Pre-Season Review: The Best Pick-Ups Of The Off-Season
Christmas is nearly upon us, which means we’re two months through the NBA season and it’s shaping up to be a very tight race to the finish line. However let’s take a look back at what we have already witnessed and see who made the right decisions this off-season in acquiring new players.
Below we’ll give you the 10 best moves that took place in regards to what they have shown during the first couple of months this season. Have any in mind right now? I bet you do! Now let’s find out if what you have in mind makes the list:
10: Joe Johnson to Brooklyn
The Nets reached an agreement with the Hawks to trade for Joe Johnson that turned out like this:
Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams plus DeShawn Stephenson (sign & trade) along with a first round pick for Joe Johnson.
The Nets are really stepping it up in Brooklyn for their first season inside the Barclays Centre, and it’s coming from their entire team. Johnson is now a nice complimentary player in the Nets squad compared to being ‘the man’ in Atlanta.
He’s playing an average of 38 minutes a night, with notching 16.8ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.8apg. He’s taking 15 shots a game which is still quite a large number in a team with other offensive weapons. Johnson will play a big role in Brooklyn’s post season push.
9: Jason Terry to Boston
Terry was out of sorts in Dallas and needed a fresh start. In came Boston and boy was he happy. He was so happy; he even had the Celtics mascot (holding the NBA trophy) inked on his arm. A tad strange, but hey, everybody’s different.
Since coming to Boston, he’s been filling in injured prospect Avery Bradley’s role. Terry taking the start for the season has been a different look for fans yet he’s quietly been playing a solid role in the Celtics match-ups.
11.7ppg, 2.1apg, 1.9rpg and 1.8 three’s a game is enough for him to get a showing on this list. However look for him to head back to the bench once Bradley is healthy, and then see him dominate again against second units. This will be very handy for the C’s.
8: Ryan Anderson to New Orleans
Anderson was sent to the Hornets in a sign-and-trade for Gustavo Ayon (to the Magic). In one of the great trades for the Hornets, Anderson is being paid $34mil over 4 years just to do the same thing he did last year: knock down 3’s.
That’s what he’s doing! Averaging 3.3 three pointers per game, Anderson is an offensive explosion for the lackluster Hornets who have been without their no.1 draft pick in Anthony Davis for the majority of the season. He’s scoring 18.2ppg (shooting 46%) and grabbing 7.6rpg, ‘Ryno’ is going to continue being the “Ray Allen” in NOLA.
7: Goran Dragic to Phoenix
So the Suns have done this before and it worked. So why not do it again? Dragic returned to Phoenix in hope to find the form he had there behind Steve Nash. Can we agree he’s found it? I think so.
Dragic is averaging 15ppg and 6.4apg. He’s such an underrated point guard it takes a little while for opponents to react to him. Phoenix also grabbed a bargain this off-season signing him for only $30mil over 4 years. This guy will be the post-Steve Nash point guard in Phoenix for many years to come.
6: Ray Allen to Miami
Very similar to the Anderson signing at number 8, Allen is obviously in Miami to do two things: Hit three’s and ………hit more three’s. Obviously the best long range shooter in history, Allen is in pursuit of more NBA championships, and yes he’s come to the right place. The defending champs have every piece around them to turn themselves into back-to-back champs.
Allen is one of those pieces that have just been added. He took a pay cut just to be part of this experience. He also took a dip in his stats too, but I’m sure he won’t have a care in the world about that if he wins another title.
Averages for Allen: 12.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.1apg, 1.9 3’s a game.
5: James Harden, Jeremy Lin & Omer Asik trio to Houston
Houston was one of the very few teams that made a big splash in the off-season. Yes we all know who the biggest team was and gee that’s funny, you haven’t seen them show up in this article yet (I wonder why?).
Lin was a wonder last year playing for the Knicks while Melo was missing. However this season he was shipped as the Knicks were smart enough to let him walk. Houston pounced on this and signed him up hastily. Although at the time fans thought this was a bold and risky move, it has surely paid off once the pieces around him started coming together.
Asik has been one of the most underrated centers of the past couple of years. Yes he might not score the ball a lot, but his defensive pressure and his presence around the ring is amazing. Combine this with James Harden entering the line-up, and you’ve got yourself a team.
Averages this season so far:
Harden: 24.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 5.4apg, 1.9spg.
Lin: 11ppg, 6.1apg, 4.1rpg.
Asik: 10.5ppg, 11.5rpg, 1.1bpg.
4: Raymond Felton to New York
Like Goran Dragic in Phoenix, Raymond Felton played in New York before he was tossed to Portland. That was a success too (in New York, not Portland. Portland was a complete and utter failure), so why not do it again?
Felton has returned to the Big Apple in hope to find his form again. This season, he and Jason Kidd have teamed up and become one of the most unique yet successful back-court this year. The Knicks are on a roll and between Felton/Kidd and Melo, they are well on the way to going deep into the post-season.
Felton made his way back to New York for basically nothing (a sign-and-trade for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric) and he’s making the most of his return: 16.3ppg, 6.8apg, 2.8rpg, 1.2spg.
3: Deron Williams re-signs with Brooklyn
Hello Brooklyn. Do you all remember that at the start of the season?
Deron Williams has made Brooklyn what it is in their early existence. If D-Will decided to look elsewhere to play, the Nets would have been somewhere near the bottom of the Eastern conference because they would be expecting Brook Lopez to be dropping 30 a night.
Joe Johnson wouldn’t have been spoken of if Williams wasn’t there because there would have been no motivation for Joe to go there.
Williams hasn’t finished there either. He’s producing numbers on the court which is turning Brooklyn into a playoff bound team. 17ppg and 8.3apg, leading from the front for the black and white.
Can’t wait to see these guys in a year or two once they’ve all had a season under their belt together.
2: O.J. Mayo to Dallas
To put it in a nice manner, Mayo didn’t really have a good connection with anyone in Memphis (apart from maybe Gay). He made the team complain, he made fans angry, and he even would make himself angry just being there at times.
Enough was enough and the Grizzlies made the right decision to ship him away. The Mavs were the team who took a chance on the charismatic combo guard and it’s sure paying dividends right now.
Mayo is currently in the top 10 in: points, made three pointers and effective field goal percentage.
He’s averaging 20.4ppg, 4rpg and 3.5apg on an 8mil contract over 2 years.
1: Jamal Crawford to L.A. Clippers
With Crawford going from team to team playing a solid role off the bench (former 6th man of the year), Jamal is at it again in L.A.
Crawford’s on a 4 year deal paying $21mil, and he’s averaging 16.6ppg and 2.3apg in 29mins a game.
He’s currently leading the league in free throw percentage which has always been something Crawford excelled in.
The Clippers are the real deal this season with a strong starting line-up, but more importantly their second team is remarkably strong, which is led by this man in Jamal Crawford.
Do you agree? Are we missing anyone? Let us know on Facebook or by leaving a comment below!