Hollinger: How a few notable free agents are doing so far.
Josh Childress, Phoenix (PER 13.34). Slowed by hip and finger injuries, Childress has played only 80 minutes thus far and hasn't come close to his production from his last NBA season, the 2007-08 campaign with Atlanta. Subjectively, the bigger worry is that he's looked a step slow on defense.
John Salmons, Milwaukee (PER 6.74). Mea culpa. I missed the boat on this one. Salmons is 30, had a PER of 14.79 last season and has only one career season with a mark above the league average. There was no reason to expect him to justify a $40 million contract. I was deluded by his performance after the trade to Milwaukee, and it overpowered my reasoning skills. He'll still be useful because he defends and can make jumpers, but there's no reason to expect him to be an $8 million player for the next four years.
Drew Gooden, Milwaukee (PER 10.06). Nobody trusts Gooden further than they can throw him, but he's been incredibly effective in his past few stops and has put up numbers everywhere he's gone. But not in Milwaukee -- he's shooting 39.3 percent, and his normally stellar rebound rate has been very ordinary thus far. About the only thing keeping him in the Bucks' starting lineup is that Ersan Ilyasova has been even worse.
Travis Outlaw, New Jersey (PER 9.92). Outlaw is only 24, but he hasn't improved at all in the past four years and in past seasons has had his greatest effect as a small-ball 4 playing with the second unit. As a starting small forward, he is getting lit up on defense and doesn't get enough touches on offense (just a 12.3 usage rate) to play the high-volume, middling-efficiency style in which he's most effective.
[Other PERs of interest: Amare 14.11, DLee 13.49, Wes Matthews 9.69 (!), CFrye 6.71, Darko 4.51 (rated "Least defensible move of the summer")]
— ESPN Insider