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Wreckless
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http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9446196/nba-eastern-conference...

Could somebody post this for me? It seems like a good read. Thanks in advance.


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The offseason strategies of

The offseason strategies of the 30 teams across the NBA are coming into focus as the rosters churn on what seems like an hourly basis. Every summer, there are teams that seem to be "going for it" when the "it" in question might be a .500 record. Other teams seem more patient than they ought to be, because it appears one or two key moves could vault them into the championship picture.

I assume that the end goal of every NBA organization is to win a championship. That might seem obvious, but too often teams make moves that run contrary to that assumption. Building a title-caliber roster is usually a multiyear process, so the success or failure of any one season can be judged on other criteria. However, you need to be able to step back and look at the big-picture steps a franchise is taking to see how they could eventually lead to title contention.

With most rosters getting at least a mild makeover, it's a good time to assess where each team currently sits, what its approach appears to be and where it's all heading. To do this, I employed the ATH-based projection system of NBAPET, my collection of integrated spreadsheets that serves as a projection, evaluation and tracking model.

In a nutshell, the system uses ATH ratings to generate baseline projections for each player, then integrates the baseline forecasts into 30 team forecasts. Since there are only 1,230 wins to go around, every move affects every other team. So every time a transaction occurs and I update the rosters and balance the minutes, the projected standings change at least a little.

Before you get too excited about the specific team projections, you should be aware that I've left all unrestricted free agents off any roster until they've reached an agreement with their current or new team. Teams that already have their 2013-14 rotation more or less set are going to have a big advantage over teams with a lot of flux.

The projections will change on a daily basis, sometimes significantly. What you read here is an early snapshot of where teams stand at this moment of the offseason and the path each team is taking.

For each team, I've listed whether they appear to be in one of three modes: win now, developing or tearing down. I've also noted where I think they should be. Also, note that I've included all moves that have been confirmed by ESPN, but obviously nothing is official until the league's moratorium ends on July 10.

Click here for the Western Conference. Otherwise, let's take a look at the Eastern Conference, listed in alphabetical order.

Atlanta Hawks

Current projection: 28-54 (26th in NBA) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: 99.0 (11th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: The Hawks probably held onto their second-round-upside core for too long, but GM Danny Ferry pushed Atlanta off that treadmill by unloading Joe Johnson on Brooklyn last summer. Now he's doing his due diligence by meeting with hometown hero Dwight Howard, but with that acquisition unlikely and Chris Paul off the board, Ferry would do well to bank his cap space for next season's talent-rich summer.

What Ferry must avoid is latching onto next-level free agents in order to save face after missing the home run signing. It's a good time to develop Dennis Schroeder, Lucas Nogueira and John Jenkins. The question is whether franchise stalwart Al Horford would be willing to wait out a full-on rebuild. The Hawks would have no shortage of suitors if he were made available.

Power move: With Howard and Paul off the table, Ferry lets Smith walk and deals Horford to Cleveland for Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller.

Brooklyn Nets
Current projection: 64-18 (1st) |Playoff/Title odds: 100%/36% | 5-year WARP: 143.2 (4th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What they should be doing: Win now
Plan of action: Given their financial prospectus entering the offseason and the willingness of owner Mikhail Prokhorov to spend his fortune as though a comet were about to strike the Barclays Center, going for it was the only real option for Billy King this summer. That he was able land a pair of future Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett is a greater outcome than any Nets fan could have reasonably expected.

No, I haven't forgotten about the misgivings I expressed in the aftermath of "The Trade." I was taken aback at just how well the new roster projected, but I would be shocked if that record actually came to pass because of the age, ball-sharing and injury-risk issues I stated. Still, wouldn't you rather start out with that baseline than not? The only thing that appears to be left for King is to determine whether free agent Kyle Korver or overseas stash Bojan Bogdanovic is going to take Brooklyn's mini midlevel exception and become the Nets' top reserve wing.

Power move: Already made with the acquisition of Garnett and Pierce.

