’10, which is reason enough to be concerned (in fact, as far as I can remember, the only guaranteed contract he ever had was when he was signed and traded to the Bulls; he was waived before playing a game). But he’s not bad. He’s been in the NBA for bit parts of six years because he’s all right. The question now is whether his knee – which he badly tore last October, causing him to miss all of last season – is good to go yet. If it is, then I advocate him as a signing.
– Eddie Gill: Eddie Gill was in the NBA last year. You might have missed this, because it was quiet. But it happened. Gill was first in the NBA way back in 2000, and he’s still going, because there are still Scott Skiles’s out there who lobby for veteran point guards. Fun Eddie Gill fact: Eddie Gill scored the six millionth point in NBA history. So he’ll always have a legacy.
– Jacque Vaughn: Vaughn is now 34, and hasn’t been good since he was 26. Last year was particularly bleak. It doesn’t look as though there’s anything left; your front office may disagree, however. You can’t put a price on old point guards, apparently.
– Stephon Marbury: I don’t think he’s in the right place for this currently.
– Sean Singletary: True to their policy of not spending a single dollar this offseason, the Bobcats declined Single Terry’s team option and left him unrestricted. He has since remained unsigned. Terry played in summer league with the Pistons team, started every game, and did all right, but the Pistons have decided to sign Curtis Jerrells of Baylor to audition for the third point guard spot instead. This can’t be good for Singletary’s chances.
– Jason Hart: Memphis worked him out at one point; indeed, Memphis worked out every free agent guard at one point. They didn’t sign him, though, instead deciding upon the infinitely more talented duo of Allen Iverson and Marcus Williams. The Nuggets ended last season with both Hart and Anthony Carter on the roster (presumably making Hart the shooter of the two), but they’ve decided they don’t need both now, which is probably best. Hart was genuinely decent for the Bobcats back in 2004/05, but that was a while ago now.
– Ronald Murray: Murray has gone from overrated to underrated. He became overrated after his scoring explosion as a Sonic back in 2003/04; now, he’s underrated after a fine season of sixth man scoring for the Hawks. The Hawks had signed Murray to only a one year, $1.5 million contract in the first place, and got great returns for their money, yet now they’d rather pay Jamal Crawford $20 million to do what Murray did last year. It makes some sense, but what makes less sense is how few other suitors Murray has had. Memphis gave him a workout, but that’s about it. And this isn’t right. You mean to tell me that the Sixers can’t crank off $2 million for one year of their untouched MLE to obtain a decent and sorely-needed backcourt scorer? He’s not the best shooter in the world, but he’s better than Willie Green. At everything. He doesn’t even have to affect your pretty desperate 2010 situation. This doesn’t seem right. If someone signs Ronald Murray for the minimum this year, they’ll be stoked with their returns.
– Rashad McCants: McCants has been for workouts with the Nuggets and Cavaliers, and has a camp invite for unguaranteed money from the Heat that he hasn’t accepted yet. It’s quite the fall for a man who was the second-leading scorer on the Timberwolves two years ago on not-terrible efficiency. Last year, though, was a complete brain fart: McCants, always a chucker, chucked more than ever, and his efficiency tumbled off the charts. His defence still consists solely of fouling, and he’s less and less interested in offensive continuity. If he calmed down and embraced a role similar to J.R. Smith’s on the Nuggets, he might be all right. But it hasn’t happened yet.
– Luther Head: A personal favourite of mine, Head would be ideally suited to a team with a superstar swing man, a team that needs a complimentary shooter and defender at the point guard spot, someone who doesn’t have to do much dribbling or playmaking. Think of him as kind of a younger Derek Fisher, with less ball-handling. Someone’s got to need this, surely? Boston? Cleveland? No? Damn.
– Thomas Gardner: Gardner has a career PER of 2.4. However, he averages only 7.2 minutes per game for his career, so per 36 minutes that’s a PER of 12.0. Which is better. [That was a joke.]
– Salim Stoudamire: The Bucks mercifully waived Salim about six weeks ago, and he hasn’t been heard from since. Salim is another personal favourite of mine, but the thing with undersized shooting guards is that there’s loads of them, and so even the good ones usually only have an NBA shelf life of about three years. Salim’s had three years and then some, so I don’t know where this puts him.
– DerMarr Johnson: DerMarr barely played last season, spending eight games in the D-League in March and 11 games in Puerto Rico in May. That was it. He’s now 29 years old, hasn’t corrected the flaws he came into the league with, and is unsigned.
