Top 6? IMO, they are not that good as they are currently constructed.
Miami, Detroit, Cleveland, New Jersey are all undisputedly better. I think that Washington is probably better as well, and most would agree with that. So, that's 5 teams for sure. Chicago could certainly be better, as could the Bucks. Throw in the fact that the Pacers are injury prone (JO, Tinsley, Foster) and they could very well miss out on the playoffs.
NO has a sg need right? Maybe Mike James Sign & Trade for JR Smith, and maybe someone else to take off the cap hit. If they ask for Sow, throw him in too, Smith is young, and has loads of potential.
That would leave Starting lineups like this:
Rasho or Bargnani
with Graham the first option off the bench
Peja? or Desmond Mason
Its the Damn east...For all we know the Pacers could end up in the 5th postion if healthy. Didnt they come close to making it last year with a hobbled team? The year before last they made the playoffs with a hobbled team. I dont expect them to make the playoffs but it wouldnt surprise me if they did with that current lineup.
I like the JR to the Raptors idea. I think he'd be a good fit.
Peja at 13 mil per year is *****ing insane. I'd nix that and simply trade for Brent Barry or another such player. They need a 3 pt shooter and scoring, but I'd rather have a scorer who can create and then a roleplaying shooter.
Nonetheless this makes them a certain playoff team, even in the insanely deep West provided they keep up the same level of play.
i thought the bobcats where going in the right direction with great young guys and good veterans (PJ) and then they give peja 13mil/yr.
this will kill them 2 years from now when peja gets a bum knee or something and can't give them more than 15min/gm and nobody is willing to take him (or they believe in isiahs coaching skills)
Hornets could be a great team it really depends on how good those draftees were.
I think Mason is improving quickly, Snyder will develop into a good backup SG but the key is a weak frontline and West and Brown. They are both good mid-range shooters, but Brown is forced to play center where he is not as effective defensively and West has major defensive issues. With Paul-Snyder-Mason they had a great defensive backcourt last year. With Hilton and Cedric Simmons they are hoping to fix their front line.
With peja they get someone who can score in the backcourt besides Paul.
It will be interesting to see how the Hornets pan out.