Still look­ing for tal­ent

Though many big moves have al­ready been made, deal­ing isn’t done in NBA free agency

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY BRIAN MA­HONEY

LeBron James is avail­able. Marc Ga­sol, too.

That’s two All-NBA first team mem­bers from last sea­son still on the mar­ket, in case any­body thinks all the best play­ers are gone.

Of course, no­body re­ally be­lieves ei­ther is leav­ing his cur­rent club, so teams will have to look at lesser names as they con­tinue fill­ing out their ros­ters in free agency.

LaMar­cus Aldridge came off the board Satur­day when he com­mit­ted to San An­to­nio, high­light­ing the hol­i­day week­end fire­works. DeAn­dre Jor­dan had al­ready de­cided on Dal­las, plac­ing two of this year’s big­gest prizes deep in the heart of Texas.

The dizzy­ing days af­ter the mar­ket opened last Wed­nes­day morn­ing were so busy that it feels there can’t be many good op­tions left, even though con­tracts can’t even be signed un­til Thurs­day.

It’s dif­fer­ent than last sea­son, when James, Carmelo An­thony and Chris Bosh, the mar­quee names avail­able, took more than 10 days to make their de­ci­sions.

Ac­tion has moved more quickly this year, start­ing with An­thony Davis’ ex­ten­sion in New Or­leans that was agreed to just min­utes af­ter the mar­ket opened. But the deal­ing isn’t done, and how teams fare in the com­ing days could pay off in June.

For as well as Cleve­land did last sum­mer when it signed James and later traded for Kevin Love, the Cava­liers still had holes in their ros­ter that left them too short-handed in the NBA Fi­nals af­ter in­juries set in. So they, like ev­ery team, are hop­ing to load up on low-priced depth.

Here are some other things to watch:

GO WEST: David West is still look­ing for a team af­ter by­pass­ing the $12.6 mil­lion he would have earned next sea­son in In­di­ana, and his low-post scor­ing and locker-room lead­er­ship should be ap­peal­ing to con­tenders. RE­STRICTED RE­WARDS: For­mer top-five picks Tris­tan Thompson (Cleve­land) and Enes Kan­ter (Ok­la­homa City) are still avail­able and played well over the lat­ter half of last sea­son. But as re­stricted free agents their clubs could match any of­fer, and prob­a­bly would.

THE ( J) SMITHS: Af­ter ar­riv­ing dur­ing the sea­son, Josh Smith (Hous­ton) and J.R. Smith (Cleve­land) played big roles on teams that made deep play­off runs. But there’s just enough bad to go with the good stuff they do that it prob­a­bly shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that nei­ther is signed yet.


POINT: Teams look­ing for help at point guard can con­sider fan favourites Jeremy Lin and Matthew Dellave­dova — though the Cavs can match an of­fer for him — along with vet­er­ans such as Mo Wil­liams and Aaron Brooks.

OL’ RE­LI­ABLES?: Amare Stoudemire and Car­los Boozer can still put up good num­bers even late in their ca­reers, mak­ing them po­ten­tial af­ford­able op­tions for teams look­ing for scor­ing for­wards. Other vet­er­ans who might have some­thing left in­clude Drew Gooden, Tayshaun Prince and An­dre Miller. AR­GENTINA, AR­GENTINA: The Spurs are still await­ing word on whether Manu Gi­no­bili will re­turn for one more sea­son. His Ar­gentina na­tional team team­mate, Luis Scola, also is un­signed and could fol­low West out of In­di­ana.


COL­LEGE: Jim­mer Fre­dette and Tyler Hans­brough, who haven’t found the suc­cess in the NBA that made them play­ers of the year in col­lege, are both hop­ing for another shot some­where.


In this March 1 file photo, In­di­ana Pac­ers for­ward David West, left, moves to the bas­ket de­fended by Philadelphia 76ers for­ward Luc Mbah a Moute in the first half of an NBA game in In­di­anapo­lis. West is still look­ing for a team af­ter by­pass­ing the $12.6 mil­lion he would have earned next sea­son in In­di­ana.

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