Live-Blogging NBA Free Agency

Damn Lies & Statistics is ready for the madness of free agency. Check back often as we’ll be posting instant fantasy analysis for each significant transaction. As the season quickly approaches, there’s not a heck of a lot of time to prep for drafts. Use this post to help tweak your cheat sheets. We’ve already put out a Top 150, which we will be updating after the weekend. Who gains the most fantasy value? Who loses the most? We’d love for you to add your thoughts in the Comments.

Portland picks up Jamal Crawford (Dec. 15, 3:47 p.m.)
A reasonable two-year deal for Crawford ($10 million with a player option) and he gives the team a scoring presence in the wake of Brandon Roy’s retirement. I’m still not sure what Crawford’s exact role and minutes played will be, but something similar to what he did in Atlanta last year is my guess. Wes Matthews can’t be thrilled with this development. I’m not so bullish on him anymore, either. – Jeff Andriesse

Nene signs five-year deal with Denver (Dec. 13, 11:30 p.m.)
Five years, $67 million for the big guy. A reasonable price for the Nuggets considering how many teams were interested. They desperately need him, so it’s a great fit. Hopefully some of the final pieces to the free agent puzzle start falling into place on Wednesday. Draft Nene with confidence in all formats. He’s a Top 40 fantasy player, although we are hoping his points and rebounds head north. – Jeff Andriesse

Fantasy Analysis: Is Josh McRoberts a sleeper on the Lakers? (Dec. 13, 8:24 p.m.)
The Lakers have signed their Lamar Odom replacement, inking former Pacer Josh McRoberts to a two-year deal (and essentially killing an O.J. Mayo trade out of Memphis in the process). McRoberts is certainly no Odom, but Mr. Kardashian provided strong fantasy value in his role off the bench. With Andrew Bynum both suspended for the first five games of the year and an annual injury risk, McRoberts could provide sneaky value in deeper leagues if he isn’t completely demoralized by Kobe within a week. Keep an eye on him. – Jeff Andriesse

Baron Davis a major injury risk (Dec. 13, 10:47 a.m.)
Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. Davis was a major injury risk in his prime, so this is no surprise at his advancing age. Reports are that he could have a herniated disk, making him a long shot to play much at all this season. This is news only in the sense that Kyrie Irving is looking a lot more palatable as a No. 2 point guard pick, and fantasy owners should now have Ramon Sessions on their radar in case Irving isn’t quite ready. As for Davis, he could get cut using the amnesty clause, and claimed or signed by a team willing to stash him. The Knicks are one such team. – Jeff Andriesse

Clippers claim Chauncey Billups (Dec. 12, 6:13 p.m.)
A shocker. The Chris Paul talks must have broken down just in time for L.A. to grab Billups before the 6 p.m. deadline. Considering Billups put up a stink about not having a say where he went, this was an extremely risky move for the Clippers. However, Billups could relish the opportunity to give this team a veteran point guard presence who is more pointguardy than Mo Williams. I assume Williams will come off the bench and lose fantasy value. Meanwhile, New Orleans is left without a dance partner once again, their leverage shrinking by the day. Is David Stern obstinate enough to go the whole season with a disgruntled Paul on the team, all the way to free agency? For now, we’ll wait for more info to come out of L.A., including what, if anything, the Clips plan on doing with Chris Kaman. – Jeff Andriesse

With less than two weeks before opening tip, there are way too many questions left unanswered. If I were New Orleans, I would be banging on Danny Ainge’s door to restart talks regarding Rajon Rondo and a couple of draft picks for CP3. Can’t do much better than that in my mind. As for Mo Williams, I can see him surfacing in Miami, after they amnesty Mike Miller of course. If Miami isn’t a landing spot then the only other logical destination could be LA, though Dr. Buss and the lovely Jeanie Buss will likely be tightening the purse strings as long as it takes to bag Dwight Howard. – Greg Fox

Chris Paul trade to Clippers is dead as charade continues (Dec. 12, 3:26 p.m.)
Good luck to fantasy owners drafting this week. The Chris Paul saga drags on, putting the values of several players in jeopardy depending on which team David Stern is negotiating with on a given day. After having asked for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round pick and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, the Clips decided enough was enough. Paul wouldn’t commit past two years, and that asking price includes every single asset L.A. has not named Blake Griffin. Meanwhile, the rest of the league remains in a holding pattern waiting for the Paul and Dwight Howard dominoes to resolve themselves, and our only reaction is one of exasperation aimed at Stern and his rapidly deteriorating legacy. – Jeff Andriesse

J.J. Barea to Timberwolololololol (Dec. 12, 9:52 a.m.)
I get that Minnesota has some money to spend, and I get that Barea was looking for the most years and money he could find (the deal is four years, $19 million), but this is a curious pairing to say the least. Perhaps David Kahn was jealous of the negative attention Otis Smith has been getting and wanted to reassert himself as the league’s most comical G.M. Barea is a nice energy player as anyone who watched the playoffs last year knows, but he’s about the 17th small person Kahn has added to his team in the last three years. With Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour set to handle the point guard duties, Barea will be battling for shooting guard minutes, a dicey proposition if, say, he plays there for more than 10 minutes a game. I’m not going near him in fantasy. – Jeff Andriesse