Boston Celtics

Current projection: 34-48 (22nd) | Playoff/Title odds: 0.1%/0% | 5-year WARP: 31.2 (29th)
What their approach appears to be: Tearing down
What their approach should be: Tearing down
Plan of action: Danny Ainge coyly said the Celtics are not tanking, but they are. We all know it, and that's what they should do. Not only does the large collection of warm bodies that currently constitutes the Celtics' roster have a virtual zero chance of making the playoffs next season, they have woefully little upside, as expressed here in five-year WARP. Thirty-four wins is pretty bad, but it's not bad enough, so Ainge needs to be looking hard at takers for Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Good luck. Brandon Bass no longer fits with this group, either.

As for Rajon Rondo, he's 27 and coming off knee surgery. For this projection, I've got him at 48 games next season. Moving Rondo is the best chip Ainge has to further clear the decks. Humphries' expiring deal is moveable and could be combined with Rondo to entice a team to take on Wallace. That's worth a shot. However, now is not the time. Teams need to see Rondo come back healthy and productive, or else Ainge will be giving away his best asset when its value is at its lowest.

Power move: Ainge hires a coach. Seriously. The Celtics don't have a coach.

Charlotte Bobcats

Current projection: 37-45 (19th) | Playoff/Title odds: 10%/0% | 5-year WARP: 43.2 (28th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: Maybe NBAPET is a little too high on the Bobcats, but after the past two seasons, the poor fans in Charlotte deserve a little optimism. The long-term projection is disappointing. The system is plenty high on incoming rookie Cody Zeller and rising point guard Kemba Walker. However, it has Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo at a combined five-year value below replacement level.

The Bobcats/Hornets would be sunk if two of their four pillars crumble into dust. Next season will be about Kidd-Gilchrist and Biyombo improving their respective baselines, while GM Rich Cho goes about finding new homes for a veteran bench. The middling projections of Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood are part of what is propping up the Bobcats' projection. I've labeled them as a "win now" team because of their reported interest in Al Jefferson. It's a bad idea.

Power move: New assistants Mark Price and Patrick Ewing help develop Kidd-Gilchrist and Biyombo into positive offensive contributors, and the Bobcats emerge as the league's darlings with one of the most athletic young lineups around.

Chicago Bulls

Current projection: 59-23 (3rd) | Playoff/Title odds: 100%/11% | 5-year WARP: 85.4 (16th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Since I know you're wondering, I'll explain Derrick Rose's projection. I've got him at 61 games, which is reasonable considering he has appeared in only 37 of 148 possible regular-season games the past two seasons. As for his level of play, his projection is based on his pre-injury productivity, but he does lose a year because of the missed season. At his age, when players are still generally on the upswing, that's no small thing.

Nevertheless, the Bulls project to jump right back into the league's elite. Newly signed Mike Dunleavy figures to be the Bulls' most prolific 3-point shooter and top overall reserve. I'm already tabbing him as one of the five best value signings of the summer. Chicago still projects to finish only 13th in effective field-goal percentage, so if another shooter can be brought in for the veteran's minimum, he could be used.

Power move: With only a veteran minimum slot to fill, the Bulls should re-sign John Lucas III, who was recently sent adrift by Toronto. Lucas was well-liked in his first stint as a Bull and brings a bit of the dynamic that Nate Robinson offered last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Current projection: 46-36 (11th) | Playoff/Title odds: 98%/0.9% | 5-year WARP: 85.2 (17th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: I'd be surprised if a healthy Cleveland roster doesn't take a big step forward in 2013-14. It starts with Kyrie Irving, who needs to prove he can last a full season. A 46-win season would be huge for the Cavaliers. That level of success, combined with the development of young stars Irving, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller would make a particular Ohio-born elite 2014 free agent take notice.

Maybe it's Jiminy Cricket talking, but that's the kind of home run transaction the Cavaliers are positioned to make. For that reason, I think it'd be a mistake to move veteran center Anderson Varejao, who, if he's healthy, is forecast to finish as Cleveland's second-most-valuable performer after Irving.

Power move: Wait it out, get better, bring LeBron home.

