Tag Archive | Free agent

Quick Reaction: Robin Lopez to the Knicks

By Brett Malamud

This morning we received news from Yahoo Sports Insider Adrian Wojnarowski that the Knicks have agreed on a four-year, $54 Million contract with free agent center Robin Lopez. The deal is pending DeAndre Jordan’s decision on his destination. However, the Knicks are not expected to sign Jordan, who is reportedly “50-50 and torn” between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers.

robin-lopez-nba-sacramento-kings-portland-trail-blazers

Let me say that $13.5 million a year is an absurd amount of money for a player that cannot play offense. Lopez averaged 9.6 points per game last season. While he’ll definitely help on defense, I’m not sure that the signing was a good move. Signing Lopez to this lucrative deal leaves the Knicks with just $5.5 million of cap space. Well what’s next?

Do the Knicks really think they’ll contend with the likes of Kendrick Perkins and Derrick Williams alongside Carmelo Anthony and Lopez? Instead, the Knicks should have stayed patient and waited till next year where they could have built themselves in an intriguing 2016 free agency class. Instead we’ll see a team that will struggle…again.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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2014 NHL Free Agency Preview

By Brett Malamud

Forwards

Thomas Vanek- 30 Years Old- LW (2013-14: 27 G, 41 A, 68 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Wild

Vanek has narrowed his list to “4 or 5 teams” and I’d be shocked if the final decision wasn’t Minnesota.

 

Jarome Iginla- 36 Years Old- RW (2013-14: 30 G, 31 A, 61 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Bruins, Wild, Canucks, Red Wings, Lightning

Unless Iginla decides that he’ll take a pay cut to return to Boston, I’m not quite sure how the Bruins will find salary cap space to sign him. This should be an exciting bidding war.

 

Paul Stastny- 28 Years Old- C (2013-14: 25 G, 35 A, 60 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Blues, Predators, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Avalanche

Speaking of bidding wars, the most pursued free agent out there is none other than Paul Stastny. Stastny grew up in St. Louis and so the Blues are certainly intriguing. I think that they’ll make a good offer. Colorado would like to keep him but could very well be outbid by a team that’ll overpay for him.

Paul Stastny will be reeling in the offers when free agency opens (Via Getty)

Paul Stastny will be reeling in the offers when free agency opens (Via Getty)

 

Matt Moulson- 30 Years Old- LW (2013-14: 23 G, 28 A, 51 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Sabres, Senators, Stars, Predators

Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t doubt a Moulson return to Long Island. The 30 year old still remains close with one of his best friends John Tavares. Moulson loved being an Islander. Isles GM Garth Snow made his mistake when he dealt Moulson to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek, who told the team a few months later that he wouldn’t re-sign. I’m sure Tavares will be chirping in Snow’s ear.

 

Mike Ribeiro- 34 Years Old- C (2013-14: 16 G, 31 A, 52 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Flames, Blackhawks, Predators

The Coyotes bought out Ribeiro for his behavior off the ice. Should be interesting to see who will take a chance on him.

 

Daniel Alfredsson- 41 Years Old- RW (2013-14: 18 G, 31 A, 49 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Red Wings

Alfredsson has indicated that his two options are the Detroit Red Wings and retirement.

 

Defensemen

Matt Niskanen- 27 Years Old- (2013-14: 10 G, 36 A, 46 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Wild, Islanders, Capitals, Lightning,

Niskanen is the top all around defenseman on the market in my opinion. The Lightning cleared a ton of cap space and I think signing Niskanen is the reason why they did.

 

Dan Boyle- 37 Years Old- (2013-14: 12 G, 24 A, 36 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Lightning, Rangers, Canadiens, Red Wings, Maple Leafs

Boyle’s rights were traded to the Islanders, but they couldn’t nail down a deal so he’ll hit the FA market. His age will effect his contract so don’t expect anyone to break the bank on Boyle.

