***I just wanted to post this. It is my piece from the writing contest that Aran held from a few months ago about 10 observations from the off season. Keep in mind this was awhile ago so some things might have changed since.***
10 most dissapointed fans this off-season.
Every off-season, teams try to improve their situation, whether that is by> finding a few pieces to put a title contender over the top (Boston), an underachieving team going through a major overhaul to become relevant again (Raptors), A young team just hoping for internal improvement from within while they stay patient (Kings), a bad team clearing salary space for the future (Bucks), or an elite team just keeping it's core together (Lakers). But as far as fans go, they might not always be quite so happy with their favorite teams off-season moves, regardless of what category it falls in. Here is a list of what I believe to be the 10 teams that probably left their fans a little unsatisfied this summer heading into the 2009-10 season.
10-New Orleans Hornets fans- By all means this is a legit team that should be able to compete with anyone going into next season. But in an off season where it was basically an arms race among the top teams looking to push themselves over the top, the Hornet fans can't really feel like the aquisition of Okafor is exactly keeping up with the jones's. They were on the cusp of title contention 2 years ago, but took a step back last season with a combination of injuries, lack of depth, and just generally not enough help around Paul and West to keep up with the leagues elite. Hard to feel like their team did much to close that gap this summer.
9-New York Knicks fans- Sure, everyone will say the obvious about how the plan has been to save money for the 2010 free agent class, and that is exactly what they have done thus far. But is'nt salary cap space usually reserved for key young contributors like David Lee and Nate Robinson? With the lowering salary cap, can the Knicks really feel that confident that their current frugalness will pay off with a LeBron, Wade, or Bosh? And with not having a first round pick next year, is just riding out the off-season while other conference teams make moves to improve, really the best idea. I guesss Knick fans just need to sit back and hope it works out in the long run.
8-Charlotte Bobcats fans- The Bobcats were on the verge of competing for a playoff spot last season, which is'nt exactly saying much in the eastern confrence, but still it has been a long rebuilding process with expectations for succes starting to kick in. But trading Okafor for Chandler screams of salry cap purposes regardless of what the Charlotte brass trys to sell their fans. The addition of Gerald Henderson is'nt exactly looking like a franchise turning pick. Internal growth is somewhat limited due to multiple veterans making up key spots on the roster. Bobcats fans are basically just watching their team spin it's wheels with little reason for hope of a brighter future around the corner.
7-Detroit Piston's fans- Last season the Piston's run of conference dominance officially came to a screaching halt. The trade for Iverson bombed on the court with the silver lining being that the team would have more money than anyone to pick and choose amongst the free agent class of 2009. Pistons fans who were hoping for a franchise turning summer to get headed back in the right direction must be left a little dissapointed when the big bucks were shelled out to Gordon and Villanueva, two non all-stars who are not exactly known for their toughness or defense. Add in the fact that management had just given Hamilton a long term contract extension, who plays the same position as Gordon while essentially bringing the same things to the table, and Pistons fans have to be wondering if maybe there were wiser ways to spend that money.
6-Milwaukee Bucks fans- I can fully appreciate what management was thinking this summer when they gave away Jefferson and allowed Villanueva to walk while possibly allowing Sessions out the door as well. The team was underachieving, lacked toughness, and it made no sense to commit major money to a roster that is just gunning for a .500 record. So the rebuilding begins, but can the Bucks fans really call it "rebuilding" when there was never anything "buillt" in the first place? Oh well, it's back to the drawing board once again for MIlwaukee fans.
5-Phoenix Suns fans- Well things have sure changed quickly in the land of the Sun. The 'oh so close' title aspirations have officially flown out the window. Now it's time to blow it up and start it over right...?....right...? Not so fast everyone. Steve Kerr decided that while the western confrence powers continue to seperate themselves from the Suns, they would unload Shaq, but give contract extensions to Nash and Hill while being unable to either extend Amare as a cornerstone piece, or deal him for promising young parts with which to rebuild. Instead it looks as if they are...well, I'm actually not sure what the Suns are thinking. Best case scenario for Suns fans is 50 wins and getting to play in an additional 4-7 games before a clearly more talented team officially ends their season next May. Cheers to that.
4-Miami Heat fans- I'm sure the more opptimistic Heat fans figure Chalmers and Beasley will develop into stars, Jermaine O'neal will find the fountain of youth, and Wade will win MVP while leading the surging Heat into the playoffs. Not so fast, the reality is that Wade will be a free agent next summer. He asked for help now and wants to win while in his prime. The Heat were unable to land Odom, Boozer, or anyone really for that matter. While the east improves around them, they seem set on sitting still until next off season. But much like New York, there are no gaurantees for next summer. They can't possibly expect anymore from Wade this coming season. Internal growth of the team will be limited. It will be a long season for Wade and Heat fans everywhere.
