After discussing the top free agents remaining in the league , it's time to move on to the unfortunate teams that were never able to make the crucial signings, trades, or sign-and-trades that they anticipated this offseason.
New Jersey Nets
Heading into the offseason the New Jersey Nets new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, made a pretty bold statement that put the NBA world in a state of confusion.
Prokhorov stated that the Nets would win an NBA championship within the next five years, with or without LeBron James.
Whether or not that statement should be taken seriously should be based off of the horrendous offseason that the team has had.
In addition to losing out on the LeBron sweepstakes, the Nets received a strong back-hand in the face by power-forward Carlos Boozer who agreed to a five-year $80 million deal with the Chicago Bulls only two hours after being offered a five-year $75 million contract by New Jersey.
With less talent remaining on the market, the Nets decided to spend a grand total of $57 million on Johan Petro (three-year, $10 million), Travis Outlaw (five-year, $35 million), and Jordan Farmar (three-year, $12 million).
While the Nets clearly lost out on big name free agents, spending $22 million between two unproven players (Farmar and Petro) makes you question whether or not Prokhorov is truly a smart owner.
At least the Nets acquired sharp-shooter Anthony Morrow in a sign-and-trade, but as far as winning a championship within the next five seasons, that remains to be seen.
Many expected teams like the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Jersey Nets to miss out on the LeBron sweepstakes.
But once LeBron decided to sign with the Miami Heat the biggest loser out of the group of potential suitors was undoubtedly the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Without LeBron the Cavaliers' roster has gone from leading the league in wins during the last two seasons, to a 30 win team at best.
After owner Dan Gilbert's infamous “I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE” letter to his fellow Cavs fans, Cleveland managed to sign Houston Rockets' point-guard Kyle Lowry to an overly generous offer sheet (three-year, $24 million contract with a fourth option year) that Houston matched.
With no activity other than losing James and Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers finally made a deal in which they acquired Minnesota Timberwolves point-guard Ramon Sessions, center Ryan Hollins, and a 2013 second-round draft pick.
As for winning a championship before LeBron James does, dream on Mr. Gilbert.
What an offseason for Minnesota.
They traded their best player (who they received in the deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston) to Utah in exchange for two future first-round picks and Kosta Koufos (who has averaged 1.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG in two years with the Jazz).
In addition, they went out and unloaded their pockets on 30-year old Luke Ridnour (four-year, $16 million) and possibly the biggest bust in NBA history, Darko Millicic (four-year, $20 million).
Darko pretty much sums up the Wolves' offseason, a complete failure.
The Wolves have some hope in second overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Michael Beasley. Hopefully David Khan's recent comments on Michael Beasley can knock some sense into the young gun and help him emerge as a top forward in the league, one day.
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