NBA Offseason Needs 2013-2014

Atlanta Hawks

Key Restricted Free Agents: Jeff Teague

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith

With talks of Josh Smith declaring his interest in signing a high paying max contract, the Atlanta Hawks would be smart to allow him to leave the organization if he wants a long high paying contract. Josh Smith's basketball skill and production is heavily based on his athletic ability moreso than his fundamentals and knowledge of the game. Josh Smith will be turning 28 years old this offseason and signing a player who is only going to decline athletically would be a detriment to the teams growth after spending many seasons struggling to advance in the playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks should however look to bring back the backcourt free agents in Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, and Kyle Korver. Jeff Teague in his fourth year in the NBA has shown he is a quality starting point guard in the league, along with Devin Harris and Kyle Korver being solid veteran options for any team to focus on playoff advancement.

With the rumors of Dwight Howard and Chris Paul possibly being unhappy with their teams in Los Angeles, the Atlanta Hawks have the salary cap space to acquire both of those players if they were to allow Josh Smith and Jeff Teague to sign with other teams. Bringing in those two to play alongside Al Horford should be the number 1 target this offseason as this would allow them to form their own big three around Chris Paul, Al Horford, and Dwight Howard. These three all star level players would be able to compete with Miami in the Eastern Conference for years to come.

However, going all in on the idea of two superstar players signing with your team is a farfetched idea, so targetting other players who aren't exactly superstars would be a quality move for the Atlanta Hawks to take if they want to try and be a suprise team in the Eastern Conference going into the 2014 playoffs. Players like Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson would provide a solid compliment to Al Horford. OJ Mayo and Andre Igoudala along with the Milwaukee Bucks having a logjam at the guard spots between Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and JJ Reddick could prove to be great options to target in the offseason too.

Boston Celtics

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Chris Wilcox, and Paul Pierce's buyout clause

After being a suprise in the Eastern Conference in 2012 and taking the soon to be NBA Champion Miami Heat to 7 games and giving them their toughest series of the playoffs the Celtics seemed primed for another run in 2013. After spending the offseason allowing many key players to get healthy, even with the loss of Ray Allen they had acquired Jason Terry and Courtney Lee along with Avery Bradley looking to be a starting option come mid-season. Jeff Green and rookie Jared Sullinger were ready to provide some bench depth in what looked to be a final push for the Kevin Garnett era Celtics, After a season ending injury to Rajon Rondo things looked to have changed for the Celtics going into the 2013-2014 season.

While the Boston Celtics seemed active at the trade deadline nothing seemed to get done and Boston was unable to make a move for any key players for a playoff run or to begin the building process. This offseason looks to have big decisions involved for the Celtics, as they will have to decide whether to keep the core group together and make additions in hopes of one last playoff push, or buyout Paul Pierce's final year of his contract for 6 million dollars and attempt to trade Kevin Garnett to a contender.

If the Boston Celtics were to look to contend going into next season. Using the young pieces they have and other trade pieces such as Paul Pierce's luxury for small market teams who are looking to contend next season, but may not want long term cap implications to acquire a big man along the lines of Marcin Gortat would be the first step in attempting to put a title contending team together. Alternatively, if the team is looking to rebuild the young core of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Jared Sullinger may only be a solid young center away from being a threat in the Eastern Conference for years. Demarcus Cousins has been a heavily rumored player with the Boston Celtics, but the likelyhood of dealing for Demarcus Cousins is low due to the high risk, high reward aspect that may have Boston feeling catious about giving up pieces that management already knows would be useful moving forward.

Brooklyn Nets

No key free agents

The Brooklyn Nets had a slightly dissapointing postseason after being beat in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs by the Chicago Bulls lacking their superstar and former MVP point guard in Derrick Rose. The New Jersey team featuring Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Brook Lopez as headlining pieces on paper should be an above average basketball team capable of making noise in the playoffs. Recently acquiring a new head coach in Jason Kidd this team is full of question marks going into next season.

The Nets are locked in salary wise to their core players, who may not be able to deliver in the postseason and advance past teams like the Knicks, Pacers, and Heat. Furthermore, they recently signed a head coach with no previous coaching experiance to a three year deal. If they Nets are looking to contend in the future they may finally need to make a move to shake up the roster. The New Jersey Nets via trade were able to acquire Deron Williams in hopes of using him and the relocation to Brooklyn to attract another star in order to form a duo to compete for years to come. After failing to get the Orlando Magic to agree on a deal for Dwight Howard and not being able to acquire Carmelo Anthony the Nets were able to get players like Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson to compliment Brook Lopez and Deron Williams.

