Not planning to spend his final years in the NBA playing for a team that’s going nowhere like the Toronto Raptors, Marcus Camby is about to complete a buyout to his contract, turning him into a free agent, making it possible for contenders like the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat to try and sign the 17-year veteran.
Camby was traded from the New York Knicks in the deal that had Andrea Bargnani go the other way. Camby, 38, expected his final seasons in the league to be filled with playoff games and title expectations, and made it clear from the moment he was moved to Canada that he has no intention of playing for the Raptors.
Toronto, trying to reduce their wage numbers, have already used the amnesty clause to get rid of Linas Kleiza, moving them below the luxury tax threshold. Now, with Camby and his $5.4 million guaranteed for the next couple of seasons soon to be off the books, their cap situation is greatly improved, and hopefully they can move more players to generate some cap space, thinking about the summer of 2014.
As for Camby, he’s not done with the NBA. Injuries kept him off the court for most of last season, playing in only 24 games on the geriatric park that was the Madison Square Garden, but he can still provide around 5-10 minutes a night of decent rebounding and defense, not to mention his leadership skills that usually come in handy in a dressing room, like Juwan Howard has provided, without actually playing, over the last couple of seasons for the Miami Heat.
As always, most contending teams could always do with another big man they can use to fill in some minutes off the bench, pick up some fouls and add the usual cliches. Camby doesn’t want to play anywhere that doesn’t bring him closer to an NBA ring – he went to the Finals in 1999 and reached the conference finals with the Nuggets in 2009. Before he leaves the league (he turned 39 in March), he want another shot at a title without doing much, and the Bulls, Rockets, Clippers and Heat could all use a center to give them some quality minutes, if he’s healthy, off the bench.