WHAT TO EXPECT OF THIS FREE AGENCY PERIOD
Once again a lot of teams are about to enter the free agency period. But this season it is going to be a little different. On one hand, this free-agent class is really weak, with just two players deserving to receive max offers, on the other one, just a few teams have money to make big offers because they have received some big contracts in the dispersal draft.
So let’s take a look at what teams can make a difference when the bidding war opens.
TIER 1. SOME MASSIVE CAP ROOM
1. Moscow Snow Bears. 51-29. 41.01 M in cap room
Interim GM Miguel del Monte Solari has made a great work to clear cap room to get a big signing while the rookie deals of Keniatta Davidson and Chris Acklin are still in the books. With the departure of Charlie Meyers and Comas Neetar, they have a need in the point guard and the center positions. Have we said that a center and a point guard are the best free agents out there? While Jervan Timmons looks like a lock to resign in Paris, Frank Mathiieu would be a great prize and a more realistic target. But we are sure that they would call a day if they can sign Hamilton Robbins, the third best player in the class and a good fit for this team. A pass first PG would make wonders too in Moscow.
2. Arizona Dragons 26-54. 31.2 M in cap room
Dan Dingleberry keeps working for Arizona to have a future. They have invested in young players, even trading their best player, Matias Gutierrez for a younger, cheaper, more team-oriented player like Inge Adlgasser. Humberto Saez still is improving and they have two talented youngsters to share the point guard duties. So Arizona desperately needs some help with the forwards while they decide if they want to resign Nicholas Evans, Meechy Jennings, and Valentin Ghesquier. JoJo Edwards seems like a viable option here
3. New York Firestorm 24-56. 30.79 M in cap room
With 24 wins last season, New York will have a hard time to spend this money without some severe overpaying. They have a good starting backcourt with Shelton Britton and Abel Debuisnes, but they need some reliable players at the forwards and some scoring at the center position. While they should try to sign young and promising players, with Abel being 30 years old, TJ could try to steal some veterans to improve the team record with short contracts.With no picks in next drafts, players like Pat London or Ahmed Dougherty could fit in this team.
4. London Disco. 33-47. 29.72 M in cap room
London has the money to spend and one mission. They need to build a team for the next two years to make Benet Da Gama happy to play for London. DaGama can be the best player in the league soon and it would be a massive hit if he leaves in free agency. So, they need to start winning as soon as possible, and they are probably out of the Jervan Timmons and Frank Mathieu sweeptakes. Earl Breese is smart enough to find a way to land some veterans with the cap room to keep this team competitive while Da Gama develops a little more. Pat London, Ahmed Dougherty, Omar Jefferson can help here, and they should consider playing as facilitators with that cap room in a trade to net some overpaid player.
TIER 2. WE COULD…TAKE ON THE WORLD (PURPLE TENTACLE VOICE)
5. Paris Honey Bees. 73-7. 25.08 M in cap room
Paris has to resign Jervan Timmons, of course, and he could end earning more than 20 million next season and eating most of Honey Bees’ cap room. Only Moscow seems like a rival for Paris to keep Timmons and we could say that he will stay with the champions. But GM Arceo is in a great position to end the competitive balance of the league. Let’s wonder he follows the Albacete route and sign a big name before resigning Timmons…yes the league would be of his own, and only a random event (not giving ideas) could fix the league.
TIER 3. ROOM FOR A MAX OFFER
6. Milan Mayhem. 47-33. 27.53 M in cap room
Angelo Bacchi and Bishop Stein have a lot of minutes in their legs and they cant lead Milan anymore, so the end of their contracts is great news for GM Esposito. Too bad that there isn’t a lot of talent available. With the best players remaining in Milan being 30 years old. Maybe its time for Espo to start thinking in retooling if not rebuilding. Some big offers to young players expected.
7. Toronto Dinos. 35-45. 21.58 M in cap room
The Dinos are deep in the backcourt, but extremely thin in the zone. signing some bigs seems like the first option. Besides they need to decide if Keanan Carrington and Latrell McDyess are coming back. In a perfect world, the Dinos sign Hamilton Robbins and then resign those two players. that would be a good way to maximize the prime years of Damien Bohm.
