Sportsline grades team's offseason (Midwest)

Sportsline grades team's offseason (Midwest)

Postby JSM on Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:33 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

Dallas Mavericks: Although they still didn't get the tough interior player needed when Alonzo Mourning went to New Jersey instead, the Mavs did add Antawn Jamison, Danny Fortson, Jiri Welsch and Chris Mills in a big trade, but it cost them Nick Van Exel, undoubtedly their toughest player. They brought in Travis Best to replace Van Exel as a backup point guard, but he's not nearly as tough and won't take over games in the same manner. Jamison will add more scoring, and rookie Josh Howard is a very good open floor player, but they really need Fortson to be healthy and consistent inside to be a serious threat to win the West. Nonetheless, they will score reams of points again and have more international birth certificates than any other team. Grade: B-

Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets promised to be the most active team on the free-agent market this summer, and they were plenty active but didn't quite accomplish what they needed to. Signing Andre Miller and Earl Boykins cleaned up their point guard situation, and top draft choice Carmelo Anthony figures to be a superb small forward. But they needed to get a power player of some kind, and they were pre-empted for Brad Miller when he was signed and traded to Sacramento. If they had even had re-signed Juwan Howard, they would have been in good shape. Instead, they need Nene Hilario to become a star in just his second season, Marcus Camby to be healthy and Nikoloz Tskitishvili to become an NBA player this season. They are on the right track, though. Grade: B

Golden State Warriors: It's never easy to figure out what the Warriors are up to, especially after their best season in a decade. They didn't do what was necessary to work out a contract with Gilbert Arenas, so they signed Speedy Claxton and traded for Van Exel. Coach Eric Musselman, who is nothing if not amazingly resourceful and energetic, will have to handle it like he's still in the CBA. Bringing in Cliff Robinson for Sura adds to the salary cap, and he'll have to replace Antawn Jamison if young Mike Dunleavy isn't ready. Rookie Mickeal Pietrus was referred to as the European Michael Jordan, which is another way of saying, they wish. It's a sad state of affairs considering how far they came last season, and the odds are not good for a repeat. Grade: D

Houston Rockets: After a decade of Rudy Tomjanovich as coach, the Rockets finally moved him upstairs and hired Jeff Van Gundy and moved into a new arena. They lost James Posey to free agency, but presumably Eric Piatkowski and second-year player Bostjan Nachbar will help there. The bigger question is how Van Gundy will help develop the young trio of Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Eddie Griffin considering Rudy T.'s main problem was that he allowed the inmates to run the asylum. The maturity and talent of Yao Ming should be the difference as they work toward getting back into the playoffs for the first time after a four-year absence -- the first time that has happened in 30 years. Unfortunately, they have done virtually nothing to upgrade the roster for V.G. Grade: C-

Memphis Grizzlies: Jerry West is finding out fast that it isn't as easy building a team in Memphis as it was the Lakers. Yes, he made a nice draft day deal that brought Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones, but they are rookies who will take awhile to help. James Posey was a nice addition to fit into Hubie Brown's defensive-oriented system, too. The key to their success will be if Michael Dickerson ever comes back from his hernia problem and Mike Miller proves that the past two years of constant ankle problems are just a fluke and he will be the kind of big-time perimeter scorer West expected when he traded Drew Gooden and Gordon Giricek for Miller and Ryan Humphrey. Regardless, none of these moves are the kind that will allow the Grizzlies to make a move toward the playoffs. Grade: C+

Minnesota Timberwolves: Finally, Kevin McHale was proactive in changing the face of the team for Kevin Garnett. They've brought in Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell as their starting backcourt, and active center Michael Olowokandi makes them much more athletic. Ervin Johnson is a solid backup center, too, and Fred Hoiberg is a terrific outside shooter off the bench. Maybe this team still isn't good enough to win the West, but they are much better than they were last season when they finally should have gotten out of the first round. Troy Hudson really blossomed last season in a shooting role, and by bringing in Cassell and Sprewell, it will relieve pressure and put him in a natural role off the bench. It should help Wally Szczerbiak get better shots too. Grade: A

San Antonio Spurs: As if winning the NBA title for the second time in five years wasn't enough, the Spurs had oodles of salary cap space with the retirement of David Robinson. They didn't get Jason Kidd or Jermaine O'Neal, but they did get center Rasho Nesterovic via free agency. They also added Anthony Carter for depth at point guard when Speedy Claxton left, and Robert Horry brings five rings with him as depth up front. Even more important was getting in the middle of the Brad Miller deal, bringing them Turkoglu from Sacramento and Mercer from Indiana. With young guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili logically expected to improve, the Spurs conceivably could be better than they were last year. Then again, so are the Lakers and Kings. Grade: A-

Utah Jazz: Finally, it happened. John Stockton retired and Karl Malone left as a free agent for the Lakers. Now what? Never one to back down from anything, coach Jerry Sloan opted to play it out rather than retire as many thought he would. Now the team is building around young forwards Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring, with hopes that DeShawn Stevenson matures and becomes a dependable starter. They've tried to sign not only Jason Terry and Corey Maggette but Brad Miller and Elton Brand. Atlanta has to match Terry's deal. This is obviously no easy task for general manager Kevin O'Connor to attract free agents to Salt Lake City. They did acquire Keon Clark from Sacramento, but he's a very erratic player on and off the court. They need young players Raul Lopez (a point guard) and Curtis Borchardt (center) to overcome injuries and develop into contributors fast. The 20 consecutive seasons in the playoffs is about to come to an end. Grade: D
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Postby FabFourLakers on Tue Sep 16, 2003 8:22 pm

Ok spurs didnt do anything this offseason they didnt get ANYONE they wanted to get...they shoudla gotten a B or somethin..u dont get an A- for landin a soft center in Rasho, an inconsistent point guard in carter, and two shooting guards who u didnt even need...and oh yea the game winner Horry....

and Utah should get an F cuz they are worse than the bucks right now and the bucks got an F...the jazz are goin nowhere, they are not gonna get Jason Terry they lost out on 2 restricted FAs this season, and a couple of other FAs too(in all: Maggette, Brand, Olowokandi, Miller, B Miller, and NOW Terry)
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