The NBA offseason came in like a lion and tapered off like a rhino on steroids.
Most of the Association's teams have been extremely busy since the end of last season, while others have stood on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets—hoping to protect their wallets.
Just like with all things basketball, though, the summer of 2012 has presented us with some winners, some losers and a handful of failures.
Which organizations hit offseason gold and made their fanbases proud? And which franchises simply struck out like a detoxed Melky Cabrera?
It's never easy to critique a team's hard work or lack thereof—okay, I'm kidding. But let's give it a go anyway, shall we?
Offseason Transactions: Drafted John Jenkins and Mike Scott; traded Joe Johnson to Nets for Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson and a future first-round pick; waived Farmar; traded Marvin Williams to Jazz for Devin Harris; dealt trade exception to Timberwolves and received Kyle Korver from Bulls; signed-and-traded Willie Green to Clippers; signed Lou Williams.
The Hawks' crown jewel this summer was addition by subtraction.
Ridding themselves of Joe Johnson's contract was a stroke of genius by Danny Ferry, as it opened up a wealth of cap space for next summer. Atlanta also found a more-than-decent, perfectly affordable replacement in Lou Williams.
The acquisition of Kyle Korver adds another capable shooter to the fold as well, further validating the team's decision to move Johnson.
That said, the Hawks added some questionable odds and ends in the process; trading Marvin Williams was a necessity, but taking back Devin Harris was not.
All in all, Atlanta capped off a mediocre season with an above average offseason, a reality that isn't too shabby.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph; Re-signed Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling, Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox; acquired Courtney Lee from Rockets; traded Sasha Pavlovic to Blazers; signed Jason Terry and Jason Collins.
The Celtics were one of those teams this summer that blew up Twitter timelines across the nation. But for a plethora of good reasons.
Boston may no longer have sharpshooter Ray Allen, but the additions of Courtney Lee and Jason Terry are as good as it gets. Re-signing Garnett and Bass was also a stroke of genius, as was selecting both Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger on draft day.
That said, the summer has been far from perfect. The Celtics overpaid to retain Jeff Green's services and got visibly older in the low post—as if that were even possible.
Moving forward, Green's health coupled with his salary, along with the durability of the team's interior presences, are going to be major concerns.
Luckily, Boston's new-look backcourt has stolen the headlines, while rendering the team's offseason a success.
Offseason Transactions: Acquired Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia on draft day; drafted Ilkan Karaman; re-signed Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries; traded for Joe Johnson; signed Jerry Stackhouse, C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, Donté Greene, Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic.
No, the offseason did not culminate with the acquisition of Dwight Howard, but the Nets scored big time, for the most part.
Re-signing Deron Williams was a must, and a huge victory all by itself, but the returns of Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez cannot be stressed enough either.
Brooklyn also got itself a steal in C.J. Watson, and there are high hopes for Mirza Teletovic as well.
If only the Nets could have avoided re-signing Gerald Wallace to such a lengthy and dollar sign-laden contract, their offseason would have been perfect.
Oh well, the future is bright in Brooklyn nonetheless.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylory; traded Corey Maggette to Pistons for Ben Gordon; signed Ramon Sessions; claimed Brendan Haywood off amnesty wire; waived Jamario Moon.
There was no way in hell the Bobcats were going to be able to re-tool their roster this summer to the point of respectability, but quite frankly, I expected more. And you should have too.
Kidd-Gilchrist will make a welcomed two-way impact, and Haywood was picked up on the cheap, but neither of those players will significantly shift the tide in Charlotte.
And then we have the acquisition of Gordon. The Bobcats traded Maggette and his expiring deal for a deteriorating scorer who has two expensive years left on his contract, the latter of which is a $13.2 million player option he's bound to exercise.
As for the Sessions signing, there's nothing to completely loathe about it, but it's a lackluster move, and all it does is take away minutes from Kemba Walker, who severely needs to hone his floor general skills.
No one expected the Bobcats to strike gold, but they could have at least appeared aggressive, or interested in significantly improving.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Marquis Teauge; traded Kyle Korver to Hawks for a second-round pick from Timberwolves; signed Kirk Hinrich, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed, Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson.
The most prolific move the Bulls made this summer was inking Robinson and his penchant for instant offense. That's it.
You want to like the Belinelli deal, but truth be told, his abilities are overstated and his success was a byproduct of playing for the lowly Hornets last season.