Bill Shatner said it best. – Greg Fox

Grizzlies will match Marc Gasol offer sheet (Dec. 11, 10:46 p.m.)
No surprise here. Houston didn’t have enough money to steal him away and the Rockets fail in their attempt to corral a Gasol. Marc settles in to similar value that he had last year on a set Memphis team, with the hope that he improves at least a little bit on his 7.0 rebounding average. Damn Lies ranks Gasol as the No. 53 fantasy player in standard 9-cat leagues. – Jeff Andriesse

Celtics out of the running for David West; Pacers now the frontrunners (Dec. 11, 2:37 p.m.)
It seemed like a pipe dream from the start, but now it is confirmed: the Celtics are out of the David West sweepstakes, according to multiple sources. West is now likely to sign a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. This has significant fantasy implications, as Indiana is a great landing spot for West. He should produce at a similar level to the past several years, and while he won’t be playing with a point guard of Chris Paul’s abilities, he should still get plenty of touches in the post and at the elbow. If West to the Pacers comes to pass, the only real worry is his surgically-repaired knee. – Jeff Andriesse

UPDATE: West has agreed to a 2-year, $20 million deal with Indiana. He’s a borderline Top 50 pick coming off knee surgery, and his strong percentages make him an even nicer roto league pick. – Jeff Andriesse

More mayhem: Paul to L.A. likely off; Lakers trade Odom to Dallas, set sights on Howard (Dec. 11, 12:16 a.m.)
Sit back and let this latest beauty sink in: The Lakers are out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes. Did the league quash another attempt at a three-way deal? It’s possible, and now L.A. has turns its sights on Dwight Howard. Lamar Odom has gone to Dallas for their trade exception. What’s next I’m now going to stay up hours past my bedtime to find out. This changes the entire landscape of the NBA once again if it happens, but it isn’t that surprising that the Lakers, faced with the annoying David Stern blocking their path to Paul or a chance at Howard, are going after the latter. The Dallas trade is weird – are the Mavs going to help the Lakers get Dwight Howard? And what will become of Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol? And where will CP3 end up? Is Boston now an option? Never a dull moment. – Jeff Andriesse

Seemed like Boston had the best offer on the table for Paul anyway with Rajon Rondo and a couple of first rounders. And if Howard ends up in LA, this means that the Nets will again not be relevant. There is no way Deron Williams would re-up, unless Mikhail Prokhorov pulls a rabbit out of his hat and corrals another bigtime player. But who would be available to him? As for LA/Orlando, I would imagine that Andrew Bynum and some draft picks would be coming back to the Magic. Wouldn’t be a bad return for them if they knew for sure that Bynum’s knees wouldn’t crumble during the first jump ball. Maybe it’s Pau Gasol. Can’t wait to find out. – Greg Fox

UPDATE (Dec. 10, 12:51 a.m.): ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Clippers are the early frontrunners for Chris Paul. Is Eric Gordon on the table? Or has the league lost all of it’s leverage? And is Adam Silver nervously wondering if he should phone David Stern at this hour? – Jeff Andriesse

Fantasy Analysis: Sacramento Kings (Dec. 10, 10:03 p.m.)
We at Damn Lies & Statistics remain fascinated by the Kings’ roster. The Kings are letting Sam Dalembert walk but have added tons of pieces since last year in John Salmons, Marcus Thornton, Chuck Hayes and of course Jimmer Fredette. Head coach Paul Westphal said on Saturday that Tyreke Evans will start at point guard, with Thornton and Salmons on the wings and DeMarcus Cousins and Hayes up front. This only means that Westphal will have a different rotation by Sunday. But that lineup does look like the one most likely to play together the most. This means J.J. Hickson’s fantasy value is going to pretty much nil outside of the deepest of leagues, and with Jason Thompson also there perhaps even worse. Hayes is the solid veteran unselfish defender this roster desperately needs and he’s the best bet to not annoy Westphal. The same can’t be said for the rest, meaning Jimmer Time is still a possibility. Maybe not right away, but if you want to stash him with a late pick, by all means do so. Westphal’s rotations are notoriously scattershot, meaning nobody’s guaranteed anything and it wouldn’t shock us if Donte Greene or Thompson were starting by Opening Night. Evans remains the highest-upside fantasy pick here, but Thornton could be a boom or bust in the middle rounds and Cousins has the tools to take a huge leap in production. Hayes is a backup fantasy player at best and it makes sense to wait and see how many minutes he’ll actually get. He could average more assists than points playing with this shot-happy group. I’m treating Salmons as a fantasy leper this year and staying far away. Can’t wait to watch this play out! – Jeff Andriesse

It seems like Westphal is going to pull a Mike Shanahan on us. We may not know from one night to the next who is starting for the Kings. It’s hard to imagine that Jimmer, J.J. J-Thomp and D-Greene won’t have their moment in the sun. But, with that, it only means that someone else will have to suffer. The only safe bets right now seem to be Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, and you have to imagine Marus Thornton as well. They didn’t pay him just to sit him. Well, same goes with Chuck Hayes. YUCK! I’m so confused. Where’s Bubbly when we need him. – Tom Lorenzo

