The weeks roll on, and so do the deals. Let’s take a look at how the latest crop of changed addresses will play out.
Andre Miller—Portland Trail Blazers
A point guard mastermind, Miller may have the best court vision in the NBA. Only Chris Paul throws a better lob, and few point guards are as adept in the post.
Miller can also create his own halfcourt offense by pulling and popping from 16 feet, and is a terrific finisher.
Where he really shines is on the break, where his vision, passing, and powerful strides make him a bear in the open court.
Miller’s presence will invigorate an anemic Portland fast break offense and lead to more easy points—a necessity until Greg Oden becomes a more potent post player.
Of course Miller is one of the worst individual defensive point guards in the NBA, and he has no range on his jumper. But the benefits of having the veteran Miller running the youthful Blazers far outweigh the drawbacks.
Zach Randolph—Memphis Grizzlies
Randolph is a mammoth scorer who uses his huge body and a clever array of post moves to get his points inside. He can also rebound and shoot jumpers, even behind the three point arc.
Unfortunately, Randolph is a black hole on offense who contributes nothing when the ball isn’t in his hands. His decision making can be deplorable, his defense is non-existent, and his laziness is well-documented.
Randolph gives the Grizzlies some much needed muscle inside, but with so many talented young impressionable players on the roster, at what expense?
Then again, perhaps tasting more victories will do more for the team’s growth, regardless of Randolph’s laissez-faire attitude.
Quentin Richardson—Minnesota Timberwolves
The offseason’s everywhere man, Richardson’s gone from New York, to Memphis, to Los Angeles, to Minnesota on his “traded all across America campaign.”
He’s a streaky shooter, and a sometimes post player who doesn’t have the talent Minnesota needs to surround Al Jefferson. Expect him to field a new jersey or two before the season’s trade deadline.
Kris Humphries—Dallas Mavericks
Humphries can take up space in the middle, moves fluidly without the ball, and is an earnest defender. He isn’t a difference maker, but considering Erick Dampier’s age and liability to foul trouble, an extra big man can’t hurt.
Sergio Rodriguez—Sacramento Kings
Rodriguez is marginally talented as point guards go, and isn’t particularly quick, nor a good shooter. He has good instincts and takes care of the ball well, making him essentially, a facsimile of Beno Udrih. For a team in need of an athletic signal caller with experience, Rodriguez doesn’t fit the bill.
Sean May—Sacramento Kings
When May was healthy, he showed no explosion, no defense, and was strictly a below-the-rim player. With bad knees, those flaws won’t be corrected. The Kings are taking a flier on him with only a roster spot to lose and some potential post offense to gain. Despite the low risk, don’t expect a reward.
Jarrett Jack—Toronto Raptors
Jack is tough as nails, can defend both guard positions, and will finish at the rim. While Toronto sorely needs more athleticism, they also need toughness. Jack will surely supply the latter.
Devean George—Toronto Raptors
George used to be an exceptional forward defender, though today he’s just okay. His shooting touch has become frosty, and he’s never been much of an athlete.
Perhaps in some matchups, George can be called upon to harass an opposing backup forward, but at this point in his career, George is strictly an end-of-the-bench guy.
Antoine Wright—Toronto Raptors
Wright is an average athlete and defender who doesn’t have much of an offensive repertoire. He’ll probably start and guard the opposing team’s best player until DeMar DeRozan eventually takes the position.
Matt Barnes—Orlando Magic
Barnes is a pure athlete who can run forever, jump, finish on the break, and play long-armed defense. A lack of court discipline, and an inconsistent jump shot have been his biggest drawbacks.
He’ll be Orlando’s fourth or fifth wing on the depth chart, providing energy and athleticism when the Magic hit dry spells offensively.
Plus, with Dwight Howard rebounding, Barnes should have ample opportunities to showcase his soaring in transition.
Aaron Afflalo—Denver Nuggets
Afflalo is a long-armed, rangy defender who doubles as a knock-down three-point shooter. With the loss of Dahntay Jones, the Nuggets were in the need for a replacement stopper, and Afflalo fits the bill.
He may not be as belligerent as Jones, but he’s equally athletic, tough, and has a tremendous work ethic. He’ll be recognized as an ace defender before the season is over.
Sebastian Telfair—Los Angeles Clippers
Telfair doesn’t have the size, the speed, or the smarts to be an NBA starter. He’ll be a backup in Clipperland, but isn’t the kind of player the Clippers need. Who will dog Baron Davis if he continues to go through the motions?
Who will be the classic pass-first point guard that will allow Davis to play the two-guard, his true position? The Clippers have so many talented pieces, why can’t the go after the right guys to put it all together?
Craig Smith—Los Angeles Clippers
Smith is a hard-working grunt who’ll contest every rebound, defend with zeal, and clean up around the basket. A perfect fit as a fourth big man in a rotation.
Mark Madsen—Los Angeles Clippers
Madsen is a glorified cheerleader and assistant coach who’ll be responsible more for tutoring Blake Griffin than for anything he’ll provide on the court.
When Madsen does get off the bench, all-out effort is the least you can expect, though it’s also likely the most you’ll get.
Chris Wilcox—Detroit Pistons
Wilcox will rebound, finish, knock down his share of right hooks, and play adequate defense. He’s athletic enough to defend power forwards, and long enough to defend select centers, but he’s prone to losing focus on the defensive end.
Wilcox fits into Detroit’s plan to get younger and more athletic, but he’s too inconsistent to be reliable.
Jamario Moon—Cleveland Cavaliers
Moon gives Cleveland another pure athlete who can defend small forwards. With Wally Szczerbiak too slow, and Delonte West too small, the Cavs were picked apart by talented forwards whenever LeBron James took a seat.
With Anthony Parker and Moon on board, the Cavs should be much better equipped to handling the array of talented three-men in the Eastern Conference.
Moon can also finish on the break and knock down wide-open jumpers, but his role will be as a backup defender with everything else being secondary.
Theo Ratliff—San Antonio Spurs
Ratliff has been on his last legs forever, but he’s still hanging around. He can still intimidate shots and commit smart fouls but he isn’t the defender or rebounder he once was.
He’ll attack the glass and set good screens offensively, but is nothing more than a garbage scorer.
However, Ratliff will take up space and allow Tim Duncan to play the power forward position. The less they need Ratliff, the better off they’ll be.