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10 Biggest Off-Season NBA Roster Makeovers

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 10:10pm

By Drue Sensing aka "GatorHeels"
*Winner of the forum writing contest

ORLANDO MAGIC

Vince CarterVince CarterThere have been mixed feelings in the public on whether the Magicactually got any better this offseason. Many people fear the loss ofHedo will no longer allow the Magic to cause matchup problems. No needto worry Magic fans. With a legit power forward in Brandon Bass,opposing teams will no longer be able to cause Orlando matchupproblems. Plus Orlando can still play a style similar to last season bystarting Pietrus at SG, Carter at SF, and Lewis at PF if they need too.Vince Carter is certainly an upgrade over Hedo. Don't believe me? Lookat the stats closely. Ryan Anderson gives this team another big playerwho can stretch the floor, and a great fit with Howard. Brandon Bass isone of the more underrated players in the league. Orlando appears tohave no weaknesses. Even their bench is above average. Also a healthyJameer Nelson in the playoffs could mean trouble for the rest of theleague come playoff time. I expect this team to be better than lastseason and a return to the finals is likely.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $8 million Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Matt Barnes, Ryan Anderson

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Jameer Nelson/Anthony Johnson
SG- Vince Carter/Mickael Pietrus/J.J. Redick
SF- Rashard Lewis/Matt Barnes
PF- Brandon Bass/Ryan Anderson
C- Dwight Howard/Marcin Gortat

Key Losses- Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

We all know how dangerous a Spurs team with a healthy Duncan andGinobili can be. This appears to be the case this season. The Spursreally didn't lose anybody of significance from last years' squad. Thetrade landing them Richard Jefferson was big. Jefferson finally givesthe Spurs a legit scorer at the small forward position. The signing ofMcDyess gives San Antonio another smart player in the post. McDyessshould work very well playing beside Tim Duncan in the paint. The Spursalso appear to have gotten one of the steals of the draft in snatchingup Dejuan Blair in the second round. Their bench is well above average.Similar to Orlando, the Spurs appear to have no weak links. This teamhas clearly improved a lot from last season. They are now in a positionwhere they can dethrone the Lakers.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $25 million
Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Manu Ginobili, George Hill

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Tony Parker/George Hill
SG- Roger Mason/Manu Ginobili/Malik Hairston
SF- Richard Jefferson/Michael Finley/Marcus Williams
PF- Antonio McDyess/Matt Bonner/Dejuan Blair/Marcus Haislip
C- Tim Duncan/Theo Ratliff/Ian Mahinmi

Key Losses- Fabricio Oberton, Drew Gooden, Ime Udoka, Kurt Thomas, Bruce Bowen


MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

TWolves Draft PicksTWolves Draft PicksMinnesota has a totally revamped roster. Many new faces appear in this seasons' lineup. The TWolves on paper clearly look like one of the worst teams in the league. It would be no surprise if they landed the #1 pick in the 2010 draft. This team has a ton of weak links and many holes to fill. They are stuck with having to start a rookie at point guard. They have no legit starter at SG and their small forward Gomes is slightly below average. Minnesota is solid in the post but they lack length and defense. The situation with Ricky Rubio is still yet to be resolved, and it appears that Minnesota fans will have to wait a year or two for his services. Drafting two point guards in the draft remains a major head scratcher, granted Rubio likely had the most long term value where they selected him. With money to spend in 2010, help is on the way for Love and Jefferson.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $35 million
Key Player needing to be resigned after the season- Kevin Love

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Johnny Flynn/Chucky Atkins
SG- Damien Wilkins/Wayne Ellington/Bobby Brown
SF- Ryan Gomes/Quentin Richardson/Corey Brewer
PF- Kevin Love/Darius Songaila/Oleksiy Pecherov/Brian Cardinal
C- Al Jefferson

Key Losses- Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Craig Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Rodney Carney

MILWAUKEE BUCKS


I imagine the Bucks will land a top 5 pick in the 2010 draft. This team is a longshot to make the playoffs. The return of Michael Redd provides them with the scoring punch they lacked last year. A healthy Bogut will boost their frontcourt significantly. Either Joe Alexander or Mbah a Moute will need to step up and become a solid starter at the small forward position. Milwaukee has some interesting decisions to make still before the season starts. Will Hakim Warrick start at PF or will they move him to SF to allow newly signed Amir Johnson to start at power forward? The Bucks also appear content to let Sessions sign elsewhere. You can't blame them because Jennings appears to be the real deal. Rumblings of a sign and trade with the Clippers involving Sessions have surfaced in the past couple days. Overall the Bucks just need to develop team chemistry and hope their young talent rises to the challenge.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $21 million
Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Amir Johnson, Joe Alexander

