This season draft is covered with sheets of mystery we all know undoubtedly Blake Griffin as the top pick but what comes next would be a free-for-all with loads of talent but role model players. Teams are gearing up for 2009-2010 season and this summer has a melodramatic theme with Iverson still finding a team who could make his demands and Marbury eating Vaseline online. Let’s try to evaluate each teams with their signed rookies and new acquisitions and try to know how far they are from making it to the top so let’s start with the
Boston Celtics (62-20)
New Acquisitions: Rasheed Wallace and Shelden Williams
Rookie/Rookies: Lester Hudson 2nd round (28th pick)
Boston the defending champion last year has one common problem… They still lack the size with Perkins as their main center at only 6-foot-10. When Kevin Garnett went out because of injury the Celtics had a hard time in the playoffs and the Orlando Magic made them pay. Now having Rasheed gives them the defensive presence in the middle that has the outside-inside arsenal. Shelden Williams is a good complimentary player with his size and experienced. Lester Hudson like J.R. Giddens will have to earn his spot in the rotation but being the only player to record a quadruple-double (25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals) in a division I game, Hudson knows how to contribute in a team that is loaded with scorers. Boston with their starting five is already a solid lineup but having Rasheed gives them the luxury of a 7 to 8 man rotation. We will see a bigger and stronger Boston team this season.
New Jersey Nets (34-48)
New Acquisitions: Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie
Rookie/Rookies: Terrence Williams 1st round (11th pick)
Losing Vince Carter giving them bigger salary cap for the 2010 season the Nets are now in the run to get a Dwane Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh on their roster. But getting a marquee player is a distant possibility with the big names getting more inclination in signing a championship caliber team. The New Jersey Nets are clearly in the rebuilding mode and drafting Terrence Williams is certainly a plus for the young Nets. Alston and Lee are great players who can create shots and opportunity to teammates. I don’t know if trading Carter was the right move but at least it’s pretty clear what their direction is.
New York Knicks (32-50)
New Acquisitions: Darko Milicic
Rookie/Rookies: Jordan Hill 1st round (8th pick) and Toney Douglas 1st round (29th pick)
They would have wanted a Stephen Curry in the line-up but Jordan Hill is still a good choice with his athletic built and NBA ready body but you have to question the Knick’s unlikely choice parading a number of Power forwards and Center positions like Eddy Curry, Al Harrington, Chris Hunter and Darko Milicic. Luckily they are fortunate enough to get Toney Douglas from the Lakers. Mike D Antoni can still run his patented “run and gun” offense with Nate Robinson and other starters back in the line-up. Major problem would be to sign their reliable big man David Lee back into the Knicks uniform. If they could sign David I think they would have some significant improvement from their last season outing.
Philadelphia 76ers (41-41)
New Acquisitions: Primoz Brezec and Jason Kapono
Rookie/Rookies: Jrue Holiday 1st round (17th pick)
Losing Andre Miller, Philadelphia focus on Louis Williams growth and maturity as a court general fortunately they got lucky on drafting the 6-foot-4 solid 199 lb point guard Jrue Holiday. Jrue could clearly help Williams as a backup on the point. Signing Jason Kapono adds depth into the 76ers roster with his deadly shooting. So far so good for Philadelphia and with Elton Brand healthy it looks like they are in for a good season.
Toronto Raptors (33-49)
New Acquisitions: Marco Belinelli, Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems, Reggie Evans, Hedo Turkoglo, Jarret Jack and Antoine Wright
Rookie/Rookies: Demar Derozan 1st round (9th pick)
The busiest team this summer getting a handful of new players filling up half of the team but the most notable player would have to be Hedo who delivered Orlando its second visit to the NBA finals. I can say they got the steal of the draft on Demar Derozan a freak athlete who can provide the intensity and needed offense at 6-foot-7 he could have benefited another year in college but opt to go to the NBA to take care of his mother’s illness that’s why he slid down to the ninth pick. Gelling will be the Raptors main problem with 8 new faces in their roster but with still two months to go that won’t be a problem.
To be continued….
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