Teams With The Best Offseasons
2012-13 Record: 31-51
Key Additions: Corey Brewer, Gorgui Dieng, Kevin Martin and Shabazz Muhammad
Key Losses: Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour
The Minnesota Timberwolves lost arguably their best player from last season in Andrei Kirilenko, but replaced him with Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin. By signing former 25 point scorer Kevin Martin, the Timberwolves address their biggest need: shooting. The T’wolves were last in three point shooting last year, and although some of this can be attributed to the absence of2011 3 point contest winner Kevin Love, the addition of Martin will help nonetheless. The Wolves also signed Corey Brewer away from the Denver Nuggets, and he should be able to contribute defensively as well as knocking down the occasional corner 3. The Wolves also had a solid draft, and got defensive prospect Gorgui Dieng as well as talented scorer Shabazz Muhammad. The icing on the cake was resigning Nikola Pekovic to a very reasonable 60 million contract, which should lock him up long term.
New Orleans Pelicans
2012-13 Record: 27-55
Key Additions: Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Greg Stiemsma
Key Losses: Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez
After a disappointing season last year, the newly-named Pelicans made some serious noise this off-season in hopes of making the playoffs. Although a shot-blacking backcourt of Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis would have been tantalizing, the Pelicans easily won the trade in which they received all-star point-guard Jrue Holiday. In addition, the Pelicans also obtained former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans’, who hopes that a change of scenery will help him flourish. Pelicans’ point-guard Austin Rivers also appears to be noticeably bulkier and stronger, and has dominated the summer league in Las Vegas. Regardless of whether they make the playoffs or not, the Pelicans figure to be much improved.
2012-13 Record: 45-37
Key Additions: Marcus Camby and Dwight Howard
Key Losses: Carlos Delfino
The Houston Rockets made headlines this summer for acquiring one main player, but when that player is Dwight Howard it makes your offseason one of the best. Although the Rockets have some issues to resolve as to who will play power-forward, Dwight Howard should be an imposing defensive presence. Dwight Howard will be healthier this season, and is reportedly working with Houston Rockets legend and Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. With a James Harden-Dwight Howard tandem, the Rockets should be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Bringing in seasoned-veteran Marcus Camby should also give Dwight Howard another mentor to learn from.
2012-13 Record: 49-33
Key Additions: Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, Mason Plumlee and Jason Terry
Key Losses: MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace
The Brooklyn Nets were a disappointment in the postseason, losing to a Chicago Bulls’ team that was without it’s MVP. The Nets made a blockbuster trade to receive former Celtics’ forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. With both Pierce and Garnett aging, the Nets are looking to be in win-now mode. The Nets also got veteran guard Jason Terry in the trade, which should help bolster their bench. In the best value signing of the offseason, the Nets got defensive specialist Andrei Kirilenko on the veteran’s minimum. Kirilienko will likely be the sixth man, but his multi-faceted nature will bring an intensity that the Nets lacked last season. Jason Kidd’s first season as a coach should be a good one.