Sportsline grades team's offseason (Central)

Sportsline grades team's offseason (Central)

Postby JSM on Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:46 pm

Here is what kind of grade and the reason for the grade given to each team. I broke it down into conference to shorten it up

Sportsline
Atlanta Hawks: The sale to David McDavid has been in flux for months. It stilted their coaching search, although interim coach Terry Stotts deservedly got another chance with a two-year deal. It also gives Billy Knight a full shot at general manager. They unloaded a lot of money by dealing Glenn Robinson for retiring Terrell Brandon's contract and rookie Randy Holcomb. But where's the talent? They will presumably match Utah's offer sheet for high-scoring free agent Jason Terry, but the addition of Jacque Vaughn and rookies Boris Diaw and Travis Hansen don't add much juice to this struggling franchise. Personnel-wise, they're nowhere and have lost Robinson's 20 points a game, and Stotts must push them to overachieve with defense and unselfish play. Grade: D

Chicago Bulls: John Paxson is another rookie general manager, and he's suffering the consequences of young guard Jay Williams' debilitating motorcycle accident. Paxson drafted Kirk Hinrich as a result and Mario Austin has a chance as an interior player. In a move for leadership, he brought back his old teammate, Scottie Pippen, to help with the ball-handling and the development of young talents Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. The loss of Williams crushed the potential deal for a young and talented small forward, but they still have a lot of young talent from having so many high draft picks, so unless they are able to move Rose or Marshall with a draft choice for something special, they are likely to stand pat. That is not a bad thing. Grade: B

Cleveland Cavaliers: The luck of winning the lottery and the rights to draft special young local talent LeBron James made this a successful summer for older brother Jim Paxson, now the Cavs president. Add to that the hiring of coach Paul Silas as the perfect fit, and it was a great start. With second-round pick Jason Kapono and the acquisition of free agents Kevin Ollie and Ira Newble, this will be a far different team than it was a year ago. Of course, 17 victories isn't tough to exceed, but if they don't win 30-35, it will be a huge disappointment considering all the positive vibes they have going on. Regardless of how long it takes James to develop into an impact player, the draw made this is a special summer for the Cavs no matter what. Grade: A-

Detroit Pistons: President Joe Dumars is never idle, even after a pair of Central Division titles and 50-victory seasons. They startlingly fired coach Rick Carlisle and hired Larry Brown. That was just the start; aging forwards Cliff Robinson and Michael Curry were then sent packing, along with Jon Barry, and he replaced them with Elden Campbell, Bobby Sura and Lindsey Hunter. That's not to say that makes them markedly better, but the contracts certainly are in this day and age of the all-important bottom line. Friday, they worked out the final details necessary to bring talented rookie 7-footer Darko Milicic into the fold, and he makes them better. Grade: B

Indiana Pacers: Larry Bird was hired as president of basketball operations and he stunningly fired Isiah Thomas as coach and replaced him with Rick Carlisle. That will change the team. So will signing-and-trading Brad Miller for Scot Pollard, who has battled injuries and limited minutes his entire career. Ron Mercer also was part of that deal, and Erick Strickland left via free agency. Bird's stamp on the team so far is the coaching change, but the personnel situation is clearly in question, and Jermaine O'Neal was incensed by the way he was re-signed based on Thomas returning. Most people don't believe this is the roster the Pacers will have once the season starts, but as of now, Bird has plenty of work to do for them to be serious contenders. Grade D+

Milwaukee Bucks: By midseason, it would be natural to believe owner Herb Kohl will regret not having sold the team to Michael Jordan's group. Terry Porter has returned to his hometown for his rookie season as a head coach, replacing George Karl. Larry Harris is a rookie general manager replacing Ernie Grunfeld, who bolted for Washington. Gary Payton, Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson are gone. In their place are Joe Smith, Brian Skinner and Damon Jones. Rookie point guard T.J. Ford is an exciting and wonderfully talented player, but he's small and lacks a consistent outside shot -- in other words, he's not ready to take over a team that's rebuilding. They are going nowhere, and it's hard to imagine it was in 2001 that they were a quarter away from the NBA Finals. Grade: F

New Orleans Hornets: The first move was a tough one, with coach Paul Silas being ousted and Tim Floyd, with the worst record in coaching history, brought in to replace him. P.J. Brown was re-signed, a mandatory move, and Darrell Armstrong was signed as a free agent to back up injury-laden Baron Davis. With the 18th pick of the draft, they added David West, a forward with exceptional floor skills and deadly shooting touch 17 feet and in. But they've also lost a big portion of that great depth of long players up front (Elden Campbell and Jerome Moiso) with nothing in return. And they still lack a legitimate shooting guard and long-range shooting in general. Much to their good fortune, they get to stay in the East for another season, so they had better take advantage of it. Grade: C

Toronto Raptors: Just getting back Vince Carter healthy makes them much better, and new coach Kevin O'Neill is bound to energize them more than Lenny Wilkens did. They had the good fortune of the fourth pick in the draft, and Chris Bosh is a young, talented and growing almost-7-footer. Meanwhile, they've added Michael Curry via trade and free agents Mengke Bateer, Rick Brunson, Jerome Moiso and Milt Palacio -- prompting one succinct question: Can any of these guys play a lick? And for nearly two weeks now, the rumbling has Dikembe Mutombo coming here with Antonio Davis and possibly Morris Peterson leaving. Hopefully that won't happen, because it will only make matters worse. Good thing Carter is healthy, otherwise the next fun thing would be the lottery again. Grade: D
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Postby FabFourLakers on Tue Sep 16, 2003 8:18 pm

LOL Bucks got an F!!!!! AHAHAHAHa

The cavs? A-? That is a bit off. All they got was Lebron James. That doesnt give u an A- for the whole offseason... they shoudl get like a B or somethin....

New Orleans should get an F for firing Silas and hiring a coach with the NBA's worst coaching record...i hope New Orleans suffers for firing sucha humble and great coach like Silas...
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Postby rydjorker121 on Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:55 pm

the EAST GETS LOUSY GRADES....the Bucks are awful, but the Bulls should get an A...Hinrich, Scottie boy and Kendall Long-haired Gill are marvelous additions...
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