Monday, August 4, 2008

Grading the NBA Summer Moves

So, the summer is nearing an end and most of the big name Free Agents have figured out where they are going. Here's my take on how some of the bigger moves went down:

Atlanta Hawks: C
The Hawks have been a mixed bag this offseason. First, they still haven't locked up Josh Smith to a long term contract. This may work either way for them. It seems all the big money has dried up, so if Smith goes elsewhere, he won't get a big contract and the Hawks could get great value for him by matching any offer he gets. More likely, however (we are talking about the Hawks here), is that they do something boneheaded and let Smith take the Hawks qualifying offer for next season, only to become an unrestricted free agent next year. Thus the Hawks get virtually nothing for him. I didn't mind that they let Josh Childress go. He got way too much money for what he does and they couldn't justify paying a 6th man 10 mil per season. Plus, they still retain his rights.

Charlotte Bobcats: B-
Resigned Emeka Okafor, which was wise as he is young and solid and doesn't mind playing in Charlotte. The draft was only so so for these guys (not a big fan of Augistine or Ajinca), but they tied up their guy to a long term contract.

Chicago Bulls: B+
Resigned Luol Deng to a long term extension. Deng is a good all around talent and was signed for reasonable money. I wouldn't have drafted Rose over Beasley, but I am smart. Rose is still a good pick for this team. I think the Bulls are prudent to wait out Ben Gordon as well. He is restricted and is finding out there isn't a huge markert for 6'1'' shooting gaurds who are streaky as hell.

Dallas Mavericks: D-
Dsagana Diop is your big free agent signing. I laugh at you and fart in your general direction Mark Cuban. Diop is a stiff, always has been a stiff, and always will be a stiff and you just agreed to give him 5 mil for the next million seasons. Enjoy that, Mavs fan.

Denver Nuggets: F-------
You gave Marcus Camby away for free, you pack of morons. When you are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, what do you do? Trade the only guy who cares about defense, that's what. You make me sick Nuggets.

Golden State Warriors: B+
Talk about a hectic offseason. First the losses: Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, Patrick O'Bryant, Mickael Peitrus. On paper, they lose a lot. In truth, ridding themselves of Davis will be addition by subtraction, Barnes was only average, O'Bryant hadn't done anything and was expendable because of the last 2 draft picks of tall, skinny guys (Anthony Randolph and Brandon Wright), and for whatever reason Peitrus didn't fit in with Nelly Ball. Now, the gains: Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, Marcus Williams, Anthony Morrow. They overpaid Maggette by 2 million per season, but that's okay because he'll be productive. They waaaay overpaid for the sucky Ronny Turiaf. Marcus Williams is a young talent but probably will never amount to anything and no one other than Anthony Morrow's parents has ever heard of Anthony Morrow.
The biggest positives for the Warriors are that they extended the contracts of Monte Ellis and Andris Beidrins. They are very good players and will help form a strong core in Golden State.

Houston Rockets: A
They gave up virtually nothing to get Ron Artest. He will add insanity to that boring ass team. He takes them from pretender to contender immediately. They also signed Brent Barry, which should help them stretch the floor with Yao out there. Now, they just need to re-sign Carl Landry and they should be set to make a run next year.

Indiana Pacers: B
The Pacers traded away disgrunted forward Jermaine O'Neal for TJ Ford and Rasho Nesterovic. This was good because now they can get rid of the terrible Jamaal Tinsley and his yearly gun fight. They also traded for Jarret Jack, Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert. More than anything, the Pacers are moving away from the Brawl team and starting over. These were solid moves in heading in the right direction.

LA Clippers: C-
I can't make sense of this whole situation. They lost Elton Brand and Corey Magette, which was really, really bad. They picked up Baron Davis, which is going to prove to be bad. Then, they traded and got Marcus Camby for free, which was great, signed Ricky Davis, which may prove to be underrated as he can do a lot of the things Maggette can do, and drafted Eric Gordon, which I also liked. Overall, the bad outweighed the good, of course, and the team should be a hot mess next year.

Memphis Grizzlies: B-
Traded Kevin Love, Mike Miller for OJ Mayo. (there were other guys included, I know, but they were just scraps on the deal. I like Love and Miller, but Mayo could also be really good. They will start Mike Conley, Oj Mayo, Rudy Gay next year. That could be fun. Add in Marc Gasol from Spain and Hakeem Warrick and that is one athletic damn team.

Milwaukee Bucks: B+
Traded Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian for Richard Jefferson. This was a steal. Jefferson is a very solid player and those other two aren't. The only thing head scratching about this is that they then drafted Joe Alexander, a small forward. That keeps them from getting an A.

Minnesota Timberwolves: B
The aforementioned trade to get Kevin Love and Mike Miller for OJ Mayo was good for both teams, as now the Wolves will pair Love with Al Jefferson, and will have the deadly shooting Miller to stretch the floor. They will be horrendous defensively, but should be fun to watch. Re-signed an improving Sebastian Telfair and the solid, underrated Ryan Gomes.

New Jersey Nets: C
I'm not going to go into their moves. These guys are just clearing space to make a run at LeBron James. It's so obvious it's pitifiul.

New Orleans Hornets: A
Picked up James Posey. They certainly overpaid for him, but they have a huge open window to win the championship right now. Posey is a great defender and a solid three point shooter who should help them make their push for the next 2 or 3 years.

Philadelphia 76ers: A+
Went from up and comers to comers. Elton Brand, if healthy, should solidfy this team in the East as a contender. I can't see how they would let Andre Iguodala go, but they need to be careful not to lose him and should just pay him what he wants.

Sacramento Kings: D
They traded away the only thing that made them interesting for the past 2 years: Ron Artest. Sure, he is a headache, but no one wants to watch your crappy team go 35-47 if you don't have Artest on it. Have fun being just bad enough to miss the playoffs but just good enough to not get an elite lotter pick for the next 5 years.

Toronto Raptors: A+
The trade for Jermaine O'Neal will be a coup if he is even a shadow of his former self defensively. First, it frees Chris Bosh to play his natural Power Forward positon. Second, the trade frees Jose Calderon, who the Raps extended this offseason, to be the main man at point.

Washington Wizards: F
Why an F? Because the Washington Wizards just said to their fans: "We are content to be 5th in the east or worse for the next 6 years." Extending Arenas and resigning Jamison were not bad moves, per se, but this team hasn't gotten any better and now has no money for the next 6 years to sign anyone.

Whew, that was long. I love me the NBA.


Anonymous said...

Damn, that was long. I disagree on one thing - you have the 76ers and Raptors with A+'s, but I like the Rockets picking up Ron Ron better than Toronto getting O'Neal. Toronto an A, Philly and Houston A+.