If the Nets are to have a chance at competing in next years playoffs they need to look at sign and trade options with other teams free agents. If Brooklyn were to acquire a player with the caliber of Josh Smith and managed to do so without giving up one of their core players contention would not seem to be as much of a longshot for the team. Another Power Forward or Center type player to allow the team to solidify their identity as a half court offense or having a quick up and down pace would also alleviate Jason Kidd in his first season as a head coach.

Charlotte Bobcats

Key Restricted Free Agents: Gerald Henderson

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Desagana Diop, Ben Gordon (Player option)

The Charlotte Bobcats have had some of the worst luck of any NBA team in terms of drafting and personell decisions as any NBA team could ask for. The Bobcats have only made the playoffs once since entering the NBA and don't look that this is going to change at any rate.

The Bobcats select 4th in a weak 2013 NBA Draft and probably won't be able to acquire any type of player who would be capable of turning the team around anytime soon. Charlotte has players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Bimbifaf, and Kemba Walker as decent young pieces, but none of these player even seem like they may be All-Star caliber at any point in their careers. The Bobcats would be best off acquiring the best available talent in the draft and hope to luck out next year and gain a top pick.

The Bobcats should look to let Ben Gordon leave if he were to decline his player option in the offseason and should go ahead and resign Gerald Henderson and Desagana Diop to good deals if given the opportunity. Aside from this, the Bobcats are in no position to do anything but be in hope for a draft pick to pan out and put them back in the playoffs.

Chicago Bulls

Key Unrestriced Free Agents: Marco Bellineli, Nazr Mohammad, and Nate Robinson

The Chicago Bulls were a suprise in the playoffs last season. Without their best player who was out due to a torn ACL suffered in the 2012 NBA playoffs were able to beat the Brooklyn Nets and shock the NBA world by beating the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Chicago is lacking a second fiddle for Derrick Rose who looks to return in the 2013-2014 season, but the teams future is looking bright. Jimmy Butler, the young wing player showed spurts of potential and may allow the team to move Luol Deng for another piece to better compliment Derrick Rose. Along with having high potential European bigman in Nikola Mirotic and owning a future draft pick from Charlotte which is highly valued.

Chicago should do their best to resign Marco Bellineli, Nazr Mohammad, and Nate Robinson as they've shown to be able to make consistant contributions for the team last year. They should also look to find another piece to play beside Derrick Rose, whether it be high scoring all-star player at the shooting guard or small forward position, or a power forward to replace Carlos Boozer who has been dissapointing for many Chicago fans over the years. Players like Lamarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love should likely be on the trading block this offseason or next season around the trade deadline. Al Jefferson, Danny Granger, Eric Gordon, and Paul Pierce could be other options for Chicago to target as they get their superstar point guard back for next season.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Key Restricted Free Agents: Omri Casspi

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a young team with a bright future despite losing Lebron James in free agency to the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers have a point guard who could pan out to be the best in the NBA very soon, along with young talent like Dion Waiters and Tristen Thompson to grow and develop with him. They also lucked out and acquired the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

With the pick in the draft, the Cavaliers have options moving forward. Cleveland has a pipedream of reaquiring Lebron James when he enters free agency, and they could move the pick and try to get another player to pair with Kyrie Irving and use whatever dynamic duo pairing they acquire to try and attract Lebron James. One of the more logical options for the Cleveland Cavaliers would be to draft Nerlins Noel. Even with Noel's injury risk and him not being prepared for the first part of the 2013-2014 season, the 2014 NBA draft has players that look to be future superstars in the league. Cleveland has a win-win situation is acquiring Noel as he would either be a fanastic center and the defensive monster he is projected to be, or deal with injuries throughout the entire season and allow the Cavaliers to have a high pick in next years draft.

The Cavaliers shouldn't worry about free agency too much, resigning Omri Casspi would be a solid idea if he were to come at an affordable price. Going for a player such as Josh Smith or Andre Igoudala would most likely stagnate the natural growth the team is beginning to acquire and also result in them being locked into the salary of a player who may not play up to expectations. Adding a smaller piece in order to fill in holes or provide veteran leadership would be a solid option, but it is not the right time to make a home run play unless they could lock in Dwight Howard longterm or something along those lines, which is unlikely.