Hinrich's best days are more than two years behind, Radmanovic will be a non-factor and there's some serious doubt as to whether Mohammed can keep up in Chicago at all.
I get that Derrick Rose's absence will nearly cripple this team next season, but that's no excuse for inactivity.
This was simply not an impressive offseason display by any means.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Dion Waiters; traded 24th, 33rd and 34th overall picks in 2012 draft to Mavericks for Kelenna Azubuike and the 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller; re-signed Luke Harangody and Alonzo Gee; signed C.J. Miles and Michael Eric; waived Manny Harris.
The Cavaliers had money to burn this summer, but they did nothing with it.
Kyrie Irving is as promising of a cornerstone as there is in the NBA, but after pairing him with the lukewarm talent of Waiters, Cleveland did nothing—and acquired no one—who could help lead a progressive cause next season.
Miles will give the Cavaliers valuable production off the bench, but guys like Leuer, Harangody and Eric will make little to no impact. And that's not the type of athletes the team needs as it strives for a successful rebuild.
Simply put, Cleveland came into the summer in need of making a huge offseason splash, along with the means to do so.
Instead, though, the Cavaliers opted to merely solidify their status as a basement dweller.
Offseason Transactions: Traded Kelenna Azubuike and the 17th overall pick in 2012 draft (Tyler Zeller) to Cavaliers for Jared Cunningham (24th pick), Bernard James (33rd pick) and Jae Crowder (34th pick); traded 55th pick in draft to Lakers for cash considerations; traded Lamar Odom to Clippers for trade exception; amnestied Brendan Haywood; Signed-and-traded Ian Mahinmi to Pacers for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones; claimed Elton Brand off amnesty wire; signed O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman; re-signed Delonte West.
Only the Mavericks could turn a seemingly pitiful offseason into a victory.
After losing both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to free agency, Dallas struck back. Fast.
Mark Cuban and company landed Kaman and Mayo on a pair of understated contracts, while also acquiring the ever-underrated Collision.
Factor in the return of West's defensive prowess, and the Mavericks strengthened their perimeter attack substantially while maintaining an air of capability in the post with Kaman.
Even with Dirk Nowitzki, though, this team is not currently built to win a championship.
That said, the way the summer began—whiffing on Deron Williams included—Dallas should have found itself among the NBA's worst. The team's ability to remain postseason worthy, though, is nothing short of admirable.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller and Izzet Turkyilmaz; Re-signed Andre Miller and JaVale McGee; signed Anthony Randolph; amnestied Chris Andersen; traded Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a first- and second-round pick to Magic for Andre Iguodala from Sixers.
The Nuggets are going to be extremely fun to watch next season.
Not only are the stellar Miller and defensively prolific McGee returning, but Denver acquired a versatile and selfless All-Star in Iguodala. Considering the Nuggets pride themselves on selflessness and versatility, their newest wing should fit right in.
So, while Iguodala's stat lines may have suffered over the past three years, he provides some much needed veteran leadership and an air of resolved star power to the young Denver fold. His presence also ensures the employment of a wide array of explosive lineups.
Lost in all this, though, is the strong draft the Nuggets had as well. Both Fournier and Miller are fundamentally sound athletes who can make an impact now.
Talk about depth.
Needless to say, the post-Carmelo Anthony era continues to treat Denver quite well.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Andre Drummond, Khris Middleton and Kim English; traded Ben Gordon to Bobcats for first-round pick and Corey Maggette, signed Vyacheslav Kravtsov and Kyle Singler.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Ognen Kuzmic; traded Dorell Wright to Sixers for Jarrett Jack from Hornets; signed Carl Landry and Kent Bazemore; re-signed Brandon Rush.
Better days are ahead for the Warriors. Probably.
Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry will continue to be sources of uncertainty, but Golden State landed a gem in Jack.
The Warriors' newest point guard gives the team a true pass-first, shoot-later floor general who has already proved he is durable and capable of efficiently directing an offense.
Barnes has the potential to be a two-way perimeter star as well. His scoring prowess is exceed by few other incoming rookies, and his strong defensive sets will be a refreshing change to Richard Jefferson's deficiencies on that end of the floor.
And after the season Rush just had, retaining him was key; he adds some much needed depth to a relatively shallow bench.
