Team Needs: Atlantic Division
Just a few years ago the Atlantic Division was being called the ‘Titanic' Division and had no serious contenders for the Eastern Conference title. With the Celtics rise back to power and the 76ers rounding into form, the Atlantic is back to being very competitive. Lots of questions are to be answered in the off-season that could change the landscape of this division again. Here is a look at each team's needs for the 2010 campaign.
2008-2009 Record (62-20, 2nd in Eastern Conference)
Returning Payroll - $68.8 mil
Guaranteed Contracts: SF Paul Pierce ($19.8 mil), SG Ray Allen ($18.7 mil), PF Kevin Garnett ($16.4 mil), C Kendrick Perkins ($4.2 mil), PF Brian Scalabrine ($3.4 mil), PG Rajon Rondo ($2.6 mil), SG Tony Allen ($2.5 mil)
Restricted Free Agents: None
Player Options or Early Termination Options: SG Eddie House ($2.8 mil)
Expiring Contracts: PG Stephon Marbury ($1.2 mil), PF Leon Powe ($797,581), PF Glen "Big Baby" Davis ($711,517)
Team needs: Athletic wing players (defense), back up point guard
Draft Picks: 58th pick
The 2007-08 champs had an up-n-down season. They got off to an incredible, NBA record-setting start at 27-2, and it looked as if the repeat was a foregone conclusion. The Celtics put together winning streaks of 19 games and 12 games. Their starting five was hands down the best in basketball, and even the bench was contributing at a high rate. The problem with a great start to a season is that you have to keep playing. And with the big 3 now known as elder statesmen of the league (Garnett is 33, Allen is 32, Pierce is 31), injuries aren't a surprise. When they came into play, the Celtics inevitably came down to earth, and surrendered the Eastern Conference #1 seed to the surging Cleveland Cavaliers.
During the playoffs a depleted Celtics team defeated the young Chicago Bulls in an epic 7 games and then succumbed to the Orlando Magic in 7 games, losing the final game at home quite convincingly. Kevin Garnett did not play a game during the playoffs because of a bad knee, so trying to defend the title never felt right. The Celtics almost went into the playoffs as underdogs feeling disrespected. Nonetheless, the offseason will be about acquiring a veteran or two to ease the minutes played by the big 3.
One thing learned during the playoffs was that the future of the Celtics is going to be all about Rajon Rondo. He dueled Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose and nearly averaged a triple double for the 14 playoff games that he played in. He is without question a top notch point guard. General Manager Danny Ainge knows this better than anyone, and because of that he will not be signing anyone to a large contract before Rondo is locked up for the future.
This hurts Glen ‘Big Baby' Davis more than anyone. Davis is a restricted free agent and just played the best basketball of his career during the playoffs, highlighted by a buzzer-beating jump shot that tied the series in game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Big Baby stepped into the starting lineup after Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe went out with season-ending injuries. He took advantage of his opportunity, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds during the playoffs. But, the Celtics are going to see the big picture on this one. They understand that Garnett will be back for sure, and probably Powe for at least one year. Big Baby's stock is at an all time high right now and some GM is most likely going to overpay for him, and the Celtics will not be willing to match it. If Big Baby is going to be in a green uniform next year it won't be for big money. It will be interesting to see the type of offers he will receive because of his playoff performance, but expect Davis to be playing somewhere other than Beantown next year.
The draft won't help the Celtics much this summer, unless Ainge makes a deal, which he's been known to do. Ainge whiffed with his late first round choice of JR Giddens with players such as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Mario Chalmers and DeAndre Jordan available. With no first round picks, expect the Celtics to try to sign a veteran or two, but their roster won't likely change much before next season.
