January 23, 2012
Luther Head — Head has had a poor couple of years, struggling with both injuries and opportunity. A reported invite to training camp with the Bulls never materialized, and a much publicized trip to the D-League lasted all of two days. If healthy and available, Head provides solid small-guard defense and catch-and-shoot range, but they are increasingly big ifs.
January 10, 2011
In some additional related bookkeeping, the reason for many of the players listed in the previous list was due to the NBA's contract guarantee date. All players on NBA rosters on or after January 10th have their contracts guaranteed for the remainder of the season (future seasons are unaffected); this also includes waivers. In-season waivers are 48 hours long and do not include weekends; therefore, with the 10th of January being a Monday, players had to be waived by close of business on Wednesday 5th in order to have cleared waivers before the deadline date.
Eleven players with not fully guaranteed contracts were waived in the hours before that deadline: Steve Novak, Damien Wilkins, Jarron Collins, John Lucas III, Ime Udoka, Lester Hudson, Ronald Dupree, Brian Skinner, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Sundiata Gaines and Rodney Carney. Twenty seven unguaranteed players survived; Delonte West, Von Wafer, Brian Scalabrine, Samardo Samuels, Manny Harris, Alonzo Gee, Brian Cardinal, Melvin Ely, Gary Forbes, Jeremy Lin, Ish Smith, A.J. Price, Ike Diogu, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Ben Uzoh, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, Shawne Williams, Malik Allen, Garret Siler, Patty Mills, Sean Marks, Darnell Jackson, Chris Quinn, Sonny Weems, Jeremy Evans, Cartier Martin and Hamady Ndiaye. Players with contracts who had already become guaranteed due to specific guarantee stipulations in their contracts were Sherron Collins, Derrick Brown, Josh McRoberts, Willie Warren, Derrick Caracter, Luther Head and Joey Dorsey.
October 6, 2010
Head's been in the NBA since 2005, with five years of inconsistent playing time and endless puns to his credit. In a way, Head embodies the best case scenario for Donald Sloan; despite being a point guard that can neither dribble nor pass, Head has survived in the NBA with good defensive effort and a decent quality catch-and-shoot jumpshot. Head is only ever a minimum salary player, and he needs a certain situation in which to thrive; after all, if your point guard can't dribble, pass, or defend opposing two guards, then you're going to need a good quality shooting guard next to him that can get the ball over halfcourt, dominate the offense, and take on the bigger defensive matchups. Luther had Tracy McGrady to do that for him in his Houston days, and fortunately for him, Sacramento have Tyreke Evans. Alongside Tyreke, or even alongside Francisco Garcia, Head could be useful.
August 21, 2010
July 30, 2010
Luther Head - Head signed with the Hornets three weeks ago, but then this happened. He averaged a reasonably efficient 7.6ppg for Indiana last season, but still faces the same awkwardness as ever; a 6'2 shooting guard who can't dribble or pass, and who thus can't play point guard. If the Lakers lose Shannon Brown, Head would be a decent replacement.
July 26, 2010
The following post will features as many Head puns as I can think of, with varying degrees of subtlety.
Earlier this month, free agent Indiana Pacers guard Luther Head came to terms with the New Orleans Hornets on a two year contract. A mere couple of days after this news was reported came the news that Head's job offer was gone; he had failed his physical examination with the team, and that the signing had been called off. Head is now available for everyone.
Controversy surrounded the decision. Head's agent, Mark Bartelstein, slammed the Hornets's decision. Bartelstein claimed there was ulterior motives behind the veto, and that the Hornets had claimed Head had failed the physical just to get out of the signing, when in actuality they'd just had a re-think. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports took that angle further, calling the decision a "slimy trick", and loudly calling out Hornets executive Hugh Weber.
That said, there's always controversy when a player fails a physical. In all the time I have been following the NBA, the team trading away the player - or, in Head's case, the free agent's agent - have cited some kind of failure of the due diligence on the part of the recipient team as being the only reason for the vetoing of the transaction. On a case-by-case basis, that may be entirely correct; for all I know, the Hornets DID do what Barts and Woj suggest, and veto the deal on flimsy grounds because they'd simply changed their minds. Or maybe the Hornets were genuine about their claims on Head's health. I don't know. It's not my place to know. And I don't really want to know.
But what it did stir within me was a desire to investigate failed physicals over the years, and what they actually represent. If someone fails a physical because a team sees a possible long-term health problem down the road, how accurate have those assessments been? Armed with the benefit of hindsight, I was intrigued to find out.