If the Warriors manage to stay healthy next season, their offseason activities ensure they'll be a serious player in the Western Conference playoff race.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones; traded Chase Budinger to Timberwolves; traded Samuel Dalembert to Bucks; traded Kyle Lowry to Raptors for first-round pick and Gary Forbes; amnestied Luis Scola; signed-and-traded Marcus Camby to Knicks for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, two second-round picks and cash; waived Jon Leuer, Jerome Jordan and Josh Harrellson; signed-and-traded Courtney Lee to Celtics for Jajuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a second-round pick; signed Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Carlos Delfino.
The Rockets were incredibly busy this summer, yet not in a good way.
Once Houston began cleaning house, everyone naturally assumed it was so the team could make a strong push for Dwight Howard. Instead, the Rockets signed Asik and Lin to bloated contracts that neither will live up to.
Factor in the less-than-significant pieces Houston acquired in every deal it pulled the trigger on, and not even the franchise's strong draft could salvage this shipwreck of an offseason.
It's going to be a long year for the Rockets.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Miles Plumlee; sent cash to Kings on draft day for Orlando Johnson; traded Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to Mavericks for Ian Mahinmi; re-signed George Hill and Roy Hibbert; signed Gerald Green and D.J. Augustin.
The Pacers did not get better this summer by any means.
Overpaying Hibbert was a necessity, but throwing $40 million Hill's way was not. That's simply too much to pay for a combo guard who cannot effectively run an offense full-time.
And while Mahinmi's presence will be welcomed, Collison was starting point guard material and helped overshadow Hill's incompetence in such a role.
You have to like the Augustin and Green signings, two offensively-deft players who signed reasonable contracts.
That said, even picking up proven scorers on the cheap cannot erase the disappointment of such a mediocre offseason.
Offseason Transactions: Traded Furkan Aldemir (53rd pick) to Rockets; traded Mo Williams to Jazz for trade exception; dealt trade exception to Mavericks for Lamar Odom; extended Blake Griffin; traded rights of Sofoklis Schortsanitis to Hawks for Willie Green; amnestied Ryan Gomes; re-signed Chauncey Billups; signed Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Ryan Hollins and Ronnie Turiaf.
I like that the Clippers extended Griffin, but I hate that they wasted any sort of money on the declining and inefficient Crawford.
Not only did Los Angeles have the exact same player in Mo Williams, but he was younger and a better fit for the team in general. And while his departure was necessary to acquire Odom, there were much better, more affordable options out on the perimeter than Crawford.
Other than that, though, Los Angeles had a relatively decent offseason.
Green should flourish in the Clippers' up-tempo system, and Hill will be a great veteran presence on the court and in the locker room.
That said, though, this team wasn't built to win championships prior to the summer, and it still isn't built for more than a mid-end playoff run entering training camp.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Robert Sacre; acquired Darius Johnson-Odom (55th pick) on draft night; traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks and cash to Suns for Steve Nash; traded Andrew Bynum to Sixers, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and a first-round pick to Magic for Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark; re-signed Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks; signed Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks.
You can try to deny it, but it won't work—the Lakers had a perfect offseason.
Not only do Nash and Howard render Los Angeles as a title favorite, but the additions of Jamison and Meeks strengthen a bench that was otherwise depleted last season; never underestimate the addition of depth to an already star-laden roster.
Subsequently, from top to bottom, the Lakers are now a team to not only be reckoned with, but feared.
Perhaps even more than the Heat.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Tony Wroten; traded Dante Cunningham to Timberwolves for Wayne Ellington; re-signed Darrell Arthur, Marreese Speights and Hamed Haddadi; signed Jerryd Bayless.
The Grizzlies may have let an extremely talented two-way shooting guard in O.J. Mayo go, but they made up for it by addressing a more pressing need—backup point guard.
Though a backup point guard seems like an understated acquisition, Memphis' addition of Bayless transforms its rotation.
No longer will the Grizzlies run an offense thrown together by whomever has the ball in their hands while Mike Conley is on the bench. Now, they have a bona fide playmaker and starting-caliber floor general to lead the second unit.
Considering how talented Memphis already was, and how shrewd it was of the team to bring back the majority of its supporting players, this particular signing was huge.
Like won't-be-outsted-by-a-disheveled-Clippers-team-in-the-playoffs-next-spring huge.
Offseason Transactions: Traded 27th pick in draft to Sixers for Justin Hamilton (45th pick) and future first-round pick; signed Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
And the Heat just keeping getting better.
Despite having almost no cap room to maneuver, Miami was able to lock up a prolific shooting veteran in Allen and a thirsty former All-Star in Lewis.
Both players add an air of proven versatility to an already dynamic Heat lineup and ensure Miami remains the favorite to repeat as NBA champion.
Usually, it's quite difficult to take a championship team and transform it into an even more feared powerhouse.
But after this summer, it's clear next season's version of the Heat will prove to be an exception.
Offseason Transactions: Traded 12th pick in draft, Jon Brockman, Jon Leuer and Shaun Livingston to Rockets for Samuel Dalembert and 14th pick; drafted John Henson and Doron Lamb; re-signed Ersan Ilyasova; signed Joel Przybilla.
The Bucks had what you would call a necessary quiet offseason.
They re-upped Ilyasova and brought in a big man to help man the paint in Dalembert, two necessary courses of action, but understated ones all the same.
With an uncertain dynamic already brewing courtesy of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, the last thing the Bucks needed to do was rock the boat. And they didn't.
The Bucks are in more of a wait-and-see situation with their current roster, but were able to do what they needed to do this summer.
And while that didn't capture any headlines, it did place the franchise's foot firmly in the right direction.
Offseason Transactions: Traded 18th pick in the draft to Rockets for Chase Budinger; drafted Robbie Hummel; traded Brad Miller's cap hold and two second-round picks to Hornets for conditional second-rounder; traded Wayne Ellington to Grizzlies for Dante Cunningham; traded Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick to Suns for three second-round picks; amnestied Darko Milicic; waived Martell Webster; signed Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved, Greg Stiemsma and Andrei Kirilenko.
The Timberwolves certainly had themselves an offseason.
While Minnesota made a wealth of moves this summer, only the additions of Roy and Kirilenko are truly worth noting.
Both are former All-Stars, capable of making a two-way impact that could propel the Timberwolves into the playoffs. Both are also a year removed from the NBA and could fall flat on their faces, dragging Minnesota down with them.
But while the Timberwolves took a series of risks this offseason, you cannot help but appreciate their initiative; they want to get back to the playoffs, and right or wrong, they've attempted to put themselves into position to do that next year.
So, while the contracts handed out to Kirilenko and Roy were far from favorable, they have potential and symbolize a refreshing change in Minnesota.
And that—at the very least—has to make Kevin Love a little less agitated.
Offseason Transactions: Traded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Wizards for Rashard Lewis and 46th pick in draft; drafted Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers and Darius Miller; waived Lewis; traded Jarrett Jack to Warriors for rights to Edin Bavcic and Darryl Watkins from Sixers; traded second-round pick to Timberwolves for Brad Miller's cap hold, two second-round picks and cash; traded two second-round picks to Timberwolves, Miller's cap hold and Jerome Dyson to Suns for Hakim Warrick and Robin Lopez; traded Gustavo Ayon to Magic for Ryan Anderson; re-signed Eric Gordon; signed Roger Mason.
Some teams just get it right, and this summer, the Hornets got it right.
After drafting the versatile Davis and Rivers, New Orleans acquired the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year in Anderson to help bolster its rotation. And Gordon's contract followed soon thereafter.
Subsequently, almost overnight, the Hornets were transformed into a respectably deep team; Chris Paul is nearly an afterthought at this point.
And while it may be too early to start thinking playoffs, it's the perfect time to acknowledge New Orleans is headed back there eventually.
Sooner than we thought, in fact.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Kosta Papanikolaou; traded Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, two second-round picks and cash to Rockets for Marcus Camby; traded Jared Jeffries, Dan Gadzuric, rights to Papanikolaou and Giorgos Printezis, a second-round pick and cash to Blazers for Kurt Thomas and Raymond Felton; re-signed Steve Novak and J.R. Smith; signed Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, James White and Ronnie Brewer.
The Knicks needed to establish continuity. Badly. And they didn't do that this offseason.
Felton's acquisition will most likely prove to be a sound a one, but allowing Jeremy Lin to walk to Houston—for nothing—was as boneheaded and thoughtless as it gets.
That said, New York was able to essentially steal Brewer and retained both Novak and Smith on reasonable contracts.
So, while the Lin debacle is impossible to forget—and even forgive—the Knicks are, in fact, a deeper team after their offseason escapades.
But they're also more experienced—translation: older—as well. And that can hardly be considered a guaranteed success.
Simply put, we would do well to gear up for another tumultuous season in the Big Apple.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Perry Jones III; signed Hasheem Thabeet and Hollis Thompson; extended Serge Ibaka.
