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There are two possible words to describe the NBA offseason thus far: player movement.
Since last season’s trade, deadline rumors of Dwight Howard leaving Orlando took NBA movement headlines. Although he has made it clear that he wants to join the Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic have not found the right deal to send their superstar packing. It seems talks between the Magic and Nets are over for now after Brooklyn inked current center Brook Lopez to a four-year, $61 million deal. The longer the Magic continues to hold onto Howard, the less leverage they will have when it comes to deals. Orlando doesn’t want history to repeat itself when they lost Shaquille O’Neal for nothing.
The Brooklyn Nets did not let the “Dwight-mare” affect them when it came to making other deals. One of the biggest moves this offseason included the addition of ex-Atlanta Hawks guard, Joe Johnson, to Brooklyn. The Nets sent Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, and two draft picks in exchange for the six-time all-star. The addition of Joe Johnson definitely helped Deron Williams make his decision to come back with the Nets, signing a five-year $98 million deal. The Nets also agreed to terms with veteran point guard, C.J. Watson.
The Nets possible starting line-up for next season could be: Brook Lopez, newly signed forward Mirza Teletovic, Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams. Let’s not forget MarShon Brooks, who will make a great impact off the bench for the Nets. It seems the Nets have made a jump from possible lottery winners to playoff contenders in a few months.
With the Nets making all these moves and improving, their New York rival Knicks had to start doing something. In a sign-and-trade, the Knicks welcomed back Marcus Camby and sent Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and two future second-round picks to the Rockets. The 38 year old will help back up Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, as well as help the Knicks improve defensively.
Knicks brought in another veteran signing point guard, Jason Kidd. Kidd is coming off his worst career year, averaging only 6.2 points per game and 5.5 assists per game. Signing Kidd made Knick fans assume they would re-sign Jeremy Lin; however, that does not seem to be the case after the Knicks’ latest move. The Knicks are bringing back Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric.
Bringing back Felton likely closes the idea that the Knicks will match the Houston Rockets three-year $25 million deal for Lin. The Knicks have also re-signed Steve Novak and J.R Smith. Felton back in New York may be the only good move so far for the Knicks. Looking at everything else they seem to have just gotten older, not better.
However, the Knicks have parted ways with guard Landry Fields after not matching the Raptors three year $19 million deal. Toronto also added guard Kyle Lowry in exchange for Gary Forbes and a future first-round pick.
When everyone thought the Heat couldn’t get any better, the NBA champions did. The Heat added veteran sharp shooter, Ray Allen, in a three-year deal. Also, the Heat added veteran, Rashard Lewis, to a two-year deal.
After losing one veteran, the Celtics locked up Kevin Garnett to a 3-year $34 million deal. The 36-year old will definitely help improve Boston’s rookie big men Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo’s skills in order to be effective in the NBA. The Celtics also brought in another veteran guard, Jason Terry. Terry will likely start due to guard Avery Bradley undergoing shoulder surgery; however, once Bradley returns, Terry will take the duty as sixth man.
Philadelphia 76ers added guard Nick Young, who averaged 14.2 points per game last season. Young will be a good replacement for Lou Williams, who has reached an agreement with the Atlanta Hawks. In addition, Young may have the edge to earn the starting job over Evan Turner.
The Detroit Pistons traded away guard Ben Gordon and a first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Corey Maggette. The Bobcats also added free agents Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood.
Indiana Pacers re-signed guard George Hill as well as center Roy Hibbert. In addition, the Pacers added Gerald Green and D.J Augustin. However, the Pacers traded guard Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones for Ian Mahinmi.
The Milwaukee Bucks were able to re-sign probably one of the most underrated free agents this offseason, Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova signed a four-year, $45 million contract after having the best season of his career averaging 13 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game.
Although the only news coming from Orlando is about Dwight Howard trade rumors, they were able to re-sign guard Jameer Nelson and add Gustavo Ayon via trade for three-point specialist Ryan Anderson.
There is still tons of time and room for more deals to be done in the East and it will be exciting to see what will happen next.