Dallas Mavericks

Key Restricted Free Agents: Rodrigue Beaubois, Darren Collison

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Shawn Marion (Early Termination Option), OJ Mayo (Player Option, likely to decline), Anthony Morrow, and Brandan Wright.

The Dallas Mavericks have struggled to be a factor in the post season since their 2011 NBA Championship over the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas has hopes of being able to acquire another All-Star or superstar talent to pair up with Dirk Nowitzki and win hopefully make another trip to the NBA finals. The Mavericks have even gone so far as to discuss trading their first round raft pick along with Dirk openly saying he would take a paycut in order for his team to compete again.

The Mavericks have options going into the offseason and should likely be able to leave the offseason with a much improved team compared to last season. The Mavericks should be one of the more active teams and if everything goes perfectly hope to be winners of the Chris Paul and Dwight Howard lottery. If that dream didn't pan out for Dallas, they have a number of options with Darren Collison and OJ Mayo still being willing to rejoin the team on new contracts along with other free agents like Igoudala and Josh Smith looking for solid long term contracts. The team could also help facilitate many sign and trades and acquire a player like Al Jefferson to join Dirk and create a dynamic high post-low post combination.

Mark Cuban should be weary of overplaying players who aren't Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, and do his best to take advantage of the abudence of salary cap space going into the offseason. While Dirk Nowizki may be one of the older big men in the NBA, he's aged gracefully do to his footwork in the low post and jumpshot and should be a solid NBA starter until he is no longer in the NBA.

Denver Nuggets

Key Restricted Free Agents: Timofey Mozgov

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Corey Brewer, Andre Igoudala

The Nuggets had George Karl named coach of the year, and GM Masai Ujiri named Executive of the Year and neither of them will be returning to the Denver Nuggets next season. It is also highly unlikely the Denver Nuggets are able to retain Andre Igoudala for next season too. The Nuggets need to hope for a healthy return by Danillo Gallinari next season as many aspects of the team are up in air going into next year. Denver has performed better than expected without Carmelo Anthony but still doesn't look to be a contending team anytime soon.

Denver's first priority should be a low post scoring threat. If this means trading Faried or Mcgee and possibly trying to swing a sign and trade deal with Andre Igoudala it doesn't really matter. Contending NBA teams have a post pressence and Denver does not. Ty Lawson and Danillo are great players on the perimeter for the team, and Faried and Mcgee look to be solid pieces moving forward, but not both. While the options may not be too broad considering the lack of trading pieces the team has, the first priority needs to be acquring a big man

Denver should also do their best to bring back Mosgov and Brewer. Both of these players are proven to be solid contributers and unless either are offered an insanely high contract, which may happen with Mosgov, Denver should look to bring them back so they can keep their great dynamic of team depth alive.

Detroit Pistons

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Jose Calderon, Charlie Vilanueva (Player Option)

The Detriot Pistons have quietly been developping one of the best young cores in the NBA. Brandon Knight looks to be a good scoring option at both guard positions depending on the system being used, but the bigger story (No pun intended) looks to be Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond as a frontcourt duo. Greg Monroe is already looking like one of the best young power forwards in basketball and Andre Drummond was heavily overlooked in the NBA draft and has proven to be possibly the highest potential young big man in the NBA. Drummond has a motor like a lot of NBA Centers just do not have, along with decent finishing ability and being a defensive monster even in his first NBA season.

Detriot has the 8th pick in the 2013 NBA draft and has many options for how to handle the pick as either a trade piece or using it to draft a player moving forward. Detriot could offer the Orlando Magic the 8th pick, a future pick, and Rodney Stuckey in return for the 2nd pick in the NBA draft if Nerlins Noel is selected 1st by Cleveland. The Orlando Magic are in need of a young point guard to lead their team and don't have much of a need for most of the projected picks in that area. This would allow Detriot to draft McLemore to fill out a solid young roster by giving them a deadly three point shooter and solid athlete.

If Detriot is unable to make the home run play in acquiring McLemore, many rumors involving Shabazz Mohammud and other wing scorers in that draft area long with the cap space to sign a solid perimeter player to fill the team needs they have at the shooting guard and small forward spot would be the next logical step. Detriot should also pray Charlie Vilanueva declines his player option and allows them to move on from that mess of a free agency selection.

