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NBA free agency: Grading deals for Stuckey, Fredette and more

The Pacers landed Rodney Stuckey (left) after losing Lance Stephenson to the Hornets in free ageny. Photo:

The Pacers landed Rodney Stuckey (left) after losing Lance Stephenson to the Hornets in free ageny.

On Wednesday, I graded Mike Miller's move to Cleveland and other role-player free-agent signings. Here are more evaluations of recent smaller signings:

Rodney Stuckey has agreed to a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Pacers (via USA Today). When Indiana registered reported interest in Stuckey, his landing with the Pacers seemed a long shot at best. The Pacers had agreed to sign swingman C.J. Miles and Spanish league forward Damjan Rudez while still negotiating with shooting guard Lance Stephenson, leaving precious little room under the luxury-tax threshold for a player of Stuckey's caliber. As it turned out, he could be had for the minimum salary – an outstanding deal for a player more capable than what he showed during the Pistons' last few rudderless seasons. Stuckey, 28, is a big, physical guard who averaged a career-high 18.7 points per 36 minutes last season and whose creativity will help Indiana. Plus, with the help of coach Frank Vogel and the Pacers' starters, Stuckey should refocus his efforts in coverage (which had waned in recent years) to pester opponents on the perimeter as he once did. Grade: A

Anthony Morrow has agreed to a three-year, $10 million deal with the Thunder (via The Oklahoman). For years Morrow has wandered the league, pouring in three-pointers at a ridiculous clip while never quite doing enough to put down roots. Oklahoma City could be the spot. Morrow, 28, is a nice perimeter counterbalance to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and far more deadly than the slate of shooters (Caron ButlerThabo Sefolosha, etc.) the Thunder have relied on in the past. He isn't a perfect fit in OKC's hyper-athletic team defense, but the Thunder are already good enough on that end to accept Morrow's lack of close-out speed in exchange for all he might open up offensively. Grade: B+

Jimmer Fredette has agreed to a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Pelicans (via ESPN.com). There isn't much new to say about Fredette, who has shot well (40.1 percent from beyond the arc in three seasons) but struggled to find an NBA role. New Orleans will give him one as a no-hesitation, knockdown shooter to replace Morrow. Having big men Anthony Davis and Omer Asik covering for his defensive limitations will help Fredette, too. Grade: B

Anthony Tolliver has agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Suns (via Real GM). This signing essentially attempts to counter Channing Frye's departure to Orlando. Tolliver, 29, is a similar but lesser player than Frye, skilled as a floor spacer (career-high 41.3 percent from three-point range with Charlotte last season) in a way that will help keep the offense properly spread and plenty capable of picking and popping with Phoenix's lead guards. Tolliver is also a decent defensive contributor, in part because of his competitiveness. The fact that Tolliver's second season is only partially guaranteed (for $400,000) makes this a particularly nice play for the Suns -- a trial run with a promising replacement at a good rate with the ability to cut losses after one season if necessary. Grade: B

Ed Davis has agreed to a two-year, $2 million deal with the Lakers (via Yahoo! Sports). A puzzling bargain. Davis has produced relatively well when given the opportunity, averaging 11.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes with a 54.2 field goal percentage and minimal turnovers in four seasons. Those numbers don't even convey his most compelling value, either: Davis, 25, is a quality defensive player who needs only the right situation to hone his instincts in coverage. Memphis was thought to be that, but Lionel Hollins (in 2012-13) and Dave Joerger (last season) both used Davis for only 15 minutes a game. If Davis works hard and has more success winning over the Lakers' coaching staff, this has the potential to be an incredible deal. Grade: A

Devin Harris has agreed to a four-year, $16.5 million deal with the Mavericks (via the Dallas Morning News). The numbers on Harris' deal have shifted, perhaps in part because of the fluid nature of the Mavericks' offseason plans. With things finally settled in Dallas, this contract is a bit bigger than the three-year, $9-million-ballpark deal that was initially reported. The fourth year is only partially guaranteed, though, and overall it's still an acceptable price to pay for a good two-way guard. Grade: B-

Richard Jefferson and Rashard Lewis have agreed to one-year, veteran minimum deals with the Mavericks (via Yahoo Sports). Both signings are a play at the same kind of piece: a veteran shooter who can help space the floor as either a spot-up wing or a small-ball power forward. Neither 34-year-old is especially dynamic, but each can convert open threes. Jefferson doesn't have as much experience as Lewis playing power forward, but Jefferson has the steadier shot (40.9 percent from three-point range last season compared with 34.3 percent for Lewis) and is better off the dribble. As long as either Jefferson or Lewis proves capable of filling rotation minutes behind the newly signed Chandler Parsons, this looks to be a solid play. Grade: C+

Udonis Haslem has agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million deal with the Heat. Before free agency, Haslem declined a $4.6 million player option for the 2014-15 season to expand Miami's salary-cap flexibility. The 34-year-old power forward will never draw that kind of salary again, which is why this deal – similar in overall value, though spread over two seasons to reduce Haslem's cap hit – is really just a tool to make a franchise fixture whole. Signing Haslem at the room exception is not a good basketball move. Persuading him to decline his initial option and re-sign, though, allowed the Heat to make additional moves to keep competitive after LeBron James' departure. Grade: C

Alan Anderson has agreed to a two-year, $2.6 million deal with the Nets. Brooklyn has exhausted most every possible avenue for adding talent, leaving the final roster touches to be made with budget signings. Anderson's deal -- which is close to the minimum salary -- is a means to that end, and one in which the Nets are already comfortable because he gave them 22.7 minutes a game last season. Brooklyn's salary limitations and a lack of alternatives on the free-agent wing market make this a perfectly decent move. Grade: C+ 

Xavier Henry has agreed to a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Lakers (via ESPN LA). Why not? Henry, 23, was serviceable when healthy last season, averaging 10 points in 21.1 minutes. The Lakers will be a very different team with Kobe Bryant back in the mix, but there's still a place for Henry's slashing and athleticism. Grade: C

Glen Davis has agreed to a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Clippers (via the Los Angeles Times). Coach/president Doc Rivers added another rotation-caliber big man in Spencer Hawes while still bringing back Davis, but the Clippers are set to put a lot of pressure on DeAndre Jordan to protect the rim again. Davis, 28, is a solid rotational defender but doesn't have the lift or height to contest shots around the basket. Hawes, for his part, has been a nonentity on D on his better days. But the Clippers are so good in other ways (and Jordan is so tremendous in this specific area) that they can limit the damage. Grade: B

Brandon Rush has agreed to a two-year, $2.5 million deal with the Warriors (via Yahoo! Sports). Rush's best season came with Golden State in 2011-12, when he was an effective 3-and-D player. But Rush tore his ACL two games into the next season and didn't look great with Utah in 2013-14 while shooting 16-of-47 (34 percent) from three-point range and laboring on defense in 38 games. Golden State should be a better fit, but whether Rush, 29, can rediscover his top form remains to be seen. Grade: B-

Brian Roberts has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Hornets (via Yahoo! Sports). Roberts, who debuted in the NBA as a 26-year-old with New Orleans in 2012 after stints in Israel and Germany, is an unknown to all but basketball junkies. But he's a quality pick-and-roll player who can create in a crowd. Those skills should come in handy with the Hornets, who needed a backup for Kemba Walker. Grade: C+

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