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Offseason Power Rankings

Jul 29, 2010, 3:19 PM EDT

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Mix together equal parts of ego and cap space to throw around, and you get one wild off-season. Everybody was making moves. There were decisions and The Decision.

And at the end of it all, the Lakers are on top.

Since most of the moves have shaken out, we’ve decided to do an NBA off-season power rankings. This is a ranking of NBA teams as we see them lined up for the next NBA title. The teams are accompanied by the betting odds for them to win the next NBA title (from Bodog Sports).

1. Lakers (odds to win next title 11/4)
They are the two-time defending NBA champions and good luck prying that trophy out of Kobe Bryant’s fingers no matter what kind of shape they are in. Scarier yet for the league, these Lakers should be better. Steve Blake is a better triangle point guard than the departed Jordan Farmar. Matt Barnes brings more toughness. If Andrew Bynum’s surgically-repaired knees can hold up for a season, the Lakers will head into next playoffs better than the last two years. They are still the king of the mountain.

2. Heat (7/4) Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh make the most talented trio the NBA has seen since the 1980s. Those three made a financial sacrifice to play together and will do the same on the court — their fantasy value goes down but their winning will go up. Pat Riley did a fantastic job with the rest of the roster — Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller being the keys. Erik Spoelstra will be under a lot of pressure, but he is a coach who can handle it. Still, there are questions. How long will it take for the group to gel? (Not long.) Who defends the paint on defense? (This is a bigger issue — Joel Anthony has fight but is undersized, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Magloire will try but are not young.) With those big men, can the Heat match up with Orlando and Dwight Howard, Boston and it’s long front line or the Lakers with Bynum and Gasol? They’ll be good, maybe very good in the regular season, but the title will have to be earned.

3. Magic (11/1) They didn’t do much this off-season, other than be involved in Chris Paul rumors. Oh, and they got Chris Duhon, let us never forget that. But as much as they get overlooked, the Magic did not have to do much. This team has been to the NBA finals and the Eastern Conference finals the last two years. They kept JJ Redick and you’ll see more of him and less of Vince Carter. They will stick with their system of Dwight Howard and guys who can shoot the three, because it works. Jameer Nelson is still good and will have a chip on his shoulder. They still play defense. Overlook Orlando at your own peril, they are contenders.

4. Celtics (12/1) I picture Danny Ainge like John Belushi in the Blues Brothers, running around saying “we’re getting the band back together.” Then doing whatever it takes to make that happen, including pissing off Aretha Franklin. One smart move was picking up Jermaine O’Neal, who gives them some front line depth until Kendrick Perkins returns, and a lot more offense down low than Perk ever could. But it all comes down to health around the playoffs — fully healthy they are a serious contender, if not they are gone early. And while that is true of every team, with the age of the Celtics it is more of a risk than most places.

5. Thunder (18/1) For OKC, it’s about growth, not additions. They locked up Kevin Durant for five years. They got a little size to help combat the Lakers by drafting Cole Aldrich. They got Daequan Cook to spell Westbrook some, plus added guard depth with Mo Peterson. But if the Thunder just improve along the trajectory they already are on, they are about to make a big leap next season.

6. Bulls (15/1) If it wasn’t for the Miami Miracle, everybody would be talking about what a great offseason the Bulls had. They needed scoring inside, they got Carlos Boozer. They needed better play at the two, they got Ronnie Brewer. They needed better outside shooting, they got Kyle Korver. They got a coach who will preach defense first again in Tom Thibodeau. Add that to the core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng and you have a good team. With a new coach and new systems, it may take a while to gel, but come the playoffs this team should be scaring opponents.  

7. Spurs (28/1) I know, you’ve been hearing this for years and you’re done buying, but I really mean it this time — the Spurs have one more dangerous run in them. This season or next, the one year all the core guys can stay healthy, they are going to make one last big run in the Tim Duncan era. The key reason is Tiago Splitter, the best center for the last several years in Europe who the Spurs finally convinced to come to the states. He may not start, but you can bet he finishes games. And he will be the best big man Duncan has had next to him since the Admiral retired. Add in Tony Parker, George Hill and Manu Ginobili with a solid supporting cast and smart coaching and… it’s going to happen. Trust me.

