EVERYTHING MUST GO: 2010 NBA FREE AGENCY

The western conference might lose some of its power after the 2010 off-season. A few star players have gone from the west over to the east and some of the stars we’re used to are getting older — Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki to name a few.

Still, some solid moves were made that made good teams much better.

UTAH JAZZ

When I heard Boozer left Utah I thought, “Hmmm…Jazz might have a tough year ahead of them.” But they pulled off a great trade and landed forward Al Jefferson from Minnesota for two first round draft picks. Not as bad a steal as the KG trade, but a steal nonetheless. They also stole Raja Bell away from the Lakers, pending a physical, and have someone who can and will guard Kobe.

Photo courtesy of NBA.com

Jerry Sloan, the NBA’s longest tenured coach doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, for the moment, Deron Williams moved into the conversation for top point guard in the NBA during the playoffs and the leader of Butler’s Cinderella team, Gordon Heyward, is a very good ball handler and scorer. All things considered, I think the Jazz can make a run at the Lakers next season.

PHOENIX SUNS

The Suns quickly got over the fact that their GM stepped down and one of their star players went on a one-way cross-country road trip. They re-signed big-man/3-point specialist Channing Frye and picked up forward Hakim Warrick and Josh Childress. But their biggest acquisition was Hedo Turkoglu, the self-proclaimed “Michael Jordan of Turkey”.

Fernando Medina/NBAE Photos

The Suns, who may have beaten the Lakers if Ron Artest wasn’t in the right place at the right time, may be better than last year with the team they’ve assembled so far. Dragic is becoming a very good back-up point guard and Nash is..well..Nash. The addition of these young and athletic players could have the Suns in contention for the Western crown down the stretch.

GOLDEN STATE/DALLAS

The moves in the west coast were so bland compared to the east that the third spotlight is a tie.

The Warriors did a good job by picking up David Lee through FA as well as picking up Dorell Wright. But they’re smartest move was dumping Corey Maggette’s contract.The Mavericks were in a similar situation. They traded Eric Dampier for Tyson Chandler, but Dampier’s contract can be terminated by the Bobcats.

I don’t expect the Warriors to be competitive, but with the offensive minded players they have on the team they will most definitely be fun to watch. The Mavs, on the other hand, should contend for the Western Crown..that is if they have any toughness or heart in them.


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