Sunday, August 2, 2009
Cleveland signed Jamario Moon (2 years, $6 million)
He's not going to be a starter for this Cleveland squad, but his versatility and athleticism will be a big help for them off of the bench. He can play either Forward position. Moon is one of those rare players who has the ability to average over 1 3pt, 1 stl and 1 blk per game. He provides the Cavs with a big man who has the quickness and length to defend hybrid forwards like Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. He should improve Cleveland's defense of the pick-n-roll. On offense, he's a streaky shooter with limited ball handling and play making skills. But he uses his athleticism well to collect rebounds, block shots and thrown down the occasional highlight dunk. He should be a valuable contributor for Cleveland; playing a situational defender type role. I like the duo of Lebron and Moon at the Forward spots on the defensive end. He won't put up big numbers, but his play will be huge.
Toronto signed Jarret Jack (4 years, $20 million)
This a very underrated signing. Jack is a combo guard who can play either G position effectively. He's a solid defender and will add some much needed toughness to this Toronto team. I expect him to start at the SG position replacing Anthony Parker. He can score from anywhere on the floor and has very good play-making and ball-handling skills. A lineup with Calderon, Jack and Turkoglu sounds very dynamic on the offensive end. I expect Toronto to be a much improved team next season. Of equal importance is that he's a close friend of Chris Bosh. So this signing improves their chance of retaining Bosh next year when his contract expires. To throw out some random stats, after the all-star break, Jack averaged 17.3 pts, 4.9 asts, 1.5 stls and 1.1 3pts per game on excellent percentages 48 FG% and 85 FT%. Jack is definitely a baller. And they signed him at a reasonable deal.
Portland signed Andre Miller (3 years, $22 million)
A great signing by Portland. I think he fits their team much better than Lee or Millsap, who they also pursued earlier. He is a great leader and play-maker on the basketball court. Miller is a crafty passer, who will make his teammates better. He doesn't have a great 3pt shot, but he is a very efficient scorer. He takes high percentage shots and attacks the basketball well. Miller gets to the free throw line at a nice clip, where he shoots over 80% from the charity line. He is also a solid defender and rebounder. He will provide this young Portland team with some much needed experience. And he improves their PG position greatly. Blake is an average starting PG, but a great backup PG. He will be turning 33 this year, but based on his production last year, he still has plenty of gas in the tank. Portland could be dangerous next season.
Detriot signed Chris Wilcox (2 years, $6 million)
I'm not a big fan of Wilcox, but he has a shot at playing a major role on the revamped Pistons squad. His only competition at the C position will be Kwame Brown; one of the biggest busts in recent memory. Just a couple years ago, Wilcox averaged 14 pts and 8 rebs per game in only 30 minutes for the Seattle Supersonics. So he does have some talent. He has a reputation of being an underachiever who lacks focus and consistency. So it will be interesting to see how he adapts to his new team. Detriot will need him to improve on his rebounding and defensive stats. He is a solid scorer within a couple feet of the basket. He runs the floor well, can finish at the rim and has nice leaping ability and quickness. He needs to improve on his post game and his outside shot. He'll get every opportunity to prove himself in Detriot. He's still a relatively young talent, with a lot to prove.
Dallas signed Drew Gooden (1 year, $4.5 million)
This is a nice low-risk move by Dallas. Anyone is a big improvement over Eric Dampier. Hah! Though Gooden is mainly famous for his beard, he also is one of the league's top rebounders. He'll score points on put-backs and offensive rebounds, and will hit the occasional jump shot. He has a nice mix of size and quickness, and some decent post moves. And he can hit free throws which is always a plus from your big men. He will need to improve on his consistency though. He sometimes has mental lapses on the court. And he can play passive at times, not asserting himself like he is capable of. But still he should be a valuable contributor for this revamped Dallas squad, who could make some noise in the postseason. I like the frontcourt of Marion, Nowitzki and Gooden. I should also mention that Dallas has signed Tim Thomas. While he's never quite lived up to his full potential, he is a solid role player. He can stretch the floor with his outside shooting, and is a decent rebounder. He has nice length and size and can cause mismatch problems for the opposing team. He proves some depth for Dallas.
Orlando signed Matt Barnes (2 years, $3.2 million)
Wow. This Orlando team is stacked. All they need is an upgrade at backup PG, and they are Finals bound. It should be fun to see Pietrus and Barnes back on the same team again. If they elect to start Lewis at PF again, than Barnes will be competing with Pietrus for the SF position. He can play either Forward position, and can help stretch the opposing team's defense with his outside shooting. He handles the ball well for his size, but is prone to turnovers. He is a solid rebounder and defender; who always plays with a lot of passion, energy and toughness. He is just another weapon for this Orlando team, who should have no problems leading the league in scoring. They key for Orlando will be keeping everyone happy and getting them to buy into the team concept. There won't be enough minutes to go around for everyone.
New Orleans traded Tyson Chandler to Charlotte for Emeka Okafor
Wow. This trade was unexpected. I don't see how it helps out either team very much. I'm surprised that the Hornets pulled the trigger on this trade; since they are in a cost-saving mode. And they just took back more salary. Okafor's contract is 3 years longer than Chandler, and he is owed over $40 million during than span. For Charlotte, I don't know why they would mess with team chemistry when they were so close to making the playoffs. In general, Okafor puts up better numbers, and more importantly, has managed to stay healthy during the past 2 years. Both players serve a similar role for their respective teams; though they have different strengths. Okafor is a bit undersized at the C position, but he is a banger and an outstanding inside defender. He is amongst the league's top shot blockers and rebounders. He has a high basketball IQ also. He has limited offensive moves, but is capable of scoring from within a couple feet of the basket. He can hold his own in the post, but isn't a particularly quick or agile player. On the flip side, Chandler has 0 offensive moves. The only points that he scores are from alley-oop lobs from Chris Paul. He has great length and athleticism, and can run the floor like a Forward. He doesn't have the muscle to bang in the post like Okafor does, though. He still manages to be a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, though. But he is more of a help defender, who uses his agility and quickness to cover for his teammates. It seems like Chandler is better suited for New Orleans and Okafor for Charlotte. Doesn't it? It's tough to see how this will play out for either team.
Milwaukee signed Hakim Warrick (1 year, $3 million)
While not the biggest name in the market. Warrick has a chance to secure a starting spot in the Bucks lineup. He played PF for Memphis, but he may get some minutes at SF for this Milwaukee team. Hakim has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his young career. His strength is slashing to the basket, and he gets to the free throw line at a nice clip. He is also an effective fisher in the open floor due to his impressive athleticism. His jump shot still needs some work though. He has nice length and quickness, but isn't a particularly good defender or rebounder. He will also need to learn how to pass the ball better and work on his consistency. But he is still a young player and has room to grow. As a starter 2 years ago, he average 17 points and 7 rebounds per game. I'm sure the Bucks would be happy if he could reproduce those stats. He has limited competition for minutes.
Posted by Kay at 3:51 PM