8. Mavericks (18/1) It wasn’t for lack of effort. Mark Cuban busted it, Donnie Nelson tried everything, but the Mavericks go into the next season with the same roster that finished the last one. Which is not a bad roster. They kept Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood, look for Rod Beaubois to get more burn (he should have in the playoffs last year, but we’re letting that go and moving on now). They are on that tier one step back of the Lakers, but if for whatever reason the Lakers stumble Dallas is near the top of the West. And you can bet Cuban isn’t done trying.

9. Blazers (35/1) Their one big offseason move — essentially trading Kevin Pritchard for Rich Cho as general manager — is not going to have a big impact on the court. They added some good young talent with Wesley Mathews and draft pick Luke Babbit. The real key here is healthy — remember the Blazers were the up-and-coming young team two years ago, then injuries descended on them last season like they offended the basketball gods. If they can stay healthy — especially at center with Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla — they could surprise a lot of teams.

10. Rockets (35/1) It’s really simple: If Yao Ming is healthy, this ranking is too low. If not, it is too high. This summer the Rockets picked up some people to help keep Yao’s minutes down — Brad Miller and rookie Fredrick Paterson. They’re nice, but it is all about Yao. They have the backcourt (Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin), they have the role players (they kept Luis Scola) but Yao is the key.

11. Jazz (30/1) They lost Carlos Boozer, they replaced him with Al Jefferson. They lost Wesley Mathews and replaced him with Raja Bell. Goodbye Kyle Korver, hello Gordon Hayward. This was really a fantastic offseason by the Jazz — it could have been a disaster but they replaced key losses and may have even upgraded a little. The Jazz remain in that tough middle ground of good (52 wins last season, probably just a few less this season) but not good enough to challenge the elite. Still, fantastic offseason to replace those that bolted.

12. Bucks (40/1) The senator/owner opened up his wallet and now the team nobody in the East wanted to play in the first round (until Andrew Bogut went down) is going to be better. Brandon Jennings will not be a rookie anymore, and the Bucks have paid to keep John Salmons. They added solid depth along the front line with Drew Gooden and draftee Larry Sanders. They got Keyon Dooling and Chris Douglas-Roberts to solidify the backcourt. This is a good team that can get a top four seed in the East and advance to the second round. Not sure they can beat the elite, but this is a very good team.

13. Hawks (28/1) Meet the new Hawks, same as the old Hawks. They kept Joe Johnson (at a steep price) but did not add any size around him. New coach Larry Drew may be able to get more out of this squad — maybe get them to
play better defense and conv
ert that to offense going the other way. Maybe Jeff Teague can give them a boost at the point. Even still, this is a good team – maybe a 50 win team again — that can’t beat the East elite. They are what we thought they were.

14. Nuggets (18/1) Kenyon Martin is going to miss much of next season, and they need him to come back right for the playoffs to have any chance. They tried hard to get more size but missed on all their attempts. They did land Al Harrington and Sheldon Williams, but that’s not the answer. They have Carmelo Anthony, they have Chauncey Billups. This is a good team. But they do not have the talent to beat the Lakers or the top of the West. Right now, they are what they are, good but not great.

15. Suns (35/1) They lost Amare Stoudemire, and the window for Steve Nash and his back will not be open that much longer, so the Suns took some risks. They had to. They traded for Hedo Turkoglu, who when motivated is a good fit in the Suns system. He can also take on some of the ball-handling duties for the team. I love the Josh Childress signing and having him back in the league. Hakim Warrick was a quality pick up. However, it’s hard to see how the Suns really got better, while teams around them did. It’s hard to see them back in the Western Conference finals with this roster.

16. Grizzlies (50/1) They didn’t make big moves this summer — Tony Allen is a nice signing for depth, and Xavier Henry can be a boost if they stop messing around and sign him. But mostly they are counting on what worked last year working better this year. A better O.J.Mayo, a better Zach Randolph, a better Marc Gasol. And new max-deal man Rudy Gay stepping up to really lead. Seems like the kind of thing that could fall apart, plus the Grizzlies will not be sneaking up on anyone this year.