3-Minnesota Timberwolves fans- New management has gotten off to a rocky start in Minnesota. First they deal a solid young former lottery pick and quality expiring contract for a draft pick in what looks to be a pretty weak draft with more question marks then exclamation points. They then use that pick on a young foreign player who should be able to help the young T'Wolves squad. But then they draft another pg with their very next pick. And no matter what Wolves management says, these two guys will not compliment each other on the court together. Of course, that may not even matter for a few years becuase one of them might not even come over next season. Wolves fans are obviously ready to be patient and understand this is a rebuilding process, but this can't be the start they were hoping for.
2-Memphis Grizzlies fans- FIrst Memphis had the unenviable position of landing the number 2 pick in a draft that had only one sure thing. So basically they got first dibs on picking a player amongst a whole bunch of uncertainties and question marks. Many Memphis fans, and basketball followers in general, were predicting Thabeet to be a bust and were hoping the Grizzlies could pull something out of their hat. But no such luck, they drafted the 7 footer, who proceeded to look unimpressive in summer league, and now it's a matter of wait and see while he and the teams other young big man, Marc Gasol, battle it out for playing time. Grizzly managemnt, still feeling heat from the Pau Gasol trade that helped turned the Lakers into champions, felt the urgency to do something big this off season to keep the fans hope's alive. The answer, Zach Randolph. He of the 30+ million dollar contract, questionable attitude, and selfish play that has helped lead his three former employers to such great success. I mean, don't you have to be a little skeptical when trading for a guy whose former teams would have gladly given him up for the prize inside a cracker jack box and a car wash? Especially when you have a young nucleus that is trying to find an identity? Oh well, maybe he will do just enough to hurt their chances at a top 5 pick next season.
1-Houston Rockets fans- The Rockets did'nt exactly do anything wrong this summer. But when last season ended with a promising 7 game series loss to the eventual champions, Rockets fans must have been thinking 'just wait till next year'. Well, things sure have changed in the months since then. Franchise center Yao Ming is out for the year. Artest was essentially traded straight up for Trevor Ariza, which is a step backwards regardless of what negative aspects surround Artest. Ariza is a role player who benefits from playing around other great players, and unless TMac comes back strong,which is questionable to say the least, Aaron Brooks is about the closest thing the Rockets have as a leader to create offense for guys like Ariza, Battier, and others. Anyway you wanna dice it, going from title aspirations to lottery land in the blink of an eye leaves the Houston fans as the most dissapointed with the 2009 off-season. Report as inappropriate:
The list is wrong I am a Memphis fan and every Memphis fan I know is more excited then ever. I am very happy in what they did this offseason and not dissappointed at all same with most other Memphis fans. I would actualy put us in the top 10 most not disappointed fans.
Clevland fans, especially the ones in Cle., are gonna be &$#%#&@! their pants if the Cavs don't win the title this year, good list, I would be sooooooooooooooooo disappointed if i were(which i am)a Rockets fan, they have had the talent to win multiple Championships and have become premeire franshise, if not for all the tradegies these Rocket fans have delt with not just this year, but since forever
yeah, i don't expect too many people to agree since it is a negative article. Iverson was not signed by memphis when i wrote it.
Yeah, ive been a Memphis fan since they acquired Gay, and more recently Mayo, and most recently A.I.(my first favorite player), They have a tremendous core.
I don't care if you guys take my points are not, but I'm interested in hearing why you guys disagree with anything I wrote. Educate me while my list is inaccurate if you think it is.
Perez if we were updating that list I would add Portland into the mix, although they have a great team
miami did exactly what they wanted to..they didnt go real hard after anyone and that what pat riley said was his plan. he stated why over pay for someone now like a shaq when after a year or 2 you will be right back where you were 2 years ago. his plan i to get a player next year and wade knows it. he know boozer wants to come there so he figured why trade for him and give up beasley thi year( thats what utah aked for as well as other players) when he can just get up next year as a free agent while being able to hold on to beasley. staying pat is sometime a good thing which is why okc also did the same thing. think about it..what free agent this year would have made miami a title contender without giving up there oung peices? i also know alot of memphi fan who loved there offseason even before the a.i signing..other then that i liek the list..i think after next summer the knicks will move to number one on that list
I'm sure portland fans are a little on edge with the grumbling going on about Miller and the offense. But they still have every reason to be overall optimistic going into the season.
quincey, when i wrote this I was thinking about making this the "10 most dissapointing summers" instead of the "most dissapointed fans". The difference is that I can understand what teams like NY, Mia, and Mil are thinking with how they handled their off-season moves from a management standpoint. They are looking towards the future. But from a fan stand point, they have to be a little on edge. Wade asked for help this summer and then declined signing an extension putting a "wait and see" approach to the season. I do not feel that they added enough pieces to keep them in the playoffs and the fans will now have to sweat whether Wade stays. Thus I do not think the heat fans are really happy about this summer.