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Luke Ridnour/Brandon Jennings
SG- Michael Redd/Charlie Bell/Jodie Meeks/Sonny Weems
SF- Mbah a Moute/Joe Alexander
PF- Hakim Warrick/Amir Johnson/Joe Alexander/Walter Sharpe
C- Andrew Bogut/Dan Gadzuric/Fracisco Elson

Key Losses- Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva, Ramon Sessions

NEW JERSEY NETS


New Jersey obviously took a big step in the wrong direction this offseason, at least in the short term. Losing their star player in Vince Carter will result in more losses this season. New Jersey is focused on the future with nearly their whole team having expiring contracts. This team is banking on landing a big star in the 2010 free agent market. I expect this team to be one of the worst in the league and end up with a mid lottery selection in the 2010 draft. This season looks bad but the future looks bright. The Nets have found their starting point guard and center in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Filling in the rest of the holes shouldn't be too difficult. A stud power forward to compliment Lopez would do wonders for this team.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $40 million
Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Devin Harris/Keyon Dooling/Rafer Alston
SG- Courtney Lee/Jarvis Hayes/Chris Douglas-Roberts/Terrence Williams
SF- Bobby Simmons/Eduardo Najera/Trenton Hassell
PF- Yi Jianlian/Tony Battie/Sean Williams
C- Brook Lopez/Josh Boone

Key Losses- Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson

TORONTO RAPTORS


Hedo TurkogluHedo TurkogluToronto looks good this year. With an abundance of foreign players andbest friends (Bosh & Jack) forming the bulk of the roster, I lookfor this team to have great chemistry. They are average or better atevery position except shooting guard. Their success this season dependsgreatly on the development of Belinelli and DeRozan. One of thoseplayers must become a legit starter. Bargnani must take the next stepthis year and earn that big contract he recently received. The biggestoffseason signing for the Raptors was picking up Hedo Turkoglu who willmake fans forget all about the loss of Shawn Marion. Still, Toronto isa little too soft in the post and too inexperienced at the SG spot tomake a serious playoff run. However, look for the Raptors to have asolid regular season and reach the playoffs as a 4 or 5 seed.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $25 million (including Chris Bosh)
Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Chris Bosh, Marco Belinelli

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Jose Calderon/Jarrett Jack/Roko Ukic/Marcus Banks
SG- Marco Belinelli/DeMar Derozan/Quincy Douby
SF- Hedo Turkoglu/Antoine Wright
PF- Chris Bosh/Reggie Evans
C- Andrea Bargnani/Rasho Nesterovic/Patrick O'Bryant

Key Losses- Shawn Marion, Jason Kapono, Anthony Parker, Joey Graham

BOSTON CELTICS

Boston is certainly a title contender with the impressive offseason they have had. The Celtics finally have quality depth in the post. That was something they didn't have last season. Resigning Big Baby Davis after his stellar playoff performances was critical. The addition of Rasheed Wallace gives them another veteran who knows what it takes to win it all. Marquis Daniels finally gives Boston a wing player that will allow Pierce to take more significant rest periods. Paul Pierce has been known to wear down some late in games due to the large number of minutes he has been forced to play. I'm sure the Truth welcomes the presence of Daniels. Boston surprised fans when they waived backup point guard Gabe Pruitt. I guess Doc Rivers feels that Lester Hudson and Eddie House can relieve Rondo when he needs a breather. With a starting lineup loaded with veterans and stars as well as an above average bench the Celtics are poised to possibly match their success they had in the 2007-2008 season.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $32 million Key Players needing to be resigned after the season- Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Rajon Rondo/Lester Hudson
SG- Ray Allen/Eddie House/Tony Allen/J.R. Giddens
SF- Paul Pierce/Marquis Daniels/Bill Walker
PF- Kevin Garnett/Glen Davis/Shelden Williams/Brian Scalabrine
C- Kendrick Perkins/Rasheed Wallace

