Some more moves:
Toronto Raptors extend Amir Johnson for 5 years, 34 million: This is a mid-level type of deal for the dude who will be pressed into duty by Chris Bosh’s likely departure. He has shown potential in Detroit, but they let him go. Potential has been all that we have had to go on. Look at last season: 6 pts, 5 rebounds, 3 fouls a game in 18 minutes a game. In other words, he can be productive, but he has trouble staying on the floor. I applaud the Raptors to a degree – because they are placing a bet on his growth. But this is high risk to say the least.
Milwaukee Bucks re-sign John Salmons for 5 years, 39 million: I don’t like the years here. Salmons is not a franchise changer, but he helped the Bucks tremendously – and the team needs all the wing help they can get. That said, given the hilarious contracts being awarded so far, Salmons is actually compensated pretty fairly.
Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Rudy Gay for 5 years, 81 million: Rudy Gay is 24 and has the chance to improve. He is not a bad player – and the Grizzlies wanted to re-up him to avoid a really poisonous offer sheet. However, now he is max salary – when he doesn’t deserve it. Honestly, this deal is a reflection of what is wrong with the current NBA structure – the individual salary limit. There is no way to differentiate between LeBron and Rudy Gay after some point on the salary scale. And thus we get the high price of high uncertainty.
Phoenix Suns re-sign Channing Frye for 5 years, 30 million: Clearly, the Suns have accepted that Amare Stoudemire is gone. This is too bad on one level – few players are as dynamic at their best. However, Stoudemire had a huge injury red flag, has been a fairly high maintenance guy – and in key spots has shown an unwillingness to get tough (like the Lakers series). I don’t fault the Suns – and their contingencies are solid. Frye is one-dimensional – but he sure is good at that dimension (shooting). For 6 million a year – a quality big who can stick the three ball – you could do a lot worse.
Phoenix Suns sign Hakim Warrick for 4 years, 18 million: The Suns are paying backup money for a poor man’s Amare Stoudemire. Warrick can shoot midrange and he can dunk. He can’t defend – but he was buried in his last couple of stops. Warrick clearly has ability – and is a good upside candidate in this system. They got him at a good rate.