Some are surprised by the fact that the C's did not waive Raef LaFrentz to get potential luxury tax savings down the line. Some are even disappointed. I'm not sure why. I'm happy to have Raef on the team.
Is he overpaid? Sure. Nobody can make a case that Raef is worth the $9.9 million that he'll bring home this year. Nor will he ever reach a level that would justify the 4 years and $40+ million left on his contract.
On the other hand, if you had a dime for every big man that was overpaid in the NBA, you could pay Raef's salary (well, for like an hour or so). It is not an ideal situation by any means, but it is a common one. Arguing over releasing him or not is a moot point now. Still, I wanted to say that I'm glad he's around (in spite of his pricetag).
He brings a calming, veteran presence. He works hard at his rehab, and plays hard on the court. He's had this game taken from him, so it shows how much he wants to be out there. That alone is a great example. Perhaps being a year removed from his surgery will bring a less painful and more productive season as well.
He doesn't have the lateral movement that he once had, making him a liability at times on the defensive end. However, he has shown the ability to put the screws on opposing post players when called upon. He's especially handy on the weak side, often coming up with blocks and rebounds. And in case you missed it, he can shoot the ball pretty well too.
Not only that, but he gives us a legit starting center option to use instead of the growing Perkins or the sinking Blount. He'll compliment Al's low post game by working the high post.
With all that said, I'm sure if there was a deal where we could relieve ourselves of his contract and not lose too much in productivity (ie. picking up a cheaper option or having a current player step up), then obviously you do it. But as long as we are still paying him, I'm inclined to see him out there working for his money.