Best Moves of the NBA’s Free Agency
Nets Resign Deron Williams
The Nets went all in with their bold move of acquiring Deron Williams a year and a half ago, even without confirmation that he would resign with the team. After months of uncertainty, Williams has finally signed his new contract and will remain with the Nets for years to come and will be their franchise player in their move to Brooklyn. The team did take on a ton of salary, with their trade for Joe Johnson, and the resigning of Gerald Wallace, but Williams said he would be in Dallas if it weren’t for those moves. Despite the cap mess those moves will create, they must be viewed as positives as the Nets were able to keep their best player.
Steve Nash to Lakers
The Lakers received one of the best point guards of all time, who happens to still be playing at an elite level and all that it cost them was 4 draft picks and 27 million dollars, which is incredible. Nash will immediately lighten Kobe’s load, by taking a big share of the ball handling responsibilities away from him, while giving him the ball in better places to score. Basically Nash will be helping one of the greatest scorers of all time score more efficiently. He will also give the ball to Bynum in much better places to score and give him much easier looks. He may even help Gasol get back to playing like a star, as he will make sure to keep him a part of the offense and give him the ball where he is at his best. The Lakers will also receive one of the greatest shooters of all time to help spread the floor and with three other All-Stars on the team, Nash is bound to get numerous wide open shots per game. Nash’s assists may go down this year, but look for a rise in points and efficiency.
Hornets Resign Gordon and Trade For Anderson
Gordon was the centerpiece of their Chris Paul trade and will most likely be their leading scorer for many years to come and they simply could not let him walk away. They were very wise to match the maximum offer sheet that the Suns gave him, so that he will stay in the Big Easy. He was too important for them to let him leave. The trade for Anderson was brilliant, as it only cost them Gustavo Ayon and they got excellent market value at only 9 million dollars a year. It gives them another potent scorer, shooter and a much needed big man. These two along with their draft picks, Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers creates the new foundation of the team.
Hawks Trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams
Within days of taking over as GM, Danny Ferry made a shocking trade involving arguably the team’s top player in Joe Johnson. Johnson’s contract is the biggest in the NBA and was considered to be unmovable and despite the production they will lose in Johnson, the team will open up massive cap space to improve. The team was good with Johnson at the helm, but they had reached their ceiling and they now have the opportunity to move up if they make the right moves. The team then traded Williams and his bloated contract for the expiring contract of Devin
Harris. Harris may not fit much of a need, but the trade did give them considerably more cap space going forward. It is safe to say that the Hawks are now major players in free agency in the upcoming years.
Raptors Trade For Kyle Lowry
Jose Calderon is a more than capable point guard, but the Raptors were trying to get tougher and better defensively and were able to grab one of the ten best point guards in the league in Lowry. Lowry is a fantastic defensive point guard and possibly the second best in the NBA behind Rondo, he is a great shooter, an excellent passer and has the body to get to the basket. He is the perfect point guard to play under Dwayne Casey and he will be looked upon as a go to player in Toronto immediately. It only cost them their first round pick next year, which is expected to be a mid to late lottery selection and Gary Forbes, which is excellent value. He will set the tone as the first line of defense on one side and a steady presence on offense on the other. Great trade.
Celtics Keep Garnett and Bass and Bring in Terry and Lee
After Garnett played like a 25 year old again in the playoffs, proving he had more than enough left in the tank, it made resigning him quite simple. Garnett is still one of the best post defenders and mid-range shooters in the league and still bullies people down low every night. Despite losing most of his athleticism, he has still been able to stay one of the better big men in the league and there is no reason to think he will not stay this way. Bringing back Brandon Bass was a great move as he is a great rebounder and can score inside and out and plays great next to Garnett. It was very smart of them to keep their starting frontcourt together for the next few years. Even before losing Ray Allen they knew that their bench needed help and that they needed an explosive sixth man to give them points off the bench and they added one of the very best in Terry. He has been one of the best sixth men in the league for years and will give them the scoring they need in the second unit. With Allen gone, Jason Terry’s role will be even bigger than previously thought, but Terry is more than capable of taking on that large responsibility. Trading rarely used forward
JuJuan Johnson for a solid starting shooting guard in Courtney Lee was another great move, as he will give Boston the defense they ask out of their players and needed shooting to help replace Ray Allen. Now with a four-guard rotation of Rondo, Bradley, Terry and Lee, the team is deeper and better at the guard positions than they were last year.
Heat Add Allen and Lewis
What is there to say, other than the fact that the champions just added two fantastic veteran players on the cheap, who both fill a need. As the saying goes, the rich just got much richer. Allen will give them much needed shooting and scoring off the bench and will be their sixth man, while Lewis will stretch the floor as a power forward and give them solid production in whatever role he plays. With Wade and James constantly driving to the paint, the Heat need all the shooters they can find for the kick outs and double team passes and they added two of the best in the NBA and the best all-time in Allen. With the team possibly losing Mike Miller and James Jones, their two best shooters, they needed insurance, but they were somehow able to upgrade. The Heat are even better than they were a month ago when they won the championship, which is very scary for the rest of the league.
Dallas Refuses To Break the Bank
The Mavericks had loads of cap space this summer, which they created in the hopes of attracting Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard, but after Williams re-signed with the Nets and without the pieces to trade for Howard, they stayed relatively quiet. Instead of signing mediocre players to big contracts, they filled out their roster with one year deals for Chris Kaman and Elton Brand and added a potential stud shooting guard in OJ Mayo. They were even able to bring him in on a very fair two-year contract. This gives the Mavericks a chance to go for a big prize in free agency next summer and early word has it that they might have a chance at Howard. Very good job by the normally impulsive Mark Cuban, to make improvements without sacrificing future cap space. Without many people noticing, the Mavs have actually improved as a team, from last season.
Timberwolves Add Brandon Roy
No one has any idea what Brandon Roy has left in the tank after retiring just last year, with horrible knees, but he plays at a position of weakness and if he is even half as good as he was three years ago, then they got a steal at only 2 years and around 10 million dollars, for the former All-Star guard. It is risky, but they just signed a 27-year-old 3-time-All-Star for five million dollars a year, which is well worth the risk in NBA free agency.