– Coby Karl: I’m telling you. Nuggets. This isn’t a scoop; it’s just an inevitability. Has your dad ever tried to get you a job at his company? Mine has. He even wanted me to take over his company for a while. It’s the done thing. George Karl will do the same. Watch and learn.
– Greg Buckner: Like Chucky Atkins, Buckner is not a free agent. Yet. The Mavericks currently have a 17-player roster, and Buckner’s contract is less than 25% guaranteed. This makes him an obvious cut should it come to that; however, there’s no doubt that the Mavericks are whoring out this unguaranteed contract as a trade chip, along with those of Drew Gooden and Shawne Williams. If they can’t get a deal done (meaning, if they can’t get Philly to accept Matt Carroll in a deal for Sam Dalembert), then Buckner will be cut, at which point he is free to join pastures new. If he can find them.
– Kirk Snyder: Snyder was on this list last year. That’s the only reason why he’s on this one. Latest Kirk Snyder news: after months of being force fed his food and medication, Snyder has been found competent to stand trial. His bond was reduced from $500,000 to $25,000, and his lawyer said they could pay it, so presumably Snyder is now out of jail/hospital. If he is, he is to be fitted with a monitoring device and ordered to stay out of Warren County. No trial date yet.
– Morris Almond: Almond was with the Knicks for summer league, and scored quite highly. Then again, scoring was never his problem. It was expected that the Knicks would bring him in for training camp, but they’ve already started their training camp signings, and Almond wasn’t one of them. So this remains up in the air.
– Juan Dixon: Dixon’s days of masquerading as a scoring specialist look pretty much numbered. Last year he did his usual thing, and totalled 261 points on 259 shots. He’s all right, but if your team is looking for a shooting specialist at guard, wouldn’t they be better off with a player with a true three-point shot?
– Bobby Jackson: Jackson’s been slowing down for a few years, but he’s not done yet. He can’t get up and down like he once could, but he can still score the ball off the bench. He sounds like a good fit for Boston, even if they don’t really know it yet.
– Kareem Rush: For years, Kareem Rush has been signed to be a shooter. But this year, it hasn’t happened. Has the league finally cottoned on?
– Mario West: West is supposed to be going back to the Hawks for training camp. Clearly Atlanta thinks he’s going to show something that that he’s kept craftily hidden for the last two seasons. I know he’s really a decent defensive player and all, but West does extremely little on offence. At what point does that cancel out the defence?
– Keith Bogans: Bogans was traded from the Magic to the Bucks partway through last season, but they haven’t re-signed him. However, since the Bucks currently only have three back-up two guards (Carlos Delfino, Charlie Bell and Jodie Meeks) and four backup small forward options (Delfino, Walter Sharpe, Joe Alexander, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute), they surely could use one more.
– Damon Jones: Jones has always been a good shooter, despite all the flaws in his game and his excessive swag. The league always needs catch-and-shoot players, and Jones is one of the best ones left. So why is no one signing him? Well, because they have no reason to. Just know that he’s there if you want him.
– Anthony Roberson: The Bulls did the inevitable and waived Roberson in mid-July, after Gar Forman had spent summer league cussing him out for how bad he was. Good times. Roberson is unsigned and unheard of, although Jack McClinton called him “A-Robe” in a Tweet the other day, which was fun.
– Sasha Pavlovic: Any day now, Pavlovic will be waived. And when that happens, he’ll probably get a new contract fairly quickly. This is because he has a good reputation, and not because he has a huge degree of skill. I don’t want this piece to be too PER-centric – and it kind of gets like that near the bottom – but Pavlovic’s career PER is 9.0, and his highest in any season is 12.1. The man may have wanted a six year, $35 million contract back in the day, but he’s worth roughly the minimum. Let’s hope no one outbids themselves for him.
– Desmond Mason: Mason was one of those “if only he can develop a jump shot” players for a long time, but those days are long gone. Mason never did develop a jump shot, and has lost whatever fledgling one he had. He’s now a bit-part player, a defensive specialist with occasional post offence, whether he wants to be or not. Larry Harris’s decision two years ago to give him a two-year, $10.3 million contract after back to back seasons of 10 PER was pretty ambitious at the time, yet now that the contract has expired, Desmond can’t even get the minimum. The Thunder have ruled out re-signing him. Tough times.