Is this an illusion? Jason Richardson signed by Magic (Dec. 10, 8:00 p.m.)
A four-year deal, no less. Otis Smith might be the only guy in the world who doesn’t realize Dwight Howard is leaving. Smith also brought in Howard’s buddy Glen Davis for a decent chunk of change. Meanwhile, both Richardson and Davis might be feeding the ball to Brook Lopez in the post if reports that Howard has requested a trade to the Nets are true. The Magic’s rotation seems like a mess, but Richardson could see minutes at small forward if Hedo Turkoglu is added to the Howard trade as a salary dump. Davis will split court time with Ryan Anderson and the values of both will be limited. It’s also hard not to see this as a vote of no-confidence in J.J. Redick from the Orlando brass. I’m removing Redick from my Top 150 and bumping Richardson up a little bit. They’ll need him to score more when Howard is traded. Did you hear that, Otis Smith? Not if, WHEN. – Jeff Andriesse

Glad to see owners and GMs wisening up following the end of the lockout. J-Rich’s career as a legit threat is hanging by a thread, but Smith clearly has no problem sacrificing the future for him. This Magic team is slowly crumbling before our eyes, and once Howard goes to New Jersey, the roof will officially cave. I do like Big Baby, but his minutes will likely be sporadic. – Greg Fox 

Chauncey Billups to the Miami Heat? (Dec. 10, 4:42 p.m.)
Apparently, Billups is telling teams that he doesn’t want to teams to sign him off waivers. Word is, Billups wants to join the Heat. From a real basketball perspective, they absolutely become the team to beat with Billups. They need a leader, a winner, a point guard; which is exactly what Billups is. Fantasy-wise, he’s probably going to lose some value, especially in scoring and assists, with LeBron and Wade stealing touches and ball-handling duties from him. Still, he’s definitely worthy of a mid-to-late-round selection. – Tom Lorenzo

You know, if players keep trying to dictate where they want to play, we’re going to have a lockout or something. – Jeff Andriesse

I’m tired of being the good guy at Damn Lies and Statistics. – Greg Fox

Tyson Chandler officially becomes a member of the New York Knicks as part of a 3-team trade (Dec. 10, 2:35 p.m.)
We’ve been talking about this trade for almost 48 hours now, so this comes as no surprise. Defensively, Chandler is a major upgrade. The problem is, he’s going to have to learn to co-exist with Amar’e in the paint. Unlike in Dallas, where Dirk can plays outside of the post, Chandler is going to
lose some value off the glass. I think there’s “another move” on the horizon, but for now it looks as if the Knicks have their formidable frontcourt and still no backcourt. Go Knicks! – Tom Lorenzo

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute offered 4-year deal by the Nuggets (Dec. 10, 1:58 p.m.)
This isn’t a terrible move by the Nuggets. Mbah a Moute can provide decent garbage-big-man stats in the paint. I think the real question remains, though, whether or not Nene returns and who else, aside from Mbah a Moute, might the Nuggets bring in to the play PF. If no one, he could be a nice late-round flier. [UPDATE: Apparently the Bucks matched the offer, which doesn’t help Mbah a Moute. We’ll wait for confirmation, though] – Tom Lorenzo

Luc Richard is a much better real-life performer than a fantasy one. He is best left undrafted. – Greg Fox

Chris Paul trade to the Lakers has been resubmitted for League approval (Dec. 10, 1:35 p.m.) Again, this deal seems pretty close to being official, with the NBA all but admitting they made a mistake by nixing it in the first place. The final details have yet to be made public, but Pau Gasol should maintain high value in Houston and Chris Paul will remain as the top-rated point guard this season. Some things just never change. – Tom Lorenzo

I’m not even sure the Lakers will be a better team if this goes through, especially if Andrew Bynum can’t remain healthy. Their size has simply decimated teams the past three years. I’m also anxious to see how Paul will co-exist with Kobe, who can suck the life out of Mahatma Gandhi. I still think Paul is a top 5 choice, but I’m no longer quite as enamored. With 30+ minutes and as the only interior threat, Bynum is now capable of 17 and 11 with close to 2.0 blocks a game. But given that the big fella’s knees would except a sign-and-trade with Abe Vigoda’s, we’ll see how the increase in minutes will affect him. If Gasol makes it to Houston, he should return first-round value. His scoring average should rise a bit, though his terrific assist total may drop. I’m buying. – Greg Fox

Richard Hamilton and the Bulls closing in on a 2-year deal (Dec. 10, 12:32 p.m.)
This is a terrific move for the Bulls, who have been looking for a scoring 2-guard for quite some time now. Hamilton should provide a nice scoring touch alongside D-Rose, but the concern with Rip is that he hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2007-08. Oh, and he’s coming off his worst statistical season since his rookie year. You can still look at him as a 15-point scorer in the league, but not much more beyond that. I’d be careful in calling him anything but a late-round flier, but you have to at least like him more today than you did yesterday, now that he’s no longer stuck in Detroit. – Tom Lorenzo

