Definitely Restricted: Ellis re-signs with Warriors, but Okafor, Deng, Gordon, Iguodala and Smith will wait for contracts
Translation: Ellis may have gotten his, but fellow restricted free agents Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, and Ben Gordon will spend more time waiting for the money. Right now, Okafor, Deng, and Gordon feel unwanted and -like cougar chicks trolling the bar at 2 am for a last call hook up- they just want something, anything from Charlotte and Chicago …
In three years, Monta Ellis has gone from shy teenager to multi-millionaire. Today, HoopsVibe news reported that he ended his short run as a restricted free agent, signing a six-year, 67 million dollar contract with Golden State.
No surprise here. The Warriors, after losing Baron Davis, had to keep their lightning quick guard. Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Corey Maggette will make Don Nelson’s crew competitive.
However, this signing probably won’t create a domino effect. Translation: Ellis may have gotten his, but fellow restricted free agents Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, and Ben Gordon will spend more time waiting for the money.
Right now, Okafor, Deng, and Gordon feel unwanted and -like cougar chicks trolling the bar at 2 am for a last call hook up- they just want something, anything from Charlotte and Chicago.
Expect the Bobcats and Bulls to ignore their desperate tactics and play hardball. Neither organization suffers from Enron disease, the condition where NBA teams give Bryant Reeves 66 million dollars or Jerome James 30 million dollars for four decent games.
Charlotte and Chicago also know they have leverage. Few teams have cap space and the Bobcats and Bulls can match other team’s offer sheets. So executives Michael Jordan and John Paxson can tell Okafor, Deng, and Gordon to explore the marketplace knowing they won’t receive much, if anything.
Then there is that small issue of winning. Okafor hasn’t gotten Charlotte near the post-season; Deng and Gordon both regressed with Chicago last year. Why would any team pay these good players star money?
Josh Smith and Andre Iguodala, Atlanta and Philadelphia’s restricted free agents, are different. Teams believe their athleticism makes them future superstars, while Okafor, Deng, and Gordon all have limitations. For example, Smith and Iguodala’s high-flying antics can dominate both ends, while Okafor is raw offensively, Deng has lapses, and Gordon is really a combo guard.
Problem is, the Hawks are the league wildcard. Nobody knows if their fractured management/ownership group will match offers for Smith or let him walk to boost profits. And Iguodala will likely stay in The CIty of Brotherly Love because the club recently added star Elton Brand.
Bottom line, restricted free agents will continue to wait for contracts and be stuck in drawn-out negotiations.