17. Hornets (40/1) Trade rumors swirl and ownership is in transition, or isn’t, we can’t tell. Two things that usually spell trouble for a team. But this team still has Chris Paul, back fully healthy, plus David West. Draftees Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter can provide something their first year. Emeka Okafor gives you more than his reputation would suggest. Basically, this team isn’t that bad. It isn’t good, not nearly as good as Chris Paul wants, but it isn’t a train wreck either. And they have some big contracts coming off the books to give them some flexibility for the future.

18. Warriors (75/1) The biggest off-season move in the Bay Area was not the signing of David Lee, it was Joe Lacob and Peter Guber buying the team. This team desperately needed new ownership, and now with that will come some big changes on the basketball operations side (once the owners get full control). Gone will be Don Nelson, which means draftee Ekpe Udoh might actually get to play. They traded a way a lot of talent this summer, however still have Stephen Curry and Lee. It’s hard to predict how good or bad they will be exactly. But now there is hope for the future in the Bay Area, and that alone is a huge boost for the fans.

19. Sixers (100/1) The biggest thing that will speed the Sixers turnaround — players will buy into what new coach Doug Collins is selling in a way they never did with Eddie Jordan. They have some players, too. Philly drafted Evan Turner No. 2 and will pair him with Jrue Holiday in the backcourt. Turner looked a little lost at Summer League, but he is still figuring out how to fit his game into the NBA. They still have Andre Iguodala. They lost Samuel Dalembert but picked up Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. If Collins can get something out of Elton Brand, this ranking will be too low.

20. Kings (150/1) This team is going to be very entertaining. Draft pick DeMarcus Cousins and Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans will play very well off each other. Samuel Dalembert is a good fit along the front line. The Kings got bigger and better and are building a nice foundation. Not sure how far it will take them this year, but they are building.

21. Knicks (35/1) Amare Stoudemire up front and Raymond Felton running the show make this team a lot better. Anthony Randolph could have a breakout year. New York is building a roster that fits with the Mike D’Antoni system. Things are looking up. But they won 29 games last year, there was a lot of room for improvement. They still need one more big piece like Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul before New York will be all the way back.

22. Bobcats (50/1) They won 44 games last season then this summer they lost Raymond Felton and traded away Tyson Chandler. They got Erick Dampier in a trade, but will cut him to get under the luxury tax threshold. Sounds like they got worse, which means no return trip to the playoffs, unless Tyrus Thomas and D.J. Augustine really step up their games. We will be rooting for Shaun Livingston to do well also. But it’s hard to be very optimistic here.

23. Clippers (100/1) It’s like they get two first-round picks this season — Blake Griffin can finally play, plus Al-Faroqu Aminu. The Clippers also made some nice pickups by drafting Eric Bledsoe and bringing in Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye. All that with the core that includes Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon. Still, everything comes down to this: Can new coach Vinny Del Negro get Baron Davis to play well with others, and to care for 82 games? Or even 75 games would be good. On paper the Clippers have playoff talent, even in the West. But Davis has to be on board. And how much do you want to bet on that?

24. Wizards (50/1) They got the building block in John Wall. He is potentially that good and flashed it at Summer League. He is a blur end-to-end. Pair him with Gilbert Arenas in the starting backcourt, with Kirk Hinrich and Josh Howard coming in off the bench and you have a good guard rotation. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee should get a lot of spectacular dunks in transition with feeds from Wall, who is a blur end-to-end. But that is the key — the Wizards have to run. They have to get Wall in the open court. Assistant coach Sam Cassell said that was the plan, we’ll see if the team follows through.

25. Nets (150/1) They swung for the fences this summer and struck out. Still, they should be better this year. Drafting Derrick Favors was smart, he has potential but like a lot of this team he still needs to grow. They made a great signing with Anthony Morrow plus picked up a solid backup PG in Jordan Farmar. Avery Johnson will have them playing hard. Still a lot left to do for Mikhail Prokhorov before they are in Brooklyn in two years.

26. Pacers (100/1) They want to run, they don’t have a point guard who is comfortable in that offense, and they didn’t get one. Second round draft pick Lance Stephenson is nice and could become the guy who can run the show at the point, and first-round draft pick Paul George has potential. But the Pacers stood pat. So for now, this team remains the Danny Granger show. They won 32 games last year, hard to see them improving on that now.

27. Pistons (100/1) They won 27 games last year, and they drafted a big man who needs some work in Greg Monroe. That’s basically it. They are bringing the same team back. Maybe they can’t make any big moves until the for-sale team has a new owner, but it is about time to blow this thing up and rebuild.

