New Orleans Pelicans: Two free agent centers to replace Derrick Favors
These two guys are coming off massive contracts the likes of which they will never sniff again.
Both guys were overpaid on their last deals and haven’t come close to living up to them. Given their age and production, these two might be looking at veteran’s minimums if they want to play on a good team.
Ian Mahinmi- Washington Wizards
Mahinmi made $16 million this season, but is not going to get that contract again.
His numbers are similar to Favors, as he gets 7.4 points, 5.7 rebounds per game in 21.3 minutes. He isn’t as good as Favors overall, especially as a rebounder, but he gets 1.2 blocks per game, which is more than Favors this season.
He’s also bigger than Favors and would give the Pelicans some much-needed muscle down low.
He is 33-years-old, but still has something left in the tank and would be a good bridge to Jaxson Hayes. He may end up getting more than the veteran’s minimum, but should still be within the Pels’ range.
Bismack Biyombo- Charlotte Hornets
Biyombo was the beneficiary of the unexpected bump in the salary cap and got one of the most ridiculous contracts in the NBA.
He made a whopping $18 million this season and averaged 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. He had the same number of blocked shots per game as Favors, who played five minutes more per game.
Biyombo is long and athletic, though not a prototypical center in size. He is likely to end up on a low contract after not doing much for the Hornets, so the Pels could get him for cheap.
If the Pels wanted to go with a “center by committee” approach, he would be an interesting choice, as he can defend multiple positions and play in a lot of small-ball lineups.
Biyombo is still only 27-years-old and could benefit from a fresh start on a better team where he has a defined role.