Lakers forward Matt Barnes reacts after missing a three-pointer against… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Maybe it's a good thing the Dwight Howard saga is dragging on like the New American Library version of "War and Peace," which is a brisk read at 587,287 pages, because there's little intrigue left when it comes to the NBA's remaining unrestricted free agents.
We're talking Matt Barnes, Carl Landry and Raja Bell here.
And those are some of the better names left on the list.
Perhaps there's a reason why these players are still available. Some free agents are way past their prime (see Tracy McGrady, who hasn't averaged double figures in scoring since the 2008-09 season), ones who never quite lived up to their hype (see Josh Childress, who has started 70 games in six seasons after being the No. 6 pick overall in the 2004 draft) and ones who have been clinging to the fringes of an NBA existence for years (see veteran Chris Andersen, who has a career average of 5.4 points per game).
Sure, the Lakers would like to have power forward Jordan Hill back at the right price, Derek Fisher would bolster someone's locker room and Nate Robinson might be a nice sparkplug off the bench for a contender, but there aren't any players left who will alter the league's power structure by switching ZIP codes.
The list appeared to get even shorter Thursday as the Boston Celtics were reportedly on the verge of completing a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets for shooting guard Courtney Lee. The deal was expected to involve the Rockets acquiring JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore and Sean Williams plus a second-round draft pick.
Former USC star O.J. Mayo was also off the market after signing a two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks. And a former UCLA standout was also on the move after Ryan Hollins verbally agreed to a one-year deal with the Clippers for the veteran's minimum.
Other semi-notable unrestricted free agents who remain up for grabs include Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, Kenyon Martin, Randy Foye, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Darko Milicic, Maurice Evans, Ronnie Brewer, Ryan Gomes, John Lucas III, Keyon Dooling, Anthony Parker, Carlos Delfino, Willie Green, Jodie Meeks and Mickael Pietrus.
The lot of them might combine to make a run in the Development League playoffs.
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