When Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported on the signing of PJ Hairston, he casually made a reference that coach Steve Clifford wanted the team to sign a third center to the team. That would bring the Charlotte Hornets to a full 15 man roster, so how much of an impact this pickup would have is hard to say. It is likely that he would merely be an insurance policy. Since the Hornets have about $ 2 million under the cap, I decided to look at guys who might be fits but could fit under the cap.
Forget About It: A Quick List of Available Free Agent Centers that Won’t Come to Charlotte
All guys in this list are currently unsigned, but would want either more money or a larger role than the Hornets are going to provide.
Call Me Maybe? Guys with Question Marks
Gustavo Ayon, Hawks, 6’10”
Call Him: He’s a big body
Don’t Call Him: Ayon has been disappointing for three different NBA teams, and might not be in the League this year.
Greg Oden, Heat, 7’0”
Call Him: Maybe Oden can turn things around, he is still under 25 and the flashes of potential were there at Ohio State
Don’t Call Him: Oden can’t stay healthy and couldn’t embrace the opportunity of playing with LeBron in Miami.
Nazr Mohammed, Bulls, 6’10”
Call Him: He’s a dependable veteran with lots of experience, including time with the Bobcats
Don’t Call Him: A defensive liability, doesn’t match Clifford’s probable requirements for more defense oriented bench center
Aron Baynes, Spurs, 6’10”
Call Him: The Spurs drafted him. He must have something.
Don’t Call Him: He’s a restricted free agent, so the Spurs can match any offer. Also, when has anyone wanted to leave the Spurs?
Josh Harrelson, Pistons, 6’10”
Call Him: Harrellson displays good good work ethic and is a good passer
Don’t Call Him: Needs more defense and more rebounding
Jason Collins, Nets, 7’0”
Call Him: Guided many victories in NBA Street Vol 3 until you got Shaq. Offers length and intelligence for the little time he plays. Not afraid to foul.
Don’t Call Him: Might retire and write a book
Take a Flyer?
Ryan Hollins, Clippers, 7’0”
Hollins is still one of the unique athletes in the NBA with his length, and he can bother opposing big men. He still never really polished his offensive game, but that isn’t why you would bring him in. Does have the ‘been there done that’ problem that might steer either him or Charlotte away from each other.
Bernard James, Mavericks, 6’10”
The reason I think James is worth looking at has more to do with the energy he brought to defense at Florida State than what he did for the Mavericks over the last two seasons. My gut says that this is going to be a defensive guy, and James is the best combination of buy low, potentially higher ceiling of any of the guys above.
Please like our Facebook page, here.