– Wally Szczerbiak: The days of Wally Szczerbiak being able to play as a big guard are probably over; he was always slow for the position, and he’s not gotten any faster. But Wally is still good at the one thing he was always good at – shooting – and that’s not going to change either. He should catch on somewhere, even if Denver decide against him.
– Gerald Green: Green didn’t do anything last year to change his reputation. He jumped a lot, scored a bit, and gave back more at the other end. That said, as flawed as he still is, he’s also still good enough to be in the NBA, and he’s still only 23. It’s surprising that someone hasn’t taken a chance on him yet. As reclamation projects go, you could do worse.
– Ime Udoka: There’s a rumour that Udoka is to return to the Blazers as a training camp invitee. If he does, then things are looking pretty bleak for him, because the Blazers already have Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw and Nicolas Batum at the small forward position. Udoka is 32, so he’s old, but not THAT old, and while he didn’t have a very good season last year, his comparatively short NBA career might be good news for his longevity. I’m reaching here, but you can see my point. Probably because I’m not wearing any trousers.
– Ronald Dupree: Dupree is going to go to camp with the Utah Jazz, rightly deserving of his place in the NBA once again. It might not last long, though, because the Jazz are on for their biggest ever payroll by miles. And they won’t want to spend on a 15th man unless they have to.
– Rob Kurz: Who was it who wrote that article about Rob Kurz potentially being the Cavaliers missing piece? Yeah. No. He might not even join them, reputedly now favouring the Nuggets instead.
– Bonzi Wells: Wells wants to join the Heat, but no one has said if the Heat want Wells to join them. Every year, Miami seems to obtain a small forward, someone to further guarantee that Dorell Wright never sees the court. This year, they’ve already gotten Quentin Richardson, and so they don’t really need another. They didn’t even need Quentin. But must that stop them? (Also, how bad has the Heat’s offseason been? If you want to convince Dwyane Wade to stay, don’t just rest all your Stan Laurels in the 2010 basket. Do something. Spend some tax. Get some players. Richardson doesn’t count. Do what Toronto did. Try and do it better than they did, obviously, but follow their lead. Be proactive, not reactive. You’re not holding the cards right now.)
– Linton Johnson: Johnson is to go to camp with Orlando, who have built themselves a nice veteran bench. However, there’s not much in it for Lint; Orlando doesn’t really need him, because they already have Matt Barnes. And they don’t even really need Matt Barnes. So before the ink is dry, someone could still swoop in and give Linton a better option. Probably.
– Patrick Ewing Jr: The Knicks still haven’t signed him, and they’re carrying a very full roster now. Can’t be good news for Pat.
– Sun Yue: The Knicks are reportedly going to be signing Sun Yue. Don’t worry, though. You didn’t miss out on Yue. He’ll be a free agent again six weeks time. He’s all yours then.
– Joey Graham: After four years of up-and-down play, the sum total of which was mediocrity, Graham is now out of a job. Speaking of….
– Stephen Graham: He’s unsigned as well.
– Ryan Bowen: Look at it this way. Bowen never had any NBA offensive skill. So he can’t have lost any, can he?
– David Lee: Lee is either seconds away from re-signing to a one-year deal, or he isn’t. It depends on who you read. Either way, in a different market, this guy’s rocking a five-year contract from someone right now. If this was last year, he might have gotten $65 million. It’s been a bad year.
– Stromile Swift: Stromile Swift is a far better player, on both ends, than many people seem to give him credit for being. He may not be the most adept at learning the playbook, and he’s not able to boast the world’s most svelte back-to-the-basket game. But he makes good things happen. He has a career PER of 16.1, and even though last year was a nothing year for him, he’s not even 30 yet. It’s not like he’s lost it all. It was as recently as the 2007/08 season that Swift was a useful scorer and shot-blocker off the bench. And it was only 18 short months ago that he had one of the more underrated dunks of the decade:
Someone should sign him. Unless Swift really did fall off that much at age 29, they’ll be grateful that they did.
(Tyrus still bites on all fakes, by the way.)
– Darius Miles: On the power forward list for the simple reason that he’s not the athlete that he was, Darius remains unsigned, which seems both fitting and awkward considering the furore that surrounded his signings last year. Memphis achieved their goal and stiffed Portland, and Darius achieved his goal and got paid. Everyone’s a winner, except Portland. And except Darius, who got done for DUI.