Rip has one of those ectomorph-type bodies that will enable him to continue his career without embarrassing himself. He should be in line for 25-30 minutes a game and 14 points, a three and a solid free throw percentage sounds about right. Decent move by the Bulls, but don’t consider him from a fantasy standpoint until the very end of your drafts. – Greg Fox

I don’t know about Rip on the Bulls. Chicago should have targeted someone like Reggie Williams – a deep three-point threat who can stretch the floor for Derrick Rose. Certainly, it’s an upgrade over Keith Bogans/Ronnie Brewer from an offensive standpoint. – Jeff Andriesse

T.J. Ford has signed a one-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs (Dec. 10, 11:49 a.m.)
This move makes sense for the Spurs, who tend to be able to catch lightning in a bottle with some of these veterans nearing the end of their career. Ford could have nice fantasy value, but only if Tony Parker were to somehow miss time. Other than that, it seems like just a nice “real” basketball move by the Spurs. – Tom Lorenzo

Ford’s career has been taking the slow swirl down the turlet due to a combination of horrific injuries and Jim O’Brien, but maybe he’ll be re-invigorated in San Antonio. I agree with Tom that he won’t have significant fantasy value unless Tony Parker were to go down. – Greg Fox

Dwight Howard was given permission to speak with the Nets, Mavs and Lakers. (Dec. 10, 9:07 a.m.)
The Clippers are also said to be in the mix, as it seems more likely now that Howard is actually going to be moved. The fantasy implications could be pretty big, depending on where he lands. I think we have to wait until the deal goes down, though, before we start asking about the impact it has on Kris Humphries, DeAndre Jordan and even guys like Blake Griffin. But, I imagine we’ll have that conversation sooner than later. – Tom Lorenzo

I have no inside information on this, but I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut he lands in New Jersey/Brooklyn. Mikhail Prokhorov has already purchased a small country with Howard’s name on it. I’m guessing Brook Lopez, Humphries and a couple of first-round picks will do it. It’ll be Howard, Deron Williams and the cast of the White Shadow in Newark this year. – Greg Fox

Knicks sign Mike Bibby (Dec. 10, 12:30 a.m.)
Har. It’s one of the few concrete signings on a night where David West is supposedly going to the Celtics and Dwight Howard either has or hasn’t received permission to seek a trade, depending on what source you believe. Bibby is likely in town to for 15 minutes a night and, if he’s lucky, a fling with a Knicks City Dancer. Toney Douglas is still the fantasy play here, and he got a vote of confidence from Mike D’Antoni today. With the weapons at his disposal, Douglas has the ability to be a fine fantasy guard this season. He’s less a pure point than an energy hybrid guy, but he can certainly average 12-14 points and 5-6 assists given the playing time. – Jeff Andriesse

Wait ’til the Knicks find out that Bibby died three years ago. – Greg Fox

Roster shaping up for Celtics (Dec. 9, 10:27 p.m.)
Jeff Green has signed a one-year qualifying offer with Boston and joins several new additions to the team’s bench. Chris Wilcox and Marquis Daniels signed contracts, while Brandon Bass and Keyon Dooling were traded for. Green is perhaps worth a pick in deep leagues, but he has to prove he can be productive on this roster. While fantasy value for any of the reserves listed above is dependent on injury, what all of these moves tell us is that Boston, probably, is headed into the season with Rajon Rondo at point guard and a smattering of backup big men to help keep Kevin Garnett fresh. With Wilcox and O’Neal the only real options at center, expect Garnett to play the ‘5’ against most teams, with Green sliding into the power forward spot. Take all of this with a grain of salt, however, as Danny Ainge is known to strike with something crazy at any time. – Jeff Andriesse

UPDATE (Dec. 9, 10:42 p.m.): As soon as I hit ‘submit’ on the above paragraph, David Aldridge of reports the Celtics are close on some sort of deal for David West. This day gets weirder and weirder. I’m holding off on comment until this becomes confirmed, other than to say some sort of sign-and-trade involving at least Jeff Green must be involved. – Jeff Andriesse

What a day for the Blazers (Dec. 9, 9:56 p.m.)
First, we hear Brandon Roy is going to retire. Then it comes out that Greg Oden has had a setback and his return is ominously unknown. Now, the team has announced that LaMarcus Aldridge will miss 1-2 weeks with a recurrence of the same heart condition that caused him to sit out nine games during his rookie year. Yikes. Aldridge is obviously a fantasy stud in the making but the only thing to say while monitoring this situation is we hope he gets back on the court soon. Heart issues are nothing to mess around with. We wish Aldridge a speedy return to full health. – Jeff Andriesse

Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Richard Hamilton bought out (Dec. 9, 6:05 p.m.)
There will be some cheap shooting guards on the market for teams to pick from. Arenas was cut by Orlando using the amnesty clause, so teams under the cap can bid on him, while Carter and Hamilton were bought out outright and are free agents without restriction. There are several teams looking for veteran’s-minimum scoring options on the wing such as Chicago, Boston, San Antonio, New York, New Jersey, and perhaps even Houston if the Kevin Martin/Pau Gasol/Chris Paul deal is reanimated. I can’t imagine anyone wanting Arenas outside of reality show producers, but I could easily see Carter or Hamilton joining one of the above squads. There are also rumors that the Bulls are making a play for Jamal Crawford. I say proceed at your own risk with shooting guards. They invariably become overpaid and shells of themselves in their prime. From a fantasy standpoint, you certainly have to like Ben Gordon a lot more today, as well as J.J. Redick in deeper leagues. – Jeff Andriesse

