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11 a.m. ET, 1/11/07
Webber's Next Move
Posted by Marty Burns
Chris Webber has expressed an interest in joining a championship contender.
Harry How/Getty Images
So where will Chris Webber wind up, now that he has been freed from his Philadelphia purgatory?
Well, we know where the five-time All-Star won't be heading: the Warriors (Don Nelson), the Kings (been there, done that) and the Bullets/Wizards (ditto). Judging from his past comments, C-Webb also won't be going to any city that doesn't have decent soul food takeout.
Jokes aside, Webber reportedly has narrowed his list to five teams: the Heat, Pistons, Lakers, Mavs and Spurs.
Look for Detroit to make a serious bid for Webber's services. According to a Pistons team source, the club is very interested in adding the 6-foot-10 forward to shore up its frontcourt depth. On Webber's end, the Pistons would give him a chance to play for a championship in his hometown. The major snag for Detroit is that it already has used up its mid-level exception, so it would be able to offer Webber only a prorated share of the veteran's minimum ($1.2 million).
The Heat, by contrast, still have their full mid-level exception, worth $5.2 million (though it would also be prorated). Miami likely would not offer anywhere near the full amount out of luxury tax concerns, but it could offer enough sweetener to make it worthwhile for C-Webb to snub his hometown squad. The Heat almost lured Webber's pal Jalen Rose to South Beach earlier this season before the fellow Fab Fiver decided to take less money in Phoenix.
By far the most intriguing option for Webber would be the Lakers. L.A. needs another big man, especially with Kwame Brown injured, and Webber's ability to pass the ball and knock down open shots would seem to make him a good fit for the triangle offense. C-Webb's defense would drive Phil Jackson crazy, but it would be a low-cost gamble for a Lakers squad that appears close to challenging the likes of the Mavs, Suns and Spurs for Western supremacy.
As for the Spurs and Mavs, they appear to be longshots. San Antonio is trying to get younger and more athletic, which Webber is not. Dallas would seem a better fit, but the Mavs can't offer much playing time with Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki holding down the forward spots.
Two teams that apparently will not be in the running for Webber's services are the Knicks and Nets. Webber says he wants to play for a contender, which would eliminate New York. New Jersey, which recently lost center Nenad Krstic to a season-ending knee injury, would offer a better chance to win, but Nets GM Rod Thorn said Wednesday that the club had not spoken to Webber's representatives. It was possible, Thorn said, that Webber already had a deal in mind with another team.
Thorn and the rest of the NBA will find out soon, probably by Monday. Since paperwork on Webber's buyout wasn't expected to be completed until Thursday, and league rules require two business days to clear waivers, that's the earliest he could sign with another team.
Seems like Detroit is the most likely destination for C-webb. It's the only town that still appreciates who he is, and it's the only team that actually could make use of his services. On a side note, is anyone else sick of this trend? C-webb was supposed to make Philadelphia respectable again (along side Allen Iverson) but he had such a crappy attitude that Philadelphia had to work for him, instead of the other way around. And now that he complained and moped enough to get bought out (yet still pocket most of his bloated contract), he wants to join a contender. Where does he get the right? C-webb couldn't MAKE a contender, so now he wants to PLAY for a contender. He should've sucked it up, realized he was one of the league's highest paid players, and tried to deliver a few wins to the team that actually took a chance on his services; even with that ridiculous contract.
I hope the Washington Wizards seriously consider adding Chris Webber to a front line that is hobbled right now. At this point of Webber's career, it's not fair to expect 20 points, 13 rebounds a game. What you can probably expect is a solid contributor. He's at best the third option on offense.
If we were to join the Wizards, his passing skills would be best utilized in Eddie Jordan's Princeton offense, which is similar to the type of offense he played in Sacramento. More importantly, Chris wouldn't be expected to carry the load as the Wiz have three potent scorers.
Webber didn't want to leave DC during his first stint here. I don't know how addition of Webber would affect the solid chemistry for the Wizards right now, but he would definitely provide a low-post presence and could best utilize his passing skills in Eddie Jordan's offense.
