May 8, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson (2) and center Al Horford (15) celebrate defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 87-86. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Bored at Work? Tuning out the NBA during the summer? That's ok, we got you covered! From now until the end of the offseason, SOV will be recapping the week's events every Friday. Tune in to see what has been going down in the wacky world of the National Basketball Association!
Brooklyn and Atlanta make a flurry of moves
In a last-ditch effort to convince Deron Williams to re-sign with the teams, Brooklyn resigned their other free agent, Gerald Wallace, to a 4-year, $40 million deal. While Wallace is a wonderful player, he's also 30 and his game is based around his athleticism. However, the Nets weren't content with merely one horrid contract and traded Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, and Anthony Morrow to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Joe Johnson. Johnson, 31, has 4-years, $89 million left on his gargantuan contract. However, he's still an All-Star-caliber player who can handle the ball and defend multiple positions. Despite the fact that these moves relegate them to salary cap hell, it was apparently enough to sway Williams; he spurned the Mavericks' offer and resigned. For added depth, the Nets also signed Spanish league star Mirza Teletovic to a nice 3-year, $3 million deal. There's chatter that the team is still attempting to trade for Dwight Howard, but more than likely what you see now is what you get. All and all, this is a good team, but none of these moves are enough to make Brooklyn better than the Miami Heat or the Chicago Bulls (assuming Derrick Rose is healthy). So basically, you're looking at a solid team for 2 years, then 2 years of hell when you can't do anything because you have too many bad contracts. Have fun with that, Nets.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta not only did new GM Danny Ferry shed J.J.'s albatross of a contract, he also traded Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris, whose contract comes off the books after this season. These are some bold moves from Ferry, who inheirted a mid-tier team. Rather than remaining content with a 4th-place finish and a second-round exit, he's looking for improvement through cap flexibility. The team isn't in total rebuilding mode yet (it's hard to be considered rebuilding when you have two All-Stars, Josh Smith and Al Horford, in their primes), but Ferry now has plenty of options. He even has a chance to land Atlanta-native Dwight Howard. All in all, nice job.
It's still raining in Dallas
Not only did they miss out on Deron Williams, but the Mavs also lost Jason Terry and Jason Kidd to Boston and New York, respectively. We haven't seen a championship team dismantled this quickly since the 2006 Miami Heat. Still considering that they have one of the smartest owner/GM combinations in the league, it's hard to imagine that the Mavericks will stay down for long. They may no longer make the playoffs this season, but look for Dallas to rebound in the near future.
Houston is doing...stuff?
It's no secret that Rockets' GM Daryl Morey has long conveted a superstar. His plan of collecting assets has finally reached the high-water mark; he let free-agent Goran Dragic walk and traded borderline-All-Star Kyle Lowry to Toronto for a lottery pick. He also signed Bulls' free agent Omer Asik to a smartly-structured 3-year, $25 million deal. Houston's roster now has 3 guards and 20 power forwards (I kidd...but just barely). Obviously, everything is dependent on further moves. Morey is a really bright guy, but I'm not sure how he manages to sort this one out.
The Clippers get slightly better
Everyone's favorite Los Angeles team (I mean that) has gotten marginally better by resigning their own free-agent Chauncey Billups and now by signing Jamal Crawford, who is a better version of Nick Young. Also, they traded Reggie Evans to Brooklyn, meaning that they have one less annoying flopper on their team; their likability factor has gone up.
All the Restricted Free Agents are signing offer sheets in vain
Basically every RFA has signed an offer sheet with another team--Roy Hibbert with the Blazers, Nic Batum with the TWolves, Jeremy Lin with the Rockets, Eric Gordon with the Suns--and the media coverage and drama will be for nought when their respective teams match. Book it.
Brandon Roy attempts a comeback, signs 2-year deal with Minnesota
No jokes or sarcasm here, because I love Brandon Roy and I wish him the best.
Lakers acquire the most lovable player in the NBA, are still evil
Steve Nash has finally left the desert in a sign-and-trade with LAL. The Suns exchanged the 38-year-old (why does every media outlet screw up his age? He's been reported as being as young as 36 and as old as 41....7 February 1974, people) in exchange for cash and some second-round draft picks. Although Nash has more lucrative offers from New York and Toronto, he wanted to stay closer to his kids. Plus, if anyone has earned the right to sign with LA and possibly ring-chase, it's him. Regardless, this move isn't putting the Lakeshow over the top; they're still the 3rd-best team in the West. Also, they have no depth, and Nash is 38, Pau is 32, Kobe will soon turn 34, so their window is limited at best. I believe that they should have traded Pau and gone in a different direction, but that's just me.
Don't cry for the Suns, Argentina. In addition to the aforementioned signing of Goran Dragic (to a reasonable deal, assuming he can match his 2012 production), the Suns also signed Michael Beasley for 3-years, $18 million. Admittedly, Beasley is terrible and doesn't deserve that kind of money; however, if he's going to start over anywhere, Phoenix is a good choice. For one, they have a lot of veteran players who should have a good influence on him. Alvin Gentry is also a good coach for Beasley: easy-going and likeable, but disciplined enough to command his players' respect. Finally, he'll get a chance to play up-tempo. This is definitely a risk, but a calculated one.
Hasheem Thabeet signs a 2-year contract with OKC
I'm all out of snark.
Have a good weekend, folks, and keep tuning in for more NBA doings!