NBA Free Agency: 3 Teams Whose Moves Made Them Top 2012-2013 Talents

Nathan GieseSenior Analyst IIJuly 19, 2012

NBA Free Agency: 3 Teams Whose Moves Made Them Top 2012-2013 Talents

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    Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard have been the biggest names highlighted in the NBA this offseason, but there have been plenty of other actions fans should be paying attention to.

    These acquisitions are not only centered around free agency, but also the trade market. The players involved aren't always the biggest names on the market, but they will have just as much impact on their respective new teams as the previously mentioned players.

    Three teams in particular turned their fortunes around with their activity this offseason. While it may not seems like a big deal right now, these three teams will make some noise in the 2012-2013 NBA season.

Dallas Signs Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo; Trades for Darren Collison

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    After being one of the biggest losers in the early stages of free agency, the Dallas Mavericks made a huge splash with their second wind by signing center Chris Kaman and shooting guard O.J. Mayo and acquiring point guard Darren Collison from the Indiana Pacers.

    Early on, Dallas lost Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics and Jason Kidd to the New York Knicks. Last offseason, after winning the NBA Championship, the Mavericks lost Tyson Chandler to the Knicks and young point guard J.J. Barea to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    It was thought that Dallas would be left in the dust after losing so many role players and missing out on Deron Williams. But Mark Cuban was not about to let his once dominant franchise fall from the graces of the NBA without a fight.

    Dallas went out and signed Chris Kaman to a one-year, $8 million deal to help re-establish the post game the Mavericks so desperately need. Signing Kaman opened the door for the Mavericks to amnesty Brendan Haywood and his massive $27 million contract over the next three years.

    Not only did Nowitzki gain a great teammate in the post, he also received a solid wing as well in O.J. Mayo. Mayo never really shined in Memphis, but showed on a number of occasions that he has the ability to take over a game. Part of the reason he may never have jumped out at anybody with the Grizzlies could be because he was constantly shopped around in the trade market. There was never a trade deadline or off-season where Mayo's name didn't get sandwiched in trade talks. All of those trade speculations could have waned Mayo's confidence. Now that he is out of Memphis, he will be looking to prove himself on a quality, championship-caliber team.

    However, Dallas didn't stop there. After missing out on Williams, the Mavericks went out and grabbed another solid point guard option in Darren Collison. Collison lost out to George Hill for the starting spot in Indiana last season. Collison will drastically improve the depleted Dallas backcourt. He and Mayo could end up being one of the most dangerous guard pairings in the league, making these pickups much more exciting.

    Dallas may have lost out big in the early stages of free agent activity, but they worked their way back into a solid team with a championship-caliber lineup in Nowitzki, Collison, Mayo, Shawn Marion and Kaman. Look out for Dallas next season.

Bradon Roy Comes out of Retirement, Signs with Minnesota

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    Minnesota basketball fans have been waiting years for their Timberwolves to make a splash in free agency. Their draft selections of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio have become huge fan favorites, and both of them have helped restore faith in the franchise. However, most Wolves fans wanted another big move to fully invest hope in their struggling franchise.

    Who knew that not only would Minnesota make that big move, but that it would be with a player they originally drafted but never played a single minute for them.

    Brandon Roy is coming out of retirement from knee injuries and will resume his playing career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Roy was drafted by the Wolves with the sixth pick in the 2006 NBA Draft but was subsequently traded away to the Portland Trail Blazers for Randy Foye.

    Roy proved to be the better of the two players, earning NBA All-Star game appearances in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He also won Rookie of the Year in 2007.

    Now Minnesota will try to make up for their big mistake in letting Roy go in the first place.

    With Roy, the Wolves have a solid nucleus along with Rubio and Love. Minnesota also added Chase Buddinger from the Houston Rockets, making for a young and ultra-talented roster. Given some time, Minnesota basketball fans will have a lot to look forward to in the Timberwolves. Despite the possibility that his knees won't hold up, Minnesota would have been crazy not to take the chance on great talent such as Brandon Roy.

Atlanta Nabs Devin Harris from Utah, Signs Louis Williams

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    Atlanta finally called it quits on the Joe Johnson experience by trading him away to the Brooklyn Nets. In this trade, the Hawks received a number of strong talents that include Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson.

    However, Atlanta made two more moves that may put them over the top in the Eastern Conference; the first of which was the signing of Louis Williams, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Williams played stellar basketball coming off the bench for Philadelphia. He averaged nearly 15 points per game while playing alongside the emerging Jrue Holliday. Now, Williams will likely be given a starting role with the Hawks, as well as a proven, top-tier point guard to run the floor with.

    Atlanta acquired Devin Harris from the Utah Jazz for Marvin Williams. Harris now will take over the starting point guard duties from Jeff Teague. Teague has drastically improved since coming into the league, but now will get to learn from one of the best in Harris.

    Pairing Harris and Williams in the Hawks backcourt opens the door for forwards Josh Smith and Al Horford, who now will not have to wait patiently for their shots. Johnson monopolized much of the Hawks offense, but now the entire court will be opened up with a change of direction in the roster.

    Don't look now, but the Hawks have gotten better now that they are without Johnson. They have now become a top threat to the Miami Heat.

In Closing

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    Believe it or not, Minnesota, Dallas and Atlanta all reshaped their franchises this off-season. Each one of these teams instantly made themselves better by focusing on collective need instead of star power.

    Williams, Nash and Howard may be getting all the attention, but these are the teams, and the players, who will make themselves top-tier talents.

    Be on the look out for the Timberwolves, Mavericks and Hawks this season as they are bound and determined to make a case for the 2013 NBA Championship.

     

     

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