NBA Free Agency: Recap Of Latest Moves And Woes Addressed

Mo Williams
Mo Williams
Apr 17 2013 Memphis TN USA Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams 5 brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum Spruce Derden USA TODAY Sports

At this part of the off-season, NBA Free Agency is like that baddie that won’t die in a horror film. No matter how badly you want it to go away, because anyone semi-interesting has already been swooped up, it just presses onward to an ugly finale.

Alas, moves are still being made by teams across the power ranking gamut who are looking to address issues with their second, third, or hybrid units. If you don’t think the strength of a team’s bench is important, even in playoff time when rosters shrink, then you didn’t see how badly the Indiana Pacers needed it in last year’s ECF.

With that said, here are the latest free agency signings and what bench, or even team, woes they help address.

Mo Williams

Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Woes Addressed: Backup Point, PPG, Low Assist Numbers, Three-Point %, Fast Break Inefficiencies, Second Unit & Team Leadership

This pickup by Portland is a major win.

It only further removes the Trail Blazers from their long-lived bench deficiencies, puts a serviceable point behind Lillard that should free up the young man’s legs some, and addresses a lot of Portland’s biggest problems. Portland is middle-of-the-pack when it comes to Points Per Game, shot a lot of threes but only made them at a rate that was 19th-best, and stinks at the fast break. Mo can score, shoots the three well and allows a coach to have Lillard or Williams himself play at the 2, and is a speedy guard who can maneuver a fast break.

He’s not known for his leadership skills but they might develop in this context. Not only can his positional expertise help young talent like Lillard learn tricks of the trade but he’ll also play to the strength of the second unit’s developing youngsters (like Thomas Robinson, C.J. McCollum, and Meyers Leonard).

Beno Udrih

Team: New York Knicks

Woes Addressed: Low Assist Numbers (X3), Ball Movement & 2014 Free Agency Wiggle Room

Solid grab by the Knicks. Nothing to throw a parade outside of MSG about but Udrih will be a nice step toward resolving major assist and ball movement afflictions. With Smith coming off of knee surgery, and on small lineups when Iman Shumpert is plugged in at the 3, Udrih can be a point to Raymond Felton‘s or Pablo Prigioni’s shooting guard. Not the soundest strategy but the Knicks don’t seem to care about having one anyway, and they went with something similar last year.

They also signed Udrih to a one-year deal, which will let them pursue big names in 2014.

Jannero Pargo

Team: Charlotte Bobcats

Woes Addressed: Point Guard Depth & Outside Shooting

Pargo isn’t the kind of point guard that will help the Cats dig themselves out of NBA hell. They currently are 26th in PPG, 27th in RPG, 29th in APG, and 29th in Points Allowed Per Game. Ouch.

But at least by keeping him the Bobcats retain a somewhat average third stringer at the point position who is a career 35.2% from three-point land. The Bobcats roster is starting to look like…wait for it…an NBA basketball roster! So that’s something.

Anthony Tolliver

Team: Charlotte Bobcats

Woes Addressed: Frontcourt Woes & Rebounding

Again, the Bobcats need a reality check if they think Tolliver is going to get them out of the gutter. But Tolliver is better than Jeff Adrien, who would be their third rotation power forward, and gives them added size―which they’ve desperately needed for some time.

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Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles