The NBA off-season can be an emotional time for both teams and fans alike. Not only do you have the NBA draft, where you can get that rare cornerstone player for your franchise, but that is when all the big free agent signings happen. There is usually a flurry of moves in the first week, that teams can sign free agents than it settles down and the few remaining viable free agents slowly find their teams. If you still need a piece or two of the championship contender puzzle after the season begins, than you better look at the trading block. Nobody worth anything is still going to be left on the free agent market by then.
This year is proving to be a rare exception. The Memphis Grizzlies recently realized how foolish their Allen Iverson experiment was and released him. How often can you remember such a player on the free agent market after the season had already begun? The releasing of Allen Iverson might be the big news on the free agent market, but it helped hide one of the truly great in season free agent finds that has already happened. One team found an absolute gem on the free agent market already this season, a guaranteed sixth man of the candidate. The Question is why was this guy even available so late.
Which team is it and who was this great find you ask? Shame on you as a basketball fan, you should already know, but somehow most fans just don’t realize that this guy is a sixth man of the year candidate almost every season he gets minutes. Sadder yet, is it seems like NBA teams don’t realize it either, and it is for one simple reason; size. 33 year-old point guard Earl Boykins stands at a mere 5’5″ and weighs in at a measly 133 pounds. The Washington Wizards signed Boykins on November 11th; the 9th NBA team he has played for in his 14 seasons in the NBA.
More surprising than the fact that he was still available after the beginning of the season is that Boykins spent last season playing overseas. On November 14th Boykins played his first game of the season and rewarded his new team with 20 points. Not bad for a guy that was only signed because of the Wizards many injuries at guard.
The amazing thing is; he can’t even be sure he will have a roster spot when all those guards heal up for the Wizards. It’s hard to fathom that there wouldn’t be team waiting to gobble up the instant offense off the bench that Boykins provides. Than again he seems to have to fight through this adversity every season. Oh, to be a 5’5″ man in a big man’s world.