New Jersey Nets
2008-2009 Record (34-48, 11th in Eastern Conference)
Returning Payroll - $45.8 mil
Guaranteed Contracts: SG Vince Carter ($16.3 mil), SF Bobby Simmons ($10.5 mil), PG Devin Harris ($7.8 mil), PF Eduardo Najera ($3.1 mil), PG Keyon Dooling ($3.5 mil), PF Yi Jianlian ($3.1 mil), C Brook Lopez ($2.2 mil), SF Jarvis Hayes ($2.0 mil), PF Sean Williams ($1.6 mil), PF Ryan Anderson ($1.3 mil), PF/C Josh Boone ($2.0 mil)
Restricted Free Agents: None
Player Options or Early Termination Options: SG Trenton Hassell ($4.3 mil)
Expiring Contracts: PF Stromile Swift ($6.2 mil)
Team Needs: Small forwards, scorers
Draft Picks: 11th pick
The Nets missed the playoffs by 5 games this season, but figured out a few things about their team as well. First, point guard Devin Harris is a flat-out stud and is a franchise guy. He averaged 21.3 ppg and 6.9 assists. The Nets have one of the best point guards in the game and he is locked up until 2013.
Brook Lopez was a steal with the 10th pick of last year's draft. He had a monster year for the Nets, leading the team in rebounds and blocks along his way to 1st team all-rookie honors. At a legit 7-feet, the Nets have their center for the future.
President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn has the two most difficult positions (point guard and center) figured out for the foreseeable future. The problem is everything else. Vince Carter proved he still has something left in the tank last year, and with his huge contract he could be dealt to a contender at some point next year.
Very similar to the New York Knicks, everything is geared towards the 2010 free agent class. With the team moving to Brooklyn in 2010, and everyone knowing about the relationship between part-owner Jay-Z and LeBron, we can all see where the Nets are headed. The difference between the Nets and the Knicks is that New Jersey should be competitive next year because of the trio: Harris, Lopez, and Carter (if he stays). Winning games will be important to lure LeBron or other big-time free agents, knowing that they will want to win right away.
New Jersey will be in a better position than any other team to land LeBron should they deal Carter. If they manage to do so, Devin Harris will be the only long-term contract that will be on the books. Even if Carter stays, the Nets should be players in the LeBron sweepstakes because every contract comes off the books except Carter and Harris. Team options will be picked up at Thorn and General Manager Ed Stefanski's choosing. They won't be forced to keep anyone.
This year, only Stromile Swift comes off the books. Selecting 11th in the draft will probably be used to pick up an athletic wing player like Arizona's Chase Budinger or Duke's Gerald Henderson. The Nets may add another veteran for a short contract. But, like the Knicks, no deals will be made that may hinder their chances of making a run at Jay-Z's buddy LeBron.
New York Knicks
2008-2009 Record (32-50, 14th in Eastern Conference)
Returning Payroll - $40.0 mil
Guaranteed Contracts: SG Larry Hughes ($13.6 mil), SF/PF Jared Jeffries ($6.4 mil), PG Chris Duhon ($6.0 mil), SF Danilo Gallinari ($3.1 mil)
Restricted Free Agents: PG/SG Nate Robinson ($2.9 mil), PF/C David Lee ($2.6 mil)
Player Options or Early Termination Options: C Eddy Curry ($10.5 mil), SF/PF Al Harrington ($10.0 mil), SG Quentin Richardson ($9.3 mil)
Expiring Contracts: PG Stephon Marbury ($18.6 mil), PF/C Chris Wilcox ($6.75 mil)
Team Needs: Point guard, post presence
Draft Picks: 8th pick
The Knicks are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel from the disaster that Isiah Thomas left behind. The payroll next year will still be inflated with unreasonable contracts, but lots of cap space will be cleared for the big 2010 free agent market. Everybody in the sports world now knows about New York's fascination with Lebron James. The Knicks have had their eye on him for about as long as a NBA team can have their eye on someone. If the Lebron plan doesn't work out, then there will be plenty of backup plans: Dwayne Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Notwizki, just to name a few.
