New Jersey 24-58 (I heard once they had a Russian owner or something?)
Notable free agents - Dan Gadzuric's &7.2 million dollar contract, Sasha Vujacic, Kris Humphries
Core players still on contract - Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar
Recap: Well they improved from their historic 13 win season last year, but did make some questionable signings. After they missed out on LeBron, Bosh, Wade, and Stoudemire, they felt the next best thing was getting Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow. All three's contracts are about the same as a max contract that they would have signed those big names for. So they have that core which isn't very nice.
But in the middle of the season, after they lost out on Carmelo, they traded for Deron Williams who's on contract for one more year, and then has a player option NEXT summer. So they have one season to convince Deron Williams to stay.
Another trade was a 3-team deal that got them Houston's first round pick (lotto protected), and LA Lakers' first round pick. They also got Sasha Vujacic's expiring contract.
Expect them to: 1. Re-sign Kris Humphries. 2. Not Re-sign Sasha Vujacic. 3. Build depth with the draft. 4. Make a play for Dwight Howard.
Yes. There are rumors that the Nets want Dwight Howard (who doesn't?) and a trade they'd have to do would be their big men of Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. So that's two reasons they'd re-sign Kris Humphries, he's a great rebounder who had a break out year, and he's a trade asset for Dwight.
Sasha will not be re-signed. He was the catch in the trade that netted them 2 first rounders with the Lakers and Rockets. It should be noted that the Jazz have the Nets' first round pick.
Check out the article regarding the Nets going for Dwight Howard here.
Detroit Pistons 30-52 (I remember when everyone was jumping all up on the Detroit bandwagon when they signed Charlie V and Ben Gordon a couple summers ago...)
Notable free agents - TAYSHAUN PRINCE, Tracy McGrady, Chris Wilcox
Core players still on contract - Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe, Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Ben Wallace,
Recap: The Pistons had high hopes after Greg Monroe fell to them in the 2010 draft, but this team went nowhere fast. Included in this season was the benching of Richard Hamilton, a player revolt where T-Mac, Chris Wilcox, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince didn't show up for a shootaround because they were unhappy with coach Kuester. Needless to say, the team only won 30 games.
Expect them to: 1. Not re-sign Tracy McGrady. 2. Try and fail to re-sign Tayshaun Prince (leading them to put . 3. Trade Richard Hamilton. 4. Sign Rodney Stuckey to an extension. 5. Draft high and build around Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe.
They gave Tracy a chance and it didn't quite work out. It was only a one year contract so they'll move their separate ways. Tayshaun Prince has no reason to stay. He's a veteran now and a great defender/all around player that a championship contending team could offer some good money to (Heat comes to mind-speculation). I fully expect Tayshaun to skip town. And with that I expect them to trade Richard Hamilton (2 more years on contract for about 12.5 mil) for expiring contracts so they can re-sign Rodney Stuckey.
I also expect them to shop Charlie V. and/or Ben Gordon but will have a lot of trouble doing so because they are not that good and they are being paid way too much (both for 3 more years - BG for 11.5, 12 and 13 million, CV for 7.5, 8, 8.5 million - WOW!) But other teams would watch Richard Hamilton, he's still a good defender with a great shot.
This team is all about Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey now and they will build around them through said trades and draft. These aren't the best players but it's all they have to work with.
Los Angeles Clippers 32-50 (I thought this team would make the playoffs this year- LOL)
Notable free agents - DeAndre Jordan
Core players still on contract - Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Mo Williams, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe
Recap: New Coach Vinny Del Negro had a team that wasn't ready in the beginning of the season but started coming together near the end. Blake Griffin finally had a rookie season and won himself Rookie Of The Year. Eric Gordon improved his stats but did little to improve his ball handling skills after helping Team USA win gold in Turkey. Baron Davis started the year hurt, and ended the year a Cavalier. In return the Clippers got less a play maker, but a better shooter in Mo Williams and athletic dude Jamario Moon. Chris Kaman also started the year hurt, which gave DeAndre Jordan playing time and he shine shine shined his way into an upcoming big pay day this summer.
Expect them to: (Check out my previous post where I got to hear Donald Sterling divulge some goods about what the Clippers plans are) 1. Re-Sign DeAndre Jordan. 2. Trade Chris Kaman. 3. Decide whether or not they want to sign Jamario Moon his team option (if they can trade Kaman for a SF, then no). 4. NOT draft (Cleveland has their pick through Baron trade).
No huge changes here, unless Chris Kaman can get the Clippers a nice player. The Clippers are the first lottery team I've talked about that has a not only a really good player, but a really good core (Wizards have John Wall and Rashard Lewis, not much to really build around). A starting lineup of Mo Williams, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and some SF that Chris Kaman could yield (if not, Jamario Moon or Ryan Gomes) is a potentially lethal starting lineup. Could THIS be the year that the Clippers finally put it together? They better because I just got another season's worth of tickets.
It will be very interesting to see what they can get for Chris Kaman though.
Charlotte Bobcats 34-48 (Team blown up, let's see where the bits fall)
Notable free agents - Joel Przybilla's 7.5 mil contract, Morris Peterson's 6.5 mil contract, Kwame Brown
Core players still on contract - Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson, DJ Augustin, Tyrus Thomas
Recap: They. Traded. Gerald. Wallace. They also traded Nazr Mohammed. For expiring contracts of course. Michael Jordan the owner decided this team wasn't gonna get it done with Gerald Wallace as the best player so to Portland he went. And the team played out the season. And that's pretty much it.
Expect them to: 1. Draft twice (their pick and New Orleans'). 2. Potentially trade Boris Diaw's expiring 9 mil contract. 3. Play with free agency and try and sign a top talent.
And that's pretty much it. They don't have a lot of pieces except for DJ Augustin to build around so they're gonna have to see where they end up in the draft and then go from there. This team will lose a lot of games next season if they don't sign a top talent and go strictly with young draftees.
Milwaukee Bucks 35-47 (The Michael Redd era is ova)
Notable free agents - Michael Redd, Luc Mbah a Moute
Core players still on contract - Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Corey Maggette, John Salmons, Drew Gooden
Recap: If the Milwaukee Bucks plays a game but no one is around to hear it, do they make a noise? The crazy thing is that they were only 2 games behind in the east to make the playoffs! The thing is, this core group of guys is on contract for a lot of years and they're just not that good. I mean Corey Maggette? He's a bench player these days. John Salmons is good and Drew Gooden is solid but as for starting lineup quality in the East? Which all of a sudden is the dominant conference almost over night? Not gonna get much done.
As all star quality as Andrew Bogut can be and as flashy as Brandon Jennings is, this team is still a couple pieces away from being a borderline 8th seed to a solid 7th seed.
Expect them to: 1. Not re-sign Michael Redd. 2. Use that $18 mil from Michael Redd's contract to sign a big name or two tier 2 or 3 guys. 3. Draft near the middle of the draft for some OK talent at best.
Like I said, they can use that $18 mil to really bolster this lineup with some solid offensive punch. Unfortunately, Milwaukee isn't a big name city, but this is an attractive lineup for the right player. Great center who can play defense and a scoring point guard with John Salmons on the wing? See who they can sign...