Quantcast 2010 NBA: NBA Offseason Winners

 

NBA Offseason Winners

 

One of the great things about the NBA is the balancing and adjusting of the rosters. It is different than the NFL and MLB because there are far less players on a team. One player can completely change the dynamic and chemistry of a team, for better or worse. Adding a player who may not even be All-Star caliber can help raise a team to the next level. Back-ups and role players are big needs when the game is 48 minutes long, you cannot afford to march a bunch of scrubs out their while your stars are resting or you can’t win. Teams look for players who can fill specific roles on their squad, such as a 3pt shooter who can help spread the floor or who you cannot help off of. Also of importance are big interior players or athletic wingmen. Another need for many is defensive specialists, perimeter or interior.

It has been probably the biggest offseason in the history of the NBA. Never before have there been so many key players changing teams. This is not to mention all the guys who tested the waters, eventually deciding to stay home. Since the bulk of the moves have been completed, it is time to evaluate how well certain teams did. I will examine the winners of this landmark offseason with the losers to come later.

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  • Miami Heat- Was there any doubt as to who would be #1? The Heat pulled off the biggest coup in free agent history. They re-signed Dwyane Wade, one of the top 3 in the league, and he convinced LeBron, two-time MVP, and Chris Bosh, another top 10 player, to join him. This Big 3 are even better than that trio formed in Boston a few years ago (a lot younger too). The only questions in South Beach concern the team’s depth and their frontcourt. The addition of C Zydrunas Ilgauskas will really beef up the front line and he will team up well with Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and even rookie Dexter Pittman. They now have a couple of big, strong posts. Another draft pick who could contribute is Da’Sean Butler from West Virginia. He will bring a sense of toughness and good defense to this team and should be a good role player off the bench. Signing Mike Miller gives them a pure shooter who can space the floor and give the Big 3 more room to work or a pressure release from double teams. Look for this team to win at least 65 games (20 more than last season) and maybe even more. The Heat will be the favorites in the East and will give the Lakers a run for their money in the Finals.

 

  • Chicago Bulls- This is the team that came the closest to matching the offseason exploits of the Heat. They lost out on LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh, but they were able to acquire Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Corey Brewer. Boozer gives the Bulls a low post presence that they have been missing since Elton Brand. He will fit right in with Derrick Rose, and will benefit from him just like he did Deron Williams. I really like the combination of Boozer and Noah, who showed much improvement last season and will be a reliable center for them. Signing Korver gives them another dimension that they really missed last season without Ben Gordon. He was the best 3pt shooter in the NBA last season at an amazing 53.6%. He will be a great spot-up shooter off the bench and take scoring pressure off Rose. Corey Brewer fills another need the Bulls had in a lock down perimeter defender. They finally have a big 2 who can defend the better SGs in the League. He will run the floor well and be a nice complement to Rose in the backcourt. He completes an extremely well balanced unit that could be the 2nd or 3rd best team in the much-improved Eastern Conference. I expect them to improve by about 10 games this season.

 

 


 

  • Los Angeles Lakers- Not only did they keep Phil Jackson, but they also added a few complementary pieces that should fit into the rotation very well. First, they added Steve Blake to back up Derek Fisher at the point. Jordan Farmar is gone, but I think Blake will really fit in well with LA and may actually be an upgrade. He is an underrated player coming out of Portland who will fill a role for the Lakers this season. Theo Ratliff was signed as a backup C and will help in case Bynum goes down again (which, unfortunately, is likely). Finally, Matt Barnes brings more defense to a team that you wouldn’t really consider needed it. But, has anyone ever thought “Our defense is too good, I don’t like it”? Of course not, as we all know, defense wins championships. Barnes and Ratliff bring toughness to this team which will definitely help them next year. Another new player to watch out for is versatile forward out of West Virginia, Devin Ebanks. He was impressive in the summer league and could be a good bench player for them later this year. So the Lakers got a lot better this summer. Oh, did I mention this team won their 2nd NBA title in a row last year. Not many teams are able to upgrade their roster this much after back-to-back championships. They will again be the favorites to win it all and capture the franchise’s 18th title.

 

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  • Oklahoma City Thunder- For a team who was so young last season, I would say they held their own. They gave the Lakers all they could handle and showed that they will be a factor in the West for a long time. Another year of maturation and NBA experience will really help this team. Kevin Durant will be a year older and even better than he was last season, especially with the experience he will gain leading USA Basketball this summer. The biggest thing they were missing was a solid big man. They seem to have found that in Cole Aldrich, who was drafted 11th by the Hornets and traded to the Thunder. Aldrich will help shore up their interior and give them someone to defend bigs like Gasol and Bynum. The other big move the Thunder made was acquiring Daequan Cook in a trade with Miami. He could be the knock down perimeter shooter they have been missing (excluding Durant, but he can’t do everything). This team should be very dangerous next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they finish in the top 4 in the West.

 

 

By: Justin Dehm
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer


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