Has Bonzi Wells found a new team yet?
Feel free to e-mail in and let me know. Iíve been burning a bit of vacation time, but didnít get any news releases or calls to that effect. Last I heard, Wells and his agent, William Phillips, had - according to one Western Conference general manager - hit the free agency period looking for a $10 million annual salary and a five-year deal, this for an almost 30-year-old who missed 30 games to injury last season and is only one year removed from a time when character issues still surrounded his name.
Hmmm. Wonder whatís taking so long?
As was the case when negotiations began on July 1, the only way Wells is going to find any sort of big payday is through a sign-and-trade, which Phillips insists is still a possibility. But on numerous occasions, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie has indicated that heíll only do so if he receives someone to make a significant difference. Or maybe not. Maybe the Kings would play hardball in not offering Wells the money he wanted, then bring aboard mediocre talent just to push them over the luxury tax threshold of which theyíre not too far from now. Iím picking the former.
According to numerous agents and league sources, the Wells camp inaccurately gauged his worth on the current market and may have felt entitled because of other deals done (see Peja Stojakovic, Wellsí former teammate, signing for five years and $64 million with New Orleans). Perhaps, as the Rocky Mountain News has suggested, heíll take a one-year contract at the $3 million-per-year range with the Denver Nuggets to, essentially, delay his free agency and try again next offseason.
- Sam Amick