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OutletPass
09-16-2003, 03:37 PM
Hill, Jackson among homeless free agents
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider
Send an Email to Chad Ford Tuesday, September 16
Updated: September 16
9:02 AM ET


Homelessness and an escalating unemployment rate are no longer just urban problems in America. With the rising influx of international players and college and high school underclassmen flooding the ranks of the NBA, several key veterans are still pounding the pavement looking for a job.


With training camp just two weeks away, the summer-long poker game between NBA agents and NBA GMs is about to end.

Who's still holding out? Who needs an aging power forward or a young, unpredictable two guard?

Today, Insider plays matchmaker, trying to find the perfect home for 10 of the NBA's homeless.

1. Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, Spurs (R)
Perfect Home: Atlanta Hawks
Second Choice: Portland Trail Blazers
The Skinny: The issue for Jackson right now is money. The problem is that the two teams that have a lot of it, the Jazz and Nuggets, don't really need him. The best fit is Atlanta. Now that the Hawks appear to have decided on an owner, maybe they can get the cash they need to bring in Jackson. Right now the team will be forced to start rookie Boris Diaw at the two. I like Diaw, but Jackson is clearly an upgrade right now. There's been a lot of talk that Jackson may wind up in Portland. The Blazers have their mid-level exception to throw his way, but he'll struggle to get consistent playing time with the Blazers.

2. Tyrone Hill, PF, Sixers
Perfect Home: Sacramento Kings
Second Choice: Seattle SuperSonics
The Skinny: The Kings may be the deepest team in the league, but they're still awfully thin at power forward. Brad Miller can come in and give spot minutes there, but it wouldn't hurt the Kings to add a tough veteran, especially given Chris Webber's tendency to end up on the IL at least once a season. Hill is the perfect fit. He's experienced, loves to do the dirty work and is holding out for a chance to compete for a championship. If the Kings don't come through, the Sonics could offer something almost as good -- playing time. Right now the team plans on using Vladimir Radmanovic and rookie Nick Collison at the four. If the Sonics are serious about making the playoffs this season, they'll need someone more seasoned to get it done in the paint.


3. Predrag Drobnjak, PF, Sonics (R)
Perfect Home: Utah Jazz
Second Choice: Denver Nuggets
The Skinny: The Jazz are running out of options. Now that it appears that the Hawks will match Utah's offer to Jason Terry, GM Kevin O'Connor needs to scramble to fill out his roster. The Jazz's biggest need is in the paint. Right now they have Greg Ostertag, Keon Clark, Curtis Borchardt and Jarron Collins. That's pretty ugly. Drobnjak is coming off a solid performance at the European Championships. He's not a great low-post scorer, but he can be dangerous in the high post and isn't a bad rebounder. I know the Jazz have had tough luck with restricted free agents, but a three-year, $10 million offer should be enough to scare the Sonics away. If the Jazz won't do it, the Nuggets probably should They too are a little weak up front and you know how much Kiki Vandeweghe loves those Euros.


4. Jim Jackson, SF, Kings
Perfect Home: Minnesota Timberwolves
Second Choice: Sacramento Kings
The Skinny: Jimmy Jackson just can't get any love. He's been a solid role player on the Heat and Kings the last two seasons, but still has a tough time shaking off a nasty rep earned earlier in his career. For the third straight season it looks like Jackson will have to swallow his pride and take the minimum to play for a contender. Minnesota might be the place. The T-Wolves are very thin at small forward at the moment, guaranteeing Jackson plenty of playing time on a team that will be dangerous this year. If the Wolves don't want him, the Kings still need him. With the loss of Hedo Turkoglu, they aren't exactly deep at small forward either. Given Peja Stojakovic's continuing ankle woes, the Kings could be in trouble if Peja goes down and Jackson is nowhere to be found.


5. Kenny Anderson, PG, Hornets
Perfect Home: Boston Celtics
Second Choice: Indiana Pacers
The Skinny: It was just over a year ago that Anderson's tough play pushed the Celtics further into the playoffs than anyone ever expected them to go. Then, inexplicably, the Celtics went out and traded Anderson to the Sonics for Vin Baker. It's time to right two wrongs with one right. I know Celtics fans are anxious to see rookie Marcus Banks do his thing. But if the Celtics are serious about the playoffs, they'll need more than a rookie point guard to get them deep. Anderson knows the system. He bought into it. He's going to come cheap. What's the problem? If the Celtics can't swallow their pride, the Pacers should snatch Anderson up. He won't solve all of Indiana's backcourt woes, but the Pacers, who are very serious about the playoffs, still need a veteran playmaker who's been there before -- no offense Anthony Johnson.


6. Vladimir Stepania, C, Heat
Perfect Home: Memphis Grizzlies
Second Choice: Portland Trail Blazers
The Skinny: Stepania isn't an all-star, but he is the holder of one stat that may surprise you. Stepania ranked second in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes. Why? Because the guy is a beast on the offensive boards. Last year he grabbed 2.7 offensive boards a game despite playing just 20 mpg. Stepania isn't going to be a savior for any team, but he could help a team like the Grizzlies, who are desperate for some rebounding help in the middle. Considering that he comes pretty cheap, what's the risk? The Blazers are another team that could really use him. With Arvydas Sabonis retiring this summer, they're left with Dale Davis and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje roaming the middle.