Last year wasn't completely about winning for the Knicks. There was drama around Stephon Marbury and his refusal to play or benching, depending on who you ask. Either way, Marbury's large contract is finally off the books. They played hard all year, but general manager Donnie Walsh was more concerned with dumping as many large salaries as possible. He did a good job of doing so, trading away Zach Randolph (despite being their top scorer and rebounder) Jamal Crawford (second leading scorer), and Jerome James. He will most likely have the same agenda next year because they still have some of the worst contracts in the league. But, this season was a clear step in the right direction.
The Knicks face a dilemma this summer. David Lee and Nate Robinson are both restricted free agents and also the two lone bright spots on the Knicks roster. But, how far does GM Donnie Walsh extend himself to them? Almost certainly both cannot stay with the Knicks if they are serious about attaining Lebron, so they may have to make a choice between the two. David Lee would be the probable selection because most general managers are going to take a big man over a guard, especially a small one (Nate Robinson is listed at 5'9 and probably not even that tall). Losing Robinson would be disappointing for the Knicks because over the last year or two he has become the lightning rod of the franchise. But, looking at the big picture, New Yorkers understand that something bigger is in the making.
Chris Duhon logged a lot of minutes (37mpg) at the point guard spot this season and he did a decent job (11ppg, 7 apg). But, with Robinson likely on his way out, that puts even more of a burden on Duhon to play heavy minutes at the point. Drafting Davidson's Stephen Curry (if he;s available) makes sense for a number of reasons. He can play both guard spots just like Robinson did last year, making Robinson's departure less severe. Being able to play the point will give Coach D'Antoni a solid backup when Duhon rests. Also, Stephen Curry is one of the most marketable players in the draft and his style of play is perfect for a D'Antoni system, so fan-favorite Robinson would be forgotten quickly.
Three players (Al Harrington, Ed Curry, and Quentin Richardson) have options for the 2009/2010 season. All three will most likely pick them up. Curry and Richardson are almost certain to do so. Harrington is in a different situation. He is coming off a good year after averaging a career high in points (20.7). He is only 29 years old despite being in the league for 11 years. His option is for more than 10 million, so it is hard to see him pass that up. But, he will be looking for a long term contract this summer or the next. The Knicks would be glad to see him decline his option because then they will have more cap room for Lee and Robinson. It is unlikely that he declines, but he's the most likely of the three players.
Everything the Knicks do from now until the end of next season will be geared towards the 2010 free agent class. So, it may be another painful year for Knicks fans, but if they land one of the big fish, especially named Lebron, their pain will be over.
2008-2009 Record (41-41, 6th in Eastern Conference)
Returning Payroll - $57.2 mil
Guaranteed Contracts: PF Elton Brand ($14.8 mil), SG Andre Iguodala (12.2 mil), C Samuel Dalembert (11.3 mil), SG Louis Williams ($4.9 mil), PF Reggie Evans ($4.9 mil), SG Willie Green ($3.6 mil), SF Thaddeus Young ($2.1 mil)
Restricted Free Agents: None
Player Options or Early Termination Options: None
Expiring Contracts: PG Andre Miller ($9.9 mil)
Team needs: Point guard, shooters
Draft Picks: 17th pick
The 76ers were expected to challenge the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic division title after signing superstar Elton Brand to a long-term contract in the off-season. Nothing went according to plan as the team struggled to work Brand into their offense, and Brand struggled to score like he had his whole career. Eventually Brand went out with a season-ending injury, and inevitably that is when the 76ers started to play their best ball. As a number 6 seed, Philadelphia played the Orlando Magic tough in the 1st round series, but fell in 6 games.
The 76ers current roster is most likely the names that will be around for the near future. Along with Brand, Iguodala, and Louis Williams are signed long-term. Three other rotation guys are locked up for at least two years as well: Reggie Evans, Dalembert, and Willie Green. Their best prospect Thaddeus Young is still under his rookie contract. Not much is going to change for Philadelphia except their point guard position.