 

Christian Ehrhoff- 31 Years Old- (2013-14: 6 G, 27 A, 33 Pts.)
Possible Destinations: Islanders, Lightning, Red Wings

Ehrhoff was bought out of his remaining seven years of his 10-year deal with Buffalo. Detroit showed a lot of interest at the trade deadline, so keep an eye on them.

 

Michael Del Zotto- 24 Years Old- (2013-14: 3 G, 13 A, 16 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Maple Leafs

Del Zotto was not given a qualifying offer by the Nashville Predators, making him an unrestricted free agent. The question with Del Zotto is: can this be a good value pickup? He won’t get paid as much as the others, so a low spending team like the Islanders may take a good look at him.

 

Brooks Orpik- 33 Years Old- (2013-14: 2 G, 1 A, 13 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Capitals, Blues, Sabres

If you notice, the Islanders were listed on each of the defensemen’s free agents possible destinations. Yes, they need a defenseman and so they’ll look at each one. I believe that they should sign Orpik but don’t think they will. He has a blistering shot and is a force on defense. A hard hitter, Orpik will be a good fit wherever he goes.

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller- 32 Years Old- (2013-14: 29-13, 5 SO, 2.48 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Lightning, Jets, Canucks

This is a rough spot for Hiller here, sharing the market with Brodeur, Miller and Nabokov. But he could go to a team such as the Lightning and Jets who have a shaky situation when it comes to a plan B in net.

 

Martin Brodeur- 42 Years Old- (2013-14: 19-14, 3 SO, 2.51 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Maple Leafs, Devils, Lightning, Bruins, Blackhawks, Penguins

Instead of retiring, Brodeur will explore his options outside of New Jersey. I don’t expect him to be signed on the first day of free agency.

 

Ryan Miller- 33 Years Old- (2013-14: 15-22, 3 SO, 2.72 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Canucks, Sharks

Miller already met with Vancouver officials and my belief is that he’ll be signed by them.

 

Evgeni Nabokov- 38 Years Old- (2013-14: 15-14, 4 SO, 2.74 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Capitals, Flyers

Another interesting signing will be Nabokov. He wasn’t close on a deal with the Isles and so he’ll go out to free agency. The Capitals need a backup for Braden Holtby. Philly is over the cap and so I think Nabokov will end up with the Caps.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

The Three Major Questions Heading Into Tonight’s NBA Draft Plus Mock Draft 2014

By Nick Guy

  1. What will Cleveland do?

The choices seem to be down to three: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Trade out. While nobody would ever imagine trading out of the first pick in a draft where there are such high ceiling players, we ARE talking about the Cavs. One rumor has the Orlando Magic offering the 4th and 12th picks plus scoring forward Aron Afflalo. If Cleveland is truly in love with Joel Embiid this might make some sense as they could try to add Embiid with the 4th pick and add a second lottery pick and a good player in return. On the other hand if Embiid’s injury problems are chronic and Wiggins or Parker turn out to be…well you know the rest. As for Parker, there are rumors swirling that he wants no part of Cleveland and would be much happier in Milwaukee. If I am the Cavs I would not listen to anyone or anything and just take the best player, pair him with Kyrie Irving and move on. In my eyes that would be Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has the most upside of anyone in the draft and will be a future star in the league.

 

  1. Where will Joel Embiid land?

Is Embiid’s injury bad timing or good timing? Depends who you ask. I would say bad timing for Joel Embiid but maybe lucky timing for the Cavs? As the draft banter has progressed in the last month or so all I kept hearing was Embiid was going first to the Cavs who were drooling at his potential. My thoughts? Always take the best player which to me means Andrew Wiggins 1st, Jabari Parker 2nd and Joel Embiid 3rd. I wondered if Cavs management had been stuck in a cave for the past 30 years and never heard the stories of Sam Bowie and Michael Jordan or Greg Oden and Kevin Durant? Is it possible they would pass on Wiggins and Parker to pick the injury prone big man with potential? Bad timing for Philly who at pick number 3 had to be giddy in thinking the Cavs would leave them Wiggins or Parker. How lucky can Cleveland be? First they come all the way up to win the lottery and snag the 1st pick and then an injury might actually force them to take the best player? WOW!! With that said, please understand that this is not to denigrate Joel Embiid who is an exceptional prospect. Just not the top prospect. So where does he land? I think the highest spot he could go is 3rd. The 76ers will choose between Embiid and Dante Exum or possibly maneuver within the top 6 or 7 with someone who will take a shot at Embiid. I don’t think he will last past Boston at number 6 and the teams most involved seem to be the 76ers, Celtics, Lakers and Magic.