– Mike Sweetney: After summer league, we know he’s still alive, and we know he had a bag of skills back in the day. Do we really need any more than that? (Note: don’t say yes. Even though the answer’s yes, don’t say yes. I don’t want to hear it.)
– Donyell Marshall: Charlie Villanueva told me that he’d keep me posted on Donyell Marshall’s situation. True story. I’m not sure I believe him, but he said it anyway. Marshall is apparently considering multiple offers, but the fact that he remains unsigned so late in the day would suggest that none of the offers are particularly brilliant.
– Andre Brown: Isn’t it about that time that Andre Brown appeared on someone’s training camp roster? I’ve never been entirely sure of what he’s done to deserve it, but it’s become an annual thing, so let’s not be disappointed here. Someone make it happen. In four out of the last five years, Brown has at least a training camp roster, and dammit I want more. No man should have to fight so hard for a meagre 599 NBA minutes.
– Ruben Patterson: The last full year that Ruben Patterson played in the NBA was his best. As a member of the 2006/07 Bucks, Patterson set career highs in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game and field goal percentage, scoring 14.7 points a night on 55% shooting and putting up a PER of 18.5. Since then, though, his NBA career has seen only 20 more games and one unguaranteed minimum salary contract. This isn’t befitting of a man of his talent and playing resumé. But then again, he is a 34-year-old convicted rapist. So it’s swings and roundabouts.
– Paul Davis: Davis claimed on Millionaire Matchmaker that his next contract would be for five years and $35 million. If by that, he really meant “I’ll be getting a workout with the Heat next offseason,” then he was right.
– Shavlik Randolph: Randolph has worked out for the Heat, as they continue to search for the piece that will keep Wade there in 2010. That sounds like his best bet right now, if not his only bet. Even though Portland unrenounced him after Paul Millsap’s QO was signed, there’s no room for him there after Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham were brought in.
– Othello Hunter: Hunter played on the Warriors’ summer league team, but only because the Hawks didn’t have one. He is expected to return to the team, even though they don’t really need any more. Hunter has a long way to go before he lives up to any Brandon Bass comparisons, but he’s all right.
– Malik Rose: Rose’s PER has gone downwards for seven consecutive seasons, as his salary increased for seven straight seasons. The Spurs got this one a bit wrong back in 2002.
– Melvin Ely: After his one good year in Charlotte, Ely got an unfounded reputation as a good young post player, and…..no. He doesn’t rebound, is a highly inefficient scorer, and is already 31 years of age. He’s unsigned for a reason. Even the Hornets, who have struggled for frontcourt depth all season long, realise this now. He looks the part, but the production has never consistently been there. Apart from that one anomalous year.
– Michael Ruffin: Like Rybo, Ruffin never had anything to give, so he can’t exactly have lost it. After sitting needlessly on the Bulls’ cap sheet for most of last season, he was traded to Portland as necessary filler in the highly worthwhile John Salmons deal, where he actually played a bit. Portland then decided to draft and sign two power forwards, which kind of ended that. Ruffin is unsigned, and Ruffin is going to stay unsigned, because the Bulls don’t need him any more.
– Maceo Baston: Baston will reportedly go to camp with the Pistons, but maybe he shouldn’t. Because if he does, he’ll lose. The Pistons don’t need him, and he doesn’t need the Pistons. It’s not a good fit at all. Baston’s three-year NBA redux has been quiet; he’s appeared in only 89 games over those three seasons, for a total of 725 minutes. But even at age 34, he’s still got some talent and some athleticism left. And going to the Pistons just to be waived in deference to Jonas Jerebko doesn’t seem like the best use of it. Could Charlotte not ask?
– Courtney Sims: Sims is one of the better American centres not currently in the NBA, if not the best. I haven’t heard about him signing anywhere for training camp, but he has done in each of these last two years, and he really ought to. If your team signs him, he may well make your regular season roster.
– Chris Mihm: The centre crop can’t be very strong when Chris Mihm is the second available free agent centre that I could think of. Mihm used to be good, but he has spent several years recovering from a severely injured ankle. He’s still suffering from it, too; Mihm featured in scrub minutes of 16 games for the Lakers last season, after missing all of the 2006/07 season and playing only 23 times in 2007/08, but after being salary-dumped onto the Grizzlies, he underwent yet another ankle surgery. Mihm is done until further notice, and seems like an inevitable candidate for a training camp spot and accompanying fluff pieces in October 2012.
