With the NBA’s new CBA bringing teams closer and closer to paying bigger fines for exceeding the salary cap, player movement and contract negotiations were framed in a different light this offseason.
Couple ownership salary cap concerns with the unprecedented number of front office and coaching changes that took place this offseason, and the flood gates opened to provide a heaping helping of intrigue going into the 2013-14 season.
So, where did all of those free agents and misfit players end up up at the end of the offseason? Let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference offseason moves.
via Rotowire.com – Fantasy NBA Draft Kit: Offseason Moves – Eastern Conference.
Many thought this Lakers team was a mortal lock for the Western Conference Finals, if not the NBA Finals. I had them losing to Oklahoma City in the West Finals, primarily because of the Steve Nash/Russell Westbrook defensive matchup, but why quibble – even projecting them to make the conference finals was a gross over-estimation of their collective ability. They stumbled out of the gate, getting Mike Brown fired in the process, and have yet to show any sign that they’ll turn things around.
The Lakers have a host of problems, but many of them can be traced back to Dwight Howard. He’s been an awful fit playing alongside Kobe Bryant. He doesn’t like being a complementary player on the offensive end – even though he’s probably the Lakers’ fifth-best scorer. His presence has pushed Pau Gasol out of position. Gasol has been ineffective playing the four, fallen out of the starting five, and like Howard, taken to sulking about his role.
What’s Mitch Kupchak to do? He may have an out. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but according to reports, Dwight Howard is unhappy, isn’t sure what he wants to do with his next contract, and may be traded at the deadline. It might make an awful lot of sense for Kupchak to cut his losses and see what he can get for Howard, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the offseason. A deal sending Howard to his hometown Atlanta Hawks could bring back Josh Smith, a deal that might make sense for both teams.
Of course, there’s a very real possibility that Jim Buss was the real force behind the Howard trade, which could complicate matters significantly. Not to mention Howard’s lingering shoulder injury, which caused him to leave Wednesday’s game. (He should be back in action on Friday.)
via Waiver Wire: Is Dwight the Problem? – RotoWire.com.
Kenyon Martin’s return to the NBA is generating a lot of buzz and maybe even an international dispute. But he’s unlikely to have a ton of fantasy value.
For fantasy purposes, I’d be most interested in Martin if he lands with the Hawks; he’d have an opportunity there to help fill the void left by Al Horford’s injury. With the Clippers, Spurs or Heat, he’d be a valuable rotation player, but probably wouldn’t get enough minutes to merit a fantasy roster spot.
via RotoSynthesis >> Attention K-Mart Shoppers.