that is tru..i think some orlando fans are on edge about hedo no being there and how vince will fit in..and toronto because if the hedo signing doesnt go so well bosh could be gone
I agree on Wade,he will have every reason to leave if they don't make some moves for their squad, Miami fans have no reason to be happy other than they can see Dwyane Wade kill himself to try to get W's which will lead to another incredible seasn from Wade, but that doesn't translateto wins, which is more of a reason for him to leave, also next season's FA is soo unpredictable i think it's nonsensical to make any predictions now
yep..im out here in tampa and alot of people are worrying about losing hedo and picking up vince because they feel orlando shouldnt have mesed wih a team that already went to the finals
Orlando could have probably kept Hedo and still made the carter trade. Hedo got 10 mill per which is ezactly what Orlando gave gortat and Bass combined. So do you think Hedo or Gortat/Bass was more valuable?
wouldnt they have went over the cap if they kept hedo..like wayyyy over..i think they are over now
Losing Hedo and to a lesser extent, Lee, Is a legit concern, BUT Carter can be a combo forward like Hedo and cause the same problems only he's much much better, also you guys have picked up a legit PF be it off the bench or starting, atleast you have one now, also Ryan Anderson is a good pickup, he has the capability of stretching the floor and can contribute when ive the opportunity, the only realistic worry should be the lack of a legit backup pg, maybe if worst comes to worst, they could possibly play Vince at the 1 and go mighty big
Gortat & Bass is more valuable than Hedo definitely. Orlando now has a legit PF in Bass. Also as much as Howard gets in foul trouble having a reliable backup Center is important. Plus Carter is an upgrade over Hedo easily. Orlando fans should be pumped up because their team is better than that team that went to the finals last season.
Miami fans better hope Riley knows what he is doing because if I were a Miami fan right now I would be worried. Wade has no help. The bench is one of the worst in the league. What makes people think Miami is going to get all these free agents next year but New York won't? The Heat are going to need more than Boozer. He isn't that big of a difference maker.
Nice article...I agree with the majority of it. New Orleans didn't make enough moves but I do think Okafor is a bigger upgrade over Chandler than most people realize.
what i was aying, and i have read it from a few different sites, is that the Magic could have paid Hedo the 10 mill he wanted instead of the 10 mill they paid Gortat/Bass. So it would not have effected the salary cap had they kept him instead of the other two.
thanks gatorheels, and i agree that bass/gortat is more valuable then Hedo since they added Carter already.
Okafor is extremely underrated, defensive presence and above average on O, the guy had the quitest season ever last year, we dodn't hear one peep about him the whole season and he averaged 15,10,and 2 and still improving
The GSW fans are consistently some of the best in the league, and yet they have nothing to look forward to this coming year except Steven Jackson, formerly Captain Jack, being a cancer in the locker room. The contract extension kills his trade value, and I don't even think they can get rid of him for a bag of chips right now...tell me, how do these dedicated fans not make the list?
First we dont get amare, then our owner almost sells te team but doesnt, our GM gets fired, Jackson goes back to his old self and Wright is out for the year. Great off season for me huh?
yeah ive been a grizzlies fan ever since they got Rudy, and this is the most excited ive ever been for the grizzlies
as for the warriors, yes they would be added on this list if i wrote it today. A lot of their current problems did not exist 2 months ago.
As for the grizz, adding iverson does change some things for the better. They now have more marketability and have a realistic chance of competing and making the playoffs. But I still stand by what I wrote as of 2 months ago. The grzz were one of the few teams who had salary cap space to sign guys and make moves. Being that they are a young team which is growing, I thought adding a Millsap or Lee would be cheaper, younger, and add a player who could grow with Mayo and Gay without detracting from their individual growth. Instead they spent a lot more money on Randolph who is a more expensive older player who has never been on a succesful team while building up a characteristic of being a cancer. He also has a shoot first, second, and third mentality that might take away from Mayo's and Gay's growth. Add in the fact that almost every memphis fan i have spoken with does not think Thabeet was the right choice, and there are plenty of reason's to be pessimistic about the Grizz summer. You can also add in the reports that they recieved less then 8 thousand fans per game, the owner has said they are committed to memphis not becaus they choose to but because they are legally bound to, in the media and a few other things as well.
i don't think pistons fans are really dissapointed, at least not the smart ones. We came out of the offseason with one of the best bench players in the league and at least a solid big. We picked up wallace and we have kwame for defense, not to mention tayshaun. I'm a little bias, but does anyone have a backcourt to match ours. Suckey is solid at the worst (i hope he takes a big step forward), Rip is a former all star, gordon is a scoring machine, and will bynum is a very efficient scorer and honestly giveing us Stuckey fans some insecurities. and the biggest thing of all is that our average age jumped from 32 to (im not totally sure, but this is what it was before we signed big ben) 25. I think we're in good shape for the future, especially with an upcoming draft that could produce a few nice big men prospects.