Detroit Pistons

Current projection: 43-39 (14th) | Playoff/Title odds: 80%/0.1% | 5-year WARP: 114.5 (10th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: Joe Dumars has been getting hit pretty hard on Twitter because of his reported courtship of free agents such as Tyreke Evans and Josh Smith. Best I can tell, in the NBA zeitgeist, Dumars has yet to live down the signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. It's almost as if he weren't the only working head of a team's basketball operations department that won a championship without a first-tier Hall of Famer. These flirtations do suggest that Dumars is shifting into win-now mode and, if so, it's not the best idea.

Adding a good but second-tier player is not going to propel Detroit into the title picture. Such an acquisition could also stunt the development of an exciting young core of Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Brandon Knight and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. As you can see, NBAPET thinks that group would do just fine on its own and has all kinds of upside. Meanwhile, the contracts of Rodney Stuckey and Villanueva expire after this season, at which time things could get really exciting in Detroit.

Power move: Sit tight. One-year deals to keep a veteran presence on the roster, but don't sign anyone who will infringe on the court time that the young players earn.

Indiana Pacers

Current projection: 44-38 (13th) | Playoff/Title odds: 91%/0% | 5-year WARP: 69.8 (23rd)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Any team that comes one win from the NBA Finals better be in win-now mode, and that's where the Pacers are. Subjectively, I think Indiana is the third-best team in the Eastern Conference behind Miami and Chicago, and resides in a three-team scrum behind the Heat with the Bulls and Nets in the battle to re-emerge as a prime challenger. To get there on paper, Indiana needs to shore up an iffy bench that wasn't helped much by No. 1 draft pick Solomon Hill.

However, the Pacers have reportedly been courting pieces for the bench such as Korver, Greg Oden and Chris Copeland. Oden is a wild card, but the other two would certainly help. C.J. Watson has been added to the reserve mix, while Tyler Hansbrough was set free when his qualifying offer was yanked.

Also, either a returning Danny Granger or Lance Stephenson also will be added to the bench group. The key for the Pacers to get where we think they belong is probably Granger. NBAPET has its concerns, but if he returns at a large portion of his prior level, Indiana will be an elite team.

Power move: Fill out the bench. Korver would be a huge upgrade, while Copeland would provide them with versatility and length to give Frank Vogel plenty of lineup options.

Miami Heat

Current projection: 63-19 (2nd) | Playoff/Title odds: 100%/31% | 5-year WARP: 165.0 (3rd)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: You don't get any more "win now" than being a two-time champion with three star players holding player options beyond next season. Miami retained Mario Chalmers, who was on a team option, and holds the mini midlevel, which might go to retain Chris Andersen. The Heat need a post defender for their bench, but it doesn't have to come during the summer. Whenever a quality defensive big man springs loose next season, Miami will be first in line to sign him for the veteran's minimum. In the meantime, you can see that the Heat's projection holds up just fine going forward. While they currently finish a game back of Brooklyn, the Heat's playoff rotation winning percentage is easily the best in the league.

Power move: Pat Riley convinces LeBron James to forgo the player options left in his contract for an eventual controlling interest in the team. He'll end up owning it someday anyway.

Milwaukee Bucks

Current projection: 32-50 (23rd) | Playoff/Title odds: 0.3%/0% | 5-year WARP: 72.4 (22nd)
What their approach appears to be: Unknown
What their approach should be: Tearing down
Plan of action: The Bucks have had me befuddled for years, as if they wanted to draft 15th forever. This year, Milwaukee might finally be biting the bullet and going into rebuild mode, something they've seemingly been loathe to do since the day Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was traded in 1975. Or they might not. The Bucks offered Monta Ellis a bad extension, and he turned it down. Now Brandon Jennings is trolling the free-agent market looking for a big raise. If he gets it, the Bucks will have a decision to make.

However, J.J. Redick departing for two second-round picks is a miserable outcome for the trade that cost Milwaukee Tobias Harris. Also, the Bucks are said to be looking at free agents such as Josh Smith. However, the pick of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the draft was clearly a move for upside. So what's going on? It's a tough situation, because the Bucks need to lose big this year, but they're also trying to get a new arena built.

Power move: Exercise its amnesty rights on Drew Gooden, and then stay away from middling free agents. Console yourself by watching video of Andrew Wiggins.

