One of the best things about the summer is getting to sit back and say, "Wow, just think of what could happen!" I'm stealing from George Costanza and calling this THE SUMMER OF NATE! This is gonna be my time and here is what I'd do if I ...
One of the best things about the summer is getting to sit back and say, "Wow, just think of what could happen!" I'm stealing from George Costanza and calling this THE SUMMER OF NATE! This is gonna be my time and here is what I'd do if I were the GM for each and every team in the league ...
To give this a little order - we'll use the order of the first round of the NBA draft to break things down ...
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Restricted Free Agents: Omri Casspi, Wayne EllingtonUnrestricted Free Agents: Daniel Gibson, Shaun Livingston, Marreese Speights (P), Luke Walton
Season review: Kyrie Irving broke out this season, but the team only got 24 wins. Anderson Varejao suffered a season ending blood-clot and a team that might have made a playoff run was doomed.
Off-season plans: I'd consider drafting Otto Porter out of Georgetown to pair with Irving and Dion Waiters. Porter could be that nice two-way player the team needs to lock-down the small forward spot. The team also needs some help in the front-court - inquiring into some trade talk might help, but making a run at Nikola Pekovic would be a priority.
2. Orlando Magic
RFA: DeQuan JonesUFA: Hedo Turkoglu (ETO), Beno Udrih
Season review: A dreadful 20-win season, but Rob Hennigan, Orlando's GM, did a great job getting some young prospects with the Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick trades.
Off-season plans: It'll still take another season to clear more cap room - there's no way Hedo turns down $12 million - and there isn't a clear choice for the No. 2 pick. I'd try to move the No. 2 pick to trade back for a pick or to gain another pick for 2014 (if it were possible). The Magic should roll the dice with what they have, let their young guys grow, maybe buy out Al Harrington and try to trade Glen Davis (two years and $13 million left), and hope the ping-pong balls fall right for Andrew Wiggins.
3. Washington Wizards
RFA: Garrett TempleUFA: Trevor Ariza (P), Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins, Cartier Martin, Emeka Okafor (ETO), A.J. Price, Martell Webster
Season review: When John Wall came back and Nene got healthy, this team looked like it could have made a playoff run. Wall played in 49 games and looked like he was beginning to make a leap with his play on the court. This was a pesky team that needs some help.
Off-season plans: The No. 3 pick was a nice surprise for the Wizards. I'd hope that Otto Porter falls to me here to pair with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the starting lineup, but Nerlens Noel would be nice too (even though I don't believe he'll be a star in the league). Okafor can't turn down the $14.4 million that awaits him next season and the same can be said for Ariza and his $7.7 million. Another wing player needs to be targeted and some depth off the bench - hopefully that'll be addressed in the draft with Porter.
4. Charlotte Bobcats
RFA: Gerald Henderson, Byron MullensUFA: DeSagana Diop, Ben Gordon (P), Josh McRoberts, Jannero Pargo, Reggie Williams
Season review: Bleh. Bringing in Mike Dunlap for one season and then firing him shows that there is still no plan in Charlotte.
Off-season plans: Keep the people focused on the Hornets name coming back.
5. Phoenix Suns
RFA: Diante GarrettUFA: Wesley Johnson, Jermaine O'Neal
Season review: The Michael Beasley signing already looks like a mistake ($6 million next season and a buyout option for the 2014-15 campaign) and bringing in O'Neal and Luis Scola were both head-scratching moves; not good. The Suns should be happy that the Hornets Pelicans matched the max-offer for Eric Gordon last summer.
Off-season plans: Try to move Scola and let the Morris Twins get some serious playing time in the front-court. Moving Marcin Gortat could also be a wise move and drafting a project big man like Alex Len, Cody Zeller, or maybe a riskier pick like Steven Adams (could trade back to get him) could be the move in the draft. The Suns are a mess.
6. New Orleans Pelicans
RFA: None.UFA: Al-Farouq Aminu, Lou Amundson, Xavie