– Jermareo Davidson: The Warriors waived Davidson, and later signed Mikki Moore. I have no idea why they did this. Then again, I have no idea why they do most things. Davidson is about to turn 25 and has made no obvious improvements, but he’s on the fringes of the NBA nonetheless, so a return to the D-League looks inevitable.
– Brian Skinner: Brian Skinner is an overlooked player. He has the worst hands in showbusiness and all the polish of a dart player’s scrotum, but he gets things done on the defensive end. Last year was no different; he averaged 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in only 16 minutes per game. His offence has always been limited, and always will be, but he’ll block shots and rebound. Teams need this. Teams need Brian Skinner. But no team has Brian Skinner. And Brian Skinner is probably regretting opting out of a guaranteed $1.2 million right now.
– Aaron Gray: Gray looks like a certainty to re-sign with the Bulls for their guaranteed $1,000,497 qualifying offer, but he and his agent continue to search for a two-year deal. Good luck with that.
– Calvin Booth: Calvin Booth played 1,206 minutes in 2003/04, and has played a total of 1,341 minutes since. He sported a PER of 39.8 with the Timberwolves last year, but that’s what one minute sample sizes can do to a man. Booth is now 33, and has not done anything since that 17-minute, 2-point, 0-rebound, 10-block outing back in January 2004.
– Jarron Collins: Jarron Collins is no worse than Jason Collins. In fact, I’d even say he was slightly better. But Jarron hasn’t got the reputation that Jason has, back from when Jason was good. And that’s why Jarron is looking for work. Jarron recently worked out for the Cavaliers, but they’re already three deep at centre, and they’re supposed to be bringing in Darryl Watkins for training camp. So there might not be room there.
– Dwayne Jones: Jones is in and out of the NBA, appearing in six games for the Bobcats last year. Teams always need defensive centres, and Jones will probably get picked up again at some point. But maybe not for very long.
– Jackie Butler: Remember this guy? He hasn’t played for two years; not just in the NBA, but anywhere at all. After being waived by the Rockets in 2007 training camp, despite having a $2.3 million guaranteed contract, Butler has not signed anywhere in the world. His last game played was two and a half years ago. It’s weird in a way, because Butler is only 24, and proved he could score the ball at the NBA level in his short time here. But he hasn’t made it back. Not sure why.
– Mouhamed Sene: The Knicks have brought in a load of draft busts this summer, including Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Yaroslav Korolev. But they couldn’t bring it upon themselves to keep Sene, who they waived. That’s not a glowing endorsement of the man, and nor was his summer league output, where he once again demonstrated that all he can do on an NBA court is block shots.
– Robert Swift: Swift used to be a reasonable athlete, believe it or not. He was far from fast, and far from what his surname would have you believe, but he didn’t move too badly. That was three years ago, though. And the three years hence have been full of injuries and rehabbing. Swift is now as mobile as a back-alley Spanish Peugeot, and where his career goes from here, I wouldn’t like to guess. Not even Danny Ainge wants him right now.
– Raef LaFrentz: Nah, not really.
– Jake Voskuhl: The Raptors were so short on size last year that they signed Voskuhl, who promptly demonstrated he has nothing left and put up a PER of 0.4. So that didn’t really work out. Voskuhl will probably now join the long line of aging seven-footers who remain unsigned while waiting for the Batphone to ring once again; these players usually slowly dribble out of our hearts and minds, and into the world of real estate, without so much as a press release. Shame.
– Mark Madsen: Mark Madsen’s Twitter says he doesn’t know whether to play, coach, or go into media. Considering his PER’s these last two years have been 0.2 and -0.1, I’d probably rule out the playing. It’s not coming back to you.
– Lorenzen Wright: Wright’s PERs the last three years have almost been as Madsen’s; 6.6, 2.5, 4.0. It was a slightly staggering -11.7 in his time with the Kings. I don’t want to know how much lower it can get.
There are others that could make this list, including some who have had NBA workouts this summer. John Lucas III, for example, or the long-awaited return of Greg Ostertag. If you really want to push it, there’s luminaries like Mountain Man Steven Hill and Austin Croshere still out there. Even J.R. Rider is supposed to be lining up a Dickerson-style return for some reason. And players such as Keith Brumbaugh (Nuggets) and David Monds (Lakers) are said to have been offered training camp spots already. But considering how few available spots we’re talking about here, this list seems long enough already.