Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
The New York Knicks are reportedly making a surprise move: ESPN’s Marc Stein says the team is buying out forward Corey Brewer, who was a part of the three-team deal that landed them Carmelo Anthony. Brewer is an athletic forward – as you can tell by the poster on the right – and his defense was superb in college so most figured he could be an asset on that end of the floor for New York.
Stein says that Boston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas are currently in the mix for Brewer’s services with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls potentially having an interest in Brewer, too, though neither club has made a move just yet.
Of the six teams, the Celtics and Bulls need Brewer’s help the most. Boston needs another wing player that can defend for the playoff run after losing Tony Allen in the off-season and Brewer can certainly do that. If Chicago ends up making a play for Brewer, they could end up choosing him over Rasual Butler because he is young, more athletic and a bit better defender because of more agile frame.
Brewer is a horrid offense player, though, which is probably the main reason the Knicks, who put a premium on offensive production, are letting him go. Brewer is shooting 38% from the field on the season and is a career 31% shooter from three-point range. At this point, slamming home ferocious dunks is the only way Brewer can consistently score the ball.
The Washington Wizards acquired point guard Mike Bibby from the Hawks in a deadline deal that sent veteran combo guard Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta. Though there is little need for a point guard in Washington with John Wall having a firm grasp on the starting spot, Hinrich was the primary back-up for Wall and with Bibby gone, there are no other guards on the team that can effectively run point. Additionally, the first reports out of Washington had Bibby staying in town.
The Miami Heat are going to get Bibby according to ESPN. At this point, Bibby will add some effective perimeter shooting – he’s shooting 44% from three on the season – for the Heat but Carlos Arroyo is shooting 46% from deep on the season, so there’s no clear upgrade there. Bibby is a horrific defender at this stage in his career and he’s not much of a true point guard anymore as he was used off the ball quite a bit in Atlanta.
After being dealt to the Golden State Warriors as a part of the Deron Williams deal, power forward Troy Murphy has officially been bought out by the Warriors. The Orlando Magic were originally thought to be the favorites to land Murphy but right now Murphy is reportedly considering just two teams: the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, with Boston being the priority.
After being traded to the Nets in a four-team deal this off-season that included the Pacers, Nets, Rockets and Hornets, Murphy was expected to give New Jersey some much needed help on the glass as well as some outside shooting to stretch the floor next to Brook Lopez. Instead, Murphy played in just 18 games with the Nets and shot just 17% from three.
In theory, Murphy, who has never played in a single playoff game, which is the longest active streak in the league, can still add some help on the glass and some outside shooting to the Celtics or Heat but there’s got a reason he didn’t played much for the Nets this season and his defense will hurt him in his search for minutes on those two clubs.
The Los Angeles Clippers agreed to a buyout with guard/forward Rasual Butler and reports are that Butler plans to sign a contract with the Chicago Bulls. Several other teams are interested in Butler but the Bulls seem to be the frontrunner for his services.
Butler has made his mark in the league by playing solid perimeter defense. His long-range shooting is probably what got him his contract with the Clippers after he shot 39% from three with the New Orleans Hornets in 2008-2009 but he’s a career 36% three-point shoot – good not great – and he’s only made 32% of his triples in 41 games this season.
Tom Thibodeau will likely find a way to make Butler a rotation player behind Luol Deng at small forward and at the two guard. If Butler can hit the three ball at a better rate than before, which is possible if he’s more motivated to play for a contender, and he continues to defend, there’s a chance he can earn himself the starting two guard spot, which is wide open with Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer struggling.