The Knicks didn't waste much time replacing Rasheed Wallace on their roster, announcing in a press release that they have signed Earl Barron. The club announced earlier today that Wallace has retired.
Barron, like Quentin Richardson, who was inked to a deal yesterday by the club, is a former Knick. New York is one of seven teams Barron has played for during his seven-year NBA career. Most recently, the seven-footer appeared in 11 games for the Wizards earlier this season, averaging 2.5 PPG and 3.9 RPG with the team before he was released.
With many of the Knicks' injured bigs, including Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, and Kenyon Martin, expected back for the postseason, Barron is unlikely to receive significant minutes. However, he'll provide some frontcourt depth in case any of the Knicks' regulars are sidelined again.
8:01am: The team is planning on filling the open roster spots with backcourt reinforcements, sources tell Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
1:28am: The Wizards waived a pair of minimum-salary players overnight, cutting center Earl Barron and point guard Shaun Livingston, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The team confirmed the moves on its website. Barron's contract was non-guaranteed, and Livingston's likely was as well. Washington is left with the minimum of 13 players on its roster.
It's clearly a sign of cost-cutting for the Wizards, as both players made starts for the team within the last week. The release of Livingston is surprising, though, since that leaves the Wizards without any healthy point guards. Swingman Jordan Crawford has assumed much of the ball-handling duties while A.J. Price is on the mend from a broken hand, and John Wall remains out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left kneecap. Unless either of them is ready to return, the Wizards may once more look to the free agent market, as they did when they brought in Ben Uzoh and Blake Ahearn for workouts earlier this month.
The timing of the moves is a bit curious, since it wouldn't have cost the Wizards much to keep Livingston and Barron around until January 10th, when contracts become guaranteed for the rest of the season. The prorated amount the team paid for each per day was only about $5K, a relative pittance. If Price makes it back at the early end of his initial recovery prognosis of four to six weeks, he would do so before January 10th, which would make the case for the Wizards to keep Livingston, unless they simply prefer another short-term option. Derek Fisher was waived by the Mavericks today, but he reportedly wants to retire and spend time with his family in L.A., so it would make no sense for him to move across the country to play for the 3-22 Wizards.
Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast hard, but it won't postpone Thursday's clash between the Knicks and Nets in Brooklyn, as had been feared. That's just one of many intriguing openers this week, including the Celtics' visit to Miami, where the Heat were presented with their championship rings. As the NBA tips off, we'll share some Eastern Conference news to go along with our update from the West earlier this evening.
Perhaps the most surprising training camp cut was Quentin Richardson, whom the Magic waived despite $5.438MM worth of guaranteed money on his contract for the next two seasons. The surprising play of DeQuan Jones, who appears to have made the team on a non-guaranteed deal, pushed Richardson out the door, writes John Denton of Magic.com. There's plenty of other news about players coming and going today, in advance of the 4:00pm Central time deadline for teams to let go of camp invitees so that they clear waivers before rosters must be down to 15 players.
76ers point guard Jrue Holiday enters his fourth season as the youngest starting floor general in the Atlantic Division, and head coach Doug Collins appears confident in giving him the reigns to Philadelphia's offense: "I want that ball in Jrue's hands...I want our wings getting down the floor, I want Jrue to be the one getting that ball and pushing it. For the most part I want our guys sprinting the floor, getting down the floor and flattening it out and let Jrue come down and make plays." Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com also points out that the team now has more capable perimeter shooters compared to having to rely on multiple playmakers last year, which implicitly benefits the spacing on the floor and allows Holiday more room to operate. Here are a few more notes out of the Eastern Conference:
SEPTEMBER 19TH: The Wizards have officially signed Barron, the team announced today in a press release.
SEPTEMBER 11TH: The Wizards have agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed contract with Earl Barron, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The unrestricted free agent big man will receive an invitation to the team's training camp with a chance to earn a roster spot.
Barron, 31, has appeared in games for the Heat, Knicks, Suns, Bucks, Trail Blazers, and Warriors in his NBA career, meaning he'll have a chance to make the Wizards his seventh team in seven seasons. Outside of a moderately productive 2007/08 season with Miami and an impressive seven-game stint with the Knicks in 2009/10 (11.7 PPG and 11.0 RPG), Barron has never been more than a very limited contributor. He appeared in two games for Golden State last season before being waived.
Barron will be the 15th player under contract for the Wizards.
We'll track today's notable international transactions here:
The latest news regarding the Golden State Warriors on Thursday evening:
Barron, 29, has seen action with six NBA teams since 2005. The Warriors signed him following Kwame Brown's pectoral injury in January, though Barron appeared in just two games for Golden State.
Wright, 23, signed with the Warriors as an undrafted free agent prior to the season. He played in five games for Golden State before being sent to the D-League's Dakota Wizards. In three games for Dakota, he averaged 20.7 PPG and 10.0 RPG.