Key Losses- Gabe Pruitt, Stephon Marbury, Mikki Moore, Leon Powe

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Once again Cleveland has disappointed through their mediocre offseason acquisitions. Lets be honest here Jamario Moon is a quality backup for LeBron which the team lacked last year but is he really a difference maker? I highly doubt it. Also Anthony Parker is not an upgrade over Delonte West besides being a few inches taller. Shaq will help the Cavs but he isn't as agile as he used to be and the benefits he brings will be limited. Overpaying for Varejao just makes things sting worse. He got how much? Cleveland had better options on the free agent market including David Lee and Glen Davis. LeBron is still surrounded by average talent. Will he grow tired of this and leave Cleveland after the season? With the Magic and Celtics becoming much stronger over the offseason, Cleveland appears to be losing ground. Mediocre moves equal coming up just a little short in the playoffs which Cleveland is growing accustomed to.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $54 million
Key Player needing to be resigned after the season- LeBron James

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Mo Williams
SG- Anthony Parker/Delonte West/Daniel Gibson
SF- LeBron James/Jamario Moon/Danny Green
PF- Anderson Varejao/J.J. Hickson/Leon Powe/Darnell Jackson/Jawad Williams
C- Shaquille O'neal/Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Key Losses- Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, Aleksander Pavlovic

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Dallas has made quality moves this offseason but it won't be enough to allow them to compete with the elite teams of the West. Even though the Mavs have lots of firepower and depth, they still have a glaring weakness in the frontcourt. As long as Dampier is starting at Center, this team isn't going to take the next step. He has been on the trading block for some time now but there aren't many teams that would even consider taking on his contract. The window is closing for this team at a fast pace with Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion starting to decline. Dallas will no doubt make the playoffs, but expect them to get bounced in the second round again.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $50 million (including Dirk Nowitzki)
Key Player needing to be resigned after the season- Dirk Nowitzki

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Jason Kidd/Rodrigue Beaubois/
JJ Barea
SG- Josh Howard/Jason Terry/Quinton Ross/Matt Carroll/Greg Buckner
SF- Shawn Marion/Shawne Williams
PF- Dirk Nowitzki/Drew Gooden/Tim Thomas/Kris Humphries
C- Eric Dampier/Nathan Jawai

Key Losses- Brandon Bass, Antoine Wright, Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George

DETROIT PISTONS


Ben Gordon and Charlie VillanuevaBen Gordon and Charlie VillanuevaDetroit spent a lot of money to acquire Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. We will have to wait and see if these two signings pay off but my guess is that they won't this season. Gordon and Villanueva showed they can play well together in college when they both suited up for UConn. The Pistons appear to be stuck with a combo guard starting at point guard in Stuckey. This could be a rocky season as many players adjust to their new roles. Rip Hamilton will likely lose quite a bit of playing time. Will this make him unhappy like it did last year? No need to let problems boil. Hamilton clearly needs to be traded for a big man. The Pistons have major problems in the post. They need a Center asap. Even Tayshaun Prince is expendable now with the addition of three small forwards the Pistons drafted. Packaging Rip and Prince for a big man and an expiring contract would payoff big time. The good news is Austin Daye and Dajuan Summers both looked impressive in summer league. One of them will eventually step in and replace Prince. The bad news is if a trade doesn't occur soon then Detroit will get abused all season long in the frontcourt which likely means an early exit in the playoffs.

Expiring Contracts- Roughly $10 million Key Player needing to be resigned after the season- Rodney Stuckey

2009-2010 Roster
PG- Rodney Stuckey/Will Bynum
SG- Richard Hamilton/Ben Gordon
SF- Tayshaun Prince/Dajuan Summers/Austin Daye
PF- Charlie Villanueva/Chris Wilcox/Jason Maxiell
C- Kwame Brown/Ben Wallace

Key Losses- Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo

bobbygiller
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gatorheels
nice job gatorheels, great article and congrats on having it posted on the site!
McWinning
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nice job!

nice job!

Hale
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Wow, that was really good.

Wow, that was really good. Fine job man.

sheltwon3
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i see you won good work but

I see you won. Good work but you are lucky I have been too busy to see this because I think I would have made it harder for you to win. I would also like to see which post did not win.

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....

GatorHeels. the greatest basketball mind in the world.. next to hubie brown anyway!!!! haha nice work dude.

