A Los Angeles Lakers: After a tumultuous first season under Coach Mike Brown, things are finally looking up in Laker Land. Despite not being able to acquire superstar center Dwight Howard, the Lakers were able to acquire future Hall-of-Fame point guard Steve Nash for practically nothing. Steve Nash will bring over 2 MVPs and plenty of experience to this Laker team. One of the major weaknesses of recent Lakers teams has been there inability to share the ball, Nash will be able to improve this facet of the team. While he is 38, Nash will still be able to put up at least 10 assists a game, with Bynum and Gasol providing power down low. With a fairly veteran squad, this could be the last Laker team to make a sustained playoff run before they enter rebuilding mode. Nash makes the Lakers serious contenders to win the NBA Finals.
A Brooklyn Nets: You got to give props to Nets GM Billy King who made an unsuspected trade to acquire star Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks, for honestly, a bunch of expiring contracts (including our boy Jordan Farmar). After acquiring Johnson, the Nets were able to convince the most coveted free agent this summer, Deron Williams, to join the franchise and be its face for the future. Williams admitted that he was very close to joining the Mavericks, but King convinced him to stay with his ability to make a key acquisition in Johnson. After years of dominance in the beginning of the 2000s led by future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, the Nets are finally ready to make the jump back to the NBA Finals. Oh…by the way, reports around the league suggest that Dwight Howard will be joining the Nets in the next few days. Move over Miami Heat, there’s a new “Big 3.”
A- New York Knicks: We really like what the Knicks have done so far this offseason. After being blown out in the first round by the Heat, Knicks management seems determined to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. The Knicks have added 2 key veterans to the squad who should be able to provide some much needed help. The Knicks could have one the best 1-2 punches at center in the NBA. Reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler will start, and rebounding specialist Marcus Camby will come off the bench to provide a spark. The Knicks struggled towards the end of the year, losing a lot of their guards to injuries (Iman Shumpert and Jeremy Lin). The Knicks decided to get some insurance this year, and acquired future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd. Kidd brings a lot of veteran leadership to this squad, and let’s not forget the help he provided to the Mavs, winning their first title in franchise history. The Knicks are also expected to match the Rockets offer for Linsanity. If the Knicks decide not to resign him, there grade will drop considerably. Knicks have also resigned 3-point specialist Steve Novak, and are reportedly resigning former Hoosier Jared Jefferies.
F Dallas Mavericks: Poor Dirk. We are very surprised that Mark Cuban decided not to match the offer from the Boston Celtics for veteran point guard Jason Terry. Terry has been the heart and soul of this team, and won the Sixth Man of the Year award in the past. Usually Cuban is more than willing to dish out the cash, but apparently not this time. Bad move. The Mavericks were also hoping that Deron Williams would return to his hometown, but in the end he decided to stay with the Nets. Not only did the Mavs lose out on superstar Williams, they also couldn’t convince Jason Kidd to come back. Kidd must have been convinced that winning a championship wasn’t possible. As of right now, the Mavericks have no legitimate point guard, and Nowitzki is just getting older and older. Is it rebuilding time in Dallas?
F Houston Rockets: It appears that the Rockets plan of offering Jeremy Lin big bucks has backfired. As stated earlier, the Knicks are expected to match any offer Houston is able to throw at him, which Rocket management was not expecting. Once they put all the eggs in the basket with Lin, they decided to trade Kyle Lory to the Raptors for virtually nothing, and let Goran Dragic walk to the Suns. If for some crazy reason the Knicks don’t match the offer for Lin, the Rockets better pray he plays well, since they just got rid of their 2 best guards. The Rockets also acquired many draft picks, to offer the Magic for Howard, but it appears that he is headed to Brooklyn. Many reports have Argentinian Scola on the move, so all indicators point to the Rockets heading to rebuilding mode.
Moshe Kwiat contributed to this post