Los Angeles Clippers
Sure, the Clippers gave up a good amount to land Chris Paul, but in doing so, they have become a relevant NBA franchise for the first time in a long time and actually created a significant buzz, taking away some of the pub from their cotenant rival Lakers. The additions of veterans Chauncey Billups and Reggie Evans at bargain prices are great deals. Re-signing DeAndre Jordan was a must, and $10 million per year for a young, developing, impact center seems like a good deal. The team did overpay for Caron Butler's services, but all in all, the Clippers made a major step as a franchise this offseason and became a playoff-caliber club in the Western Conference.
New Orleans Hornets
I think the Hornets absolutely made the right decision by trading Chris Paul prior to the start of the season rather than finding themselves in a Denver Nuggets/Carmelo Anthony type of situation during the year. They got great value back in one of the top scoring guards in the NBA in Eric Gordon, a promising small forward in Al-Farouq Aminu, a solid big man in Chris Kaman, who is in the final year of his contract, and a likely top-five pick. New Orleans also didn't waste any of its cap space by overpaying an average player to a long-term, expensive deal. They now have assets for the future as well as a ton of cap space entering next summer that should make the post-CP3 re-building effort much smoother.
It started with the draft-day addition of George Hill and continued the past couple of weeks with the signing David West to an affordable 2-year, $20 million contract, and freeing themselves of James Posey's contract by using the amnesty clause on him. The Pacers entered the offseason with a ton of cap space and made smart moves by not wasting any of their money and still keeping themselves in good financial standing for next offseason when the free agent class will be much better. Suddenly, Indiana has become a sexy sleeper team in the Eastern Conference that definitely is on the up-and-up.
@Black&Gold Problem is that you see Eli and Cobi as solid backups. Truth is that Eli is number 2 and Cobi is our number 3. They aren't backups, but starters. So what you're saying is that we have no true number 2, but see no need in drafting a receiver? What D line depth are you thinking? DE or NT? Have you seen what LT Walton has done? Remember he's only in his second year.
@Steelr Fan 3:16 Coates was supposed to be plan B at number 2 with the uncertainty of Bryant. You make the case that he's a one trick pony and not a 50 catch per season wide-out, so does that scream out as a option for number 2? What gives you hope about Green? I hope he does end up staying on the field, but so far in his career he hasn't be able to do that. I like James, but if he goes down you trust Grimble? He can't block, and hasn't been reliable in the pass game. He did mess his ribs up with a nice touchdown reception a few weeks ago. That still doesn't mean he can pick up and be an impact if James would not be able to go. We have 7 picks in this draft. The first I hope goes OLB. We are good at CB with Burnes and @[email protected] will be challenged hopefully by Golson. Loser of the battle would be a good slot corner. Golson lacks length so they may throw him in the slot role anyways. LT Walton has been more than solid at DE. If Heyward or Tuitt can't go a few weeks during the season then I have faith in LT to get the job done. I like Chickillo and Moates at OLB. They have started and played solid. Williams and Dirty Red at backup ILB is good depth that any team would love. Safety we have Golden and Dangerfield. Both have started any didn't miss a beat. Offensive line? Yeah, we're good there. You say we're good at tight end and WR, so with or final 6 picks we're going what exactly? A RB would be nice with Williams age. A backup that won't see the field unless God forbid Bell gets hurt is a wasted pick anywhere in the top 4 rounds. Maybe 5th would be suffice. That's 2 picks gone and 5 to go. A backup QB of the future would be nice. Four to go. A special teamed lol? Warren, Boswell, and Berry are really good.