Friday, August 11, 2006

NBA's Southeast Division Offseason Update

The Southeast Division houses the current NBA Champion....the Miami Heat...and the NBA's newest franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats.  There is also Atlanta, who's ownership drama has put a cloud over the franchise [especially when the judge placed an order that no free agents can be signed for more that one season].  Oh, and that JJ Redick and Adam Morrison [who were linked together all last season even though they never met on the court] are both now division rivals.


ADD:   C Lorenzen Wright, PG Speedy Claxton, PF Sheldon Williams, C Solomon Jones. 
LOST:   SF Donta Smith
Wright returns to the Hawks after a long stay in Memphis.  He's a pretty good defensive player [when healthy] and could form a tough front line with new draft pick Sheldon Williams.  Signing Speedy Claxton finally nets the Hawks are real live point guard [not Joe Johnson or Royal Ivey].  
Williams should be a solid NBA player for years as his defense and rebounding will be needed anywhere he goes.  But, the Hawks took him too high and there were guys at the #5 spot that fit bigger needs [Foye, Roy].  Jones has a chance to make the team. 


ADD:  SF Adam Morrison, C/PF Othella Harrington, C Ryan Hollins. 
Morrison brings a scorer to the Cats, something they haven't had.  He's a guy that can get his shot off anywhere on the court.  And he's passionate which could make him a fan favorite.  Harrington adds depth underneath...which may be necessary with Emeka Okafor and Sean May coming back from injuries.  Hollins could come in and be a solid prospect as well...a big man who can run the floor.  


ADD:   SG Mike Gansey
Miami was the only team who had no picks in this draft.  The picks they would've had in this draft were used to get Shaquille O'Neal and Antoine Walker.  Not bad.  They did pick up rookie free agent Mike Gansey.  Gansey is smallish for an off guard and slow for a point guard, but dude is a leader and canshootthe lights out. 


ADD:  SG JJ Redick, SG Keith Bogans, C James Augustine. 
  SG DeShawn Stevenson
Redick is small for a two guard and may not be what Orlando needs.  There were bigger, more athletic guards availiable when I don't like it.  Redick, again, will be a Steve Kerr kind of player....not Reggie Miller.  As for Augustine, he could make the team as a backup center.  Bogans is another too-small-for-his-position guys, which Orlando already have too much of.  Bogans has been a decent backup player, though...and cheaper than Stevenson, who the Magic let walk. 


ADD:  SG DeShawn Stevenson, PF Darius Songala, PF Olexsiy Pecherov, PF Vladimir Veremeenko. 
  SF Jared Jeffries
Losing Jeffries hurts a bit....but I don't think it is a big of a loss as others do.  He is a decent defender but wasn't special on the offensive side of things and wasn't worth the money the Knicks signed him for.  The Wiz signed Songala as a big man who can shoot...yet isn't afraid to bump around with the big boys inside.  Stevenson is a decent swing guard that gives them some depth there.  Both of their draft picks will sit in Europe for at least a year...but that's fine with Washington.  The Wiz still have Calvin Booth and Michael Ruffin [how is Ruffin making $1.8M???] on the books this coming season....and then they are gone.  These rookies can come in and, at worst, fill the exact same roles. 

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