7. Dion Glover, SG, Hawks
Perfect Home: Los Angeles Clippers
Second Choice: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Skinny: Glover is another player who has plenty of potential, especially on the offensive end, but has yet to fully tap it. He did get very hot at the end of last season, averaging 17 ppg and 7.3 rpg on 44 percent shooting in April. What was the difference? Playing time. For the first time ever, Glover was getting 35 plus minutes a night. On a team like the Clippers or T-Wolves, he might get enough playing time to actually be effective.


Around the League

There sure is a lot going on in Atlanta suddenly. On Wednesday, GM Billy Knight announced that the Hawks will match the Jazz's offer sheet for Jason Terry. Shortly thereafter, AOL Time Warner announced that the team would finally be sold. The twist is that David McDavid, the wealthy Texas businessman who has been trying to buy the Hawks for months, won't be the owner. Instead, a group headed by Steve Belkin, the same guy who tried to buy the new team in Charlotte along with Larry Bird, will buy the team instead. Belkin will be joined by a number of local investors, including Ted Turner's son-in-law.

On Monday afternoon, speculation around the league swirled that Michael Jordan, who also has been trying to buy an NBA team, might join Belkin as an investor. But as of late Monday night, there was no evidence that Jordan, or any other high-profile player, was involved. The Jordan speculation was based, in part, on Jordan's decision to forego a role with the new Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats are also in the news. They'll reportedly interview Celtics GM Chris Wallace this week. The Magic's Gary Brokaw, the Pistons' John Hammond and Bernie Bickerstaff are also reportedly on the short list.

Nuggets forward Donnell Harvey finally found a home. Florida Today reported that Harvey signed a one-year deal with the Magic. "I think we need another swingman and I like Harvey a lot," Magic coach Doc Rivers said recently. "I think he can really help us." Harvey, a three-year pro, averaged 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last season for the Denver Nuggets.

It looks like several other veteran free agents are going to have to go to training camp and hope for the best. Shammond Williams is expected to play for the Magic in training camp. Mamadou N'Diaye, Tracy Murray and Robert Pack are on the Blazers' 18-man training camp roster.

Chiwas
09-16-2003, 03:47 PM
Utah could easily sign a couple of those.

Psychedelic Fuzz
09-16-2003, 04:15 PM
Does anyone think it would make sense for us to get Hill?

madape
09-16-2003, 04:20 PM
Not anymore.

Psychedelic Fuzz
09-16-2003, 04:26 PM
They were ready to waive popeye last year to get him, but the interest in him this off season was minimal. I just thought that was kind of interesting.

MFFL
09-16-2003, 05:22 PM
Glad to see Harvey finally found a home for this year.

Simon2
09-16-2003, 08:34 PM
Kinda surprising that Stepania hasn't signed with anyone yet. Stephen Jackson is also a surprise. Coming from a championship team, who would have thought that he wouldn't be resigned by the Spurs. I guess they are asking a price that is too high.

Why isn't Bell on this list?

mary
09-16-2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by: Simon2
Stephen Jackson is also a surprise. Coming from a championship team, who would have thought that he wouldn't be resigned by the Spurs. I guess they are asking a price that is too high.


Is it a money thing? They've signed 4 players to minimum contracts, gave Duncan his payday and will spend about 12 mil on Horry and Nesterovic next year.

Personally, I just remember being completely underwhelmed by Jackson during the playoffs. He was a terrible shooter. His shooting percentages for each round were 43.2, 32.7, 49.3 and 37.7 respectively with playing and average of 33.8 MPG. His 3pm %'s were even less impressive -37.1, 18.8, 35.3 and 35.7.

Unfortunately for us, there was nobody there to rebound all those missed shots!

I guess he was a decent defender though i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif


Why isn't Bell on this list?

Hmmm...that's what I was wonderingi/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif

EricaLubarsky
09-16-2003, 11:19 PM
Step may be a bargain. He may take anything now. If we didnt have 15 players, I wouldnt mind picking him up cheap. I remember all sorts of people screaming about how Dallas should jump on him before anyone else and give him the whole MLE. The joke is on them, and Step who thought he could get a longer deal than one year

Simon2
09-17-2003, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
Step may be a bargain. He may take anything now. If we didnt have 15 players, I wouldnt mind picking him up cheap. I remember all sorts of people screaming about how Dallas should jump on him before anyone else and give him the whole MLE. The joke is on them, and Step who thought he could get a longer deal than one year

It really baffles me why this guy isn't signed yet? Is he injured? How much is he asking?

EricaLubarsky
09-17-2003, 10:09 AM
It really baffles me why this guy isn't signed yet? Is he injured? How much is he asking?

who knows, but all I know is it is very rare to have a glass-clearing, 7'1" center unsigned at this point unless there is something seriously wrong with him or his agent.

Big Boy Laroux
09-17-2003, 11:01 AM
early in the offseason i believe the deterrant was his asking price. i assume he hasn't changed it...