I know I'm a bit late in chiming in on these moves, but since I DID just start this little blog a couple days ago, I figured I should give my impressions of the big offseason moves made so far in the NBA. This first part will focus on the big free-agent signings of the offseason thus far:
Baron Davis to the Clips:
B-Diddy is a proven asset, and served quite well as the leader of Golden State's uptempo "NellieBall" offense. Davis should bring some leadership and scoring capability to a Clippers team that has needed both in recent years. If he can stay healthy (always a concern with him) and avoid the distractions of L.A. (especially given his Hollywood aspirations), he should prove to be a great acquisition for the Clippers
Elton Brand to the Sixers:
Obviously, as a Philly boy, I'm very excited by this signing. Brand is one of the elite power forwards in the NBA and as everyone on earth has mentioned by now, is in elite company in the group of active players who've averaged 20/10 in their career (KG, Shaq, Duncan). He brings a needed post presence and another rebounder to a Sixers team with high hopes for the coming year. Brand is a class act and a very marketable star and should help the Sixers revitalize their disillusioned fan base tired of years of mediocrity and front-office misfires by former GM Billy King. It should also be noted that the unloading of unproductive Calvin Booth and the young, raw Rodney Carney to the Timberwolves was an excellent front-office move by Sixers GM Ed Stefanski, the type of move that Billy King would've been on the opposite end of.
Corey Maggette to the Warriors:
Maggette is a proven scorer and a solid fit in the high-speed offense of the Warriors. He is improving his 3-point shot and put up a very respectable 38.4% from the arc last season, a career high. However, the losses of Baron Davis and Mickael Pietrus will be big losses for a team that was already a fringe playoff team, and I'm not sure Maggette is enough to put them back over the top in the loaded Western Conference.
Mickael Pietrus to the Magic:
Pietrus was the type of acquisition the Magic, a team who appears only a piece or two away from contending for a conference or league title, needed. Pietrus was a solid contributor off the bench for the Warriors last year, and though he's probably not a starting-caliber talent, but his scoring and boards off the bench should help the Magic when their starters need a rest. It should also be noted that Pietrus averaged a steal per game last season, the best mark of his career- that ball-savvy defense should be an asset to the Magic if he can match that total.
James Posey to the Hornets:
James Posey was one of the key reserves for last season's Celtics team, which as Bill Simmons will remind us for seven or eight years, won the NBA championship in dominating fashion (even if they barely eked out series wins over the underachieving Hawks and mediocre Cavs). Posey brings solid shooting, GREAT defense and the ability to make big shots in the clutch to a Hornets team looking to contend for the title next year. I love this signing and think it will help New Orleans erase any doubt that last year was a fluke.
In the next installment of this post I will discuss the major re-signings of this offseason thus far.