Summer winnersPosted by Inside Hoops
Aside from a Bulls shooting guard who scores a lot and feels he’s worth more than the $10 million per season Chicago is reportedly offering, every notable free agent in the league has a contract for the upcoming season. So, although more signings may occur, winners from this summer in the deals department are becoming clear.
The 76ers signed Elton Brand. They’re paying him a lot and didn’t get a steal, but what they are getting is an All-Star level power forward who, assuming he’s as good as he was before getting injured and stays hungry, can do damage in the East. This was the most impactful signing of the summer.
The Bucks traded for Richard Jefferson, and gave up no proven pieces in the process. They traded Mo Williams away for Luke Ridnour, who as a passer fits the team’s need at point guard more than Mo did. They drafted Joe Alexander, a dunking, running forward to come off the bench. They’re a winner for adding RJ.
The Blazers drafted extremely well, adding Jerryd Bayless, a hard-to-guard scoring point guard who appears ready to drop 20 points anytime he feels like it, and Rudy Fernandez, an impressive, already-successful overseas talent. They’ll also have Greg Oden active this year, though he was added to the squad a year ago thanks to a very lucky day in the draft lottery.
The Heat may have lucked out when the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose, because Michael Beasley may be the better player of the two.
The Bulls, thanks to draft lottery luck, are summer winners for getting Rose at all.
The Rockets traded for Ron Artest and didn’t give up any proven pieces to get him.
The Timberwolves traded for Mike Miller, giving no stars up in return, and got Kevin Love in the draft. Those are two nice players to put next to Al Jefferson. The team will still probably struggle, but there’s some interesting stuff on paper in Minnesota.
Possible winner: The Raptors traded TJ Ford for Jermaine O’Neal. If JO can stay healthy and transform into the All-Star player he used to be, Toronto is a big winner. But in recent seasons, even when healthy, O’Neal has been closer to “good” or sometimes “very good” than great.
Possible winner: The Clippers lost Brand, which obviously isn’t good, and Corey Maggette signed elsewhere, but they signed Baron Davis and traded for Marcus Camby. With B-Diddy, rookie Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, Camby and Chris Kaman, they now have a weird lineup that could be fun to watch. Worth keeping an eye on, but probably not a winner.
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