Andre Miller had an unusual resurrection to his career when he was traded to the 76ers in 2007. Thought of as almost a throw-in to even the money off from an Allen Iverson trade, Miller immediately added veteran leadership and an offensive weapon by averaging 16 points and 6 assists the past 2 years. More importantly, he plays 36 minutes a game and that will be a tough void to fill.
Louis Williams has proven to be a valuable player for the 76ers, but he is not a point guard. He is clearly a shoot-first type guard and by asking him to move to the point might take away some of his scoring chances. Expect Philadelphia to sign Miller to a short-term contract because they don't really have other options. And although he has played some of his best ball at this point in his career, Miller is now 33 years old. A point guard at 33 is ancient.
With the 17th pick in the draft the 76ers will likely take a point guard to ease Miller into retirement, and there are some good ones available. UNC's Ty Lawson would be a good fit. 76er fans can pray that Syracuse's Johnny Flynn can fall to them, but that is highly unlikely. If all the top point guard are off the board by 17, it is possible that the 76ers go after a shooter like UNC's Wayne Ellington. The 76ers lack a dead-eye shooter that can stretch the defense.
The big-men situation looks great for the 76ers. Dalembert is solid and one of the better centers in the NBA. Brand should bounce back and be a top option, he is too good of a player not to. Both young big-men Marreese Speights and Jason Smith (granted he comes back from ACL injury) are long and athletic. Reggie Evans is also a valuable rebounder. Don't expect the 76ers to change much wih their inside situation. Possibly re-sign veteran Donyell Marshall for cheap money because he was their best outside shooter during the playoffs.
2008-2009 Record (33-49, 13th in Eastern Conference)
Returning Payroll - $45.7 mil
Guaranteed Contracts: PF Chris Bosh ($15.7 mil), PG Jose Calderon ($8.2 mil), PF Andrea Bargnani ($6.5 mil), SF Jason Kapono ($6.2 mil), PG Marcus Banks ($4.4 mil), PF/C Kris Humphries ($3.2 mil)
Restricted Free Agents: SF Joey Graham ($3.4 mil, qualifying offer)
Player Options or Early Termination Options: None
Expiring Contracts: SF/PF Shawn Marion ($17.2 mil), SG Anthony Parker ($4.5 mil), Jorge Garbajosa ($4.3 mil)
Team Needs: Shooting guard, physical big man
Draft Picks: 9th pick
The Toronto Raptors had the most disappointing season in the Atlantic Division, possibly the whole Eastern Conference. After going to the playoffs the two previous seasons, the Raptors were expected to compete for the Atlantic Division and make some noise in the Eastern Conference. In the off-season they extended point guard Jose Calderon to a long-term deal and it looked like the future would be bright for a long time. Instead, they finished near the basement of the standings and left the city questioning if the 1st round exits in the two previous years was the ceiling for this core of guys.
The good news is that the Raptors finished the season strong. They won 9 of their last 13, including a win over Chicago in the last game of the season that had playoff implications for the Bulls. The strong finish was impressive enough to earn Coach Jay Triano a 3-year deal that he signed on May, 11th. The expectations are high once again in Toronto and this team will be expected to make the playoffs. But, lots of questions have to be answered in the off-season.
First, they have many decisions to make about their wing players. Anthony Parker is a free agent. He started 70 games at shooting guard and averaged 10.7 ppg while playing solid defense. The problem with Parker is that his minutes per game match his age (33). The Raptors may extend a reasonable offer to Parker because he was one of the elder leaders of the team. But, with his age and the 2010 free agent class seen as the ultimate prize, Parker's days in Toronto could be over. Regardless of their decision on Parker, they need to get younger and more athletic shooting guards into their rotation.
Shawn Marion's large contract expires and he is all but gone and hitting the open market. At 31 years old this is Marion's last shot at another big contract. He was the Raptors best player down the final stretch of the season and most likely upped his stock by showing he still has some fresh legs.