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight's NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight’s NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

  1. How will LeBron and Melo’s free agency impact the draft?

When you are chasing free agents of this magnitude there are always two things to remember. First, the more cap room you have the better off you are and second, only one team gets them and the rest are left in limbo. So what does this mean for the draft? Teams will look to couple expiring deals with draft picks to create room for marquee names. The Lakers have already offered #7 with Steve Nash’s contract to suitors. The Bulls are looking to offload their 2 first rounders with Carlos Boozer to fit a max guy. Houston, Miami and OKC are all looking at moving out of the bottom of the first round and into the top of the second round where contracts are not guaranteed. The NBA draft has become a chess board where cap space has become more valuable than a mid level prospect. Expect to see at least a half dozen and potentially more first round picks move tonight. All the movement will be designed to free up valuable space and the beneficiaries of that could be teams like Philly, Utah, Detroit, Phoenix, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Those are the key teams that will have the maneuverability to add a player with an expiring contract without trading one away plus get a sweetener in return. Should be a very interesting night.

 

And now Mock Draft 2014

I will not include trades but I expect at least 6 or 7 and maybe as many as 10 or 12 before the night is over.

1. CLEVELAND- Andrew Wiggins-Kansas

2. MILWAUKEE- Jabari Parker-Duke

3. PHILADELPHIA- Dante Exum-Australia

4. ORLANDO- Joel Embiid- Kansas

5. UTAH- Noah Vonleh-Indiana

6. BOSTON- Doug McDermott-Creighton

7. LA LAKERS- Marcus Smart-Oklahoma State

8. SACRAMENTO- Aaron Gordon- Arizona

9.CHARLOTTE- Nik Stauskas-Michigan

10.PHILADELPHIA-Julius Randle-Kentucky

11. DENVER- James Young-Kentucky

12. ORLANDO-Elfrid Payton-Louisiana Lafayette

13. MINNESOTA- Rodney Hood- Duke

14. PHOENIX- Dario Saric- Croatia

15. ATLANTA- Zach Lavine-UCLA

16. CHICAGO- Gary Harris- Michigan St

17. BOSTON-Jusuf Nurkic- Bosnia

18. PHILADELPHIA- Kyle Anderson –UCLA

19. CHICAGO-Adreian Payne- Michigan State

20. TORONTO- Tyler Ennis- Syracuse

21. OKLAHOMA CITY- Jerami Grant- Syracuse

22. MEMPHIS- Shabazz Napier- UCONN

23. UTAH- Mitch McGary- Michigan

24.CHARLOTTE- TJ Warren-NC State

25.HOUSTON- Jordan Adams-UCLA

26. MIAMI- Patric Young- Florida

27. PHOENIX- KJ McDaniels-Clemson

28. LA CLIPPERS- PJ Hairston_ Texas Legends

29. OKLAHOMA CITY- Cleanthony Early- Wichita State

30. SAN ANTONIO-Clint Capela- Switzerland

 

 

Carmelo Opts Out of Contract to ‘Explore his Options’

By Brett Malamud

Reports surfaced last night that Carmelo Anthony has informed the New York Knicks that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. This morning it became a reality. Melo’s agent Leon Rose announced this morning that Anthony will become an unrestricted free agent this July. “Carmelo loves being a Knick, he loves the city and he loves the fans,” Rose said. “At this stage of his career, he just wants to explore his options.” The Knicks have recently communicated to Anthony their desire for him to opt in to his final year of his contract. Since his introductory press conference, Knicks President Phil Jackson has privately and publicly expressed interest in keeping Carmelo Anthony, and newly hired coach Derek Fisher has said the same of their top player.