New York Knicks

Current projection: 44-38 (12th) | Playoff/Title odds: 90%/0.1% | 5-year WARP: 73.4 (20th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Tearing down
Plan of action: Sorry, but I can't change my tune on the Knicks. They don't project to be as good as they were last season, which is usually the case when you have an old team. And this remains an old team. The projection will jump a win or three if J.R. Smith re-signs, but with the market short on shooters this summer, that eventuality seems less likely than it did a week ago. Chris Copeland looks like he's going to be out of the Knicks' price range. Worst of all, with the acquisition of Andrea Bargnani and the return of Amar'e Stoudemire, it is inevitable that the Knicks will return to more traditional sets in lieu of the small lineups that worked so well last season.

Power move: Stoudemire stands as the ultimate amnesty candidate, but they've already used it on Chauncey Billups. If this team is struggling by the All-Star break, somehow finding new homes for Anthony and Stoudemire should be considered.

Orlando Magic

Current projections: 16-66 (30th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: minus-12.3 (30th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: The Magic are right on schedule. There is a developing core of Victor Olapido, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. And next season, there will be, if not Wiggins, somebody else with an awful lot of potential. Orlando should be looking to take on any young player with a semblance of upside.

Power move: Find takers for Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo. Both are good players and good guys, but don't really need to be a part of this. Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington fit into that category as well but might not be as easy to move. Turkoglu and Harrington are both only half-guaranteed, so perhaps they should be set free.

Philadelphia 76ers

Current projection: 34-48 (21st) | Playoff/Title odds: 0.8%/0% | 5-year WARP: 97.2 (13th)
What their approach appears to be: Tearing down
What their approach should be: Tearing down
Plan of action: Finally, the Sixers are heading in the right direction by going in the wrong direction. For years, Philly has been the epitome of a middle-class NBA team. Not good enough to win big, not bad enough to land the next Julius Erving. New general manager Sam Hinkie seems to be shifting into tank mode with the draft-night acquisition of Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday -- the best player on last season's Sixers. Holiday is good, and he is young. He also was expendable. Now the only non-rookie contract on the books after next season belongs to Thaddeus Young.

Power move: If Evan Turner hasn't broken out by now as an elite player, it's unlikely to happen. Usually that metamorphosis happens during the first three seasons of a player's career, though, of course, there are exceptions. Trade him, Young and Spencer Hawes, all in the pursuit of future assets. The sooner the better, because there aren't enough pingpong balls in that projection and the 2014 pick Hinkie got from New Orleans on draft night might not be a Wiggins-getter, either.

Toronto Raptors

Current projection: 42-40 (8th) | Playoff/Title odds: 68%/0.1% | 5-year WARP: 78.3 (18th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: The Raptors have new management from top to bottom, and the process getting from the middle to the top won't be easy. The Raptors have an unusually loyal fan base, especially considering the franchise's historical lack of high-level success. However, the present roster is not one that's going to develop into a championship group. It's just good enough to keep Toronto from drafting the player that can get it onto that tier.

Power move: The cap situation is grim, as the Raptors will be close to the tax line for this mediocre crew. Where GM Masai Ujiri can create flexibility, that's the way to go. He can utilize the team's amnesty rights on someone, with Linas Kleiza being the most likely option. Rumor also has it Rudy Gay is being pursued by Detroit, which would go a long way toward alleviating that cap situation.

Washington Wizards

Current projection: 41-41 (18th) | Playoff/Title odds: 63%/0.1% | 5-year WAR: 74.2 (19th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: I look through the veteran muck to see the Wizards' future and I see John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. That trio along with the veteran base of Nene Hilario, Emeka Okafor and Martell Webster should be enough to push Washington into playoff contention. The re-signing of Webster was curious given the presence of Porter, Trevor Ariza and Chris Singleton, but perhaps Ernie Grunfeld has other moves up his sleeve. Also, I love the addition of Eric Maynor as the backup to Wall.

Power move: The Wizards have a young base, and the cap opens up nicely after next season. Time to chill.

