NBA Free Agency 2012: 5 Teams That Are Adding Through Subtraction This Summer
Often times, we spend too much time pointed at the additions that teams make when we decide whether or not they have "won" their offseason.
Here, we are going to focus on the less popular and certainly less talked about method of improving a team's roster.
By subtracting a player or two, teams can free up not only money, but something that is often more valuable: time.
Time to develop young talent. Time to make calculated future decisions. Time to evaluate personnel.
Here are five teams that added to their roster by subtracting.
While some fans are still wrapping their heads around the fact that Andre Drummond fell to them in the draft, others are still thanking the basketball gods to be rid of Ben Gordon.
Sure, they had to get rid of a future, perhaps protected, first rounder, but by dealing Gordon they free up minutes for the young guard duo of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight and usher in a new guard in Kim English.
The only complaint most fans have is that the Pistons didn't also axe Charlie Villanueva.
Portland Trail Blazers
I gotta say, I am shocked at how poorly Portland's offseason moves a year ago panned out.
I thought Raymond Felton would fit in brilliantly, and would become a fan favorite.
I also thought Jamal Crawford would be a missing piece for a playoff run.
Both turned out to be bad investments, and so each will not be returning.
By letting these two walk, it allows Portland to commit to their youth movement, and see if Nolan Smith and Damian Lillard can handle the point guard role.
Regardless of how the Nic Batum situation plays out, Portland improved just by subtracting a couple of vets.
How is it that a team that lets a future Hall of Famer walk is considered doing the right thing?
Simple, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry were players that simply do not fit with the future of this team.
Dallas had one shot at being a contender this year, and that was landing Deron Williams.
When that didn't happen, Dallas wisely walked away from the table and waited for the next hand to be dealt.
Instead of resigning good, but aging, players to contracts that would limit their future flexibility, the Mavs simply will wait until next year when they have more money to spend.
So how is it that Charlotte and Detroit can both be on this list?
First, the Bobcats may have absorbed Gordon's huge contract, but they needed to add salary just to make the minimum requirements.
By taking on that bloated deal, they add a future first round pick that they desperately need.
Two, by letting D.J. Augustin bail, they fully commit to Kemba Walker at the point guard spot.
The Bobcats had no shot at retaining Augustin next year, so why stifle a year of development out of Walker?
Now they have a young, yet intriguing roster full of high-character players.
This may seem like an odd choice given their relatively slow offseason, but Cleveland deserves mention here.
They let Antawn Jamison walk, which clears up more time for young guys Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller.
Pair that with the already-amnestied Baron Davis, and the Cavs will have plenty of cap space next season.
Besides, this team isn't a move or two away from the playoffs, so why waste money on luxuries they don't need?
Best to groom your young talent, let them take their lumps, and make a future move with that salary cap space.