Burning Questions Around the NBA This Offseason

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterAugust 16, 2012

Burning Questions Around the NBA This Offseason

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    The NBA's offseason drama is slowing screeching to a halt.

    The party's ending, the DJ's packing up, and Dwight Howard finally, finally got traded.

    While it's been a fun ride, we can now turn our heads to the 2012-2013 NBA season and all the promise it brings.  The offseason has brought us many answers, but perhaps even more questions moving forward.

    With stars switching teams, a franchise on the move and a once-hated villain winning it all, here are the most enticing questions to focus on for the upcoming NBA season.

How Good Can Anthony Davis Be?

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    The first overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft, Davis brings an intriguing and ever-developing skill set to the NBA and the New Orleans Hornets.

    His game has been compared to that of Kevin Garnett and Marcus Camby, as his defensive skills are already at an elite level.

    Davis also has a tremendous touch and feel for the game, something few big men come into the league with.

    His experience with Team USA in helping them capture a gold medal could prove to be invaluable, as the time spent with players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tyson Chandler and others with his hype and abilities should only speed up his growth.

    Everyone knows Davis will be good, but no one can predict the impact the former Kentucky Wildcat will actually have on the league.

What Exactly Is the Rockets' Plan?

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    Parting with veterans Luis Scola, Samuel Dalembert, Marcus Camby, Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic already meant for an overhaul in Houston.

    Currently, the Rockets have 17 players on their roster with two years or less of experience in the league.

    While it's no secret Houston has long coveted a star big man like Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, it appears both will be playing in Purple and Gold this fall.

    So what now?

    With plenty of trade assets to offer, who will the Rockets turn their attention to next?

    Names like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap or even Amar'e Stoudemire may even enter the picture as possible trade targets.

Do the Knicks Have Enough at Point Guard?

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    The Knicks seemed primed to take the next step with Jeremy Lin as their point guard, until he ended up signing with the Houston Rockets for more than New York wanted to match.

    Instead, they used their saved cash to bring in veterans Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd.

    Kidd has had a rough offseason thus far and Felton has resembled the Pillsbury Dough Boy for much of his career.

    To say the Knicks might have a problem at point guard would be like saying Kidd might have had too much to drink that night.

    The Carmelo Anthony-run offense is a story we've seen before and with limited results.

    Felton must step up and be the facilitator this team needs for the Knicks to make the necessarily jump in the East.

How Will the New-Look Nets Do in Brooklyn?

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    The New Jersey Nets have rolled the dice on many occasions in the past few years, and so far, so good.

    Even with a trade for Deron Williams, however, New Jersey struggled to field a successful team, missing the playoffs for the past five seasons.

    A move to Brooklyn awaits, with all the prestige and swagger that goes into playing for the city of New York.

    While they weren't able to land Dwight Howard, the Nets stayed busy with their trade for Joe Johnson and the signings of C.J. Watson, Mirza Teletovic, Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Evans.

    On paper, Brooklyn may have jumped into the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.

    In reality, they may not even be the best team in their own city.

Does Adding Allen Mean a Heat Repeat?

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    The rich got richer this offseason, as the defending champion Miami Heat picked up Ray Allen from the rival Boston Celtics.

    Adding Allen means yet another offensive weapon for a team already loaded with some of the best.  A lineup of Mario Chalmers, Allen, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh is just scary to think about.

    With the Lakers, Thunder and Celtics all appearing to get better, will adding the NBA's All-Time leader in three-pointers be enough?

    Teams will be gunning for Miami now more than ever, and the rivalry with the Celtics just got a lot more interesting.

When Will the Dwightmare End?

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    While this question has already been answered, it was almost certainly the most drawn-out, when-will-it-end, why-do-I-even-care-anymore puzzler of the NBA offseason.

    When it appeared a deal to Brooklyn was in order, talks failed and tempers flared.

    Not Howard's, or the Nets', but rather NBA fans' in general.

    Then came the Lakers talks, in a straight-up trade for Andrew Bynum.

    Nay.

    Then came the involvement of third teams, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Clippers all showing interest.

    Again, nay.

    It reached a point where Howard could have been traded to the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers and people worldwide would have still celebrated just to have the drama over and done with.

    Eventually though, Howard was traded to LA as part of a four-team deal that ended the months-long Dwightmare.

Are the Lakers the New Title Favorites?

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    The Los Angeles Lakers took one game in their Western Conference semifinals matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder and lost two more by three points or less.

    While OKC was clearly the best in the West last season, the Lakers weren't too far behind.

    This was before those new guys showed up.

    Adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to a roster that already boasts Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol almost seems unfair.

    Throwing in Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill, and suddenly the Thunder seem more like an outlet spark.

    While the Lakers got a lot better of paper, it remains to be seen whether they can upend the Thunder to meet (or beat) the Miami Heat in a possible Finals matchup.

    Miami should be considered the favorites as of now, but the Lakers may have just enough star power to put out their flame.

Have We Seen the Last of Brian Scalabrine?

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    In an 11-year NBA career, Brian Scalabrine has dominated the game of basketball.

    His highlight reel is unmatchable and his hair, unwavable.  Owner of as many championships as LeBron James, Scal just gets it done night in and night out with his tenacious work ethic.

    Sadly though, teams haven't thought themselves to have enough cap space worthy of Brian, as he hasn't found a new team to call home. 

    Could this be the end of the White Mamba?  Maybe not.

    In an interview with Sam Smith, Scal reveals he's not ready to hang 'em up just yet.

    “I’d be discouraged if I just quit,” said Scalabrine, who remains without an NBA team after being told by the Bulls he will not be invited to return. “Everyone keeps telling me it’s not quitting (taking an already offered TV job). But I want someone to tell me, ‘We don’t want you.’ I’ve always been a tough cut to make. I want someone to tell me I’m not good enough. I just want to see what happens.”

    While Scalabrine's future may be cloudy, his legacy will forever be remembered in the sands of time.