28. Timberwolves (150/1) They have Darko Milicic for four more years. They have the chance to rehabilitate Michael Beasley. We could spend all day mocking David Kahn and the Wolves because they seem to have no plan, at least not one that blends with the triangle offense Kurt Rambis wants to run. But there is some talent on the roster. They did draft Wesley Johnson to play the three, and they do have Kevin Love, a quality four. Luke Ridnour is an upgrade at the point. Martell Webster can shoot the rock. I have no idea what the master plan is, but the roster has a few nice pieces.

29. Raptors (150/1) They lost Chris Bosh. They have
put together a roster that looks like it’s in the EuroLeague. Things are going to get worse before they get better. Toronto fans are happy to see Hedo Turkoglu gone, but that is another offensive option now playing elsewhere. Look for DeMar DeRozan to have a big year, for Amir Johnson to get his chance, for draftees Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi to play well, but this team is about to take a step back.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (60/1) Do we really need to go into what a bad offseason this was in Cleveland? Byron Scott is at the helm now of a major rebuilding project that is going to see some tough years until some good young pieces can be put in place.

  1. JO - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Fredrick Patterson? Patrick Patterson.

  2. J Weezy - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Really the Cavs are now officially the worst team in the league? I guess it was just Lebron James playing one on five when that team won 66 and 61 games the past two seasons.
    No one would say that team has a chance at the title as currently constructed. However, that team is still going to be on the cusp of the playoffs in the East. Solid team with no superstar. Think the Cavs of the mid to late 90’s.

  3. fx1718 - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Heat @ #2.. get off the teet. Heat 4 or 5 lets be honest with ourselves.

  4. Jay - Jul 29, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Wow, these could be the dumbest comments I have ever seen. Cavs in the top cusp of the East??? Saying the Heat isn’t a #2 team in the league??? Who are you people?

  5. Luca - Jul 29, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    I’m with J Weezy. How ridiculous to say that a team that won the most games in the league two years in a row now is the worst team in the leaguewith the loss of one significant player (even if he is the best player in the league). The worst thing for the Cavs would be to be end up in the 7 to 10 seed area of the east. It would be much better for the franchise’s future if they were to be the worst team in the league. But the chances of that are close to zero. How can anyone say that Toronto or Minnesota is a better team?

  6. alets - Jul 29, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Everyone is wasting time and energy talking about matchups. I’m not a laker fan, nor a heat fan. But i do know basketball, and the basketball players. I find it interesting that not one person has commented on the mental weakness of Miami’s players. Wade is the only sound one. Lebron chokes under pressure, and Bosh simply quits. Just see game 5 of the Clev v. Celtics, and you will see a mentally-defeated Lebron. As for Bosh, he was too scared to play when Toronto’s season was on the line – the Raptors were neck-in-neck with the Bulls for the playoff race, and what does Bosh do? He doesn’t play, even though he was cleared by the doctors. In contrast to Heat players, ALL of the laker players are battle tested and possess the requisite mental toughness. That’s the REAL difference between the two teams.

  7. luffy - Jul 29, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Lakers 3peat comin’up. And I have my own list…
    1. Lakers
    2. Celtics
    3. Heat
    4. Bulls
    5. Magic
    6. Thunder
    7. Mavericks
    8. Spurs
    There you go, East and West Semis…

  8. That 1 Guy - Jul 29, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    The hell….Warriors 18? They’re going to be awful again. The David Lee deal will be an albatross in no time. Actually, it already is. I see the Kings doing better next year.
    Before the ’08-’09 season, I pegged the Hornets as far and away the most overhyped team heading into the season(insane how people thought they were legit contenders). I feel the same about the Thunder. They haven’t added any significant pieces that could alter the structure of the team. Cook? MoPete? Are they supposed to make a difference? So they add a little 3-pt shooting to a team that needs it, so what? They hardly qualify as quality depth. Not like the Heat and Hornets were somehow great because of them. Where is the post player? Nowhere to be found. The only player that can make a considerable leap is James Harden. Unfortunately for them, he’s just another perimeter player. Is Durant supposed to make a leap to scoring 40 per or something? While I love Jeff Green, I just don’t think he is ideal next to Durant at forward unless they had a legitimate post center. How many of ’em around? Sorry, but Cole Aldrich doesn’t solve anything and is just another body to throw at opposing bigs. I think they’ll wind up between 4-6 in seeding.
    People tend to get carried away with “up-and-coming” teams. Exciting to watch talented players develop, I know. Just gotta keep perspective and acknowledge their limitations.

