The Golden State Warriors, the New Orleans Hornets and the Portland Trail Blazers all had less than stellar seasons in 2011. In fact, they were some of the worst teams in the NBA.
In order for those teams to avoid another poor season—and for some of them, it’s been a string of sad seasons—they need to take advantage of the free agents that are floating out there and make some bold moves.
With free agents starting to get snatched up left and right, it’s time for those desperate teams to make their big moves now before all of the great players are gone.
Golden State Needs to Put “War” Back in “Warriors”
After the loss of the Warriors’ fan-favorite Monte Ellis, the Bay Area basketball team needs a familiar face that can revive the spirits of the fans and the team. The man for the job? Matt Barnes.
Remember the Warriors’ “We Believe” streak in 2007 when they magically made it to the playoffs? Barnes was a big part of that run before he went to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Barnes is an unrestricted free agent that the Warriors can buy back for about $2 million, and his experience with the team combined with his attitude and rebounding skills would give the Warriors the boost they need.
The small forward has developed a reputation as a tough guy on the court who isn’t afraid to play a little dirty. Considering the Warriors looked like they were afraid of going near the ball and their opponents last season, some grit would be just what the doctor ordered.
New Orleans Needs More Power in the Paint
With former University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis officially a Hornet, New Orleans can expect their record to vastly improve next season. But while Davis is the next big thing in the NBA, he can’t save the Hornets alone.
So, New Orleans should go after the Lakers’ Jordan Hill.
Hill flew under the radar as a top center because he has never been given the chance to shine. He was constantly underutilized with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. Although we saw bits and pieces of his great game in Los Angeles, Hill had Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol overshadowing him.
With the Lakers, Hill had consistent stats of five points and 4.8 rebounds a game, and if New Orleans gives him a starting spot, he will undoubtedly grow as a player. Team him up with Davis, and the dynamic duo will be unstoppable on offense and impenetrable on defense.
Besides, don’t they say two is better than one?
Portland Needs to Cash in For Consistency
Last season, the Trail Blazers were a very hot and cold team, going on amazing streaks and suddenly crashing, like they did at the end of the regular season losing seven straight games.
If they want to avoid another 28-38 record, they’ll have to bring in a very reliable scorer, and it looks like Roy Hibbert could be that man.
The Indiana Pacer’s center is a restricted free agent, meaning the Pacers still have the final decision on whether or not he leaves. Hibbert’s potential for consistency is priceless, and the Trail Blazers seem to know that, considering they offered him a maximum contract.
Although he comes with a price tag of about $58 million for four years, that’s why it’s called a bold move. Portland will see an immediate performance of about 15 points and nine rebound per game, but with a little time, the Trail Blazers will see their investment grow into a dependable low-post scorer that could be impossible to stop.
It’s the same with any stock market investment: the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff.