Three big men of note (ie not Darko) have been amnestied recently. I saw the Blazers linked to each, but we didn't end up with any of them (no idea whether we submitted lowball bids or none at all). Each is quite a bit older than our core, but all are quality players who would have provided us some on-court value now, and given the low costs they went for, possible trade value down the road. Did we make a mistake in not adding one of them (discussed in turn after the jump)?Brand went at $2.1m for one year. He's not the player he was in his youth (now 33), but he still rebounds, defends, scores a little in the post, shoots mid-range jumpers, and can cover both the 4 and the 5. He could have started next to Aldridge or played next to Leonard or Freeland in the 2nd unit (only guy he doesn't complement well is Hickson), and at that price he'd definitely have trade value to a contender dealing with frontcourt injuries/depth issues at the deadline. Could we have bid $2.5m for a year of veteran mentorship plus a late 1st or fringe prospect? This is the guy I wanted us to get.
Haywood went at about $6m for three years. Even better fit than Brand (true center to start next to Aldridge and lessen pressure on Leonard), he's a non-entity on offense but rebounds and protects the rim. Downside is the longer contract but probably still has positive trade value coming this cheaply (ie if Leonard blows up and takes the starting spot). Still definitely would have taken him at the price.
Scola went for about $10m for three years. Objectively probably the best player of the three, he's also the worst fit (probably only works as a backup to Aldridge and duplicates Hickson there), but he would still represent a trade asset at this price. I'm fine with us not putting a bid in on him given the lack of fit, though.
We knew before the amnesty auctions that we had Aldridge, Hickson, Leonard, and Freeland for bigs. There was a spot for a veteran 4/5-man, either to be filled by holding onto Kurt Thomas or getting someone else in FA/trade. Effectively, we decided to fill this role with Jared Jeffries rather than one of the amnestied guys above. I've got nothing against him on the team (and his non-guaranteed future years might help in trade themselves), but I would have preferred filling that spot with one of Brand or Haywood.
What do you think: opportunity missed, or wise to pass on these guys?