Whoever is dumb enough to give Webber a multi-year contract gets him, plain and simple. My guess there is that the Heat would be willing to do that because they are plummeting and Webber would be good feeding off Shaq and Wade...however, imagine Walker and Webber in the same lineup, I'm already laughing at the combined attempt to rebound and play defense.
Being a Pistons fan and a former Maize and Blue fan, the prospect of Webber coming to Detroit is intriguing. To be real though, at best he would be a 7th or 8th man, especially when Billups comes back.
The Wizards move a little too fast for old CWebb. The Lakers actually have the best offensive scheme for him with the utilization of his passing skills in the triangle. Detroit is the only other real viable option. He has to be in a half court offense since he really cannot get up and down the court that fast.
I don't know why people always been harsh with C-Webb, he did made Sacramento a real contender after all and the Philly move was a mistake but last year he did bring 20 pts and 10 rbds. a night in 76 games ! Lakers would be the best fit for him but the Spurs could also use its touch and shooting and they already have great defenders around. So wherever C-Webb goes, I wish him the best for the rest of his career.
i would really love to see C-Webb in a Nets jersey,it makes sense we lost Kristc for the year so there would be a lot of playing time for him there, plus imagine a line up that consisted of Moore,Webber,Jefferson,Carter,Kidd in my opinion the best in the league.
I'm with M. Crose, above. It's the same across all sports, though most visibly the NBA: watching creaky malcontents vie for a ring in whatever city is shrewd enough to overpay for their services.
From Payton and (yes) Malone in LA to Walker and... um, Payton again, in Miami, watching the "who's got the best chance to validate my career?" scramble of the NBA's hangers-on makes me wistful for the days when stars switched teams in the middle of their careers (Barkley to Phoenix, for example), rather than the twilight, when their services are in decline and their motives that much more desperate.
The Magic need to go after Webber, their former number one pick. He would get plenty of playing time beside Dwight Howard and he would get credit for bringing them to the next level, instead of simply joining a team that is already there (Detroit, SA, LA).
The Lakers or Pistons are clearly the best choice for C-Webb. C-Webb would fit well in the Lakers offense due to his passing ability and his strong mid range jumpshot. None of the top four Western teams play defense anyway, so Webber's inability to cover even Jerome James will not be much of a liability.
In Detroit, the overall strong defense of the rest of the team can protect Webber. He and Wallace can really open the floor with wing shooting and make things easier for Prince, Hamilton and Billups to play to thier strength which is slashing to the basket.
Oh and for the record... THE KNICKS ARE A CONTENDER!! Of all NBA teams, the Knicks have played the most games in the fewest number of days. They also did it without a cupcake schedule like NJ and Toronto had. Moreover, the Knicks have had key players miss huge chunks of the season. Richard has missed 13 games, Robinson 10, Frye missed 4 weeks, Jefferies missed 6 weeks, and Francis is basically done for the year. With the key players back, the Knicks should be considered an Eastern conference contender. The Knicks have beaten the Bulls, Cavs and Pistons this year. Each of those teams are contenders, so the Knicks must be considered contenders too!!
I am relieved to see Webber out of Philly. He is no longer even close to being the player he was before his surgery, but in his delusion he thinks of himself as an All-Star. This year's awful play aside, last year he was the softest 20-10 guy I'd ever seen, and his complete lack of mobility on defense negated any offense he provided. It's no coincedence that last year with Webber out and the far less offensively minded Steven Hunter filling in that the team actually performed at a much higher level. So long C-Webb, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
I'm so sick of the Knicks being mentioned for every crappy player on the market. Granted we've had some terrible contracts before, but C-Webb makes less than no sense, yet every website had him on the Knicks as of yesterday. I'm glad today they finally got it right, and with David Lee, Channing Frye, etc. there's no room for Webber. Good luck with him Detroit. He will kill your fast breaking ability.
