Well the NBA season is about over and it is time for most fans to start planning for next season and what their teams may look like. Well guess what, I am here to help, or piss you off and get flamed, either way, let me know what you think so far. Agree, Disagree, Hate it, let me know.
Starting from the top I will give you my opinion on what I think each team should do. Oh, and in my column no team wins the championship because it is more fun this way. (If you care, I am rooting for the Magic, but believe the Lakers in seven)
So we will start with the two teams in the Finals:
Lakers: Well after another disappointing finals loss what are they going to do. Kobe is not getting any younger and although some believe he can be dominating for another five or six years, I put it in the 2-3 range.
Not because of lack of ability, he will just have too many miles on his legs. That being said, Kobe is schedules to make about $23 million and the Lakers will be losing some key cogs in Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza.
If I am the Lakers, I try to extend Kobe, and while extending him see if you can get him to take a pay cut to $17 million a year. That will add a little more than $6 million to the $3 million they have now.
That gives you the opportunity to make a decision and if I am the Lakers that decision is Ariza. Lamar has been good for you, but his inconsistencies and inability to show up when it matters most is not worth the almost $10 million he will surely get.
Along with bringing Ariza back, I bring back Shannon Brown and look for someone like Brandon Bass or Marquis Daniels.
Magic: Well, they needed Jameer Nelson, and it will be interesting to see what they can do. I could see Hedo being dangled out there for some bench help, which is the one place that this team is thin. With Lewis, Howard, Nelson and Lee locked up, there is a great young core there, but moving Hedo, to say the Knicks for David Lee and Jared Quentin Richardson's terrible contract. This gives them some bench help, and gives the Knicks even more money flexibility in the 2010 off season.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Desperation is now the key for the team that was the favorite to win the title entering the playoffs. After being manhandled by Dwight Howard, the Cavs will be regretting not making the move for Shaq in February. LeBron may be saying it won't matter if the Cavs win the title next year, but does anybody really believe that? Now, I think Shaq ends up in Cleveland, for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. That will give them someone who may be able to stop the bigs.
Denver Nuggets: They were almost there, and if not for some conspiracy theories, who knows. All kidding aside they will need to resign Chris Andersen and Dahntay Jones. A backup point guard like Anthony Parker will be needed and a backup big in the Jeff Foster mold. They need some help on the bench and will need to build on this seasons experience to be close again.
Boston Celtics: I loved what another blogger wrote about trading KG. Could it happen, maybe, but this is fantasy GM land and I am making it happen. KG to the Raptors for Chris Bosh and Marcus Banks. I do this deal if I am both teams, because there is no chance that Bosh resigns with the Raptors. Oh and I bring back Stephon Marbury... Ok that is a lie.
Houston Rockets: I trade Tracy McGrady as soon as possible. Will there be any takers, maybe not, but this is fantasy and I think Dallas would be willing to take on McGrady for Jerry Stackhouse and Josh Howard.
This gives the Mavericks someone to take the pressure off of Dirk, and the Rockets get someone who can better fit into their schemes. They also need to resign Ron Artest, and getting rid of McGrady frees up some money.
Atlanta Hawks: Mike Bibby is going to be resigned, and Joe Johnson will be dangled in trade bait. That means in my fantasy land, I would be moving Johnson to the Wizards, for Caron Butler, who has an additional year on Johnson as well as Mike James, who would have to be part of any deal made with the Wizards.
Dallas Mavericks: As I said, the Mavs will be making a big move, in order to land Tracy McGrady. Is it a bold move, of course, will it happen, in my fantasy GM role, yes. This also frees up cap space for the 2010 year for the Mavs.
I should have added earlier that this is the first part to a three part series. Hope you enjoyed and feedback is always appreciated.