2012 Off-Season Grades

The Off-season is winding down and it’s time to look at how the league’s GMs have done in their attempts to improves their teams’ presents as well as their futures.

Atlanta Hawks GRADE: B+
The Hawks were never going to get out of the 2nd rd and Joe Johnson is WAY overpaid. Dumping Johnson and Marvin Williams were great moves. The team may struggle to make the playoffs as an 8 seed but this was a necessary step back. They will be big players next off-season.

Boston Celtics GRADE: A
They’re keeping the band together. Garnett and Bass return and Jason Terry and Courtney Lee are nice adds. Getting Jeff Green back from injury should help; though they lost Greg Steimsma to Minnesota the hope is that Chris Wilcox can stay healthy and Jason Collins adds some experience until the kids they drafted are ready to contribute.

Brooklyn Nets GRADE: A+
Mission accomplished. They got Deron Williams to re-sign and the Brooklyn era begins. Adding Joe Johnson was a nice touch and bringing back Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez gives them a solid starting unit. I like the Reggie Evans add and holding on to MarShon Brooks was a huge plus. Even CJ Watson was a nice add. This is a solid team whose gambles paid off.

Charlotte Bobcats GRADE: B
Baby steps to the door. The team will be free of DeSagana Diop and Matt Carroll next year. They added Ben Gordon’s salary and a future 1st rd pick. They picked up Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood on the cheap. They won’t threaten any records for futility and that is a good first step.

Chicago Bulls GRADE: D
They still have Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng. Their presence on the roster will limit how far the team can go. They are both solid players who just make so much money that they handicap what the team can do. They have solid young players in Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler (as well as Nicola Mirotic) waiting in the wings. Rose and Noah are great cornerstones.

Cleveland Cavaliers GRADE: F
They did nothing. Kyrie Irving broke his hand before the olympics. They added nothing and are going to be really bad. What IS to like?

Dallas Mavericks GRADE: A
Many analysts are busting on Dallas because they missed out on Deron and Howard but I love the moves they made and believe that they are much improved from last years’ team. Adding Collison and Mayo to the return of a healthy Beaubois gives them a youth infusion in the backcourt. They added Chris Kaman and Elton Brand to the front court to help out Dirk as well. Don’t sleep on this team.

Denver Nuggets GRADE: C
They really didn’t do anything but stand pat. They re-signed JaVale McGee and Andre Miller and cut Chris Andersen. I wonder if it will be enough to get them into the playoffs again.

Detroit Pistons GRADE: B
Dumping Ben Gordon’s deal gives them a lot of flexibility for next year and Corey Maggette is no slouch either. Detroit played very well the second half of the season and they may figure into the race for the 8th spot in the East with Atlanta and Milwaukee. Their improvement depends more on the two rookies they brought in up front and the improvement of the young guys they already have in place.

Golden State Warriors GRADE: B-
They brought in Jarrett Jack as insurance to another (inevitable) Stephen Curry injury but mostly they sat this one out. The question is whether or not Andrew Bogut is healthy. Did I mention how strong their draft was?

Houston Rockets GRADE: C
Sick of being .500+ and missing the playoffs the Rockets blew it up. Trading Kyle Lowry and Samuel Dalembert and amnestying Luis Scola were big steps backwards. They brought in talented players in the draft and I like the Jeremy Linn add for them – not so much on the price tag for Omer Asik.

Indiana Pacers GRADE: B
Trading Darren Collison for Ian Mahinmi was a head scratcher. Signing DJ Augustine made up for it. Bringing in Gerald Green was affordable. The big story was matching to max deal to limited center Roy Hibbert. They are geared up for another run at the beasts of the East.

Los Angeles Clippers GRADE: A-
Bringing back Billups and adding Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Lamar Odom should make this team a force in the west should Blake Griffin’s injury not be too serious. Losing Reggie Evans might hurt but the could still re-sign Kenyon Martin.

Los Angeles Lakers GRADE: B+
Getting Steve Nash should help on offense but it could compromise the interior defense on some nights. It was good that they brought back Jordan Hill who played well after being acquired from Houston. I think that adding Antawn Jamison to the bench might be as big a move. Whether or not the Lakers can contend will depend on how they fill out their bench.

Memphis Grizzlies GRADE: B+
Re-signing Darrell Arthur and Marressee Speights were very underrated moves. They have good youth behind a very solid starting five. Chemistry is the only issue here.

Miami Heat GRADE: B
They added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis and lost James Jones and possibly Mike Miller. So in essence they got better. Getting Camby too could have been a coup.

Milwaukee Bucks GRADE: B-
Milwaukee was able to get Samuel Dalembert for next to nothing and they re-signed Ersan Ilyasova. They should be competitive in the East next year but the impending restricted free agency of Brandon Jennings might loom too big for the small market team.

Minnesota Timberwolves GRADE: C
I like Andrei Kirilenko, I just don’t think he’s worth $10M a season. They seem to be really banking on Brandon Roy and people are assuming a lot that Ricky Rubio will be healthy from the word go this year. They need Derrick Williams to step up this year and they need production from the wings if they are going to even stay competitive in the playoff hunt.

New Orleans Hornets GRADE: D+
I don’t think that Eric Gordon is a max player. I would have tried to work a sign and trade for him with Phoenix. I think signing Ryan Anderson was terrible. He plays the same position as their best player. I did like their bringing in Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick though. The player to watch for development this year is Aminu on the wing.

New York Knicks GRADE: A-
They brought in Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby. They brought back JR Smith and Steve Novak and they let Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields go. I know they got older but I feel like they got better defensively. I think they are a 5th-7th seed in the much-improved East.

Oklahoma City Thunder GRADE: C

Orlando Magic GRADE: D-

Philadelphia 76ers GRADE: B-

Phoenix Suns GRADE: C

Portland Trailblazers GRADE: C

Sacramento Kings GRADE: A

San Antonio Spurs GRADE: A

Toronto Raptors GRADE: C

Utah Jazz GRADE: D

Washington Wizards GRADE: B