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I like his suggestion for the

I like his suggestion for the Celtics: using Rondo and Humpries as bait to make a team take Wallace. That pretty much turns the page, gives them mountains of cap room (they'd have to probably sign a few guys on short run deals to reach the salary cap FLOOR depending on what they got back for Rondo). Boston needs to take their medicine and bottom out.

the Rondo/Humphries/Wallace trio could be tempting to a team with cap space that whiffs on a big name free agent and could use an upgrade at point guard and defensively; ideally a team with a lot of good perimeter shooters who lack a facilitator. Kind of drawing a blank on who that team could be though.

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I could Dallas as a team

I could Dallas as a team trying to get Rondo if they miss out on Dwight or maybe even if they land him. But this needs a 3 team trade since Dallas has no real pieces or picks Boston may want.

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ESPN

Good article

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These win projections offered

These win projections offered some...interesting results.

The Nets will not sniff 64 wins.

The Bobcats will not sniff 37 wins.

The Pacers having one more win than the Pistons?

Overall a good article in terms of assessing the teams though. Those projections were awfully distracting.

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Can someone post the Western

Can someone post the Western Conference?

JayhawkFan23
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Here's the Western

Here's the Western Conference..

The offseason strategies of the 30 teams across the NBA are coming into focus as the rosters churn on what seems like an hourly basis. Every summer, there are teams that seem to be "going for it" when the "it" in question might be a .500 record. Other teams seem more patient than they ought to be, because it appears one or two key moves could vault them into the championship picture.

I assume that the end goal of every NBA organization is to win a championship. That might seem obvious, but too often teams make moves that run contrary to that assumption. Building a title-caliber roster is usually a multiyear process, so the success or failure of any one season can be judged on other criteria. However, you need to be able to step back and look at the big-picture steps a franchise is taking to see how they could eventually lead to title contention.

With most rosters getting at least a mild makeover, it's a good time to assess where each team currently sits, what its approach appears to be and where it's all heading. To do this, I employed the ATH-based projection system of NBAPET, my collection of integrated spreadsheets that serves as a projection, evaluation and tracking model.

In a nutshell, the system uses ATH ratings to generate baseline projections for each player, then integrates the baseline forecasts into 30 team forecasts. Since there are only 1,230 wins to go around, every move affects every other team. So every time a transaction occurs and I update the rosters and balance the minutes, the projected standings change at least a little.

Before you get too excited about the specific team projections, you should be aware that I've left all unrestricted free agents off any roster until they've reached an agreement with their current or new team. Teams that already have their 2013-14 rotation more or less set are going to have a big advantage over teams with a lot of flux.

The projections will change on a daily basis, sometimes significantly. What you read here is an early snapshot of where teams stand at this moment of the offseason and the path each team is taking.

For each team, I've listed whether they appear to be in one of three modes: win now, developing or tearing down. I've also noted where I think they should be. Also, note that I've included all moves that have been confirmed by ESPN, but obviously nothing is official until the league's moratorium ends on July 10.

Click here to read the Eastern Conference Power Moves. Otherwise, let's take a look at the Western Conference, listed in alphabetical order.

Dallas Mavericks

Current projection: 17-65 (29th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: 55.1 (26th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Before everyone in Dallas heads for the nearest high bridge, keep in mind that unrestricted free agents aren't included in my projections. That describes pretty much the entire Dallas roster. To cobble together a team projection for nine players, I had to include Josh Akognon and Gal Mekel, so the win projection means virtually nothing. It's arguable that if Dallas misses out on Dwight Howard, then the time is ripe for a complete teardown. That's not going to happen with Dirk Nowitzki still around. It's a tough position that the Mavericks are in.

If I were Mark Cuban, then I'd seriously think about repeating last year's strategy of loading up on one-year contracts. Give Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo some court time. It's not sexy, but there is always next summer. Meanwhile, a flexible Dallas roster would be positioned to bring on any All-Star who might come available on the trade market. It's too soon to go this route yet, but it might come to that eventually.

Power move: Have the courage to bank the cap space for next season.

Denver Nuggets

Current projection: 53-29 (5th) | Playoff/Title odds: 100%/4% | 5-year WARP: 139.2 (7th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Denver shines again in NBAPET. However, the problem that led to the Nuggets' early demise in the last playoffs is still around: the lack of a marquee star. The depth is there, which is why they are forecast for another banner regular season. However, I added a component that calculates the combined winning percentage for the top eight players in each team's rotation, weighted by minutes.