The Thunder didn't do much of anything this summer. But then again, they didn't have to.
Thabeet and Thompson were solid big pickups, and extending Ibaka for less than the maximum allowed was a stroke of genius.
Perhaps the biggest victory for Oklahoma City, though, came in the draft. Jones fell into the Thunder's lap at the end of a the first round, giving the team an athletic, two-way inclined wing to backup Kevin Durant and play some valuable minutes immediately.
No, Jones' selection was no Ray Allen signing, but like the Heat, the financially strapped and championship-caliber Thunder found ways improve their roster.
And that's the definition of offseason perfection.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn; re-signed Jameer Nelson; signed-and-traded Ryan Anderson to Hornets for Gustavo Ayon; traded Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark to Lakers and Jason Richardson to Sixers for Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a first- and second-round pick from Nuggets, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a first-round pick from Sixers, and Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and a first-round pick from the Lakers.
The Magic really screwed themselves this summer.
Not only did Orlando offer Nelson way too much money and trade Anderson away for an essential filler, but they bombed the Howard trade more than anyone could have expected.
While the Magic were never going to come out on top of this Howard debacle, they could have—at the very least—avoided burying themselves.
None of the talent Orlando received in return is worthy of even attempting to build around. And when trading a franchise cornerstone, that's a reality the incumbent team must avoid.
Because while the departure of a superstar will always prove detrimental to the present cause, hope for the future can help a team persevere.
Sadly, though, the Magic have no reason to persevere. Not now, not later.
Offseason Tracker: Drafted Moe Harkless; traded 45th pick of draft and future first-rounder to Heat for Arnett Moultrie; amnestied Elton Brand; traded rights to Edin Bavcic to Warriors for Dorell Wright and Darryl Watkins from Hornets; waived Watkins; traded Andre Iguodala to Nuggets, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and first-round pick to Magic for Jason Richardson from Magic and Andrew Bynum from Lakers; re-signed Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen; signed Nick Young, Kwame Brown, Royal Ivey and Maalik Wayns.
Did the Sixers get better, or just different?
Bynum gives Philadelphia a prolific cornerstone to build around as well as the best center in the Eastern Conference, but the Sixers now lack that selfless playmaker who can get it done on both sides of the ball.
That said, Philly picked up scorers in Wright and Young, and the return of Hawes gives the team a nice 1-2 punch at center.
If we look the other way on the Brown signing—which was underwhelming even before Bynum's acquisition—the Sixers have actually managed to put together a more balanced attack than last season.
And should any one of the remaining wings step up and fill the facilitating void left by Iguodala, the rest of the East will have a tough opponent on their hands.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Kendall Marshall; signed-and-traded Steve Nash to Lakers for two first- and second-round picks and cash; amnestied Josh Childress; claimed Luis Scola off amnesty wire; signed-and-traded Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to Hornets for Brad Miller's cap hold and Jerome Dyson, and Wesley Johnson and a first- and second-round pick from Timberwolves; re-signed Shannon Brown; signed Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley and Jermaine O'Neal.
There's never a good way to begin a post-Steve Nash era, but the Suns have come as close as possible.
Marshall is a future facilitating star, while Dragic—despite being slightly overpaid—gives the team a prolific two-way option to run the point now.
Beasley has both on- and off-court struggles, but in a more prominent role in Phoenix, he has as good a chance of any to thrive. And claiming Scola off the amnesty wire was huge, as it gives the Suns a veteran scorer who should make the living easier on Phoenix's young point guard corps.
Moving on from Nash was never going to be easy, and it was hardly going to be fun, but the Suns showed a willingness to embrace the challenge head on and have more than a glimmer of hope moving forward.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Will Barton; traded 41st pick of draft to Nets for cash considerations; signed-and-traded Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas to Knicks for Jared Jeffries, Dan Gadzuric, the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Giorgos Printezis, a second-round pick and cash; waived Gadzuric and Shawne Williams; traded Jon Diebler to Rockets for a second-round pick and cash from Celtics; re-signed J.J. Hickson and Nicolas Batum; signed Joel Freeland, Victor Claver and Ronnie Price.
The Blazers had some serious cash to spend this summer, but they spent far too much of it on Batum.
Though matching Batum's bloated contract offer sheet was arguably necessary, failing to remain active after missing out on Roy Hibbert was not.