Golden State Warriors

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Jarrett JJack

Golden State was one of the bigger suprises in the playoffs. Stephon Curry and Klay Thompson may have taken the title as the best backcourt duo in the NBA, and rookie Harrison Barnes should pan out to be a solid perimeter player. David Lee and Andrew Bogut are a solid duo at the power forward and center spot and on paper this team looks as though they are in a position to succeed.

While Golden State did a fantastic job in the playoffs, it remains to be seen moving forward if they can keep up the level of success. Jarret t Jack played to a level that will command him more money than Golden State should and will be willing to give him this offseason, but the teams prospects may be looking slightly up with the larger contracts in Richard Jefferson and Andris Biendris coming off of the books after next season. If Golden State looks to compete for an NBA championship in the future, landing a solid young power forward to better compliment the roster may be a solid move for the as the team didn’t look like it missed their All-Star David Lee when he was unable to play due to injury for most of the playoffs. Along with that making sure to monitor Andrew Bogut’s health along with Stephon Curry’s as these two has had large red flags on them over the course of their NBA careers for not being able to stay healthy for extended periods of time.

Houston Rockets

No Key Free Agents

The Houston Rockets under Daryl Morey have put themselves in prime position to have a solid team moving forward. After solidifying a solid roster that was able to sneak into the 8th seed in the playoffs even though the only player on the team’s roster that was also on it last year is Chandler Parsons. This Houston team was able to pull off a quiet trade at the deadline for high potential rookie Thomas Robinson who could pan out to be one of the best starting power forwards in basketball.

The big story in the offseason is the team’s interest in Dwight Howard and overall cap space. Jeremy Lin and James Harden would be the best backcourt combination to be coupled with Dwight, and if Dwight’s injury’s from the 2012-2013 NBA season were to continue being an issue for the Rockets they have a top defensive center in Omir Asik to back him up. Aside from the speculation of the team signing Dwight Howard, they are in prime position to make noise in the playoffs come next post-season and should have an improved record over last year with the roster having a training camp together.

If the Houston Rockets are able to sign Dwight Howard they are going to be a threat in the NBA for a very long time, worst case scenario they have great talent on the roster in players like James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omir Asik, and Thomas Robinson moving forward to build and grow together and likely form one of the better cores in the Western Conference.

Indiana Pacers

Key Restricted Free Agents: Tyler Hansborough Key Unrestricted Free Agents: DJ Augustin, David West.

Paul George and Roy Hibbert are very easily looking to be the best wing player and center combination in the Eastern Conference for years, so it’s up to the Pacers to make sure to keep a solid core around the team to allow them to compete with those two for years to come. Indiana has many options moving forward and is even considered an outside contender to land Chris Paul in the offseason.

Indiana however shouldn’t make the sole interest of the team in landing the superstar point guard Chris Paul, but look to add as much solid complimentary talent on good contracts as possible. Resigning David West should also be a top priority for the team, while keeping in mind him and Hansborough may not be enough to get the job done at the power forward position in the NBA playoffs. A player to compliment Paul George at either wingspot should also be a priority of the team doesn't plan on Danny Granger being apart of the future. The offense in the playoffs at times seemed to go through periods of lacking the kind of dynamic that is needed to compete with top defenses like the Miami Heat. Adding a more dynamic point guard to the mix such as Jose Calderon could help give the team the kind of floor general it needs to properly distribute the basketball

As long as the Indiana Pacers keep making subtle improvements they should be able to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference for years to come. Players like Paul George and Roy Hibbert are becoming a dying breed in the modern NBA and will provide a threatening playoff matchup and could easily be a championship duo as they develop together.

Los Angeles Clippers

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes, and Lamar Odom.

The Clippers will need to make a move this offseason to convince Chris Paul to sign an extension. The Clippers have had a somewhat dissapointing run since acquiring Chris Paul and have failed to make any major improvements or moves to grow as a team. Paul's contract has now ended and unless the Los Angeles Clippers make some major personell decisions it is likely he will no longer be apart of the organization for the 2013-2014 NBA season.

The Los Angeles Clippers first focus should be using Deandre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe as trade pieces to acquire more veteran plays. Eric Bledsoe is a great young point guard who has shown in his time on the court with the starting lineup when Chris Paul has been injured he can lead a team on offense and play some nasty defense. Deandre Jordan is one of the better young big men in the NBA, but his free throw shooting along with Blake Griffin's has been a problem in the teams frontcourt. Opposing teams are able to use the lack of jumpshooting skill by either player and inability to shoot free throws to their advantage in closing minutes of basketball games. Moving Jordan and Bledsoe in a deal could bring in an All-Star caliber talent to better compliment Chris Paul and Blake Griffin which in theory should help convince Chris Paul to sign long term deal with the team.

Along with the young players being solid trade pieces, another piece in the Chris Paul puzzle is Vinny Del Negro's underpreforming as the head coach of the team. The Clippers should look to sign a coach that would better suit the style of pick and roll offense Chris Paul thrives in, and have the offensive playbook in his arsenal to solidify the teams inconsistant halfcourt performance in the Chris Paul era thusfar. Coach's like Jerry Sloan, Byron Scott, and Stan Van Gundy would likely be interested at the offer and the Clippers should be looking at the options.

If the Los Angeles Clippers are able to retain Chris Paul and add a more complimentary star and coach to improve the team they should be top contenders in the 2014 NBA season. Unrestricted free agents like Chauncey Billups and Matt Barnes should be willing to sign extensions with the team and the Clippers will likely bring them back in order to keep the dept that allowed them to have a fantastic regular season.

Los Angeles Lakers

Key Restricted Free Agents: Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Jodie Meeks.

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off of the most dissapointing seasons in the historically great franchises history and don't have a ton of pieces to work with. Convincing Dwight Howard to stay with the team after being swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs and with Kobe Bryant likely to miss the entire season with a torn achilles is going to be difficult with many teams with the cap space and willingness to take a chance on him.

While the Lakers should look to have players like Devin Ebanks and Earl Clark return, Dwight Howard should go without saying in being the teams main focus this offseason. While Dwight may have not gotten along with coach Mike D'Antoni for much of the year, their should be ways to remedy this by assembling a roster around him that would better fit D'Antoni's offensive system. If the team can manuver a trade for Pau Gasol to land an athletic small forward or power forward to better compliment Dwight Howard the team should pull the trigger. Gasol is still valued around the league as one of the top players at the 4 and 5 position on the court and should be able to be swung to a team looking for a big man to solidify them offensively. Teams like the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets would likely be interested suitors for acquiring Gasol and should have pieces the Lakers could use to improve.

A deal involving a player like Paul Pierce or Luol Deng would also allow the team to have a plenty of cap space going into the 2014 free agency period where it is rumored they would pursue another superstar talent to pair with Dwight Howard moving forward in an attempt to form another championship duo similar to Shaq and Kobe or Kobe and Pau. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard should be enough of a threat to push the Lakers into the playoffs for the 2014 postseason, and if the team had a newly acquired player from the Pau Gasol deal and Kobe Bryant coming back from the injury it is likely they would be able to be a threat in the Western Conference to upset a higher seeded team.

Memphis Grizzlies

Key restricted free agents: Austin Daye

Key unrestricted free agents: Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless

The Memphis Grizzlies are the example of a small market team who may have trouble getting over the hill due to financial reasons. The Grizzlies dealt Rudy Gay this past season in order to save salary and although the team may have even improved by dealing him, showed obvious signs of not having the finances needed to compete in the NBA. Scoring became an issue in the playoffs at times as they lack a go to player at times to put the ball in the basket.

If the Grizzlies are going to look to improve upon this previous season they are going to need to resign their head coach Lionel Hollins who is being rumorred to have attracted a lot of attention from other teams. In addition to resigning their head coach they need to find a suitable wing scoring player. Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen seemed to be the popular shooting guard small forward duo in the NBA playoffs but it is unlikely they would ever be able to reach the NBA finals using those two for extended periods of time.

The team does have trade options in Ed Davis and Tony Allen if he is retained by the team and should be able to use those two players in order to attract attention from other teams. While that combination of players is unlikely to attract All-Star talent. The team should be able to obtain a solid scorer at either wing position to better compliment the team. The Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets would likely be interested in either of those players but the trade pieces they would be able to offer may not match up with the Grizzlies needs.

Memphis' also could look to move Zach Randolph in exchange for a wing player. Randolph showed to be a liability in the playoffs when having to guard pick and roll players. Next years Western Conference will feature many pick and roll duo's and the Grizzlies has Randolph signed long term and another team may find him to be more valueable than they do currently. Either way the Memphis front office seems to have a solid understanding of getting the most out of the talent while keeping the team's finances in check.

Miami Heat

Key unrestricted free agents: Ray Allen (Player Option), Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers

The Miami Heat have Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh locked in for a while longer and shouldn't have any issue contending and being the Eastern Conference Champion favorite. Chris Anderson and Ray Allen should be priority in retaining for the next few seasons as they have been possibly the best two additions to the Lebron James era Miami Heat team since they came together. Mario Chalmers goes without saying as a nessecity for the team to retain unless they are confident they could get a better option for a cheap contract.

The Miami Heat should also look to find a veteran starting caliber center or some kind of big body to start on the team and allow Chris Bosh and Lebron James to settle into their natural positions with more easy. If Greg Oden is an option for this Miami Heat team they need to take it, any big man the team can acquire that can finish around the basket well would be the best improvement the Miami Heat can make in the offseason. Adding a player like this could solidify them as favorites without much of a doubt for the next couple of years in the Eastern Conference and make the trips to the finals a lot easier without players like Lebron James and Chris Bosh being as roughed up from having to compensate for the lack of inside game the team has at times.

The Heat have a pretty simple offseason ahead of them unless they were to attempt to move Chris Bosh for another big man or try and make some kind of unexpected deal. With a resigning of Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, and Chris Anderson along with the veteran free agents that tend to gravitate towords the Miami Heat roster in search of an NBA championship another banner added in the rafters should be in the horizon for the team. The Heat should only be cautious moving forward of the contracts of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh causing them issues within the new salary cap.

Milawukee Bucks

Key Restricted Free Agents: Brandon Jennings

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis (Player option), JJ Redick

The Milwaukee Bucks were unable to compete with the Miami Heat on the court in the 2013 playoffs and seem to be stuck with somewhat of a logjam at the teams guard spots. Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and JJ Redick all player at the level of a starter and all likely to be want to paid as starts this offseason. The Milwaukee is likely to bring back Monta Ellis and JJ Redick and allow Brandon Jennings to go to another team. However, if the Milwaukee Bucks look to contend in the future they need to add much more talent to the roster.

Milwaukee is set at the guard positions for the team beng and shouldn't have any problems in the foreseeable future getting a high level of productivity from the point guard or shooting guard position. Outside of those two spots the team lacks consistancy and needs to address the small forward and center positions immediatly. Larry Sanders had a steller year for Milwaukee playing a majority of his minutes at the center position, but for the team to be a contender the Bucks need to look to move him to play power forward and add a bigger bodied low post scoring center instead of making Larry Sanders bang with bigger bodies in the low post.

If Milwaukee is able to retain Monta Ellis and JJ Redick, along with a possible sign and trade with Brandon Jennings this would give them a good start at know who they will be using long term at the guard spots and allow them to work with those two players. Milwaukee then should look to add a small forward and center who are able to start and play the position at a solid above average NBA level and work from that core group moving forward with hopes of being able to be a contending basketball team yet again.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Key Restricted Free Agents: Chase Budinger, Nikola Pekovic

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Andrei Kirilenko (Player option)

The Minnesota Timberwolves were a dark horse playoff team this season and should likely be a playoff team next season. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are a dynamic duo and as long as the team is able to contend and Kevin Love has no interest in leaving the team they should be an exciting young team moving forward. Nikola Pekovic is a must sign player and the Timberwolves are expected to match most any offer sent to him as a restricted free agent this summer.

Minnesota did seem to struggle on the defensive side of the basketball during the regular season. Kevin Love and Nikola Pecovic are a dynamic duo on offense, but defensively lack the footwork and athletic ability to be successful at times. The Timberwolves may have a decision to make moving forward involving a trade of either of those two players in order to add a better help defensive player to better suit the teams needs. Even if the team has future plans of adding a more defensive minded big man they should still look to resign Pekovic even if he is used as a trading piece in the near future. The shooting guard position should also be addressed whether it be through the NBA draft or free agency. Even a slight improvement by adding a consistant player at the position would be of great help to the team. Courtney Lee, OJ Mayo, and Richard Hamilton have been consistantly mentioned with the team and rumors surrounding them and this offseason the team should make it a priority to acquire a player of that caliber.

Once the Timberwolves are able to solidify those two positions and stay healthy over the course of the season, the team seems to be highly likely to make it to the NBA playoffs and be a threat to make it to the second round. The core of the team even if slightly shaken up is solid and full of potential and great offensive savvy and the record from their prior year shouldn't be a gauge of the teams potential going into next season as long as the Wolves look to make adjustments to the roster.

New Orleans Pelicans

Key Unrestricted Free agents: Al-Farouq Aminu, Xavier Henry

The Pelicans currently have a decent young roster and between the impending NBA draft and the health of Eric Gordon coupled with Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis' improvement after last season don't have much to worry about moving forward. Anthony Davis looks to improve on a solid rookie season where he showed he should be able to reach his expected potential post-college basketball.

If the Pelicans are looking for a total rebuild for the team, they could look to trade Eric Gordon's contract for teams looking for his scoring skill at the shooting guard position. Many teams should show interest in taking a risk on Gordon even with the injury history and long contact. The Boston Celtics have shown rumors in trying to trade Paul Pierce for Eric Gordon with other players being apart of said package. If Gordon was able to be traded in order for the team to save salary, this would gaurentee the Pelicans bottoming out next season and allow the team a chance at acquiring more young pieces to fit around Anthony Davis and form a team with the model of the Oklahoma City Thunder or up and coming Minnesota Timberwolves.

New York Knicks

Key Restricted Free Agents: Pablo Prigioni

Unrestricted: Kenyon Martin, Jr Smith (Player option)

The New York Knicks owe their three starting frontcourt players 170 million over the next 3 NBA seasons and the trio doesn't seem to be able to get it done in the playoffs. If the Amare Stoudamire continues to be injury prone and Carmelo Anthony is unable to be as effective on both sides of the court with Chandler and Stoudamire on the court at the same time the trio will need some shaking up. The team will lack options moving forward and will need to be decisive on all roster changes moving forward to insure getting the most out of the smaler changes the team makes to the roster.

With the retiring of Jason Kidd, the team should extend a qualifying offer to Pablo Prigioni and match any other offer the lands to insure depth at the point guard. If the team could acquire a veteran point guard looking to live in the New York area and play for a fringe contender like the Knicks that should be a priority. JR Smith will likely accept his player option with the team as he won't be able to find much money elsewhere after a poor playoff performance. The Knicks predictably will send out offers to veteran players at all positions in order to keep their bench depth high especially with the injury concerns with Amare Stoudamire.

If the Knicks were to strengthen their bench and add other veteran players they still won't have the talent level barring a major acquisition to compete against the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. The Knicks do have Iman Shumpurt who they could use as a major trade piece during the season. This may be the only player with youth on this Knicks team and would sacrifice potential for the team a few years down the road, but with the amount of money the team has committed to it's players it would be in their best interest to put the future aside in hopes of title contention as soon as possible.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn't seem to pull it together against Memphis in the playoffs this past playoffs, but this is likely due to losing Russell Westbrook because of a torn meniscus. Now that the Thunder should have a healthy and improved Russell Westbrook on the team next year another NBA Finals appearance is not out of the question. The team however has two options moving forward. They could look to move some of the younger pieces and current draft pick in order to acquire a reliable post player, or allow all the pieces on the roster to develop in hopes of the team's chemistry growing with the talent and easily being the odds on favorites to win the title in the next year or two.

Orlando Magic

No Key Free Agents

The Orlando Magic came out of the Dwight Howard trade in a much better position for the future than previously expected. Nikola Vujevic is a great rebounding center the team could use for the future of the roster moving forward, and after trading JJ Redick to the Milwaukee Bucks for Tobias Harris the team seems to have solidified a solid young core. With the second pick in the NBA draft they seem to have a variety of options of pieces moving forward. In a perfect world Hedo Turkoglu decides to decline his Early Termination Option and the team can have more salary space to work with heading into free agency.

Between Nikola Vujevic and Tobias Harris the team is also flexable in the frontcourt with has shown to be key in the modern NBA. With the options of adding a defene specialist center to be able to form a large frontcourt of Vujevic, Harris, and the selected center they could be able to play play with some of the better rebounding teams featuring great big man combinations such as the Indiana Pacers or New York Knicks. The team could also keep decent talent at both forward positions and allow them to play against the teams like Miami who specialize in “smallball” style basketball which is becoming increasingly possible. Orlando Magic could select either a safer pick or a project player with the number two pick in the NBA draft next season as they shouldn't improve much going into next year either. Once Orlando solidifies themselves solid young prospects from this years draft and next they may be a better team down the road than they could have been with the now injury prone Dwight Howard.