I like Gordon and Redick as well, but I head into my draft with zero confidence in both as we know their minutes will be screwed with in some manner. Rip Hamilton wouldn’t be a bad play for one of the teams you mentioned. He can still score a little, he gets to the line and he’s not a god-awful defender like Carter and Agent Zilch. – Greg Fox

UPDATE: ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting the Mavericks are closing in on a deal with Vince Carter. Cuban, you’ll want Stern to veto this one too. – Jeff Andriesse

Kings keeping Marcus Thornton (Dec. 9, 2:36 p.m.)
ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports five years, $40 million for Thornton. He’s an exciting offensive player and the Kings had to spend money, so this isn’t surprising. Plus, they could offer him five years. Well, this is a blow to Jimmer Fredette’s fantasy prospects, as Thornton will start at shooting guard earning this kind of dough. Thornton is a high-upside scorer who will probably be very inconsistent this year playing with ball-demanding teammates such as Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and DeMarcus Cousins. – Jeff Andriesse

UPDATE: Thornton has signed for four years and $31 million.

This will end ugly for the Kings. – Greg Fox

76ers will retain Thaddeus Young (Dec. 9, 2:12 p.m.)
Young will re-sign with Philadelphia soon, according to Kate Fagan’s sources. Young was a restricted free agent who received interest from Denver and a few other teams I’m sure. What remains unclear is how this will help his fantasy value. As long as Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala are clogging up the ‘3’ and ‘4’ spots, Young’s numbers will be average at best. Philly’s center situation is pretty poor, though, and if Brand has to play there a lot this year Young will come in handy. Fantasy owners should think about him with a late-round pick at best. – Jeff Andriesse

Grant Hill returning to Suns on one-year deal (Dec. 9, 11:59 a.m.)
Hill used the Knicks and Spurs for leverage and got $6.5 million to return to Phoenix. While Hill is a borderline Top 150 player in fantasy, he does stunt the mini-levels of excitement that surrounded sleepers Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown. Brown could still emerge as the team’s starting shooting guard, and with Mikael Pietrus now traded to Toronto, could get 30 minutes a game. Things still seem a little too crowded at the ‘2’ and ‘3’ in Phoenix for my liking in shallow leagues. – Jeff Andriesse

Despite the type of offense it’s in, Phoenix is kind of becoming a fantasy wasteland. After Nash and Gortat, I wouldn’t touch anyone until the mid-to-late rounds, including Channing Frye. I do like Dudley’s sleeper potential, but the Suns are getting a little congested on the wings. Gotta love Hill, still going strong at age 39. I’ll avoid him in fantasy, but he is still the man. – Greg Fox

Tyson Chandler to the Knicks will happen today; Chauncey Billups will be cut (Dec. 9, 10:53 a.m.)
As has been rumored since Thursday, Tyson Chandler will sign a four-year deal with New York. It was a ‘wow’ moment when it happened, but after the Chris Paul debacle this is now an under-the-radar development. Chandler instantly upgrades the Knicks on many levels, but it also handcuffs them financially to the point where their starting point guard, Chauncey Billups, will have to be amnesty’d to make it happen. There are likely more moves to come, but if things stay as they are you can add Toney Douglas to the Top 100 fantasy players. He’s their ‘1’ right now and there aren’t a heck of a lot of options out there. Billups could go anywhere, although his agent is threatening to create problems for any team claiming him off waivers. His fantasy value plummets in almost every possible scenario. As far as Chandler goes, he is what he is in fantasy – a double-double threat with decent but not great shot-blocking upside and a knack for injury. Chandler has also had his best years playing with pure point guards Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. We’ll see if Douglas or whoever can make the most of him. In non-fantasy-related news, Ronny Turiaf is also expected to be traded to make room for Chandler. – Jeff Andriesse

Even though it will cost them Billups, this is a great move for the Knicks. This is a team in desperate need of interior defense and rebounding and Chandler fits the bill. From a fantasy standpoint, Chandler is a notch below Anderson Varejao and Kris Humphries, but can be a serviceable #3 center. I’m a big Toney Douglas supporter, but as more of a sixth-man/hybrid-type player. Running an offense for 35 minutes a night is a different animal. Luke Ridnour anyone? – Greg Fox

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Brendan Haywood – yes, Brendan Haywood – is going to be the starting center in Dallas. The price/value is really going to have to be right for me to take a flier on him at the end of drafts, but make no mistake – he IS draftable, especially in leagues that value centers who can block some shots. – Jeff Andriesse

How good was Haywood in 2010?  Pretty darn I’d say. I’ll buy in the 12th round. – Greg Fox

