Veteran Point Guards Still Available
The list, though, did get shorter with the news that Mike Wilks will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
"I think he's got a decent shot to make the team,'' Wilks' agent, Bill Neff told FanHouse on Wednesday. "They don't have a lot of guards.''
Wilks missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. But Neff said he's now fine.
Even with Wilks off the market, teams still have plenty of choose from when it comes to veteran free-agent point guards. Neff has a pair of clients still available in Jason Hart and Troy Hudson, looking to return to the NBA after sitting out all of last season.
There's Flip Murray, a combo guard who is being looking at by Denver. True point guards available include Stephon Marbury, Brevin Knight, Tyronn Lue, Bobby Jackson, Jacque Vaughn, Carlos Arroyo and Juan Dixon.
There are a pair of notable restricted free agents still available in Nate Robinson and Raymond Felton. Robinson's agent, Aaron Goodwin, has told FanHouse it's "100 percent'' his client will return to New York. And Felton's agent, Kevin Bradbury, expects his client will return to Charlotte.
"Ray has directed us to get a deal done,'' Bradbury told FanHouse. "We're still in discussions. We're hopeful. ... There's a lot of uncertainties around the league and around the world. Teams are looking at the bottom line and seeing what's going to work for them.''
With this being such a tough economy, aside from Robinson, Felton and Murray, most of the other veteran free-agent point guards might have to take non-guaranteed deals in order to get with a team before training camps open later this month. And that could make it tough to land on an opening-night roster.
The economy will force teams to carry fewer players this season. Teams usually have a third point guard, but some could look to instead have a combo guard fill that role in order to save a roster spot.
"It's been a tough summer,'' said Neff, who regularly has had veteran point guards as clients and was able to get Kevin Ollie a guaranteed deal earlier this summer with Oklahoma City.
Neff has been trying to place Hudson with a team, but that really has been tough. Hudson hasn't played since he had hip surgery in January 2008 and being waived that same month by Golden State.
"He's healthy, but it's difficult to get back in (the NBA) when you've been out,'' said Neff, who said Hudson "dazzled'' in workouts this summer with New York and one in Las Vegas watched by scouts from Detroit, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia.
It's especially difficult in an economy that has resulted in a number of respected point guards still waiting by the phone in mid-September.
"It's a different type of year,'' Bradbury said. "Teams are going to carry less players. And there's going to be a shortness somewhere (on rosters).''
FREE AGENT UPDATES: Portland is looking to sign a big man, and might be willing to give him guaranteed money. Free agents who have worked out in Portland recently are Jarron Collins, Stromile Swift, Greg Ostertag, Juwan Howard and Paul Davis, with Collins perhaps the favorite.
Free-agent big man Calvin Booth, 33, is considering retirement after playing 10 NBA seasons. Booth has played sparingly in recent seasons.
Kurt Looby, a center who averaged 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last season in the NBADL with Rio Grande Valley, will attend Denver's camp on a non-guaranteed deal.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org