Key Additions: Wesley Matthews, Justin Anderson, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale Mcgee, John Jenkins
Key Subtractions: Monte Ellis, Tyson Chandler, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo
Outlook: The Dallas Mavericks have continued to strike out in free agency when it comes to big name stars. That whole DeAndre Jordan situation was foul but slightly embarrassing. How much better did Dallas really get by adding Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews but losing Tyson Chandler and Monte Ellis? Honestly, Mark Cuban and that front office has to do better if they really want Dirk Nowitzki to make a run at another ring. They may be slightly better, slightly worse, or the same. Either way, they are not a real contender in a stacked Western Conference… not right now at least.
Key Additions: Ty Lawson, Sam Dekker, Marcus Thornton, Montrezl Harrell
Key Subtractions: Josh Smith, Nick Johnson, Joey Dorsey, Kostas Papanikolaou
Outlook: This offseason James Harden requested that they find a point guard that could facilitate the offense, and ultimately take pressure off of him. The Houston Rockets found Ty Lawson. With that being said (and like the same question I asked about Dallas), how much better did the Rockets get? If this was the Eastern Conference, they would be favorite to go to the NBA Finals. James Harden led them to the Western Conference Finals with Dwight Howard on the shelf for a good amount of time. But seriously, are they good enough to be Golden State, San Antonio, LA Clippers, or Oklahoma City? We’ll find out if they are as seriously as a lot of people are making them out to be.
Key Additions: Brandon Wright, Matt Barnes, Jarell Martin
Key Subtractions: Kostas Koufos, Nick Calathes
Outlook: Probably the one team that nobody wants to play in a 7 game series when completely healthy. They have perimeter defenders, paint protectors, scorers on the low block and a formidable sixth man. The only thing missing from this masterpiece is a consistent perimeter scorer. Matt Barnes isn’t that guy but he adds depth and another feisty defender. Can Jeff Green evolve his game to the next level and become that missing link? Their window is closing so it’s almost now or never for this team who plays in the toughest division in the league.
New Orleans Pelicans
Key Additions: Kendrick Perkins, Alonzo Gee
Key Subtractions: Toney Douglas, Jimmer Fredette
Outlook: I view Anthony Davis as this generation’s Kevin Garnett. His post game is not on par with KG’s but his impact on the court is definitely comparable. He can do it all (Inside, outside, rebound, pass, block, steals, etc). The only thing left is to elevate the post game, become more consistent from the outside and rack up some NBA hardware. This team will either continue to hover around the 8th spot or climb up the latter to around a 5th seed. A healthy New Orleans Pelicans will turn a few heads this season but it is Anthony Davis or bust.
San Antonio Spurs
Key Additions: LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Ray McCallum, Jonathan Simmons, Boban Marjanovic
Key Subtractions: Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes, Marco Belinelli
Outlook: How often have we said that Spurs were done heading into the season because of old age (I’ll wait while you count)? To end that thought process, the San Antonio Spurs resigned Kawhi Leonard and lured in LaMarcus Aldridge and David West. The team still has it’s long established future hall of fame core as well. When this team is healthy and in rhythm, there’s no other team that’s better overall. They have the talent, the depth, the coaching, and the experience to win another title. Don’t be surprised if Tim Duncan wins ring number 6.