Posts Tagged ‘ David Lee ’

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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EVERYTHING MUST GO: NBA FREE AGENCY 2010

Before I talk about the topic I want to take you back a couple of years. Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals to be exact.
Time was ticking down and the Celtics were ready to explode with excitement and social networking sites were buzzing about what it all meant.
As I sat at my computer I thought about the clich├ęs people often say when people win championships and “defense wins championships” popped into my head. But when I looked at that team I though “Free Agency (FA) Wins Championships” was a more fitting headline.
So, the 2010 FA period to me was the most important off-season event for the NBA contenders and wanna be contenders.
I’ll start with the teams that made the biggest moves in the eastern conference.

MIAMI HEAT

The Heat front office staff, led by the incomparable Pat Riley, did what most NBA franchises with cap room wanted to do. He did what Chris Bosh didn’t think was possible. He signed three Players to max deals. Dwayne Wade, who has been with the Heat since the beginning of his career, Bosh, who it seemed was not going to be allowed back in Canada at one point because he was tweeting so much and the surprise of FA LeBron James — now the most hated man in Ohio and considered more selfish and self-centered than Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and Deion Sanders combined, because of his 1-hour special: THE DECISION.

All of the players are taking less money to play together and many believe that their individual legacies will be slightly tarnished, mostly LeBron because he has lost his “Batman” identity.
The Heat got rid of forward Michael Beasley through trade via Minnesota, but re-signed point guard Mario Chalmers and fan favorite Udonis Haslem. The Heat are in the process of bringing Big Z over from Cleveland, Mike Miller from the Wizards and Juwon Howard from the Rockets, and they still haven’t signed their draft picks yet. Needless to say come October, this team will be stacked. Overall it appears the Heat are the favorite to win the title (No matter what D-Wade says) if the team can mesh.

CHICAGO BULLS

In my opinion the Bulls made the second biggest splash this summer by landing forward Carlos Boozer and sharp-shooter Kyle Korver. Korver gives the Bulls a good shooter, with size, that can defend (I use that term loosely) on the wing.

Boozer will complement a young and talented team with Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, veteran luol Deng and sixth-man Taj Gibson. The Bulls led the league in rebounding last year and with Boozer in the post, the other team might never see the ball. I expect the Bulls to contend for one of the top four playoff spots in the eastern conference.

NEW YORK KNICKS


The Knicks could have signed anyone and it would have been an upgrade from what fans have seen these past five years. Although they missed out on LeBron –Who wasn’t coming anyway– they made a great decision to pick up Amare Stoudemire. They were smart enough to do a sign-and-trade for David Lee and get three players for him — Ronny Turiaf, Kaleena Azubuike and Anthony Randolph. They also picked up point guard Raymond Felton through FA to play along with Stoudemire and run the pick-and-roll. These additions plus the maturation of Gallinari and Wilson Chandler could put the Knicks in the 7th or 8th spot in the east.

Part two coming soon…All Western conference moves.

All pictures courtesy of ESPN.com