5 NBA Teams That Desperately Need a Superstar This Offseason
5 NBA Teams That Need A Superstar Next Season
More than any other sport, in basketball one player can make a difference. The NBA has always been a superstar driven league, more so today. If you're an NBA general manager or coach, how you acquire and keep superstars is the difference between winning championships and the unemployment line.
When LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, he changed the balance of power in the league. The balance of power in the NBA is tilted, superstars are harder to bring back and they only seem to want to play in certain cities.
For the sake of argument, let's define the term superstar. In my opinion, a superstar is a player that dramatically improves his team's chances of winning. In my mind, there are only a handful of them which makes them even more important.
Superstars: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.
If we allow advanced metrics to be our guide, each of the men listed above have a EWA (estimated wins added) score above 16 and a VA (Value added) of over 480.
I differentiate stars from superstars in that superstars are more consistent and carry more of the load. Stars may play as well as a superstar, but not as often and they don't do quite as much.
Stars: Brook Lopez, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, Al Jefferson, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Al Horford, Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol.
Want to know how much of an impact these guys truly have? Only one person on the list (Jefferson) played for a team that didn't make the playoffs.
Michael Jordan's team has yet to have a player on their roster as transcendent as their owner. At this point, they'd settle for an All-Star. In their nine-year history, they have qualified for the postseason just once, which was during the 2009-10 season when they achieved a franchise-best record of 44-38.
The team recently changed its name back to the Hornets, however Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning aren't walking through that door.
The days of eight seconds or less are long gone. The thing that's always most surprised me about the Suns is that they are unable to attract free agents. Phoenix is a beautiful, warm weather city and the pressure to win isn't as great as it is in other places.
Dwight Howard may have been a pain in the butt, but at least he helped them win. The Magic only won 20 games without Howard last year. The Magic have never had a problem finding superstars (Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway and Howard), they just can't seem to keep them.
When King James left for South Beach, he left his former team in shambles, but they are slowly rebuilding. Kyrie Irving is on the verge of becoming a superstar himself, but he'll need some help if he is going to turn the Cavs into contenders. Next summer, it may come in the form of a certain Akron native.
Los Angeles Lakers
No team in history has relied more on superstars than the Lakers. Their former players read like a who's who of basketball. Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, Shaq. For the first time in many years, the Lakers could start next season without a true superstar. If by some miracle of modern science Kobe is able to make it back and play most of next season, he'll still need a lot of help if he's going to get his sixth ring.