There was a lot of movement this offseason including a huge four team trade. Here are my top 10 impact moves going into the 2012 season.
Dwight Howard/ Steve Nash- Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers made a big splash this offseason acquiring a star point guard and center. Howard will come in and replace Andrew Bynum with more experience and versatility. Nash is nearing the end of his career, but will give it all he has left with the talent around him in order to win his first ring.
Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson- Philadelphia 76ers- Bynum was brought in to replace Elton Brand who was released by the team this offseason. Bynum possesses rare offensive and defensive skill, but has struggled to stay healthy in his career. Richardson isn’t as explosive as he once was, but will bring veteran leadership to a very young team.
Andre Iguodala- Denver Nuggets- He was also a part of the four team trade. His move to Denver hasn’t been talked about all that much, but I think it could end up having the biggest positive impact out of any transaction that took place this offseason. Iguodala is a steady two way player that gives his all night in and night out, and will blend in perfectly with the preexisting Denver line-up.
Joe Johnson- Brooklyn Nets- This trade is impactful not only for what Johnson brings to the team, but it also helped keep Deron Williams from signing with the Mavericks. Johnson brings another elite scorer to their already formidable backcourt. With unlimited shooting range and a solid defensive presence he could bring some excitement to the new Nets fans.
O.J. Mayo/ Elton Brand- These guys were both cast out by their former teams which now gives them something to prove. However, this list is about impact moves, and not all of them will be successfully impactful. Mayo is young but inconsistent. Brand is past his prime, but can still put up 15 and 10 when healthy. Adding another older veteran to this team isn’t the answer, and Mayo isn’t a suitable replacement to losing out on Williams.
Lou Williams/ Devin Harris- Atlanta Hawks- I’ve marveled at Lou Williams’ talent ever since he came into the league and it was a mistake for Philly to let him go. He will have a tremendous impact on this team if he’s given the freedom to run the offense alone. Harris doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. He’s become a journeyman point guard that shows flashes of stardom, but never actually sticks on a team very long.
Raymond Felton/ Marcus Camby- NY Knicks- Both of them are solid players in their own right, but their impact, especially Felton’s, will be compared to Jeremy Lin’s in Houston. As you know NY chose not to sign Lin and went with Felton to run the team instead. Felton is a safer play, but his limited upside won’t go over well in the Big Apple.
Jeremy Lin- Houston Rockets- Linsanity died out as fast as it arrived, so now it’s time to see if he actually has the skills to make it as an NBA point guard. Something tells me Lin and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn may have something in common soon.
Ray Allen/ Rashad Lewis- Miami Heat- Can these guys still play? The answer is yes, and they will be more than sufficient role players for a team looking to win back to back championships.
Luis Scola- Phoenix Suns- A do-it all type of player that would have benefitted from a guy like Steve Nash, but will still get it done for his new team. Scola is also in danger of a gaining a journeyman label, but he can get a team 20 and 10 so I’m not sure why he’s so underrated. As an undersized power forward he gets the most out of his talent.