While a notable list of jobless NBA-caliber players sat on the open free-agent market longer than expected this summer — anybody know what Larry Hughes is up to? — a few in particular are surprisingly still being ignored. Take Flip Murray. You would figure more than a handful of teams could use what Flip brings to the table, that being straight-up buckets off the bench. But Flip hasn’t been getting much interest (they do say scorers come a dime-a-dozen), so now he’s doing what has seemingly become the fad for really talented guards who can’t stick on one team: Exploring playing in China. If Flip, Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson end up playing in the same All-Star Game next year, it could be the first-ever basketball game with zero assists … Actually, we might have to scrap the Iverson thing. Word is A.I. wants more money than the team in China that wants him is trying to pay, so that deal may fall through … If he ever does get back into the NBA, A.I. can talk to Mike Bibby about accepting a backup role. Whether it happens Opening Night or at some point during the season, Jeff Teague is going to take Bibby’s job in Atlanta. The second-year pro has added some muscle, worked on his jumper and has the green light from new Hawks coach Larry Drew to run the show. This actually isn’t a bad thing for Bibby; he can come in off the bench and focus on what he does best, shooting and making plays in crunch time. But if he’s not starting and his minutes are up-and-down, does this mean he stops clipping his nails on the bench after the first quarter? … We’re still not done with Brian Scalabrine? The Bulls are rumored to be interested in signing Scal, who would give them, um, something they can see that we can’t. Maybe Tom Thibodeau is homesick and just needs somebody to hang out with … Weirdest personnel move we’ve seen in a while came from the NFL yesterday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers cut backup quarterback Byron Leftwich — but plan to re-sign him on Monday. Leftwich, who was slated to be the starting QB during Ben Roethlisberger‘s suspension, hurt his knee in the preseason and can’t play right now anyway. So the team let him go in order to use that roster spot for another D-lineman in today’s game against Tennessee. Then they’re going to bring Leftwich back. The NBA equivalent would be when teams trade a guy knowing his new team is going to waive him, then re-sign him for cheap (see the Cavs and Zydrunas Ilgauskas) but usually it’s not even that quick of a turnaround … We’re out like Leftwich, briefly …
Smack / Sep 19, 2010 / 3:16 am
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