The Hoops Manifesto
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Spurs

I think alot of people are sleeping on the Spurs. I don't hear their name mentioned as a title contender as often as it should be. I think they'll be the Lakers toughest test out west this year.

Jeff Fox
www.hoopsmanifesto.blogspot.com

McWinning
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no love for the Blazers

no love for the Blazers getting Miller?

stimy15
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Great Article

Great job, are you going to keep posting here?

JNixon
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That really was a great job

That really was a great job sir...

Killer_kat12345
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Great job kid...

Very well written article, but just a comment about the Toronto Raptors. At the Center position, you left out the acquisition of Rasho Nesterovic, other than that great job.

Keep up the good work

Anton123
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Great Job

The Cavs also got Leon Powe wg=hich could be a good adition

Anton123
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Great Job

The Cavs also got Leon Powe which could be a good adition

gatorheels
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Yeah I figured I would miss

Yeah I figured I would miss a couple of the bench players like Leon Powe & Rasho Nesterovic. Thanks for pointing that out. There have been so many free agent signings & trades it has been hard to keep up with it all. I edited the article so those players are now on the depth charts.

McWinning
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gatorheel

nice jon! next time ill enter but i highy doubt ill beat you if you post something as good as that again.

foxman2sly
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Good article Gatorheel

Very well done

Barba
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Cleveland´s offseason was

Cleveland´s offseason was not that bad IMO

miege22
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Cavs' moves

Your writeup on the Cavs' moves was idiotic. You showed no understanding of the team's needs or the salary cap.

1. The most the Cavs could spend on any one player was just under 6 mil (MLE). There were NO players on the market that they could sign for the MLE and start for this team.

2. Glen Davis and David Lee were NOT realistic prospects for Cleveland. With both being restricted, anything the Cavs offered (since they could only go up to 6 mil) would have been matched. Also, I wouldn't pay 5 mil a year for Glen Davis, and David Lee is a product of Dantoni's system.

3. The Cavs needed a bench overhaul... and that's what they did. Z, Moon, Parker, and Powe are MUCH BETTER than Wallace, Wally, Pavs, and Smith.

4. Varejao got a 500 k raise from last year. How hard is it for people to understand that?

How your write-up got posted on a legit site like nbadraft.net is baffling.

gatorheels
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I am guessing you are a

I am guessing you are a bitter Cleveland fan. Hey I wish the best for the Cavs. I want LeBron to win a ring. I believe Varejao got a 6 year contract worth $42.5 million & with incentives could be worth $50 million. I personally would not have wanted to pay him that. I also don't think that Anthony Parker & Jamario Moon are truly difference makers. I could be wrong though. Should be an interesting season.

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miege22- A guy on ESPN by

miege22- A guy on ESPN by the username czvosec posted that exact same thing

So are you the same person or did you steal what somebody else wrote?

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Response to GatorHeel

Yeah... I didn't steal it... I figured I would write it on here because you were more likely to check this site and I would get a response. I did not think you would see it on ESPN.

I didn't call you idiotic, I said your writeup on the Cavs' moves was idiotic. The rest of the article was pretty good. However, when talking about the Cavs, your points didn't make sense.

I have no problem with you saying Moon and Parker aren't difference makers. They weren't brought in to be difference makers. They were brought in to give the Cavs versatility. Those two will give the Cavs more depth than they had last year.

As far as Andy is concerned, he was the best player on the market the Cavs could afford. He was due to receive around 6.5 mil before he opted out. His new contract calls for him to make, on average, 7 mil a year. The contract is loaded with incentives, and the last year (I believe) is not guaranteed. Considering that Andy wanted 10 mil a year... and the Cavs signed him for just 7 (which is really only a 500k increase), I'd say it was a pretty good deal.

The main issue would be, who would the Cavs have gotten to replace Andy? You mention Lee and Davis, but those weren't realistic for the reasons I stated above. It was either Andy, or no one, and for a team that was just two three pointers away from the finals, no one was not an option.