Could Carmelo Anthony be joining forces with Derrick Rose? (Via ChiCitySportsFan)

Could Carmelo Anthony be joining forces with Derrick Rose? (Via ChiCitySportsFan)

But Anthony didn’t listen and come July 1st, he could be on his way out of the Big Apple and on his way to the Windy City. That’s right, the Chicago Bulls. The idea of playing with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose is a dreamland for Carmelo. Melo recently said, “The most important thing right now is winning.” Sound familiar? Sounds to me like the man who left his hometown to take his talents to South Beach. It was reported yesterday that Carmelo was already researching places to live in and around the Chicago area. If I’m the Knicks, I’m worried but not panicked. Who’s going to lead the team next year if Melo bolts? You’re telling me that Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, and Tim Hardaway Jr. going to lead the Knicks to the playoffs? No way! As of this morning there are rumblings that Jackson may flip Shumpert for a late first round pick in Thursday’s draft. But there’s no room for panicking. In fact, with Carmelo gone, the Knicks will have a lot of cap room come 2015 and you can bet they’ll be knocking on Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo’s doors. Then of course there’s the Knicks fan’s ultimate fantasy of Kevin Durant dropping the only team he’s ever played for to go to the bright lights of Broadway in 2016. The recent Knicks hire of his good friend Derek Fisher has added some spark to that rumor, but who knows if Fisher will even still be coaching the Knicks in 2016.

As a Syracuse basketball fan, Carmelo has been my favorite NBA player and I’ll be sad to see him go. However, the move will allow Phil Jackson to start fresh with a team that’ll struggle this upcoming season (of course not having any draft picks won’t help), and a boatload of cap room in the next few seasons. So as a Knicks fan, if Chicago is what Melo really wants, all I can say is good riddance.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Curtis Granderson to the Mets: The Cons

By Dan Lagnado 

With the recent news that Curtis Granderson is meeting with the Mets, we weigh the pros and the cons in this two-part series. To see the pros, click here.

If there is one thing that Mets fans want this offseason, it’s for Sandy Alderson to spend the money that everyone claims that the Mets have. It was recently learned that free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson will be meeting with team officials. Many fans on hearing this news probably uttered something like, “ugh finally it’s about time they signed a free agent”. Of course it’s important to note that this is not an indicator that a deal is imminent. However there have been a few people who have predicted Queens to be a potential landing spot for Granderson. He is not terribly expensive and fills a position of dire need for the Mets, the outfield, as well as providing a power bat in the middle of an anemic lineup.

The Grandyman can? Going after Curtis Granderson could prove to be a disappointment for the Mets (Via USA Today Sports)

The Grandyman can? Going after Curtis Granderson could prove to be a disappointment for the Mets (Via USA Today Sports)

All that said, this signing, should it happen, is not an indicator of clear skies to come. First, Granderson will turn 33 next season and probably expects to get a multi-year deal. Will Granderson still be able to play the outfield at a high level at age 36 or 37? Next, Granderson would still need to figure out the transition to a corner outfield spot. This is not confirmed of course, but I would presume that the Mets would like to keep Juan Lagares in centerfield after the spectacular defensive numbers he put up last year. In his limited playing time last season (Granderson missed 101 games with injuries) Grandy still logged more innings in center than in left or right field combined. In addition, the Mets are pursuing Granderson most likely for his power as a hitter. He had two consecutive seasons with 40+ homeruns and 100+ RBI in the Bronx in 2011 and 2012. However he was aided by the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, and Citi Field is a significantly larger ballpark. Finally, in his last full season in 2012, he played to his lowest WAR (wins above replacement) ever (the exception being 2004 and 2005 where he only played 56 combined games). It may be better for the Mets to look elsewhere in free agency or perhaps to make a trade for an outfielder. Many people have reported that the Mets have been active in talks and so obtaining an outfielder could be easy enough to do.

Given these statistics it is easy for disgruntled and pessimistic Mets fans to see the potential for another free agent bust being paid more than he deserves. We will just have to wait to see how it plays out.

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Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995