Even though Denver's top-to-bottom talent figures to help the Nuggets to an excellent record, this prospective playoff rotation ranks just fifth in the Western Conference. Somehow, new general manager Tim Connelly has to figure out a way to add the centerpiece to what is already a nicely laid-out table. Unfortunately, that's the hardest part of team building in the NBA, and it's why most successful teams start by finding that piece first.

Power move: Sign O.J. Mayo with the midlevel exception to serve as that perimeter-oriented creator the Nuggets need.

Golden State Warriors

Current projection: 32-50 (23rd) | Playoff/Title odds: 0.1%/0% | 5-year WARP: 46.9 (27th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: I can feel the curses already invading my Twitter stream, so please allow me to retort. For the record, I really like the Warriors, subjectively and otherwise. Last season, Golden State's point differential was that of a 44-win team. It currently has key reserves Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry stricken from its projection as unrestricted free agents, so that hurts. As Golden State fills out its bench, the projection will improve. Also, Harrison Barnes projects as a replacement-level player. That's better than he was in the regular season as a rookie, but it's less than what he was in the playoffs.

The version of Andrew Bogut we saw in the playoffs also is much better than he currently looks in a spreadsheet. So there are plenty of reasons for optimism. Golden State kicked the tires on Howard, which makes sense. However, it's important to understand that this is still a developing team, one that has more than $25 million in the form of Bogut and Richard Jefferson coming off the books after this season.

Power move: Find a taker for David Lee. This has been rumored, but it makes sense. The Warriors got better without him in the playoffs, and shedding his contract would make Golden State a major player in 2014.

Houston Rockets

Current projection: 26-56 (28th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: 90.6 (14th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Houston is the perfect example of a team whose current projection means nothing. The Rockets are well positioned to move into the league's upper tier and might do so very soon if Dwight Howard decides to take his talents to Texas.

One problem with the current projection is that based on last season's traits, the Rockets figure to take a ton of 3-point shots. Except with Carlos Delfino and Francisco Garcia on the free-agent market, there aren't many guys around to make them. Houston will come up with some shooters regardless of whether Howard comes aboard, but obviously it will become even more crucial if he does. In any event, this is very much a franchise in flux.

Power move: Get Dwight.

Los Angeles Clippers

Current projection: 58-24 (4th) | Playoff/Title odds: 100%/10% | 5-year WARP: 143.1 (5th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: Words you never thought you'd type: It's good to be a Clipper. When did this franchise not only start spending money but also do so in an intelligent manner? Well, the pressure is on now because it looks like the Clippers will be a clear-cut favorite in the Western Conference. Before Tuesday's reported three-team deal that will put shooters Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick in Clippers uniforms, L.A. looked good in NBAPET with 52 wins but was just shy of elite. Now Doc Rivers' club is forecast to field the league's fourth-best offense, and his probable playoff rotation is better on paper than every team except Miami's. It might still get better, too, because the Clippers have a midlevel exception to spend. Bringing back Matt Barnes might complete the puzzle.

Power move: It's done. They got Rivers and traded Bledsoe. The Clippers still need a starting wing with length. I think Barnes makes the most sense, but Corey Brewer might fit as a defensive stopper.

Los Angeles Lakers

Current projection: 46-36 (9th) | Playoff/Title odds: 97%/0.8% | 5-year WARP: 66.1 (24th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: If Howard stays with the Lakers, the projection jumps by eight wins and, on paper, L.A. looks like a contender. If he goes, then this is what it's looking like, although GM Mitch Kupchak will have several roster spots to fill. It'll be a season of limbo, because with no Howard, Kupchak can rebuild without trying. The only contract on his books beyond 2013-14 belongs to Steve Nash. If Howard re-signs, then the Lakers really need to add shooting and perimeter defense. With only a mini midlevel exception to spend, that will not be easily done.

Power move: Keep Dwight. That's it. I'm not in the camp of exercising amnesty rights on Kobe Bryant, and I've optimistically forecast him for 47 games.

Memphis Grizzlies

Current projection: 47-35 (8th) | Playoff/Title odds: 97%/0.7% | 5-year WARP: 142.4 (6th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: The Grizzlies should remain in the mix for the foreseeable future, with double-digit WARP projections for Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis and Kosta Koufos over the next five seasons. In the short term, Memphis' key will be Tayshaun Prince, who projects to finish more than a win below replacement level. He has two more guaranteed seasons on his contract, and the Grizzlies can't afford -- literally -- for such a key position to be a drag on the roster.

Memphis added promising guard Jamaal Franklin in the draft, but he's not the long-range shooter Memphis really needs on its second unit. Also, the Grizzlies' short-term forecast is a little rosier with Tony Allen back in the fold, having agreed to a deal on Tuesday night.

Power move: Memphis is one of many teams that are gunning for Kyle Korver. The Grizzlies have the full midlevel exception to offer, but so do a lot of other teams.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Current projection: 55-27 (5th) | Playoff/Title odds: 100%/8% | 5-year WARP: 132.9 (8th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: The Wolves shined in our preseason projections at Basketball Prospectus last season, and after landing Kevin Martin and retaining Chase Budinger, they're looking good on paper again. Injuries ruined our chances to put that projection to the test in 2012-13; now the possible departure of Nikola Pekovic might take the wind out of Minnesota's sails in 2013-14.

Pekovic is a restricted free agent and thus is still included here, but you keep hearing reports that Portland is prepping to give Pekovic a huge offer. It's not my money, so I think Minnesota should match. If the offer is at about $12 million annual value, it's tough.

Power move: Derrick Williams showed a lot of progress late last season and has been rumored to be on the trade market. I'd like to see the Wolves hang on to Williams to see whether he really breaks out in Season 3. On Minnesota's potentially stacked roster, he could carve out a niche as a top sixth man. So hang on to Williams.

New Orleans Pelicans

Current projection: 42-40 (17th) | Playoff/Title odds: 47%/0.1% | 5-year WARP: 116.8 (10th)
What their approach appears to be: Win now
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: I was on board with the Pelicans program right up 'til the moment on draft night when it was announced that New Orleans had traded Nerlens Noel to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday. Now the Pelicans are also apparently going after Andre Iguodala, while the future of Robin Lopez in the Crescent City is in limbo. I don't get it. It definitely feels like the Hornets are going for it a season too early. And they're doing it with a horde in the backcourt: Greivis Vasquez, Holiday, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers, Pierre Jackson and Brian Roberts.

Power move: How about some clarity in the backcourt? At least one of those players needs to be turned into a young shooter who can grow with the team.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Current projection: 43-39 (15th) | Playoff/Title odds: 66%/0.2%| 5-year WARP: 195.4 (2nd)
What their approach appears to be: Tearing down
What their approach should be: Win now
Plan of action: The Thunder are much better than this projection, but it's telling in a concerning way. The departure of Kevin Martin could really hurt the Thunder, though the offseason is still young. Right now, though, the lack of depth makes the pessimistic projection less than surprising. Other than Nick Collison, six of the other eight reserves who figure to be on the OKC roster have two or fewer years of experience. The other is Hasheem Thabeet. There are reasons to like a lot of those young players -- Perry Jones III, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb -- but they have yet to produce at the NBA level. The vaunted Thunder development program might really be put to the test.

Power move: Exercise amnesty rights on Kendrick Perkins, who has become a veritable vortex of negative WARP.

Phoenix Suns

Current projection: 29-53 (25th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: 62.3 (25th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing/tearing down
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: After last season's offseason debacle, new Suns chief Ryan McDonough has the unenviable task of trying to gather good assets while gradually shedding the bad ones. It'll take a while. He rolled the dice a bit on draft night by taking Alex Len instead of Noel, but NBAPET likes the choice. He had to take on Caron Butler to get Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers, but it should be worth it. The Suns should have a decent second unit because they have a roster full of second-unit players, but McDonough's task is to bring some focus to the proceedings. If you squint your eyes really hard, you can see something of the future Suns: Bledsoe at the point, Len in the middle and … and …

Power move: Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola and Shannon Brown are just three good players on the Suns' roster who would fill valuable roles on better teams. Find those roles and bring back cost-controlled players and draft picks. Channing Frye has to prove he has recovered from his heart issues, but he's another guy teams looking to space the floor would love to acquire.