Here's my question to you: Why would Boston's and Orlando's moves be considered better? Orlando was an unconventional team, and BECAUSE they were unconventional, they got to the finals. Adding Carter and Bass makes them just like everybody else. They can still play small ball, but without Hedo, it won't be the same. Your argument for the trade is that teams can no longer exploit their advantages. Well, why would Orlando even be concerned by this if they are the one that had success last season? That's like saying, "We got it done last season doing it our way... now let's try doing it everyone else's way." That doesn't make sense. Also, yes Carter may have had better stats, but I don't really think you can compare Hedo and Vince statistically. Vince has always been the main option scoring wise. He has yet to prove he can win, something Hedo has proven. I understand not paying him 10 mil a year for 5 years, but I do not see it as a major upgrade.

In Boston's case... why does everyone think Sheed is still good? The guy has declined each season. He is basically washed up at this point, and the Celts gave him the full MLE for three years. Sheed doesn't have the luxury of being a player like Shaq (i.e. someone who can still get things done because of his size and strength)

Like I said earlier, on the whole, this article is not bad.... I just think you had the Cavs pegged all wrong. They were over the cap already, they couldn't sign someone like Villanueva or Ben Gordon to give them more scoring. Instead of being like Boston and LA and giving their full MLE to an aging vet, they decided to split up their money and sign a bunch of very good players. You could make a case that the Cavs are the deepest team in the league now.

(And you were wrong on three counts: 1. I was calling your thoughts on Cleveland idiotic, not you yourself. 2. Criticism is the reason I can post here. Not everyone agrees with everyone else, and what good would a feedback section be if everyone was kissing your ass? 3. I am not a bitter Cavs fan. I am a Cavs fan who couldn't be more excited for this season... Im not old enough to be bitter).

gatorheels
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Hey yeah your criticism is

Hey yeah your criticism is fine. We just have a different way of thinking I guess. I personally don't see how $7 million a year is a pretty good deal for Varejao. I'm not sure if the Knicks would've matched or not but I would rather have David Lee over Varejao. I would have liked to seen Cleveland at least go after some of these other options. They may have been secretly & just settled for Varejao. I understand trying to sign restricted free agents is a pain & can be tricky. I think Orland & Boston are just simply a little better than Cleveland. I think either one of those teams would beat the Cavs in the playoffs. Of course this is just speculation & only time will tell. I would love to see LeBron vs. Kobe in the finals though. I really feel Orlando got better which they were trying to do. They needed to change something to have a chance at beating the Lakers this season if they meet again. I think Hedo wasn't as big of a factor as most people do. For example I think one of the main reasons the Magic beat the Cavs in the playoffs last season was because of Dwight Howard not Hedo causing mismatches. It looked like Dwight was the main matchup problem. I do agree with you somewhat about Rasheed. I think signing him for 3 years could be a bad move. He is on the decline but for now he makes them a better team & brings some unique skills with him as well as some experience. Anyways man enjoy the season & thanks for reading the article.

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David Lee

You bring up David Lee again... I don't see your point. The Cavs could have offered the full MLE and that's it. Not only would Lee not sign it (he wants 10 mil a year and there's no way he's settling for the MLE), but the Knicks would almost certainly match it. Lee will make at least 7-8 mil... out of the Cavs' price range. What other power forwards should they have pursued? There was no one on the market. (And I for one would not take Lee over Varejao. Lee in the Cavs' system would become horribly overpriced. Its no secret he was averaging the numbers he did because he was playing for Dantoni... In fact, with the Cavs, I have a strong feeling that Lee would become Varejao. Neither is great offensively, but they both rebound and do the little things. Lee's value has been blown way out of proportion, and other teams know that).

Looking at all the moves, I would say the Cavs and Spurs both did the best job.

The Spurs brought in Jefferson, McDyess, and Blair. All three will be contributors, and they did it without giving up any major pieces. They will also have a healthy Duncan and a healthy Ginobili. It would not surprise me at all to see them beat the Lakers.

The Cavs brought in Shaq, Parker, Moon, and Powe. All will be contributors, and, again, they gave up nothing to bring them in.

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Terrence Willaims

TWill will def be higher on the dc then that. He isn't going to b a lotto pick and be a 4th string SG.

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SuperNova854

TWill should move up in the depth chart at least a little as the season progresses. This depth chart was just to sort of project right now how things stand. TWill had a disappointing summer league to put it nicely. CDR played better. Also Courtney Lee has already proven he can start. I read where the Nets are expecting Hayes to step up this season & even possibly start at SG or SF but who knows. Dooling may also get some playing time at SG. Being a lotto pick doesn't necessarily mean you are going to play a lot as a rookie. There just isn't a lot of room for TWill at the moment.