Brandon Roy to retire, according to reports (Dec. 9, 10:23 a.m.)
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Brandon Roy is expected to announce his retirement for medical reasons, as soon as today. There are no jokes to be made; this is just sad. Inevitable, but sad. Wes Matthews and Nic Batum, naturally, receive a boost and can be drafted with a lot more confidence in the middle rounds. I like Matthews a bit more than Batum, who I think will be the third wheel off the bench behind Matthews and Gerald Wallace. – Jeff Andriesse

Huh? This is almost as strange to me as the nixing of the Paul trade. Well, maybe not quite as strange. Wasn’t Roy complaining the other day about not being deemed the starting shooting guard? Didn’t he make a semi-successful return late last season? He looked halfway decent to me. Are we sure Chris Broussard isn’t confusing him with Patrick Roy? – Greg Fox

Teams involved in canceled Paul trade will appeal Stern’s decision (Dec. 9, 10:01 a.m.)
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Twitter that the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets are appealing to the NBA to reverse its decision. While we’re not sure how the Hornets, who are run by the NBA, are involved with this logistically, what’s clear is that for as many owners that are upset over the Lakers getting Paul there are just as many upset over Stern’s actions, not to mention all of the GMs who are stunned and fans who are apoplectic. Stern should hear the appeal and allow the trade to go through. It’s the perfect PR out for him. Then, we can get on with this season with the hopes that the commissioner begins to organize his retirement papers. – Jeff Andriesse

Paul deal off? (Dec. 8, 9:30 p.m.)
Credible sources have begun reporting that David Stern has killed the Chris Paul deal to the Lakers. If true this is one of the more unbelievable developments in the history of the NBA. Gathering more info… – Jeff Andriesse

This is baffling. Part of the reason for this is likely that Gasol is deemed much less of a player than Paul because of the Kobe-inspired media propaganda. Either that or David Stern wants to go out in a blaze of glory. This is the same commissioner that put his stamp of approval on the absurd Gasol for Gasol trade a few years ago that brought the Lakers back-to-back titles. Now, we see that brother Marc is a solid player, but at the time it was beyond lopsided. – Greg Fox

UPDATE: Still stunned and speechless that the NBA would intervene and cancel a huge three-team trade. Stern and some owners, so soon after ratifying a new CBA, have apparently decided to set fire to any goodwill between them and the players a new deal should have provided. And just one day before training camp opens, all hell breaks loose in L.A., New Orleans and Houston, not to mention every other city where deals contingent on this canceled one are put on hold. For ownership to overrule a GM isn’t unusual – when it is the commissioner of the league who just finished sticking it to his players in a new CBA, and sticking it to owners like Jerry Buss with increased revenue sharing, it is nearly an act of war. And Chris Paul is pursuing legal avenues already. At the very least, this is an unbelievable PR disaster for a league that doesn’t need it. At worst, we are back into protracted legal battles or, worse yet, a strike. I’m trying to think of a good way for this to resolve itself, and need to sleep on it more. Perhaps my colleagues have some answers, but right now I’m spent. I’ll be back at it Friday, and have no sense of what’s next. Let’s hope we’re back to cheat sheets and stat projections soon. Good night. – Jeff Andriesse

Fantasy Analysis: Chris Paul to Lakers; Pau Gasol to Rockets; Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic to New Orleans
Paul’s status as the best fantasy point guard is potentially in jeopardy with this move to L.A., where he’ll see his scoring, and perhaps assists, head south. It won’t be drastic, but perhaps enough to take sure thing Derrick Rose over him in drafts. Deron Williams is right on his tail as well. Paul has yet to play on a team with a ball-dominator like Kobe Bean Bryant. It will be interesting to see how new coach Mike Brown handles all of this. There are rumors that Emeka Okafor is involved in the deal. If so, he would start for the Lakers over, um, Derrick Caracter or something. Gasol in Houston is a great situation. The Rockets will be in on Nene, and these two smart, efficient players playing together will be a treat to watch. And let’s not forget Kevin McHale will be their coach. Gasol is a sure-fire first-round pick as they’ll run their offense through him. You have to also love the fantasy values of Scola, Martin and Odom in New Orleans as they will likely be options 1, 2 and 3 in some order. Dragic is intriguing but probably a backup to Jarrett Jack, who should be on fantasy radars, stat. Kyle Lowry will be asked to do more for the Rockets with Martin gone, as will Courtney Lee and even Terrence Williams. Bump probable starting small forward Chase Budinger up a few spots in your rankings too. All three teams still have holes to fill. We’ll examine their future moves as they happen. – Jeff Andriesse

Here we go: Lakers getting Chris Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom (Dec. 8, 6:03 p.m.)
Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported it was Andrew Bynum and Odom, but Pau is in the deal. Wow. Special LOL points for the Hornets being run by the same NBA complaining about big market/small market competitive balance issues, and this news breaking as the owners are ratifying the new collective bargaining agreement. New Orleans has a terrific frontcourt now, and the Lakers still have Andrew Bynum to potentially deal for Dwight Howard if it ever comes to that. It’s possible Emeka Okafor and his hideous contract are included in this trade, but we have to wait for more info to trickle out. You can’t fault the Hornets for pulling the trigger on a bona fide star like Gasol. Paul on the Lakers makes a ton of sense as well, although you have to think his scoring drops a tad with Kobe being Kobe. Odom, however, should see a nice fantasy boost with more minutes in New Orleans. A fascinating development that will have a major domino effect on the rest of the upcoming weekend’s transactions. – Jeff Andriesse

