We’ve shifted our focus here at DRaT from the NBA Finals onto the NBA off-season. Geo continues our position-by-position free agent preview series with the power forwards.
Height: 6’9″ Weight: 250 lbs
Last Contract: 2 yrs/$20 million
2012-13 Stats: 17.1 PPG 7.7 RPG 2.9 APG 0.9 BPG 1.0 SPG 20.15 PER (Player Efficiency Rating)
Last Year’s Team: Indiana Pacers
Analysis: West is one of the few players I would not want to mess with on the court. With such brute strength on the low block, West is able to punish smaller power forwards and basically score at will. Although he might be aging, he is still a very effective player on the offensive end and on the glass.
After seeing stretch fours becoming more popular across the league, West is one of the very few players in his position that is capable of dominating in the low post area.
With a variety of post moves to go with a sweet mid-jumper, David West is a threat all over the court.
West has been Indiana’s locker room leader since he has been there, bringing his toughness and will to win to their organization. Since he has been there, Indiana has been considered a blue collar team, working hard on every possession regardless of the situation.
The Pacers have said that it’s their number one priority this off-season to bring the power forward back. With both sides showing mutual interest in one another, I find it hard to believe that West will sign elsewhere. Expect David West to be in a Pacers uniform next season. Update: West has reportedly agreed to a three year, $36 million deal to stay in Indiana.
Possible team(s): Indiana Pacers
Height: 6’9″ Weight: 225 lbs
Last Contract: 5 yrs/$58 million
2012-13 stats: 17.5 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.7 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 50.1% True Shooting
Analysis: Josh Smith is probably the biggest question mark in this year’s free agency group. On one hand, he has proven to be a valuable two-way player his whole career in Atlanta. On the other hand, he still hasn’t really come close to learning the value of high percentage shots and often does not bring defensive intensity on non-highlight reel plays. However, if there’s one thing we know about the NBA, it’s that potential pay$. To clarify, it’s not as if Smith will be earning this contract off potential. He’s undoubtedly proven the ability to put up gaudy individual statistics across the board and contribute at a near All-Star level (he’s probably the best player to have not made an All-Star team, if you give him seniority over Stephen Curry–a sure thing to make the next team). In my opinion, the value of the inefficient Smith is going to depend a lot on who he signs with. If Houston is somehow able to combine Smith and fellow free agent Dwight Howard, it’s going to be virtually impossible to score on them. Even just James Harden and the litany of other shooters Daryl Morey is sure to surround him with will provide acres of floor space that should give Smith the nudge to play in the paint where he belongs. I honestly think this hypothetical team could take a run at winning the Western Conference. On the other hand, if Smith lands in Detroit, we could see more lottery finishes in the future for the Pistons. While I like the core Detroit is putting together as a whole, I don’t think making Josh Smith “the man” is ever “the answer”. Smith needs to be part of an already strong culture that can elicit the many great positives in his game and eliminate the negatives. Regardless, he’s a very valuable talent and will undoubtedly receive a max contract from some lucky or unlucky team.
Possible teams: Pistons, Rockets, Hawks
*Smith, and this section, was included in Jake’s Small Forward preview as well, but plays both positions interchangeably. He could conceivably play small forward or power forward exclusively depending on where he signs.
Height: 6’8″ Weight: 253 lbs
Last Contract: 4 yrs/$26.4 million
2012-13 Stats: 14.6 PPG 7.1 RPG 2.6 APG 1.0 BPG 1.3 SPG 19.89 PER
Last Year’s Team: Utah Jazz
Analysis: He might not be the sexiest player available this off-season, but Paul Millsap sure seems to get the job done night in and night out. One of the more undersized power forwards in this league, Millsap has had success in this league with his hustle and constant energy throughout the course of a game. This type of play is needed in order to keep up with the bigger power forwards on opposing teams.
While lacking in the size department, Millsap is a great rebounder. He certainly will help any team who happens to sign him in that specific category. Most teams would love to have an energy type player like Millsap.
I do not think Utah should resign him this offseason, mainly because of the direction they are heading in. The Jazz are clearly trying to stay young and improving their organization the right way by going through the draft. With emerging young bigs like Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, it really doesn’t make sense for them to resign Millsap. Regardless, early reports have displayed a mutual interest between Millsap and Utah.
Possible teams: Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, other
Height: 6’9″ Weight: 248 lbs
Last Contract: 2 yrs/$8 million
2012-13 Stats- 10.8 PPG 6.0 RPG 0.8 APG 0.4 BPG 0.4 SPG 17.60 PER
Last Year’s Team: Golden State Warriors
Analysis- Carl Landry is one of the better bench players in the league today. A borderline starting PF, Landry is a good rebounder and has a very solid mid-range game.
Landry was a vital part of Golden State’s success last year, giving them a great spark off the bench. Playing Landry alongside David Lee last year turned out to be very successful and Landry was inserted into the lineup many times due to center Andrew Bogut battling injuries for much of the season.
Landry may not turn an entire franchise around, but he is definitely capable of being a key role player. Teams would love to have a solid big coming off the bench for them, in case their starters get in foul trouble or aren’t playing that well. Landry should receive a lot of interest around the league this off season. The Clippers are reportedly interested as Landry and Chris Paul enjoyed playing together in New Orleans.
Likely Teams- Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers