NBA free agency is in full swing, so let’s examine where some of the top free agents went. We’ll break down the moves and decide if they are smart or not.
Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets.
Great move: Dwight Howard left LA after one season and joined the Houston Rockets, instantly making them a contender in the West. He will be paired up with James Harden, and follow in the foot steps of Houston Rockets greats such as, Hakeen Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, and Yao Ming. He will also be coached by legendary big man Kevin McHale.
Josh Smith to the Detroit Pistons.
Bad move: Josh Smith left the Atlanta Hawks after 9 seasons. He will join a young Detroit Pistons team, immediately being placed in a leader position.
This is a bad move, because the Pistons are trying to develop a strong front court with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. I don’t really see where Smith fits. While Smith is a great player, he just doesn’t work with the Detroit system; and with his lack luster shooting ability, he can’t really play the 3 spot. We’ll have to see how this one works out.
Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors.
Good fit: The Warriors dumped off some bad salaries and were able to sign a great all around player in Iguodala. He is a veteran that the coaching staff can put around the young talent, already giving the roster a boost. Iguodala will help on the defensive end as well, a category that the Warriors ranked towards the bottom half of the league last year. All in all, this move will help the Warriors move into the upper echelon of the West.
Monta Ellis to the Dallas Mavericks.
Okay move: This move screams desperation coming after the Mavs missed out on Dwight Howard. While it does scream desperation, Ellis is a great scorer however, and should play well aside Dirk Nowitzki. He has averaged almost 20 points per game throughout his career. The big problem with this move is that it doesn’t make the Mavs a top contender. It makes them a fringe playoff team at best.
While the playoffs are good, being a mediocre team isn’t, especially when next year’s draft class promises to be one of the best in recent years.
Andrew Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Time will tell on this move: If Andrew Bynum doesn’t recover from injury well, this is a terrible move. If he recovers and plays like he did before the injury, then this is a smart move. When Bynum is healthy, he is arguably one of the best centers in the league. Plus, the opportunity to put him next to talents like Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett is intriguing. Only time can tell with this move.
Metta World Peace to the New York Knicks.
Good move but…: I really like the addition of World Peace to the Knicks roster. He will bring a tough defensive presence the Knicks need, but it isn’t enough to put New York in the top 4 of the East. Derrick Rose will be back, making the Chicago Bulls strong contenders. The Booklyn Nets made themselves a better team with their offseason moves. Also, Indiana and Miami will be as good as last year. So while this is a great move, New York is going to have to do more if they want to contend in a top heavy Eastern Conference.