The NBA season is only a mere 60-something days away. Training camp starts in a little more than a month. Since we’re getting close, let’s take a look at some of the offseason moves, shall we? Great! I’m going to start with a few of the lesser talked about teams (to say it nicely) in the Eastern conference.
The Brooklyn Nets are still dealing with the repercussions of former general manager Billy King’s 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics (among his other bad trades). That trade sent a majority of their young players, including Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Marshon Brooks, as well as their first-round 2014-2018 picks to Boston in exchange for the aging Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a few more years for the Nets to fully recover from King’s tenor. All hope has not been lost in Brooklyn, though! The team has been slowly, but steadily improving since King left the GM position and this offseason, new GM (2016) Sean Marks has made a few creative moves that will set the team up nicely in the next few seasons. Specifically, Marks has acquired three players in “salary dump” trades – trades that happen when the player’s previous team is looking to open up cap space and/or tax implications. With these trades, Marks not only brought some decent talent to the team, including Dwight Howard*, Kenneth Faried, and Darrell Arthur, but also a few future first round picks. The Nets are still not in position to win big this coming season, but like I said, these offseason moves have set them up nicely for seasons to come.
When considering the fact that the team only won 24 games last season, it’s no surprise to learn that the Atlanta Hawks are in a rebuilding state. Like Brooklyn, the Hawks are taking a similar approach to their offseason by bringing on “salary-dump” players while simultaneously collecting future picks. $20 million in open cap space made this approach possible.
One of the moves made by the team was the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony from OKC. OKC sent Anthony as well as a 2022 first-round pick to the Hawks in exchange for guard Dennis Schröder. The Hawks were anxious to move Schröder in order to make room for Jeremy Lin who they acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for a 2020 second round pick as well as the rights to Isaia Cordinier who is currently playing overseas. While Lin is expected to be with the team at least for this season, Carmelo Anthony has already left the building. The team and Anthony agreed to contract buyout for $25.5 million, a move that will allow Anthony to sign with another team.
As it stands now, the Hawks have acquired Jeremy Lin, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks. Not a bad offseason (so far)!
Unlike Brooklyn and Atlanta, Detroit did not have the salary cap space to take the “salary-dump” approach to their offseason. However, they did manage to add a few players through free-agency. Those players include Glen Robinson, Jose Calderon and Zaza Pachulia. Detroit finished 9th in the Eastern Conference last season. Can Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond make a difference this season? Can Reggie Jackson stay healthy?
The Pistons are only expected to bump up one seed this season. But considering that Blake Griffin has been healthy and active all offseason as well as new coach Dwane Casey, can Detroit move up a seed or two? I really want to say say yes, but I’ll go with ‘maybe’ for now 🙂
Image Source: AP