We’re drawing close to the one-week mark in the NBA’s free agency period and so far, Detroit (Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva) and Toronto (Hedo Turkoglu) made the initial big splashes. And Boston, according to Marc Spears of the Boston Globe, has reached an agreement with Rasheed Wallace, and slightly lower profiled players are getting attention.
The Wizards continue to have conversations with the representatives of players, and according to a league source, they did put in an inquiry with Antonio McDyess’ camp, but the asking price (which would require them to use the mid-level exception, but because of the tax would total roughly $10 million) is too high.
League sources tell me that Rasho Nesterovic, Channing Frye, Jason Collins and Jamaal Magloire have all drawn interest from the Wizards.
All four are unrestricted free agents, who remain on the market and are expected to have to settle for paydays in the neighborhood of the veterans minumum.
Nesterovic is an 11-year veteran, who last season earned $8.4 million while averaging 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes a game with the Indiana Pacers. He’s a solid low-post defender and average rebounder, but is a smart veteran-type player the Wizards could count on for five to 10 minutes a game.
Frye, a 6-foot-11 fourth-year power forward, no longer is in the Portland Trail Blazers’ plans. Last season, he earned $3.16 million and averaged just 4.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes a game. It’s believed that the Wizards would rather land a center, but Frye could come at a pricetag that would be in Washington’s wheelhouse.
Collins‘ eight-year career has largely been a disappointment, but at 7-foot, 255 pounds, he definitely has the big body that could spell Brendan Haywood and JaVale McGee for a few minutes. For his career, Collins — who earned $6.2 million last season — has averaged 4.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23.4 minutes of play. Last season, he mustered 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 31 games for Minnesota.
Magloire is a nine-year veteran, who last season earned just under $800,000 from Miami. He appeared in 55 games for the Heat during the 2008-09 campaign, averaging 2.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.9 minutes Magloire’s problem for much of his career has been health. But if the Wizards are looking for a 5- to 10-minute player to give a foul, he’s a low-cost/low-risk option.
As stated before in the last week, the Wizards aren’t rushing to make a signing, as they hope to sit back and see who the best available candidates are left standing.
One player the Wizards are not even considering, however, is Stephon Marbury. Despite reports that Washington is a favorite to land the guard, who wants a reunion with Flip Saunders, I’m told the interest is only one-sided, and Washington isn’t considering adding any more guards to what is an already crowded back court.
Stay tuned …
- Mike Jones