Portland Trail Blazers

Current projection: 46-36 (10th) | Playoff/Title odds: 92%/0% | 5-year WARP: 90.1 (15th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: It's hard to know what to make of the Trail Blazers. They'll be better this season, health permitting. Already this offseason they've added four young players with a good deal of upside in C.J. McCollum, Jeff Withey, Allen Crabbe and Thomas Robinson. The young veteran core of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard is solid as well. The Blazers aren't going to win anything major this season, so there is no reason to clutter up the cap with middling contracts.

Yet it still feels like Portland needs to unearth that franchise-making player. Is Lillard that player? We might find out this season if he can make the leap from good to great. However, it's also possible that what we saw from Lillard last season is pretty close to as good as it gets.

Power move: I don't get the feeling that the Blazers are going to go real hard after free agent J.J. Hickson. Why do I say that? Well, GM Neil Olshey told reporters, "For us to make a jump next season, J.J. can't be our starting center." Hickson is a heck of a rebounder, but the Blazers would do well to let him walk and hold the cap space for someone who better fits a role.

Sacramento Kings

Current projection: 35-47 (20th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0.3%/0% | 5-year WARP: 197.1 (1st)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: You are reading that right: The Kings' five-year projection is the best in the league. The five years are based on the players currently on the roster, and NBAPET really likes Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Unfortunately, Evans might not be part of that scenario much longer after reportedly getting a huge potential offer sheet from New Orleans. There has been talent to work with in Sacramento for several years, but the organization itself has been dysfunctional. With new owners, new decision-makers and a new coach, competence might finally have arrived in Sacramento.

Power move: Even if Evans departs, that merely opens up time for McLemore, and at this point, both Evans and the Kings might benefit from a divorce. The Kings must avoid bad contracts, and new coach Mike Malone needs to find a coherent rotation that persists for a full season. If the summer is uneventful, that's fine.

San Antonio Spurs

Current projection: 53-29 (7th) | Playoff/Title odds: 99.99%/4% | 5-year WARP: 123.2 (9th)
What their approach appears to be: Developing/win now
What their approach should be: Developing/Win now
Plan of action: I give the Spurs the dual status because that's what they do -- they win and they develop talent to keep winning. It's a constant process and a flow chart every team wishes it could follow. The Spurs have made their big move already by retaining Tiago Splitter, who was incredibly derided in my Twitter feed because he didn't match up well with Miami in the NBA Finals. What team didn't have matchup issues with the Heat? Splitter is a key player on the Spurs, particularly in the regular season, when Tim Duncan has limited availability. Manu Ginobili will be retained at a reduced price. That likely leaves one more move to be made.

Power move: According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Spurs have interest in Andrei Kirilenko. I racked my brain trying to figure out his role, then it occurred to me: guarding LeBron James.

Utah Jazz

Current projection: 27-55 (27th) | Playoff/Title odds: 0%/0% | 5-year WARP: 72.4 (21st)
What their approach appears to be: Developing
What their approach should be: Developing
Plan of action: The Jazz are at the point they envisioned back when they sent Deron Williams to the Nets. Now they need to avoid any unsightly veteran entanglements. But this group still needs a veteran presence. The simplest option would be to bring back Paul Millsap. Beyond that, can the organization stomach a developmental season with an ultra-young lineup of Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward? Utah will probably use some of its cap space to bring in veteran placeholders, but the focus should be on development. And losing.

Power move: Even though the Jazz are one of the teams that need to maximize lottery balls, I'd still like to see Millsap stay aboard. There is something to be said for franchise continuity, with certain stalwarts giving a team an identity fans can buy into. The question is whether Millsap wants to hang around for that.

Ghost01
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Wait...the Lakers are a 46

Wait...the Lakers are a 46 win team without Dwight? LOL.

anthony_DavIS23
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The west win projections are

The west win projections are much worst the east

XYRYX
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OKC: Current projection:

OKC: Current projection: 43-39 (15th) | Playoff/Title odds: 66%/0.2%

I don't get it. Yes the loss of Martin hurts but honestly 5 places below Portland???
Smh

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