8. Capetown Zulus. 18-62. 15.29 M in cap room
When you have less than 20 wins you have two options to get good players. You can overpay a good but not great player (at some point you regret) or use that cap room wisely in a trade. GM Jay Harvey chose this second option and obtained Comas Neetar from Moscow. Neetar will lead the offense while Klaas Bissenshaum develops. Now they need to watch for another trade of a team desperate to clear some cap and then resigning Al Rozier.
TIER 4. I CANT OFFER THE MAX, BUT WAY MORE THAN THE MID LEVEL
9. Sidney Bloods. 35-45. 14.19 M in cap room
Sidney is a team with some impressive young talent. They just need someone to run their offense. With that purpose, the Bloods drafted Vito Paredes who will play with a chip in his shoulder after being selected late in the lottery. A player like Trevor Tomlin or Latrell McDyess would help while Paredes is ready. They would welcome some bodies to play power forward too
10. Gabon Giants. 50-30. 12.6 M in cap room
Simon has said that enough is enough and he wants to start competing now.With a little more that 20 M in cap space, they used part of it to land Kelley Brandon. Also the drafted the most ready to contribute player en the draft, even if he is 28 years old. I they can ose those 12 million in signing a good power forward, they are in a good position to challenge Albacete and Paris in the World Conference. Milton Michaels could be the man they covet?
11. Forth Worth Warriors. 47.33. 12.19 M in cap room
They have a mission. show some love to Frank Mathieu and pray that he resigns for the next five seasons.Trevor Tomlin, the iconic point guard is a free agent too. If just Gustavo Follana could use that cap space before having to pay Mathieu and Tomlin. Maybe a big and a combo guard capables of contibute will make Gustavo happy…if he is around the team.
TIER 5 MID-LEVEL EXCEPTION TERRITORY
12. Shanghai Pandas 41-39. MID AND LOW LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
Goodbye Pirates, hi Pandas!!! We can only hope that this change of scenario and needless to say the money around the move will make the Pandas move in the right direction. Right now, the team is a mess they are paying Crowley and Harrelson almost 30 million combined. With less than 6 million in cap space, it is hard to wonder how they can find a building block. The best operation for the Pandas would be clearing cap space for next season and trading some of their marketable players for young talents or picks. At least they have their own pick that seems to be good. They always can resign Vitor Morales, but hes not good enough. A sign and trade would be a great option.
13. Frankfurt Fury. 34-46.MID AND LOW-LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
We really like the direction this franchise is taking. Some time have passed since the Multiversegate and the light is at the end of the tunnel for the Fury. Onibiyo, Lamerand and Ott was a good young trio, and Mr Sharits has managed to trade for the top pick and land the best prospect in the draft in Pribislav Hecimovic. Omar Raoumbe and Jim Koons are very good veterans to help these youngsters, but they are thin at the center spot. They should use the exception in a player like Keanan Carrington to patrol the zone. I have the concern that the Hecimovic-onibiyo duo is too short. Crazy idea, pack Raoumbe’s contract with Onibiyo and you have a star in a trade.
14. Boston Massacre. 54-26. MID AND LOW-LEVEL EXCEpTIONS
Always a great team, Boston just needs that extra push to contend for the title. They seem to have learned from the past, Michael Askins is not a real point guard and Chris Dao is a good player but he will never be a star. They will try to solve both issues in just one move, moving Dao for Andrew Holmes, a more traditional point guard, allowing Askins to move to a more convenient shooting guard position. Askins, Holmes, Keating and Weidner form a really good building block, but they lack some power at center. Look for the to fix it with the exception. Carrington, Justice Grant and Hugo Gutierrez are waiting for calls.
15. Mexico City Hellcats. 14-66. MID-LEVEL AND LOW-LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
after a 14 wins season, the Hellcats received some great news. First, the landed the top pick in draft which they used to trade down and load the team with some needed young talent. Then, due to the league contraction they were awarded with the top pcik in the expansion draft, selecting Jeremy Sims, a player who will gime the Hellcats 20 more wins by himself. Finally, Sergio Gutierrez came back to command the operation, always good news to hear. Of course with Sims’ deal and the albatross contract of Casey Pointer, Mexico is capped out, and the should look to resign JoJo Edwards and use the money remaining to get a backup guard
16. Colorado Pioneers. 37-43. MID-LEVEL AND LOW-LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
For some time, Colorado has kept the same core, and while they are good, this core is aging and each season the wins column decreases.Devine is 33, Lyons 32 and as sad as it sounds, Tony Henderson is wasting his prime with the Pioneers. There is no young talent, and it is no easy to find it with the exceptions. Marc is wise enough to know what he needs to do, but is he interested? We are pretty sure that lyons and Henderson would give picks and young players to Colorado.
