Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
This summer was easily one of the most exciting NBA offseasons in recent memory.With no lockout to worry about the wheeling and dealing was non-stop.
A huge star relocated, the defending champs reloaded, and there was a whole host of curious/stupid moves.
The offseason got off to its official start with the NBA Draft on June 28 and only got better in the weeks since then.
All of the moves should make for a fantastic 2012-13 season.
This one is easy.
Instead of splitting up Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, LA added Steve Nash to compliment both of their games and take A LOT of pressure off Kobe Bryant.
The move immediately catapulted the Lakers to the top of the list of championship contenders and put Miami on notice.
Mark Cuban took a huge gamble when he decided to go for broke and clear up cap space this summer in hopes of getting Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard.
He missed on both and also lost bench spark plug Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics and Jason Kidd to the New York Knicks.
Elton Brand and Chris Kaman are OK pick ups, but as currently constructed the Mavs look like a lottery team.
There's something to be said about the NBA runners up not panicking to make moves that could potentially mess with what works. (Remember that James Harden for draft rights to Bradley Beal rumour?)
OKC will give its core another year to grow and mature, while bringing in someone who could be the absolute steal of this year's draft: Baylor big man Perry Jones.
The Celtics think they can ride this thing out one last time.
Except 'The Big Three Plus One' is now without the services of Ray Allen and old man Kevin Garnett got a new and massively overpriced deal.
Picking up Jason Terry wasn't a bad move, but it won't get this team any closer to dethroning Miami.
Although they lost out on Dwight Howard (his fault, no one else's), the Nets re-signed Deron Williams and picked up Joe Johnson.
Brooklyn automatically goes from mediocre to playoff team.
The team also moved closer to overtaking the Knicks as THE New York City basketball team.
Houston did everything it could to stock up lottery picks good enough to entice Orlando into sending Dwight Howard their way.
But after that didn't work they drafted some nice, but unspectacular players, sent their best player to Toronto (Kyle Lowry), and gave a boatload of money to an OK guy who will add little to the team (Omer Asik) and a point guard who may not live up to all the hype (Jeremy Lin).
They can still get Howard, but in doing so the Rockets would end up looking just like the Magic did last year: a depleted roster with a disgruntled superstar leading the way.
There's really no way you can have a bad offseason when your two lottery picks end up being an uber talented big man (Anthony Davis) being compared to Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant and a 'NBA-style' guard like Austin Rivers.
The Hornets will also bring back Eric Gordon and have added three point specialist Ryan Anderson.
New Orleans should be out of the lottery in no time.
With virtually no cap space the Knicks were looking at a tough offseason.
Even so, what initially looked like a summer that might include the addition of Steve Nash turned into a long term deal for the ancient and deteriorating Jason Kidd, the weird signing of a point guard with weight issues (Raymond Felton), and the PR mess of letting Jeremy Lin leave.
The Heat didn't let a championship make them complacent.
Miami added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to its strong group of three-point shooters.
They were already the odds-on favourites to repeat next season, but adding those two should worry the rest of the league even more.
This saga has no end in sight.
With the latest rumours saying Magic executives want to meet with Howard face-to-face to see if they can convince him to stay, there's little chance 2012-13 will be any different from last season.
It's going to be yet another looooong season in Orlando.
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