March 19, 2013
Mehmet Okur - Okur retired in November and is back in Turkey rehabbing.
June 9, 2011
[T]he amnesty clause (that we're having to pretend will exist here, but which almost certainly will exist in some form) will further expand the range of available talents. A lot of decent players are going to become available, not because they can't play the game, but because they can't justify their contract. A lot of the candidates are obvious and inevitable, some perhaps less so. Here's a potential list:
- Utah: Mehmet Okur - Utah pre-emptively signed Okur to a two year maximum extension, and so far on it, Okur has returned only 13 games due to injury. Going into the second season of it, with $10,890,000 still outstanding, Okur may never be healthy again.
Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that, for all the prognostication about the need for a stretch big, my plan never actually got one at any point. True enough. Most of the available trade candidates - Matt Bonner, Andrea Bargnani, etc - either aren't easy to get or aren't worth it. (Or both.) Instead, we'll turn back to the free agency lists.
If Mehmet Okur gets amnesty claused, he is a logical candidate for the role. Howevever, it is not certain Mehmet Okur will ever play again. Okur played only 13 games last season while recovering from his torn Achilles, as well as nursing a back injury, and when he did play, he was a shadow of his former self. For a man who turned 32 only last month, he has broken down quickly and emphatically. Nevertheless, were he to become available, he ought be explored.
June 14, 2010
Mehmut Okur is not the player he used to be. He has a had a strong career and is only 31 years old, but it's an old 31. Okur has declined for a couple of years, and his value has dropped off accordingly. It is probably not a coincidence that Utah drafted Goran Suton in the second round last season, a man who bears strong similarities to Okur at the same age, and that they have been drafting big men for a few years now (Kyrylo Fesenko, Kosta Koufos, Ante Tomic).
Unfortunately for Utah, two things have happened in the last 12 months that have crippled his value. First, Mehmet got a two year maximum extension, turning him from a player on a wonderfully market value contract in an overpaid and declining average starter on the wrong side of 30. And then secondly, in game 1 of the playoffs, Okur tore his Achilles tendon. He was always slow, but he'll be really slow now. And this will accelerate his decline.
Overpaid? Declining? Kind of superfluous to requirements, even though they're still useful to the team? It sounds just like Kirk's situation on the Bulls. And usefully, with Okur's extension, the two's contracts now expire at the same time. If you tell me you'd rather have Mehmet Okur for the next two years at $20.8 million, rather than Kirk Hinrich for the next two years at $17 million, then I'll believe you. But even when they're healthy, there's not much in it.