Chris Sheridan believes that the first day of free agency is the best NBA day of the year – even better than draft night. For Brandon Tierney, though, it all depends on who signs.
Well, on Wednesday, several players signed – or are close to signing – deals with various teams, including Goran Dragic (Miami), Danny Green (San Antonio), Mike Dunleavy (Chicago) and DeMarre Carroll (Toronto).
Those are all solid players, but there’s not a whole lot of pizazz there. Compare that to draft night, which oozes potential, hype, upside and star power.
That’s fine. You can have that. Sheridan prefers free agency.
“Well, it’s great because the players the teams are chasing are known commodities,” the SheridanHoops.com NBA insider said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “On draft night, everybody gets a shot at one or two guys, but a lot of fans haven’t seen much of these players play. How many Knicks fans have seen Kristaps Porzingis play? I know you haven’t seen him play, Brandon – unless you’re spending your weekends in Seville, Spain.”
While Porzingis has a lot of upside, he’s still just 19 years old and weighs just 210 pounds. Greg Monroe, on the other hand, is a double-double machine. The 25-year-old averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds last year for Detroit.
Thus, Porzingis may have more upside, but Monroe is the proven commodity – which is why the Knicks want to sign him.
“Greg Monroe is a guy that you’ve seen play for the Pistons over the past few years,” Sheridan said. “You know what you’re getting if the Knicks are indeed going to get him. It’ll be interesting to see what level of players choose to come play (for) Phil Jackson because there’s a lot of teams with significant cap space that are out there chasing.”
Such as the Mavs, Lakers and Trail Blazers, to name a few – all of whom are in better situations than the Knicks.
“Well, guys don’t want to go to the worst team in the league – or the worst team in the Eastern Conference, because I don’t want to shortchange the Minnesota Timberwolves for what they accomplished last year,” Sheridan joked. “But there’s not a lot of talent on the team, and so that’s the tough sell for Phil. He could say to (free agents), ‘Look, we got Carmelo. We just got two No. 1 picks. We got Jose Calderon, who knows the triangle offense well.’ But he doesn’t have a lot else to sell. He could sell the allure of playing in Madison Square Garden, but that’s not a commodity like it once was. Coming to play in Madison Square Garden means having the pressure that’s extended all the way back to 1973. So it’s a tough sell for Phil. But to is credit, he’s out there and he’s pursuing a boatload of different guys. He’s got Plan A, Plan B, Plan C – all the way down to Plan Z. We’ll see how things shake out.”