17. Los Angele Gargoyles 41-39. MID LEVEL AND LOW LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
Let’s start with the bad news. Gargoyles’ best three players are over 30 years old. It gets worse, as they make 50 million combined. So they are good enough to win at least 30 games preventing them to get good picks but probably bad enough to win a single game in the playoffs if they were capable to be a top 8 team. The young players don’t look capable to start here, so, barring some major improvement of the young players or some trade, the Gargoyles need to be worse before start improving.
18. Barcelona Counts. 52-28. MID LEVEL AND LOW LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
Do you think Rondall, i mean, Corey will allow Hamilton Robbins to go? Is he willing to max him out. We all know the answer NO and NO. But with the lack of quality players in this draft someone is going to bite and offer the max to Robbins. Drafning Walt Jackson in the expansion draft is a great decision bucause he is a great player who fills a void in the Count’s lineup. Signing some backup bigs with the exception will be the best decision for Barcelona
19. Brooklyn Rage. 63-17. MID-LEVEL AND LOW-LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and Rondall haunting for a bargain with his mid-level exception. These are the three traditions I know from my American friends. Brooklyn loses two players after ending their contracts in Ed Rhodes and Marvin Lofton. and you can bet they will make a run at Omar Jefferson with the mid-level exception.
20. California Fighting Cocks.69-11. MID LEVEL AND LOW LEVEL EXCEPTIONS
Thank God California is a rich state, the Fighting Cocks are the team with the biggest payroll in the league. Unfortunately, most of the players are on the wrong side of the curve. while they are still formidable, some help at the guard rotation and the center would help a lot. Someone like Justice Grant or Napoleon Carter would give them some needed depth
21. Miami Xtreme. 29-51. MID LEVEL EXCEPTION
They are so close to their budget that they won’t be able to use the low level exception. Besides they should consider resigning Arturo Fonzareli, without Bird rights, aguably team’s best long range shooter. Drafting Almantas Talacka definitely helps from a talent standpoint, but at least this season they have zero flexibility. They need to shoose between Arturo and a younger, that not better option. Miami is another team which should consider trading away some veterans and build around Omar Rozier talent
22. Salt Lake City Fanatics. 36-44. 6.8 M OF THE MID LEVEL EXCEPTION
Another team really close to their budget. The good news, to say something is that the Fanatics have 16 players under contract and they don’t need to sign anyone, well unless they want to make the playoffs (if the even care about it)
TIER 6: DAMN!!! WE ARE *******
23. Las Vegas Gamblers. 27-53. 4.5 M under their budget
You can’t say that Mr Morfeld is not trying. Las Vegas gave it all and traded for Clement Trentesols, arguably a top 5 player in the league when he’s not injured. With Ed Summerall, Vester Friedrich, Keanan Holter, and Justin Hill we are talking about a playoff team (with that big IF about Clement’s health. If he is smart enough, he will sign a center ready to contribute when “you know who” is sidelined.
24. Cancun Outlaws. 46-34. 3.84 M under their budget
Year 1 after the Ticketgate. When you have your arena empty for a whole season, your owner doesn’t want to spend a single dime. This is going to be a looooong season for the Outlaws, but GM Fallum knows the business and has the ability to clear every single contract next offseason, I don’t remember that happening in the league history.
25. Cincinatti Hitmen. 29-51. 1.8 M under the budget.
Try to fill every hole in Cincinatti with minimun contracts. It is not an easy task. They lack talent everywhere, and the only bright spot is the addition of Lon Johnson in the expansion draft. Not a lot they can do unless they are trading players to contenders for some ending contracts or draft considerations
26. Albacete Burning Hell. 65-15. 0.2 M under their budget
The Burning Hell didn’t have a lot of room for free agents, but they used the little they had to trade for Matias Gutierrez. While Albacete has major talent at most of the positions, they should consider signing some forwards. There are rumors around the league that Albacete is renegotiating some contracts and looking to trade a player to make room for the mid-level exception. If they can do it, expect them to sign a forward capable of shooting the ball