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Speaking of the Nets

Why does it say Lopez and Lee need to be re-signed? The both have options for the next two years, so the Nets don't have to both re-signing them. And they are team options, so the players themselves can't opt out.

the_truth34
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miege22

do you have anything better to do your just jealous he won you obviously have a obsession about cleveland because they did have a bad offseason andy sucks he shoudint start at all he is a decent backup at best and go back to posting on espn your are not needed here

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Detroit

Im not jealous... I didn't even participate in this contest. And as for obsession.... what's wrong with me defending my team? I would say more, but judging from your sn, I take it your a Pistons fan and that should be enough pain for right now.

gatorheels
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miege22- poor wording on my

miege22- poor wording on my part. I should've given more detail. A lot of these players have different contracts....wether it be early termination options, team options, player options.I used a couple different sources including:  

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=freeagents-09-10

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For example: the trade

Good thing for the Nets as this allows them to keep Lopez around at a cheaper price.  

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In case anybody else

In case anybody else asks....Rodney Stuckey, Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Joe Alexander, Marco Belinelli, George Hill, & Kevin Love all are team options. Also Matt Barnes may be in the same boat but I am not sure of the specifics about his new contract with the Magic.

the_truth34
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miege22

at least my team has a championship we have 3 you have 0 and if lebron leaves then there goes your chances

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Pistons

The sad part is, if Dumars hadn't hadn't made so many questionable moves, the Pistons would still be contenders.

By the way, the five year grace period is over. Can't keep living on that 04 season. Yeah the Cavs may have zero titles, but they are good enough to win the title. And in all honesty, what fun is the NBA if you know your team has zero shot at winning it all?

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CAVS

have no chance at all even with lebron what do they have to look forward to seeing lebron score 35 to 40 point a game just like kobe did before pau came and no result because nobody wants to go to cleveland out of lebron they got nothing what andy v suppose to attract good players an overpaid crappy player that rebounds and has nothing else in his skill set the only other good player they have besides lebron is mo williams a shoot first point guard that doesnt know how to pass what shaq suppose to be a savior look how it turned out for the suns all hes going to do for the cavs is teach them some new gay handshakes and dances and even some free throw shooting lessons get over your self the cavs will not win a championship tell they learn who get paid 7mill a year and 1mill a year

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great article overall but DEAD WRONG ON CAVALIERS

first off I don't like the Cavaliers at all.

IF ANYTHING their moves are underrated not overrated and this is not an AVERAGE TEAM.

Anthony Parker is a good defender who provides length and consistent 3 pt. shooting which they needed for a while, Jamario Moon provides a Tayshaun Prince type length which which will help the Cavs guard multiple position whenever they needs his defense to keep someone in check. Leon Powe is a highly underrated move he is a bulldog that has a nice touch around the basket can attack the basket, and quite aggressive on the boards and he has the ability to to get 20 points some nights (I know, I am a Lakers fan who had to watch him get more FT then the entire Laker team in the finals.)

also adding Shaq helps someone who can guard Dwight Howard, and can still give you 18 and 9 every night, you act like Shaq is washed up, PHX has a way of rejuvinating players they have an amazing conditioning staff and that was the reason why Shaq was a all-star in 2008/2009, you don't honestly think Shaq does not want to get number 5 to rub it in to KOBE even more. He is gonna be motivated this year.

along with that they brought back Varajao who is definitely OVERPAID but still he a high energy player that can cause problems for people on defensive end, tough rebounder and can get you tip-ins around the basket.

and last but not least PLEASE STOP KISSING LEBRON'S A**.

This team is not even close to being average, last year's team won 66 games, this year's has a chance to win 66 or even more, and this team is MUCH BETTER then last year's.

If LEBRON can't win this year with THIS ROSTER, it's ALL ON HIM, he is the ONE WHO CHOKED not his teammates, stat PADDING your way through the playoffs isn't going to get you to the finals (as he experienced that against the SPURS in 07.)

rocket23
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rockets

The rockets had chuck hayes and trevor ariza come in the line up. They also have chase budinger he is turning out ok.The Rockets will be playoff contenders,but they will lose in the 2nd round

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