Even after the champion is crowned and the confetti of the parade is swept away, the sports world never stops. The regular season quickly turns into the postseason and then of course the offseason. The offseason is where teams try to improve their team, turn their failures around, and try to make their own luck for the upcoming season. This current offseason we are in now for the NBA is dying down, so we can crown some winners and point out the losers. Let’s start out in the East.
Brooklyn Nets – Whenever you can lock up your franchise player when he is entering his prime for five more years it automatically makes you a winner. Adding a true scorer in Joe Johnson might give the Nets the best backcourt in basketball. Keeping Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries gives the Nets what most teams are looking for – chemistry. Starting a new life in Brooklyn is just what this franchise needed.
New York Knicks – All the Knicks did was improve this offseason. Their glaring need a point guard was fixed by signing future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd and Amar’e Stoudemire’s pick and roll buddy Raymond Felton. Depth in the frontcourt was also addressed by signing veteran Marcus Camby. Retaining Steve Novak, JR Smith, and head coach Mike Woodson were also good moves, giving the Knicks some familiarity and consistency for once. This team still will only go where Carmelo Anthony takes them, but they did improve this offseason.
Miami Heat – You really can’t lose when you have the best player in the world on your team, but Pat Riley found a way to improve his champion Heat team. Adding the best three-point shooter of all time in Ray Allen will make the Heat even harder to defend. LeBron and Wade will be slashing to the hoop and you will have two choices: double team them and watch them kick it out while Allen sits back like a fat cat in the corner, or watch them slam it on you. Adding another shooter who can just sit in the corner in Rashard Lewis isn’t too bad either.
Orlando Magic – How can this team give Dwight Howard a uniform and have the PA announcer announce his name with any sort of excitement on opening night? He clearly does not want to play for you so why would you force your fans to watch a big baby try to force himself to like you? Get a package, send the big headache away, and start new. It’s not like you were winning with him anyway.
Chicago Bulls – Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls still had the best record in the East mostly because they had such great chemistry. They didn’t lose any of their core in Rose, Luol Deng or Joakim Noah, but lose key role players in Kyle Korver, Omir Asik, CJ Watson, and Ronnie Brewer. What the Bulls lost in depth, the Knicks gained. I expect the Bulls to take a couple steps back this year. This isn’t the team that can beat the Heat.
Los Angeles Lakers – There was no secret in La-La land that the Lakers needed a guy who can run the show smoothly. A leader who can knows when to give the ball to Kobe and Bynum at the right time. Steve Nash is that guy. Before he was Kobe’s teammate, he terrorized the West and was a nightmare for the Lakers. You would be a fool if you think Nash isn’t still one of the best point guards in the league. Major win for the Lakers. Imagine this team with Dwight? Scary
New Orleans Hornets – Might be a little premature, but you have to put the Hornets as a winner this offseason. Winning the draft alone should give you the title as a winner, thanks to David Stern. I don’t think he will be such a heavy impact as everyone thinks he is going to be because he is as skinny as a pole, but Anthony Davis improves this team. Along with Austin Rivers who has big upside has a smart and gritty player, and retaining Eric Gordon, the Hornets are defiantly winners this offseason.
Los Angeles Clippers – A common trend this offseason was to build a team and depth around your already established superstars, and that is exactly what the Clippers did. Signing a spark off the bench in Jamal Crawford and veteran Grant Hill will help this team. A deal breaker here is Lamar Odom. If he can turn back into the 6th man of the year Lamar Odom since he is back with the Kardashians Lamar Odom and not be depressed, I don’t care about basketball Lamar Odom; the Clippers can make a run in the West.
Dallas Mavericks – After striking out on Deron Williams, the Mavericks offseason was all downhill from there. Losing Jason Terry to the Celtics hurts as well as Jason Kidd. Losing 4 main pieces to their championship run when you include Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea, the Mavericks don’t scare anyone. It’s not the losses that hurt; it’s the non-existent addition of players. Yeah OJ Mayo, Darren Collison and Chris Kaman are nice, but they aren’t beating the best teams in the West. Dallas will take major steps back this year.