  9. That 1 Guy - Jul 30, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    May as well keep going…
    Just stop with the Spurs already. For as great as Duncan was, he’s starting to decline. They are just another playoff team. The ship has sailed.
    There is no upside to the Mavericks. Just another playoff team as well.
    Now Houston…depends on Yao as you pointed out. Even then, I think they need another playmaker. They have a lot of finishers on the team, but not someone(like a PG) that can maximize their abilities. Aaron Brooks, while good, is an undersized SG with mediocre PG skills. Obviously if Yao goes down, forget it.
    Blazers are currently the most equipped team to challenge the Lakers, but health as usual gets in the way(I know last year was an anomaly, but more in regards to Oden. what he showed last year can make a different).
    It just seems like the Lakers will make it 4 years in a row coming out of the West, barring serious injury. Too difficult trying to match-up with what their frontline brings, which is a bit of everything.
    The thing that jumps out at me is how the East is probably more top-heavy than the West now, but the bottom quickly drops out with all those bottom of the barrel teams.
    It’s not unreasonable for the Cavs ending up amongst the worse teams in the league, if not the worst. It’s just a team of role players and no star to speak of. When you watched them play, everything revolved around LeBron. They had/have a bunch of shooters and hustle players who would do the dirty work. Only guy resembling of a go-to player is Jamison, that’s it. Does a team trotting out a lineup of M.Williams/A.Parker/A.Jamison/Hickson/Varejao appear like a playoff team to you people? They are lottery bound.

  10. Lance - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    Whoa, very surprised to see the Wolves at #28, and some pleasant comments about the squad. Don’t see that here too often! This tortured Wolves fan will take it when I can!

  11. JD - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    I think the better question is who are you, Jay, to think the Heat are a solid #1 in the East? Although, with the ‘King of Regular Season’ for the last 2 years and ‘Choker in the Playoffs’ LeBron James on the Heat now, it’s not tough to argue that they will land as a #1 or #2 in the East. Orlando has to be considered the top dog in the East followed by the Heat.
    Since everyone seems to have a list, here’s mine:
    1. Lakers (duh)
    2. Magic
    3. Heat
    4. Celtics
    5. Mavericks
    6. Thunder
    7. Bulls
    8. Hawks
    9. Trailblazers
    10. Spurs
    Oh, and I don’t care how padded Bosh’s stats are, he’s not a top tier power forward in this NBA. Someone just put a body on him and he won’t get to any hustle points. He will probably get just enough stats in the regular season, but in the playoffs that remains to be seen!

  12. MobTown - Jul 30, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Seeing as how I’m a Pistons fan, allow me to retort.
    “They are bringing the same team back. Maybe they can’t make any big moves until the for-sale team has a new owner, but it is about time to blow this thing up and rebuild.”
    They are bringing the same team back, however, this team had Richard Hamilton for 46 games, Prince for 49 games, Gordon for 62…. well instead of telling you who didn’t play, these three players played over 70 games: Jerebko, Stuckey, and Villanueva. The rest of the team played less than 70 games.
    As far as blowing up the team, isn’t that what the Billups trade was about? They’re in the process of rebuilding, which is why they were at 27 wins last year, because they’re rebuilding. Good grief, where do you basketball writers come from?

  13. fan - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    CAVS 30!!!! are you outta you friggin mind??? I am leaving bleacher report for good. thats ridiculous

  14. Jazzman - Jul 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    So…if teams stay healthy they will do well, if not they will wallow in mediocrity…really?