Detroit definately could use a good player to sure up the front court, but is C-Webb that player? Especially with Jason Maxiell playing so well as of late. Can we just give Maxiell Webber's height? Now that would be a deal worth considering!
Season ticket holder for the Washington Wizards writing -- C-Webb coming to Washington would be a move in the wrong direction. This franchise is in need of a tough, low-post presence...which is NOT what the aging Webber can provide. Let's just stick with Jamison for now. Going to the Pistons would be a great PR/Marketing move for the franchise but how would Webber co-exist with former Bullet's teammate, Rasheed Wallace? They weren't able to get along here in Washington.
This one is a no-brainer C-Webb is going home folks to Detroit. Detroit is the only team that can offer him a real chance to play in the finals and offer him real playing time and most likely a starting spot. Webber would move Nazr M to the bench and would join Sheed, Tay, Billips and Hamilton for the best starting five in basketball. With that kind of support cast C-Webb won't need to average 20pts and 10 boards a game something like 13 pts and 9 boards would be enough on the Pistons squad. I be willing to bet Mr. Dumars has already called Chris and offered that starting position.
The LA Lakers adding C-Webb or not would not be advancing out the West so no NBA finals chance there with Dallas and The Spurs.
This is not about money this is about real playing time, home cooking and a realistic shot at playing in the finals and Detroit has all of that for Chris Webber.
It's amazing how perceptions of a player change. I remember when CWebb entered the league he was a dynamic and athletic with good hands and super poor shooting. Over the course of his career he has improved his shooting significantly, and improved his passing. Sure his rebounding and lateral quickness and explosiveness have gone as years has passed by, but i don't know why people are so hard on him, saying he doesn't venture into the paint. Point is, he does what he can do with his available skills.
I hope he goes to LA, his passing and mid range shooting should aid their triangle offense.
My side actually hurts. Knick fans who actually think they are a contender. The only thing they are contending for is the best lottery pick. Ohhhhh, my side. Ouch! And the other one being sick of having the Knicks mentioned for every washed-up player. Have you been keeping track? The only thing less shocking than adding C-Webb would be for Kidd to rupture both knees and then get a max deal from the Knicks. Poor, pathetic Knicks. Ohh, my side!
Are you people serious. Chris Webber is by FAR the worst defensive PF in the NBA. He wont bring you a championship. He's barely mobile enough to even play. Although he can still really pass well, and shoot effectively. His defensive liabilites will counter any skills he would provide on the offensive end of the court
I think Houston would be a good fit. The rockets need more frontcourt depth (especially with Yao out) and they are a contender once Yao comes back. They also play a slow paced game, which is what would suit Webber in his current condition.
Let's get something straight here, folks. The Pistons' offense is about to get a lot smarter and a lot wider. Chauncy, Rip, 'Sheed, Webber, and Prince as a unit would combine for the most lethal set of shooters in the league today. Add a still-solid defense, and the spruced-up frontcourt, the Pistons are back home: the NBA Finals.
In theory, it would seem that Webber is a good fit for the triangle, but I'm pretty sure that Jackson is not a fan of his game. And his lack of willingness to defend is the biggest reason. While it's true the Lakers need a passing big man, Webber is definitely not the one.
I hope he stays in the East. Despite his decreasing numbers Webber is still a force in the paint, combining scoring, rebounding and distributing the basketball. He should end up with either Miami or Detroit. Please, C-Webb, do not go to the (already loaded) West!
C-Webb will go to Miami: imagine: Jwill (former teammate in Sactown, the most spectacular combo at the end of '90) and D-Wade, Posey and the Diesel... plus CWebb!! the comeback of Pat on the bench... and the experience of the bench + Dorell Wright! Fear of the Heat in april, may... and june!! Back to back in creation! (all Italy is with Bargnani!! Go Andrea, next rookie of the year!!)
I think it will be the best for Webber to sign with the Bulls. This will give him enough playing time that he wants, something that most of the other contenders can't give him. On the Bull's part, they always need a low post threat and Webber certainly could be the answer to their woes.