Uncontested Shots: The Latest On Reggie Miller, Leon Powe, Linas Kleiza, and More

I took last Friday off again last week because of the lack of activity. Free agency right now reminds me of this Shoe Warehouse in Van Nuys that went out of business about six months ago. I went to eat at a restaurant next door and noticed they had a giant “Going Out of Business” sign.

When I walked in there were maybe 150 boxes of shoes left. 30 of them were Nike Cortez in colors a clown would be too embarrassed to wear and the rest were shoes that I’d wear but either they didn’t have my size (13) or had some sort of deformity.

There were a few deals that either have gone down in the last few days or are tentative that are worth writing about. So here goes today’s Uncontested Shots, or should I say “Things I was thinking about while avoiding text messages from Reggie Miller”.

Miller Time

This whole Reggie Miller thing is actually pretty funny to me. I find it funny that most of the reports mention that Miller sent Ali Kay 53 text messages in less than four hours but they don’t mention that Kay most likely responded to each and every one of them. This isn’t like Mikey in Swingers repeatedly leaving answering machine messages for an ex. The two were engaged in some sort of flirtatious dialogue.

In case you don’t know, Kay is engaged to Alex Von Furstenberg, son of fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Over the weekend, Von Furstenberg paid for a banner to fly over Southern California beaches that read “Reggie Miller Stop Pursuing Married Women”.

Someone needs to tell Von Furstenberg that his issue shouldn’t be with Miller but with Kay. There are new reports that Kay sent some bikini-clad photos of herself to Miller.

I’m curious if Miller will respond in some way with his own banner.

Stay tuned.

Big Baby Finds A Crib

I wrote a couple weeks back that I felt the Celtics were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference heading into the season behind only the Orlando Magic but that I would put them on top if they found a way to keep Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

Not only did they keep him but they convinced him to sign for two years and only $6.3 million total and without a player option for the 2010-11 season. They also included weight clauses that could potentially add $500k to Davis’ contract.

Great job by Danny Ainge. He scared away potential suitors by leading them to believe that the Celtics would match any offer for Davis but did it in a way that didn’t offend Davis. Teams were too afraid to lose the seven days the Celtics would have had to decide whether or not to match the offer.

By locking up Davis for two years, the Celtics can allow Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to leave after next season and only have to worry about re-signing Ray Allen and possibly Eddie House.

Allen will surely take a pay cut from the $19.77 million he’ll be making in the last year of his current contract. Ainge might also convince Paul Pierce to opt out of the final season of his deal in exchange for a longer deal that pays him less money than he would be making if he chose to exercise his option for next season.

It’s not like Ainge accomplishing just those two things off will make the Celtics big players in free agency next season. What it could do is enable them to re-sign Rajon Rondo without going too much over the luxury tax limit and give them the financial flexibility to add another free agent with their mid-level to make another run at a title with their current nucleus.

Leon In Cleveland

This is what I wrote in this space last week about Leon Powe:

“While I would never advise any team to sign an injured player, I’d make an exception with Powe because he’s probably desperate and can be had on the cheap. Why not offer him $1.3 million for next year with a team option for $1.5 million for 2010-11?

If he fully recovers you’ve got a fully serviceable low-post scorer who is content with any role you give him. If he doesn’t then you cut him loose in a year and all it costs you was the $1.3.”

Well it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers are on the verge of doing just as I suggested.

While Powe might not return to action until February of next season, the move gives the Cavs a potentially great addition at almost no risk.

The signings of Anthony Parker and Leon Powe were two of the best moves of the off-season and Danny Ferry gets the credit for both of them.

Once again Ferry made a move without compromising the freedom to add a big piece next off-season. Don’t forget that Ferry still has the expiring $11.5 million contract of Zydrunas Ilgauskas to use in a trade in the type of deal that would see Big Z immediately get bought out by his new team and return to the Cavs 30 days later.

Something tells me I’ll be cutting and pasting that last paragraph into an article some time next February.

Kleiza and Wafer Off to Greece

Linas Kleiza and Von Wafer are both set to sign respective two-year deals with Greek powerhouse, Olympiakos. The Nuggets felt they could try to play the same game with Kleiza that the Celtics ran on Big Baby and got burnt in the process.

While Aron Afflalo is a nice replacement for the Indiana-bound Dahntay Jones, the Nuggets are now looking at Wally Szczerbiak to replace Kleiza.

You know who would have been the perfect replacement for Kleiza?

Von Wafer.

Wafer, who played for the Nuggets during the 2007-08 season would have given the Nuggets an additional scorer off the bench who could hit the 3-pointer.

Anthony Carter remains unsigned also. So the only guards currently on the Nuggets bench are rookie Ty Lawson and Afflalo.

The Nuggets were lucky to have made it to the Western Conference Finals last year when you consider the Spurs were missing Manu Ginobili.

Now the team that came withing two wins of playing in the NBA Finals had a pretty bad off-season. They overpaid to keep sixth-man Chris Andersen from leaving (5 years and $26 million for a guy with zero offensive). They lost Jones, Kleiza, Steven Hunter and potentially Carter and replaced them with Afflalo, Malik Allen, and Lawson.

Perhaps the Hunter trade will free up the money for the Nuggets to make a run at another free agent guard.

You know who makes a lot of sense for the Nuggets right about now?

Allen Iverson. Yeah, I said it. That’s assuming that Iverson is willing to come off the bench and back-up J.R. Smith. He’s familiar with the system and enjoyed his time there, regardless of how unsuccessful it was. With Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups in the fold, Iverson knows he won’t be asked to be a leader.

If the comments made by the Nuggets’ front-office after they traded Iverson away were true then they shouldn’t have a problem welcoming him back into the fold.

Considering the alternatives currently out there, it might not be that bad a move for a team that still has aspirations of contending for a title.

Uncontested Shots will run every Tuesday and Friday from now until at least the start of the season. For up to the minute updates on all free agent happenings and random brilliant thoughts and observations follow Andrew Ungvari on Twitter.

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