UPDATE: Multiple reports about a long-rumored three-team deal that flips Gasol to Houston for Luis Scola and Kevin Martin. Stay tuned. – Jeff Andriesse

Cavaliers will use the amnesty clause to cut Baron Davis (Dec. 8, 4:50 p.m.)
Secures playing time for Kyrie Irving and rids the team of an potential headache. Davis’ options are numerous. Of the teams way under the cap, how many really want or need him? Will the Knicks take him on the cheap if they are desperate for a point guard? Baron’s getting his money either way, so expect him to sign with a contender. In the meantime, we’ve just moved Irving up on our draft boards a tad. We just wish he was playing with more than just a smidgen of decent offensive talent around him. And yes, I realize I ended that paragraph referring to myself as ‘we’. – Jeff Andriesse

The Knicks are better off getting Baron Von Raschke. Maybe he can apply the brain claw to Carmelo. I am far from sold on Irving this year and not only because he’s five-foot-two and played eight meaningful college games. One way or another, Ramon Sessions will end up being great. I also like Anderson Varejao this year. Look for a tiny double-double with better than a block per game. – Greg Fox

Free agent Mike Dunleavy will sign a two year, $7.5 million deal with the Bucks, league source tells Y! Sports. (Dec. 8, 4:05 p.m.)
The problem with Dunleavy is that he’s stuck behind some combination of Stephen Jackson and Carlos Delfino at wing and some sort of Ersan Ilyasova and Drew Gooden deal at the ‘4.’ Any way you slice it, he’s nothing more than a backup and there’s no reason to look at him on draft night. – Tom Lorenzo

What is Milwaukee doing? Captain Jack will completely screw up whatever chemistry this team had two years ago when it overachieved. I thought last year was an aberration because of Bogut’s hideous elbow injury, but I’m starting to think 35 wins is in this team’s future. – Greg Fox

Caron Butler to the Clippers for a reported three years, $24 million (Dec. 8, 3:44 p.m.)
Hmm. On the surface, a good deal for the Clips as Butler slides right into the small forward position. But $8 million per for a guy who is this fragile, not to mention getting up there in age? Wouldn’t a sign and trade for Tayshaun Prince (for Chris Kaman) make more sense? I have a feeling the price is shooting up for the middling free agents as we speak, and Butler’s deal will look like a bargain by this time tomorrow. But right now this appears a little desperate. From a fantasy standpoint, assuming the Clippers’ roster is close to set, Butler will have some decent value as the starter here – when healthy. – Jeff Andriesse

I like Butler here, but the concern is his health, as Jeff said. If Butler puts in 55-plus games this season he’s a Top 75 player, right? The problem is, you have to bet against him playing that many games, don’t you. I think at this point you move Butler into a late-round flier, but I’m not going much higher than, say, the 11th or 12th round. – Tom Lorenzo

Tayshaun Prince’s ears are bleeding after hearing this. Prince would have been better, but I do like this move for the Clips. Butler is a hard-nosed defender who can still score a little bit. As Tom said, he’s no longer a major fantasy contributor, but I still see him as a 15 and 5 kind of guy. – Greg Fox

Shannon Brown will sign with Phoenix (Dec. 8, 3:04 p.m.)
Interesting. This affects the fantasy value of Jared Dudley, who was in line for a nice boost in playing time with Vince Carter unlikely to return. It’s unclear whether Brown will start, but he’ll have to compete for playing time with Dudley, Mikael Pietrus, Josh Childress and potentially Grant Hill. I’d be more bullish on Brown if Hill didn’t re-sign. – Jeff Andriesse

Is Aaron Brooks still alive? I can see Brown backing up at both the point and shooting guard spots and emerging as a 20-25-minute guy. This signing certainly doesn’t help Dudley, but I still like him as a value pick late in the draft. – Greg Fox

Aaron Brooks is trapped in China. Please help. Free Aaron Brooks! – Aaron Brooks

Tayshaun Prince staying with Pistons for four years, $27 million (Dec. 8, 2:00 p.m.)
Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Prince is re-signing with the Pistons. I’m floored. What is Detroit doing? What is Prince doing? Is there a Detroit-area restaurant he really, really likes? I mean, if there was ever a player who could pick his spot this year and try to win a title, it was Prince. Now this Pistons roster just got back to being the nightmare it was last year. The values of all involved are much muddier today. Austin Daye can’t be liking this, as he was looking like a nice sleeper at small forward this year. Joe Dumars, just when I’m ready to give the Dumbfounding GM Award to David Kahn or Otis Smith, you swoop in and reclaim it. – Jeff Andriesse

LOL. There’s nothing Prince does particularly well. At least not to the point where he’s worth owning in Fantasy leagues. I guess you can say he’s a poor man’s Shane Battier, except now with a 4-year deal he now looks like a rich man’s poor man’s Shane Battier. – Tom Lorenzo