  15. John - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    I don’t understand how any self respecting journalist can still rank the Magic ahead of the Celtics. KG owns Rashard Lewis and Perkins has proven for two consecutive years that he can neutralize Dwight Howard. After the beatdown that the Celtics put on the Magic last year, clearly the Celtics should at least go into the season as the higher rated team because both are almost virtually identical to last year’s form.
    But then again your rankings and opinion don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

  16. Omnius - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    The Repeat World Champion Lakers got better with Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff. With the same starting 5 coming back look for better offense next season as Ron Ron Artest has become a true contributor during the playoffs. Now to bring back Downtown/Uptown Shannon Brown and the team should be ready to Threepeat! So funny that the Cleveland Cadavers are back in the cellar, Cleveland fans don’t forget your paper bags to wear over your heads next season – you know like the good old days. Watch the Moon Swoon over Miami as the Heatstroke have become the most hated team in the NBA. I’m hoping the Celtics remain healthy next season so they edge out the Heatstroke to play the Lakers for the rubbermatch third series in 4 years. Lakers Threepeat!

  17. Jessy - Jul 30, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Ummm i kinda disagree but your entitled to your opinion!!
    suns should be higher but im just a fan so what do i know huh… And heat have not shown anything soo those knuckleheads have to prove somthing to us first!

  18. skipper - Jul 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    The Heat improved dramatically – no one can question that. They are the odds-on favorite in the East. The Lakers, with a healthy Andrew Bynum, improved as well. They are the reigning champions and have the best player and the best coach in the game. With the rest of their roster, they are the odds-on favorite to not only take the West, but to win the championship again. Kobe Bryant will not let it be any other way. All the rest are merely contenders to the throne.

  19. coffee - Jul 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    I have to agree with Skipper. Notwithstanding the Heat lineup, the Lakers are the most-talented team in the world. Kobe Bryant is going to shine even more this year, if for no other reason than to show the world that he is in fact the best player in the game, and that the combination of Lebron and Dwayne are no match for him and the Lakers.

  20. skipper - Jul 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    I am at a loss to understand how anyone could disagree with anyone who picks the Lakers to take it all. I have already placed a tremendous amount of $$ in Vegas on them. I will be a very rich man come next year as we all watch Kobe hold up the Larry O’Brien trophy and the MVP trophy.

  21. Joe - Jul 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Dude… Warriors also have Monta Ellis and Biedrins. update rankings now!

  22. ANTHONY - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:16 PM


  23. Anthony - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Heat stroke i doubt it Heat are gonna 2 win it all lakers are fakers there run is over no threepeat on this side of town Miami bound.
    Lets go Heat!!!!!

  24. luffy - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    You’re stupid, back to back champions and still call the Lakers, fakers?
    Just drown in the Beach for us please cause you’re so dumb…
    Lakers 3peat can’t be stopped…

  25. Joel Lawrence - Jul 31, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    PART 1 of 2
    I think the lure, to Mark Gasol, to win a championship with his brother will be
    great. He is young enough that he can come here for a year or three..and still
    start elsewhere. He is a starter everywhere else…so i realize that might be
    what he wants. But he can get the rings first, and money second. How much would he
    pay for the memories of winning championships with his Pau? A lot im gonna
    guess…esp since he is young and can get the money later in his career.
    However, i will accept any young Center (3rd string) for a one year contract to
    suck up minutes from Drew and Theo. Saving them for the playoffs.
    My bigger question is…Everyone thinks we need a guard for perimeter shooting.
    That’s good for us….but it will not make or break us. If Bynum goes down we are
    SO SCREWED. So the next move is a young gun 2nd string center to suck up minutes.
    Its worth both 2011 draft picks (esp if we keep both rookies).
    Again…if we get a ‘Luke IR exemption for this year we can find a great SG in
    Europe without loosing draft picks.
    PART 2 0F 2
    If BYNUM does go down this coming year (God forbid), if we secured Mark Gasol this
    year we can give him the starting job next year. Or platoon it like wewill this
    year with PG and Steve Blake and Fish.
    I think 3 peat swings on BYNUM’s health.
    Next piece… young 3rd string Center from Timberwolves for Sasha and a pick. If we
    can trade up for a better Center after that (Gasol?) …great…if not… a back up
    shooting guard (sasha or otherwise) will not deny us a 3 peat. BYNUM goes down with
    out a 3rd string…we will not 3 peat…and Bynum has little trade value next year.
    Miami will be off an rolling if they win first year.
    We can get another Center with trade with Sasha (if possible)….Or…
    With the IR excemption from Luke not being able to play in 2011…
    3rd string Center is the next piece!!!

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