Portland had an extremely strong draft, landing two potential stars in Lillard and Leonard, but the team failed to make any acquisition that could propel the team back to playoffs next season.
As it is right now, the Blazers have an outside chance at contending for a postseason spot, yet are far more likely finding themselves back in the lottery.
So, while Portland appears active on paper, its execution was underwhelming and resembled that of a team content with sitting on the sidelines.
And for an organization that imploded only last season, that's not acceptable.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Thomas Robinson; traded 36th pick of draft to Pacers for cash considerations; traded a second-round pick to Raptors for James Johnson; re-signed Jason Thompson; signed Aaron Brooks and Hassan Whiteside.
Even without the Virginia Beach nonsense, the Kings have had a terrible offseason.
Not only did they create an unnecessary logjam in the backcourt by bringing the oft-inconsistent Brooks into the fold, but they invested $30 million in Thompson, a center who realistically has no future in Sacramento. Why waste so much money on a big man when you have two, in DeMarcus Cousins and Robinson, who are essentially the future of the organization?
In fact, if it wasn't for Robinson's promise and overall presence, the Kings would have received a much worse grade.
But then again, after all we've seen from this team and its ownership over the past few seasons, does that really come as any surprise?
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Marcus Denmon; signed Nando De Colo; re-signed Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan and Patty Mills.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But if it's old, you should definitely try and inject some youth into it.
The Spurs did not.
By most accounts, San Antonio had a stellar offseason. It retained all its key players and has a seemingly re-invented returnee in Mills, who went bonkers—in a good way—at the Olympics.
That said, we mustn't forget this is the same team who fell to the Thunder in the Western Conference finals in six games last spring. The exact same team, in fact.
The Spurs have avoided the adverse effects of their age-excessive roster so far, but how much longer can they contend with the likes of the youthful and exuberant?
As much as I love Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, this team isn't constructed to keep pace with the Thunder or Lakers.
Almost needless to say, San Antonio could have benefited immensely by obtaining some youthful exuberance of its own.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Terrence Ross, Quincy Acy and Tomislav Zubcic; traded a first-round pick and Gary Forbes to the Rockets for Kyle Lowry; traded James Johnson to Kings for a second-round pick; re-signed Aaron Gray and Alan Anderson; signed Landry Fields and John Lucas III.
It has to be acknowledged—the Raptors got better.
Despite missing out on Steve Nash, Toronto landed a talented—and younger—floor general in Lowry for next to nothing. And that makes the bolstered salary of Fields seem slightly more justifiable.
The Raptors also had a strong draft and can expect Ross in particular to provide an immediate spark off the bench.
However, Toronto did create some unnecessary issues at point guard. Not only will Jose Calderon and Lowry be fighting for minutes, but Lucas is entering the fold as well.
For this offseason to have been even more of a success, the Raptors would have done well to find Calderon a new home.
But then again, perhaps we should just enjoy the fact that Toronto is no longer a team the rest of the league can seemingly steamroll.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Kevin Murphy; traded Devin Harris to Hawks for Marvin Williams; dealt trade exception to Clippers for Mo Williams; re-signed Jeremy Evans; signed Randy Foye.
Once again, the Jazz quietly had a great offseason.
Mo Williams brings high-octane scoring to what was a lackluster backcourt, while Marvin Williams provides some much needed two-way versatility.
And don't even get me started on the Foye deal, because he was a spectacular pick up. He brings even more scoring into the fold and gives the Jazz yet another athlete who can man the point when called upon.
Utah already had one of the deepest and strongest frontlines in the league, and now it has a capable backcourt attack to pair with it.
A return to the postseason in 2013.
Offseason Transactions: Drafted Bradley Beal and Tomas Satoransky; traded Rashard Lewis and 46th pick of draft to Hornets for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza; amnestied Andray Blatche; re-signed Cartier Martin; signed A.J. Price.
For a team that had very little financial flexibility, the Wizards sure got a lot done.
Ariza and Okafor immediately make Washington a better team in the East, and Beal's scoring prowess coupled with his underrated perimeter defense and prolific transition abilities gives John Wall the running mate he has sorely needed the past two years.
Amnestying Blatche, thereby ridding the team of his contract and poisonous attitude, was a strong move as well.
The Wizards seemingly started getting serious about changing their team persona when they acquired Nene from the Nuggets last season. While that acquisition hasn't exactly panned out, though, this offseason's additions certainly further that cause.
For the better of the organization, which is a fairly new concept within our nation's capital.