Truly weird. I love Prince in real-life. I mean the singer and not the basketball player. Purple Rain is truly underrated. But Tayshaun gets it done on both ends of the floor, particularly the defensive one. Do he and his agent not realize that with the way things are shaping up he could have gotten $12 million per year from just about any team? He would have been a perfect fit for the Clippers, who I think just got done paying Benoit Benjamin. Give the man a mulligan. – Greg Fox

Breaking: Bubbly to offer Jeff, Tom & Greg open spots in his fantasy league (Dec. 8, 1:32 p.m.)
Andriesse is privately telling those close to him that he won’t join the league without commitments from both Fox and Lorenzo. Fox is leaning towards joining just for “the comedy”, according to sources. When reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Lorenzo referred to Bubbs as the “Jared Jeffries” to this blog’s CP3, Amare and Melo. More to come… – Jeff Andriesse

Damn liar! Bubbly is more Andy Rautins than Jared Jeffries. Dude can at least shoot, though not at the pro level. – Tom Lorenzo

I have tons of respect for the man called Bubbly. Anyone who can commit Dick Snyder’s career statistics to memory is ok in my book. – Greg Fox

Greg Oden will reportedly sign qualifying offer with Portland (Dec. 8, 12:46 p.m.)
I’d like to say this is “big” news, but really the signing means little when it comes to Oden’s health. It’s still not likely that Oden plays anywhere close to a full 66-game schedule. Don’t get me wrong, the Blazers had to offer him the contract and Oden had to sign it, but the question will continue to remain: is he healthy? We’ll soon find out! Right now, though, he’s probably no better than a late-round (13th? 14th?) draft pick. – Tom Lorenzo

Portland’s centers are now Camby and Oden. With this schedule? Is Oden even ready for the start of the season? Doubtful. Between these two and Brandon Roy, lots of question marks. All of that said, I could see Oden being a hot pickup midseason if he can get back on the court and start producing. In shallow leagues I’m not wasting a pick on him. – Jeff Andriesse

The average age of Portland’s centers is 41. Camby is 37 and I’ll generously give Odom the benefit of the doubt and say he’s 45. I am glad they are extending him. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can fight for the country by day in World War II and then appear in an NBA game at night. – Greg Fox

Eddy Curry will reportedly sign with Miami (Dec. 8, 12:07 p.m.)
And the Pujols news is quickly swept off the front page. The NBA is, um, back, baby. – Jeff Andriesse

Albert Pujols signs with Anaheim (Dec. 8, 11:41 a.m.)
I mean, really? Tall order now for the NBA to top this bombshell. Can they? How? Chris Paul to Boston? Dwight Howard to the Lakers? LeBron to the Yankees? – Jeff Andriesse

I would still take Kevin Durant over Pujols. – Tom Lorenzo

Shane Battier to sign with Miami (Dec. 8, 10:13 a.m.)
Battier is one of the first major players to announce his intentions (he can’t sign until Friday at 2 p.m.). He announced it with a quick post on Twitter, pretty much the opposite of his new teammate’s ‘Decision’ television show debacle. This is a killer for his fantasy value, obviously, as he’ll be backing up Wade and LeBron. But in real life, the Heat just got a lot better. They were already a great defensive team and Battier just adds to that. Miami still has to re-sign Mario Chalmers and doesn’t have a lot of room to do much else. They must be happy with Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem at the ‘5’. Great signing, but Battier doesn’t do enough in fantasy to warrant being among the top 150 players on draft day. – Jeff Andriesse

I absolutely agree with Jeff, here. This is a better “real life” basketball move than it is a fantasy basketball move. I’m still not pushing Battier into the Top 150. – Tom Lorenzo

2 responses to “Live-Blogging NBA Free Agency

  • bubbly

    1. I was stunned that Jeff andriesse (can you make it all big here like above? Ty.) got on me about not writing. Plainly I will have to earn another spot on podcast. 2. Can I wait til free agent weekend is over before breaking out the bubbly? Damn! 3. I am sad and frieghtened that Shane Battier will be with the heat. Not for fantasy reasons. Cleveland reasons. The heat got the right guy. 4. I mean no offense to anyone and I am in awe of Prince too BUT PLEASE DONT SAY PURPLE RAIN IS ‘TRULY UNDERRATED’. REALLY? HAVE ANONTHER VAT OF GIN YOU MOUNTEBANK! Great album. Rated just right! 5. Very excited to welcome the damn lies and stats headliners to the CHUD league! 6. Who’s the poorman’s Shane Battier again? Low blow! I’ve slept outside and sold my plasma but I was never THAT poor!

  • bubbly

    THIS POST HAS BEEN CANCELED BY THE COMMISSIONER. IN INTEREST OF GOOD WILL WE NOW PRESENT THE REDACTED VERSION. Draft……December…………thats another reason why I am hesitant with Rondo……….sweet as the George Hill koolaid!…….Corey Maggette and that furniture…………As bad as the time Gore Vidal and Emo Philips got into a fist fight……..draft Boris Diaw? I’d sooner say something bad about Manny Pacquiao’s mother on the streets of manila.

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