With the Knicks re-signing Restricted Free Agents Nate Robinson and David Lee to one year deals http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/trainingcamp09/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=knicks-090925
and the Bobcats locking up PG Ray Felton for one year, it meant only one thing, the NBA off season is officially over and I need to blog again.
Since I last posted over a month ago there have been a few things that have happened in the NBA. Lets recap.
-AI found a home for one year in Memphis, but are there enough shots to go around with O.J. Mayo and Zach Randoph and Rudy Gay? This team has all the dysfunctional makings of a reality TV Show.
-Ricky Rubio won't be playing in Minnesota next year, but the TWolves did sign Ramon Sessions, who will likely start at SG with rookie Jonny Flynn starting at the point.
-The Hawks locked up Marvin Williams with a nice 5 year deal.
-Both Linas Kleiza and Von Wafer will be playing in Greece with former Hawk Josh Childress for Olympiacos.
-Boston re-signed Big Baby, however they lost Leon Powe to Eastern Conference foe Cleveland. Speaking of the Celtics, they also added great depth on the wings with the signing of Marquies Daniels.
-Quinten Richardson was traded AGAIN. This time to Miami. He will be a good role player for the Heat. He will have an opportunity to play a lot of minutes and add some experience to a very young team.
-The Hornets cut salary by trading Rasual Butler to the Clippers and Antonio Daniels to the TWolves. Both Butler and Daniels will likely see more minutes on their new teams than they would have on the Hornets.
-Ben Wallace is back with the Pistons where he will be competing for the starting center spot along with Kwame Brown and Chris Wilcox.
In addition to all of these moves many other role players signed small deals, here are some of the notable players:
White Chocolate will be backing up Jameer in ORL, Joe Smith to ATL, Desmond Mason to SAC, Luther Head to IND, Keith Bogans to SA, Rodney Carney to PHL, Juwan Howard to POR, Rashad McCants might be headed to HOU and Joey Graham might be headed to DEN but those two deals have not been finalized yet.
and of course Pops Mensah-Bonsu to HOU. I just couldn't resist putting Pops in this article.
So what does all of this mean? Pretty much nothing, other than it's the end of the off-season and the actual 2009-2010 NBA Season is just over a month away.
So here are my Pre-Season NBA Power Rankings:
1) LAL-They are the Champs and adding Ron Artest was a huge upgrade.
2) BOS-A healthy KG, should bring them back to the NBA Championship. Rasheed Wallace and KG will be a huge match up problem for the Cavs or Magic.
3) ORL-Can Dwight plus new addition Vince Carter help the Magic get back to the title game?
4) CLV-Bron and Shaq will be fun and at times unstoppable, but they still might not have enough to get over the hump.
5) SA-Adding Richard Jefferson was huge, but they key will be if they can stay healthy during the playoffs.
6) DAL-I think the Matrix, Kidd and Dirk all have something to prove.
7) DEN-Chauncey and Melo are the best one-two punch in the league, sorry Shaq and Bron, but all of the West upgraded while the Nuggets didn't.
8) POR-They had best young core in the NBA, now they add Andre Miller, we will see how Miller and Brandon Roy mesh.
9) ATL-They have the best young core in the east. They kept their core by resigning Bibby, Williams, and Pachulia.
10) PHO-Nash and Amare have something to prove, but will the rest of the team step up too?
11) CHI-Derrick Rose is scary, Loul Deng is healthy, John Salmons is underrated, the frontcourt is still suspect, overall the Bulls are very good.
12) Utah-Will Boozer be traded any time soon? Can Kirilenko stay healthy? Is Millsap really better than Boozer? Those questions will be answered soon.
13) NO-How much can CP3 really do? He is a superstar but he sure has to carry this team by himself.
14) MIA-They same thing as above, just put DWade's name instead of CP3.
15) PHL-The team no one talks about or gives that much credit to. Remember they took the Magic to the edge in the playoffs last year.
17) TOR-Something tells me either WAS or TOR will be in the playoffs this year.
19) LAC-One major injury in the west by PHO, Utah, or NO could have the Thunder and Clippers battling for the #8 seed.
20) DET-I am NOT sold on the Pistons and their moves this off season. Ben Gordon is nasty, but neither him nor Rodney Stuckey is a true PG.
21) CHR-They will be good, but not good enough.
22) NJ-Will try to prove their young core is good enough to lure Mr. James next summer. Plus having a cool Russian billionaire owner doesn't hurt either.
23) GS-Stephen Jackson is on the trading block, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are both 170 pounds, Anthony Randolph looked good this summer, but once he is playing with men who can easily bully him around it will be a different story. 4th place in the Pacific Division.
24) IND-Danny Granger can only do so much.
25) HOU-No Yao, No Artest, plus we all know McGrady will get hurt at some point. It will be a LONG season in Houston.h
26) MEM-They will be fun to watch and will score a lot, but that still doesn't mean they will win.
27) NY-Waiting for LeBron, Bosh, DWade or Joe Johnson next year.
28) MIN-No Rubio, but they got Sessions. Al Jefferson might be the most underrated player in the league and as long as he is in Minnesota he will stay the most underrated player in the league.
29) MIL-Both Bogut and Michael Redd are coming back from major injuries. Let the Brandon Jennings era begin.
30) SAC-They are just plain bad.