Just wanted to know everyones thoughts on all the most recent free agent developments. Of course I'm most interested in Boston's signing of Rasheed and the likely signing of Big Baby by the Spurs. Hedo to the Raps and the Pistons signings are not as much of an issue in terms of turning them in to contenders in the short term. I think Rasheed is a great fit for the Celtics off the bench, a huge upgrade over Big Baby because while Big Baby can hit the midrange, Sheed can hit from just about anywhere on the floor. Big Baby to the Spurs by itself is not a huge deal but if the Spurs are healthy they have to be the favorites after the Lakers out of the West..a healthy big three, + the new blood of Richard Jefferson, DaJuan Blair, Jack McClinton (Eddie House style player out of Miami) and Big Baby is pretty scary. In light of all the movements I'm warming up to Artest more and more, the Lakers couldn't have just stood still during this off season. If we keep Odom, this could be an amazing team.
What do you guys think about the other teams moves?
Rasheed is 35 years old and the Celtics are betting on experience, which is crucial in the playoffs. This move is similar to the lakers moves to get gary peyton and karl Malone in the 2004 season. I think age will (has) caught up with the Celtics and the rigor of keeping up with Cleveland and Orlando in the rest will takes its toll on the 4 30 something stars that they have - RA,PP,KG and RW.
The lakers probably have a deal with lamar which will be announced on Wednesday and, with artest, they get a good defender, a good three point shooter as well as someone who will use some technicals to intimidate opponents. Phil coming back is a huge deal and he probably pushed for the artest trade.
If Portland had landed turkoglu that would have been a definite upgrade for them and I am glad he went to Toronto. The magic are weakened and, unless Dwight learns some other moves (and improves his free throw shooting) the magic will not make it back to the finals.
Shaq will disrupt lebron's game too much and Cleveland will regret getting him. At 37 shaq is too heavy to be effective on a consistent basis, expecially in 7 game series that are played over 14 days. He helps them against other big men but will not work out overall.
Finally the lakers (and kobe) have to play just as hungry and motivated this year as they did this past year. Kobe has to enforce. Bynum has to come out strong and consistent.
The Spurs biggest knock has been their age but they just got a huge upgrade with Richard Jefferson and if Big Baby or Shawn Marion go to the Spurs they look scary out West. They could match the Lakers in shooting for a 70-win season if everyone stays healthy.
Ginobili is a scoring beast and any team is going to have difficulties matching up with both him and Jefferson on the wing, as well as Duncan down low and a quick-as-hell Tony Parker.
Just looking at the Lakers, we are probably the only team in the league that can truly guard the Spurs' wings effectively with both Kobe/Artest, but we would still have trouble with Duncan and Parker.
I think the Lakers realized that they were good, but with Ginobili/Garnett/Nelson injured they did have an easier time than they would have. With that said, the path was easier but we still struggled at times, and the Artest upgrade merely matches the trades other teams have made and the teams that have people coming back from injury. We need one more piece in ADDITION to LO in my opinion to match all the improved and now-healthy teams out there.
That piece could be internal: Andrew Bynum being as dominant for a season as he is for certain stretches we have seen. It could be Farmar taking over the point from Fisher and flourishing. It could be Vujacic returning to 2008 form. But other than that, Kobe, Odom, and Gasol are basically playing the best they will play. I think the Lakers will make one more move before the trade deadline involving Odom/Morrison/Yue/Farmar/Vujacic/Walton and MAYBE, maybe, maybe even Bynum (even though he has been off-limits in the past) if they can convince themselves to part with him.