Joey Graham is a restricted free agent. He was inconsistent throughout the course of the year, but showed signs of being a productive commodity on both ends of the court. In a February game vs. the Lakers, he went mano y mano with Kobe Bryant by scoring 24 points and playing tough defense by forcing Kobe into ugly shots. His minutes suffered when Marion arrived in a mid-season trade, but look for the Raptors to bring him back and for him to earn some of those minutes back after Marion departs.
The biggest question with the Raptors involves Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. Most believe that they do not mix well because both would rather face the basket than play with a defender on their back. Bosh is the franchise player, but Bargnani is a former #1 overall pick who, despite lots of criticism, is only 23 years old and has raised his averages every year (15.4 ppg last season). With lots of teams clearing cap space to make plays at the big names on the free market in 2010, it's not out of the question for the Raptors to let Bosh go, use their money elsewhere, and try to develop Bargnani as their go-to guy.
With the 9th pick, the Raptors will most likely be targeting an athletic shooting guard. USC's DeMar DeRozan would fit the bill if he fell to them, Duke's Gerald Henderson would also work, with Arizona's Chase Budinger a possibility as well. Look for the Raptors to draft one of these guards and let the Bosh/Bargnani situation play itself out. Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair could also be an intriguing option to bolster their beef on the interior.
Rod Thorn has stated the wants a moose in this draft. Those two soft boys (Henderson and Budinger) aren't moose. The Nets will probably draft Dajuan Blair or Hill if they can trade up. Do your research.
I am a James Johnson fan and I think he ends up getting picked up by the Nets...he's a load down low with versatile offensive skills...I hope the Sixers don't draft Wayne Ellington or Ty Lawson...I'd rather them go for more NBA oriented players like Jeff Teague or Eric Maynor.
This piece has several inexcusable inaccuracies in the Nets section.
Stromile Swift was waived in March and finished the season in Phoenix. He is not an expiring contract
Ed Stefanski left the Nets a year and a half ago. He is now GM of Philly, which the piece does not reflect. Kiki Vandeweghe has been GM of the Nets since January of 2008.
FYI, Rod Thorn has never said the Nets need a "moose". That's a description one of the beat writers used, not Thorn.
Every time Teague faced adversity this season, he pouted, disappeared from the game at the offensive end and took defensive possessions off.
Maynor is a lottery pick unless teams reach for bigs and unproven talent like Jrue Holiday and Brandon Jennings.
we are actually previewing the atlantic tonight on our podcast - our 4th of 6 divisional previews. check www.nbadraftdaycountdown.com for details...
Do you recall the game when Jeff Teague went off for 34 points, shot over 50% from the field, 75% from 3 and got to the stripe 15 times en route to a win over UNC while thoroughly dominating Ty Lawson, who was held to 9 points on 4-12 shooting?
Gerald Henderson is soft? What games are you watching? I don't consider a player who plays great defense and willing to drive strong to basketball as soft.
i didnt use quotations did i? therefor i could also be paraphrasing.
other nets inaccuracies: the nets will not be in brooklyn until 2011 at the earliest.
NJ has now recently stated that they will draft the best player available.
I can name 16 players in this draft that are better than Henderson.
Considering the Nets draft at # 11 thats 5 players (that are less soft and better players than Henderson) that the Nets should draft instead of Henderson.
I might even draft uber-soft Budinger ahead of less-soft Henderson because Henderson looks like he has reached his potential under coach K.
It's good you like Henderson's game. Maybe your favorite team will draft him. I just don't want my Nets to. Thanks.
he stinks, Sammy Dalembert is one of the worst NBA starters in the league. He is lucky to be starting on the Sixers and the only reason he is still on the team is that no one will pick up his insanely high contract that he is not worth.
with you. dalembert is an under achieving defensive 7footer with no offensive touch at all. must have been one of the worst recent sixers moves to sign him to that money and is exactly why they cant move him. would love to see speights develop like big baby or poe did in the absense of a big man stepping up their game as the season went on and into the playoffs. i most likely would accept nearly any trade for dalembert no lie
I hate the choice for Stephen Curry just the Knicks will likely pick him over players such as Jennings who is a true point guard or Tyreke Evans who can play both with ease
But names are made and championships are won in March. Using your argument, approach Greivis Vasquez and Cedric Jackson, who both owned Jeff Teague, in Wake's last two games, should be drafted in the early lottery. I hope we can both agree that's ridiculous. Everyone is afforded a bad game every so often, but it became a trend late in the season for Teague, unlike Lawson, who led his team to a national title.
