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. There now follows a list of the best of what’s left of this year’s free agency market. Listed in no particular order. Point Guards – 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 […]
A lot of people (four) have either e-mailed me about this or asked me about it on t’internet in recent days, about when players have to sign with a new team by in order to be eligible for the playoffs. Apparently there’s some confusion on the issue, particularly surrounding the March the 1st date. So let’s clarify. There is NO SIGN-BY DATE for playoff eligibility. You can sign whenever you want – even on the last of the regular season if you like – and still be eligible for the playoff roster. The only stipulation is that you cannot have been on another team’s roster – or on waivers from another team – at close of business on March 1st. This makes the March 1st date a waive-by date, not a sign-by date. And that’s why players frequently get waived in the run-up to it, (such as Jamaal Magloire, Brent Barry and Flip Murray have so far) then sign with a new team after it, and still appear in the playoffs. An example of this is Anthony Carter last season with the Denver Nuggets. He and Von Wafer both signed with Denver just before the end of the last regular season, because the Nuggets needed some insurance guards for the playoff push and didn’t want to sign them earlier because they were so deep into luxury tax territory. Vaekeaton didn’t then play in a playoff game for them, but Carter did, and the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Willis did the same thing. So there we go. Fun stuff.