The Brooklyn Nets went out and got themselves an AK-47, and the New York Knicks responded by calling for World Peace.
Could there possibly have been any better storyline on Day 15 of NBA Free Agency?
Perhaps, but this was pretty good.
As we mentioned in our July 14 update, World Peace cleared amnesty waivers at 5:00pm ET on Sunday and was a free agent for all of about 24 hours before it was announced that he had come to terms with the Knicks on a two-year deal for about $3.3 million. The Knicks used the remainder of the team’s taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him.
Just three hours later, the team announced that the re-signed J.R. Smith—our No. 19 free agent in the original Top 50—may be out for up to four months after undergoing surgery on the patella tendon and lateral meniscus in his left knee.
And that sobering news comes just 72 hours before the Nets introduce Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko to the New York City media for the first time.
So, for Knicks fans, Day 15 brought forth some good news and some bad news.
The Knicks decided to give Peace a chance, and it’s a low-risk move that fills a need on their roster for another defender. Unfortunately, it results in another bad shot-taker being on the floor, but World Peace’s pros far outweigh his cons, especially at such a minuscule cost.
Another one of our remaining fish has been reeled in. After matching the offer sheet that Jeff Teague received from the Milwaukee Bucks, the Atlanta Hawks continued casting their pole, agreeing to terms with Elton Brand.
Brand agreed to join the Hawks on a one-year deal worth a reported $4 million. Brand has received interest from at least six teams, we are told, but was not willing to accept a minimum salary. In the end, he wins out and will join Paul Millsap and Al Horford in general manager Danny Ferry’s front court.
For Brand, patience was a virtue.
One man who has apparently lost patience, though, is Brandon Jennings. After the Milwaukee Bucks attempted (and failed) to secure the services of Jeff Teague, Jennings has reportedly let it be known that he no longer wishes to play for the Bucks.
Jennings, still a restricted free agent, can go solicit an offer from another team, but like Teague, the offer could be matched, leaving Jennings to do exactly what he does not want to do…
Play for the Bucks.
Jennings can still accept the Bucks’ one-year qualifying offer of $4.5 million and hit the free agency market next year, but again, that would require him to play for the Bucks.
So, where is this all headed?
Perhaps a sign-and-trade arrangement?
Apparently, Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons may be attempting to trade for Jennings and match him with the newly signed Josh Smith—our No. 5 free agent in the original Top 50.
The verdict here? The deal makes sense for Jennings and the Bucks—who clearly need a divorce, but may or may not for the Pistons.
Brandon Knight would presumably be involved, unless coach Larry Drew was content at starting Luke Ridnour alongisde O.J. Mayo in the backcourt. Probably not the case, so the Bucks would need a point guard in return.
Knight makes sense there, and since we cannot quite figure out why Dumars would want to have both Knight and Jennings on his roster, a potential deal could make some sense.
Whether or not any general manager would prefer the inefficient Jennings over Knight is up for debate, but Dumars may believe that Jennings is a better player (we would not argue), and may also feel that with Chauncey Billups returning to Detroit on a two-year deal, Jennings would have the necessary tutelage to become a more efficient player.
At this point, it’s all conjecture, but it does make sense, so we will keep a close eye on the situation.
Here are our updated rankings, complete with the latest…