I couldn’t be more excited about finally discussing NBA topics unrelated to David Stern or the BRI.
Even though free agency hasn’t officially begun, rumors are already spreading across the country about many players. What I’m going to do is assume some of these rumored movements end up happening, and I will speculate on the consequences.
•Dwight Howard is traded to the Nets for Brook Lopez and future draft picks. Because of the insertion of Superman into the future Brooklyn Nets, Deron Williams will sign a long-term contract with the team and share the face of the franchise with the three-time defensive player of the year. Also, since the Clippers were unable to persuade Howard to come to Los Angeles, Blake Griffin will do as most star Clipper players do and decide to move to another team.
•By means of a three-way trade between the Pacers, Celtics, and Hornets, the Pacers pick up Chris Paul. Danny Granger will be able to pass some of the offensive load to Paul, thus opening up his game and increasing his shooting percentage to a more consistent average. Georgetown-great Roy Hibbert will finally be able to live up to his potential since Paul will put Hibbert in positions to be successful on the offensive end of the court – something Paul has made a habit of doing with his big men.
•Kyle Singler stays in Spain and plays Euro ball. This will be best for Singler’s style of play and will also help him mature as a passer. The Pistons, who signed Singler with the 33rd pick in the 2011 draft, will continue to struggle through this veteran-to-youth transition time, and the city of Detroit will stick with the Pistons as their third most important team behind the Lions and Tigers.
•The New York Knicks have no choice but to stand pat. Because of the Celtics’ and Nets’ offseason activity, the Heat’s improved chemistry, and Chicago’s continued development, ‘Melo and Stoudemire will become frustrated with the direction their team is going and will also get frustrated with the fact that their isolation-type offensive games clash with one another. Chauncey Billups’s better Piston days will clearly be behind him, and he won’t have the athleticism to keep up with Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offensive style. Looking ahead to 2014, Anthony will once again be searching for another superstar to pair up with, leaving the Knicks with another project to work on.
•2011 NBA Champion Tyson Chandler will be wearing the green and white in Boston, and he will be making the big bucks. I don’t know how Danny Ainge will find the money to pay him with his already heavy pay roll, but he will find a way to make up for the mistake he made last season when Perkins was shipped off to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nate Robinson. Similar to his championship run with Dallas, Chandler won’t fill up the stat sheets, but he will provide a defensive presence similar to Kevin Garnett’s but with more youth and length. This will keep the Celtics towards the top of their conference, and with the shortened season, the C’s will be in a prime position to give anyone in the Eastern Conference a run for their money.
•With the departure of Tyson Chandler, Mark Cuban won’t be shaken, and he will pick up Nene Hilario, who has made it blatantly clear he feels disrespected in Denver and wants out. The positive thing about this move is that it will provide a dependable source of offense for a Mavs team that will need to make up for what Chandler and (most likely) Butler supplied for the team. However, the defensive tenacity Chandler spread among his teammates will be lost through this transition, and the team will tend to play a more offensive-minded game. Since Dwight Howard locked up Deron Williams in the Atlantic Division, Cuban will constantly be on the lookout for a young point guard to help slowly but surely move the Mavs out of the Kidd-era in the Big D.
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