Andrew wrote this morning that the Celtics should have been more patient, now having a shot at bigger frontcourt contributors Drew Gooden and Joe Smith, but with Mikki Moore and a full roster, Gooden and Smith will have to find another team to suit up for. Turns out, they’re not the only ones.
As GMs cut ties with players before Sunday’s deadline to still be playoff eligible, giving them a chance to participate in the postseason, who will snatch them up? Unless you’re contending, you’re not really looking to spend money, but if you have title aspirations, here are five guys who just became available (since the Knicks just signed Cheikh Samb) and where they’re most likely headed:
Drew Gooden (Kings to Spurs)
Since before the trade deadline, the Spurs have been looking for help in the frontcourt. At 6-10, 240 pounds, Gooden could be just that. Formerly the 4th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft with career averages of 12 and 8, who wouldn’t want Gooden coming off the bench for cheap? If the Spurs can manage to get this done, he will help them in their quest to make it back to the Finals. Remember, it is an odd year.
Joe Smith (Thunder to Cavaliers)
It’s been a tough career for Smith. Almost fifteen years after he was the 1st pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, Smith finally has a chance to choose a situation where he came contribute and hopefully get that allusive ring he’s been chasing since his days at Maryland. Although there was word last week that the Nuggets were interested in bringing him back to Denver, his best chance is in Cleveland.
Stromile Swift (Nets to Suns)
Of all the players on this list, Swift could be the wild card. You know what you’re getting out of Gooden and Smith each and every night, but Swift has been locked in the Nets’ dungeon for so long, he’ll be happy just to see some sunlight. With Amar’e Stoudemire shelved with his eye injury, the Suns may have found just the man to fill the void. Nine years after he was the 2nd pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, let’s call him, Amar’e Light.
Luther Head (Rockets to Nets)
After the Nets waived Swift last night, word out of New Jersey is that they are most likely going to pursue Head. Remember, just two years ago Head was averaging double figures in significant time for the Rockets, but for some reason fell out of favor. If given the chance to play, Head could be a significant pickup for the end of the season and/or the future.
Jason Hart (Clippers to Nuggets)
He hasn’t done much this season, but Hart is a veteran and a legit backup PG. Word out of Los Angeles is that Hart will ink a deal with the Nuggets, signifying their desire to pickup all the necessary pieces as they hope to make some noise in the Western Conference playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Adonal Foyle (Grizzlies to Magic)
Acquired by Memphis at the trade deadline as part of the Rafer Alston deal, there have been reports coming out of Orlando that Stan Van Gundy would love to have Foyle back in town. Just like Brent Barry and the Spurs last season, under League rules, he can’t return to the Magic for 30 days from the trade. Having only appeared in five games this season, Foyle had been serving mainly as an additional assistant coach and mentor to Dwight Howard.