Summer Trade Review: Eastern Conference
Who were the winners and losers this off-season. Who thought the Cavs and Pistons wanted to win?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is the cheat sheet you need to know before the season starts.
A lot of big personnel moves have gone down in the NBA this summer. Here's what you need to know to not look like an idiot before the preseason kicks off.
One of the biggest trades this off-season involved the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks lost Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. The added Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and Kelly Olynik to the team. This move truly marks the end of an era in Boston. The Celtics threw up the white flag and are now in full scale rebuilding mode. They knew they couldn't compete with Miami, among others in the East, and decided being just good wasn't good enough.
The Brooklyn Nets on the other hand acquired the above mentioned players and now look like one of the top teams in the West. They're starting five is impressive. Yes, they are a much older team with these additions, but with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams still in their prime they are hoping to make a real run at the East this season.
The New York Knicks added Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, and Beno Udrih to the team, while losing Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, and Chris Copeland. Although Kidd is definitely a loss, the Knicks are looking to come back stronger in 2014 with the pick-and-pop capabilities of Bargnani added to the team and the toughness of MWP. The Knicks did a decent job this off-season, but will not win significantly more games from any of these moves.
The 76ers are deep in the heart of rebuilding territory. They lost Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday this off-season, while acquiring Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, and Royce White. Philadelphia will be horrible this season pure and simple. They are under-manned at nearly every position.
The Raptors acquired Tyler Hansbrough, D.J. Augustin, and Steve Novak, while losing Andrea Bargnani and Marcus Camby. The Raptors will be lucky to make the playoffs this season and worry none of the op contenders. This is a team built to marginally compete and certainly not win.
The Chicago Bulls get Derrick Rose back from his torn ACL and really everything else is mute. Yes, Richard Hamilton and Nate Robinson left the Bulls, but the only real factor is how the Bulls will finish the year is DRose and whether Luol Deng will stay healthy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had one of the busiest off-season. The acquired Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack, and Earl Clark, while only losing Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington. They know they will get great point gaurd play out of Kyrie Irving and a solid contribution from Jack, but the big question mark with this team is Bynum. If Bynum can stay healthy and be productive the Cavs could easily be headed to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron took his talents to South Beach.
The Washington Wizards added Otto Porter. Not sure I'd even call this a move.
The Orlando Magic lost Al Harrington and Beno Udrih having everyone scratch their heads as to what direction this team wants to move in.
The Miami Heat scooped up Greg Oden and lost Mike Miller. This is a great addition to an already incredibly strong team. If Oden can stay healthy this gives them another athletic big man that can rebound and play defense. This is exactly what they need. With the recent addition of Ray Allen last season, Mike Miller was redundant.
The Bobcats added Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson. This is clearly a non-competitive team.
The Atlanta Hawks lost Josh Smith and Devin Harris. Both of these guys are very productive and set the Hawks back significantly. They tried to rectify things by acquiring Elton Brand and Paul Millsap, but they lost more than they gained.
The Milwaukee Bucks had an incredibly busy off-season. It looked like they were falling apart when they lost Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, and J.J. Redick, but they managed to salvage this by get O.J. May, Brandon Knight, and Gary Neal. This is a weaker Bucks team, but they definitely did their best to compensate for their loses.
The Pacers lost Tyler Hansbrough and Gerald Green, while getting Luis Scola and Chris Copeland. The Pacer over-achieved last season and I expect them to do the same this year too. The resigned David West which was their major off-season piece of business and are looking to continue to play above their pay grade.
The Pistons had one of the most productive off-season picking up Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, and Chauncey Billups. These are three significant players. Apparently, Detroit got tired of getting kicked around the Eastern Conference and decided it was time to put a team together. This is now a team with one of the more impressive front courts in the league. They will make significant improvements from last year.