For whatever the reason, Teague tailed off in February and March. He's still a first-round talent. If I were a GM, I'd want to have an older point guard who would take Teague under his wing (like Jason Kidd) and teach him the ropes, because he has to mature mentally and get stronger physically. The talent is no doubt there, but he needs to learn how to play the point (1.06 assists/turnover rate) and not just score points.
There very well could be 16 players better than Gerald Henderson in the draft and I'm not saying the Nets should draft him. I was just pointing out that his game isn't soft. Again, I don't consider a player who plays good defense and and drives strong to the basket as soft.
I will agree that Budinger is soft. Any player with his athleticism who takes long jump shots most of the game and does not put much effort on the defensive end is definitely soft.
Teams that waive a player are still responsible for his contract til it's up. Swift's was up this year so it is expiring from their cap situation. Get your facts straight before you go bashing people.
Most believe that they dotravesti not mix well because both would rather face the basket than play with a defender on their back. Bosh ismedyum the franchise player, but Bargnani is a former #1 overall pick who, despite lots of criticism, travesti is only 23 years old and has raised his averages every year (15.4 ppg last season). Thank you very much...
There were no easy answers to the questions posed by Jon Phillips Sohbet (formerly of Creative Commons fame), either, who challenged the audience Günlük Haberler to look beyond the traditional desktop application Sohbet Odaları paradigm. Web applications like Twitter and Chat Google Docs are irreversibly becoming part Çet of the software landscape, he said, and although some in the Sohbet free software community (such as autonomo.us) are Msn indir exploring how to make network Sohbet Odaları applications truly free, Sohbet the graphics software arena Chat is mistaken if it Sohbet Odaları thinks it is immune to the challenge. He pointed to numerous examples of online graphics web-apps, such as Aviary and Picnik, and asked who in the free software realm was trying to compete.
Other Güzel Sözler talks highlighted successes Burçlar in free graphics software, Gazeteler such as Stani Michiels' contest-winning design Çet Sohbet for a commemorative Dutch 5-Euro coin, a report from Güzel Sözler the Brussels-based studio Open Source Publishing, and Canlı tv Kaveh Bazargan's River Valley Technology, a company that uses Canlı Radyo free software to process the complex typesetting requirements of mathematical and scientific journals.
DVD Video Copier,
DVD Movie Copier,
Protected DVD Copier,
Video to DVD Copier,
DVD to DVD Copier,
DVD to Computer Copier,
Copy DVD to iPod,
Copy DVD to PSP,
Copy DVD to Apple TV,
Copy DVD to AVI,
Copy DVD to MP4,
Copy DVD to MOV,
Copy DVD to FLV,
Copy DVD to MPEG,
Copy DVD to WMV
DVD Copier For Mac,
DVD To DVD Copier Mac,
DVD Copy For Mac,
DVD Copy To iPod Mac,
DVD Copy To MP4 Mac,
DVD Copy To MOV Mac,
DVD Copy To FLV Mac,
DVD Copy To PSP Mac,
DVD Copy To MPEG Mac,
DVD Copy To WMV Mac,
DVD Copy To AVI Mac,
DVD Copy To Apple TV Mac
veri nice. thanks... travesti ajans
they are earning huge sum of money.i did not expect they get such big income
they do so much hard work that is why they are earning huge bucks
i dont think such a huge sum even earned by hollywood actors and actresses
those figures really shocks me .
they are higher standards than hollywood actors and actresses