Brooklyn and free agent Mario Chalmers reportedly have mutual interest. This is not an addition that makes any sense.
Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated reported that among others, the Nets have been tied to guard Mario Chalmers:
NBA free agent point guard Mario Chalmers is completely healthy and is getting interest from Brooklyn, Dallas and New Orleans, a source said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) August 7, 2018
A two-time NBA champion, the veteran free agent most recently played with the Memphis Grizzlies. Chalmers averaged 7.7 points and 3.0 assists in 66 appearances.
Now, with his future uncertain after just nine seasons, he’s looking for his third NBA home.
All three teams mentioned make little to no sense for Chalmers, who’d be fighting for a roster spot regardless. Nonetheless, he’s sure he’ll have a home by the regular season.
From his interview with Gary Bedore of the Kansas City Star:
“I know I’ll be on a team next year. I’m not worried about that part. I am still going, waiting on a contract right now. I’m right here, handling my event this time of year. I’ll figure my next move after that.”
No matter the role, Chalmers feels he can still contribute in any fashion. For Brooklyn, he’d serve primarily as a mentor to D’Angelo Russell, who is quietly becoming the face of the franchise.
“I’m capable of doing everything they ask me to do,” he said. “At this point of my career I’m wanting what’s best for the team, what’s best for the organization, trying to take care of little things to keep me on the court and help a team win.”
Still, for the Nets, this move seems more trouble than it’s worth.
First, Brooklyn doesn’t have the cap space to offer Chalmers any kind of deal, even something like the veteran’s minimum, or mid-level exception. They would have to clear salary and a roster spot to offer him anything more than an invite to training camp.
Spencer Dinwiddie is on a non-guaranteed deal, for now. But he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. That leaves Theo Pinson, the only other non-guaranteed deal, which was just signed this week.
On one hand, Chalmers could prove a valuable locker room voice for the young guards. But they just traded their biggest locker room voice in Jeremy Lin last month.
It’s obvious Brooklyn is comfortable with Russell’s growth over the last year. They’re ready to let him run the show.
So why Chalmers then? With playoffs the high priority target this year, his experience could come in handy.
Neither of the three has played in the NBA Finals, let alone won a championship, but still. The experience counts.
Now, if head coach Kenny Atkinson is concerned about Russell’s health, Chalmers could be the perfect safety net. After all, that’s the exact role he’s coming off of playing in Memphis.
The Grizzlies Mike Conley missed 70 games last season and had season-ending heel surgery in January. Chalmers was a bargain replacement, despite the team’s 14th seed finish out West.
Mario Chalmers is a two-time NBA champion, a reliable backup guard, and will likely come at an affordable price.
It won’t surprise to see him playing for an NBA team next season, but it will surprise if that team is the Brooklyn Nets.