NBA Free Agency: Hakim Warrick, Anyone?

poy06_warrick_600pxCaught in the whirlwind of Dolan Salary Dumping 2009 was the quiet front of the Cavaliers and their never-ending plan to make this team better.  Many thought that the additions of Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon would be it until at least August when the team would then look to add another power forward or point guard.  Or both.

Thankfully, Brian Windhorst shed some light late last night: the Cavs are still not done adding pieces to the 2009-10 roster.  The latest comes on the forward front with a pretty solid name thrown in to the mix.

According to a league source, the Cavs have a contract offer out to a forward and are hoping to get an answer within the next few days. That forward is believed to be Hakim Warrick, a 6-9 athletic big man who has played the past four seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The team is believed to be offering its biannual exception, which would be just under $2 million for this season, plus a player option for the 2010-11 season.

Warrick, who is reportedly fielding a few offers from others around the league, had his name dangled right out of the gate this offseason as the team looked to add a power forward.  Sure, he was not as high on the list as others like Charlie Villanueva or even Trevor Ariza, but that did not mean that there was no interest.  Once the team added Jamario Moon, however, thoughts appeared to be shifting to the backcourt as some felt that we needed to address the depth behind Mo Williams and Delonte West as primary ball handlers. 

The recent release of Tarrence Kinsey coupled with the strong summer and potential guaranteed deal for Jawad Williams, and adding another guard would make that much more sense.

However, as the team currently stands, there is still a need for a power forward that can score points and contribute in the paint.  JJ Hickson showed flashes of potential to be the answer in this regard, but with his back issues continuing through the summer, Danny Ferry may have no choice but to add a player that can fill that gap.  For his career, Warrick has averaged 17 points, seven rebounds, one steal and a field goal percentage of 50 per 36 minutes.  He is not the best free throw shooter, and isn’t a defensive stopper, but he isn’t completely absent-minded on that end of the floor. 

Using net48 numbers in a vaccum is a bit misleading in Warrick’s case due to the fact that the Grizzlies were outscored very often last season.  Teams scored an average of four more points per game when Hakim was on the floor.  For comparison purposes, the Grizz gave up 6.4 points more when OJ Mayo was on the floor; Seven points more when Rudy Gay was on the floor. 

Some may be concerned about Warrick’s ability to hit the mid-range jump shot – eFG% of 37.2 on jumpers.  However, the bulk of his shots come with less than 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock showing that he does not take unneeded shots and has the mold of a strong role player.  His execution in the paint is what makes him an attractive option for this dollar amount.

Windhorst also touched on Leon Powe, Rob Kurz and even mentioned the sharp shooting Steve Novak.  Regardless of who the team lands between now and October, it has to be relieving to see a Cleveland team actually adding talent instead of shipping it off during the mid-summer months.

(Update: Warrick has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with Milwaukee.  No word on how much he will make while playing for yet another sub-.500 team.)

  • RockKing

    I feel somewhat confident that if Warrick passes on the Cavs, then Joe Smith will sign here. So either way, I’m feeling better about the Cavs’ ability to sign a quality PF. I do not want Kurz.

  • Ben

    Wow. We are going to have the strongest 10th-15th players in the league. You can’t argue with the deal at that price, but it’s going to be quite a shuffle for Mike Brown to find time for all the quality players at the end of the bench. And what’s going to happen if the realistic possibility plays out, and Moon and Warrick are better for the team than the 50 million dollar man?

  • Scott

    What if Kurz released a mixtape?

  • doogy

    We could sign both Joe Beast and Killa Kurz and have rap battles for the halftime show!

  • buu

    “What if Kurz released a mixtape?”

  • adam

    i love the idea of warrick.

    i am not one of the guys on the bandwagon to sign another gaurd. this team has lebron james who brings the ball up the court in crunch situations anyway. with mo and delonte thats all the bandhandling we need. another banger is exactly what this team needs. warrick is hyper athletic and will provide another body combat dwight howard and KG come playoffs. i am also not comfortable with jj/darnell being our first PF off the bench this season. they can continue to develop at a nice pace if we sign another 4 as opposed to a 1.

    make this happen!

  • DP Diesel

    His real name is Clarence… Clarence still lives with his parents, and Clarence’s parents have a happy marriage…

  • Jay

    Did he go to a private school too, DP Diesel?

    I’m on board with whatever Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Ferry want to do with the Cavs. I’ve drank the Kool Aid, and it tastes SO good.

  • DocZeus

    As a former Syracuse album (Class of ’06, Word To Carmelo), I will always fondly remember Hakim Warrick making the most important block in Syracuse history.

    I would love the signing.

  • TampaBrett

    Yes Please! No Joe Smiff

  • Scott

    Doc – I almost included that pic in the post. Great stuff.

  • Kevin Hignett

    #9 @DocZeus – I fondly remember exploding like a 10 year old who just got the BMX bike he wanted when Warrick blocked that shot. I would like this signing just fine.

    As an aside, has anybody else thought about the frighting athleticism of a line up with Shaq, Warrick, LBJ, Moon, and Delonte? Or just a fast break with Warrick, LBJ and Moon? Yes please! The thing DF seems to have emphasized above all this off-season is getting more athletic. Guys who can move and play multiple positions. Guys who can jump out of the gym. I like the direction the Cavs are going in.

  • Kevin Hignett

    OK that was supposed to be “frightening athleticism.” You get the point.

  • DocZeus

    @ Kevin Highnet.

    Imagine that closing out on Rashard in last year’s playoff instead of Ben Wallace’s Corpse… We win that series out right, 4-1.

  • JoseMesaIsDead

    Well, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo are massively overrated

  • Omega King

    As long as DF doesn’t say he wants “grinders” on his team, I’m on board.

  • Denny

    Reports are out that Warrick signed a one-year deal with the Bucks. Get ready for more helpings of Joe Beast, folks.

  • AMC

    Warrick would have been nice, but I’m fine with bringing back Smith. Whoever the Cavs sign to fill this role is going to end up fighting to be the 9th or 10th man with JJ and/or D-Block. I think having Smith in there to provide tutelage to the young fellas wouldn’t be a bad thing. He’d be like this year’s Lorenzo Wright, except not completely useless.

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  • DF

    Warrick would have been a solid spark plug forward coming off the bench who could help in the low post with someone like Dwight Howard as well as give Shaq, Varejao or Z some rest when they need it throughout the season.

    I am not so sure Joe Smith is worth spending the bi-annual salary on, especially with the potential to nab much better players in 2010 for cheap prices once all the big names (and the money) have dried up. The bi-annual exception will also prove vital next summer if the Cavs are to re-sign Lebron and are over the salary cap but still want to pick up a veteran player.