Philadelphia 76ers

Key unrestricted free agents: Andrew Bynum (Player option), Dorell Wright, Nick Young

Philadelphia should be slightly dissapointed after the lack play from Andrew Bynum this past season after trading Andre Igoudala to acquire the young high potential center. The 76ers will have quite the decision to make this offseason as to keep him even with the injury risk, or allow him to leave the team uncompensated. The team still has developing young talent and should be in a good position moving forwar. Resigning Andrew Bynum should not be something the team considers and moving on from that mess and adding young talent to better compliment Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday should be in the forefront of the front office’s decision making right now.

Phoenix Suns

Key unrestricted free agents: Wesley Johnson

The Phoenix Suns haven’t seemed to be relevant since losing Amare Stoudamire after the 2008-2009 season and likely won’t see any change in that aspect until acquiring some young talent that could actually pan out to become more of an “Alpha-Dog” type which the team seems to lack. The Suns should decide whether or not they think Wesley Johnson is a key piece moving forward or not, sign him if they feel as though he is a piece moving on, then go from there.

Marcin Gortat should also be moved this offseason in order to acquire more young talent and maybe allow the team to intentionally lose some games. Gortat is one of the better centers on both sides of the basketball in the NBA and many teams looking to add some scoring to the big man positions will likely look to target him if he is available. Watching the Suns transition from the Steve Nash era should be an interesting storyline for the next couple of years and hopefully they can bounce back and compete yet again for an NBA championship.

Portland Trailblazers

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: J.J. Hickson

The Trailblazers deserve some kind of award for dealing with the injury problems the team has dealt with over the last few years, though that may be Damian Lillard. The Trailblazers have been forced to deal with injuries to a team that may have been able to win multiple NBA championships with a decent amount of health. Greg Oden was picked before consensus second best player in the NBA Kevin Durant and Brandon Roy blew his knee out and became nearly ineffective.

The Blazers however have been professional and able to begin to surround young point guard Damien Lillard with talent to compliment him. With LaMarcus Aldridge as a nice trade piece moving forward the Blazes will likely be in an okay position to compete for an NBA championship pick once they put together picks from the 2013 and 2014 NBA draft and whatever assets they can get for the all-star power forward Aldridge.

Utah Jazz

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams

The Utah Jazz decided to stay put around the NBA trade deadline, and nearly made the playoffs. The Jazz were in one of the more peculiar positions in the NBA last season, as they had two very high production big men in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap able to produce at a high level and nearly push the team into the playoffs. The team does feature two high potential big men who are destined to be stars in the league, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter seem to be one of the best matches for each other in the NBA and should suprise the league next season coupled with young wing player Gordon Hayward.

The Jazz were offered a large variety of players around the trade deadline for Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. Interest seen from most all contending teams with young pieces that were looking to add a bigger body to help the team make a playoff push, while sacrificing some of the future of the roster. It is likely Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will not be in Utah Jazz uniforms come next season, but it raised eyebrows at the trade deadline why the Jazz didn't look to unload the veteran big men in order to acquire complimentary pieces for the young core of Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. Rumors of offered young pieces such as Tiago Splitter, Khawi Leonard, Eric Bledsoe, Marshon Brooks, and Derrick Williams. Whether or not the Jazz's decision to not make roster changes at the deadline was the right one will be decided in the offseason

The Jazz should not hesistate this offseason at letting Millsap and Jefferson walk away. If the team can not seem to find a suitable young point guard, seeing what Mo Williams would be interested in financially to return to Utah would be the correct move to make. While it is likely Utah won't be involved in any major deals this offseason, any young talent and veteran players prepared to take a leadship role for the young players should be welcomed. The Jazz do select at the 14th pick in the NBA draft and without thinking twice should select Dennis Schroeder without hesistation if he is avaiable. The Jazz likely won't be a fringe playoff contender in the coming season and will bottom out to some degree, the higher draft pick will likely help them in filling out the young talented roster.

Washington Wizards

Key Unrestricted Free Agents: Trevor Ariza (Player option) Emeka Okafor (Player option)

The Washington Wizards are stuck in somewhat of a rut, but do however have a few options between the NBA draft and some of the young talent moving forward. Since the exciting Wizard's teams of the mid to late 2000s featuring Gilbert Arenas, Deshawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antwan Jamison, and Brandon Haywood have broken up, the team has been unable to reach the playoffs or threaten to since. The roster features two young budding stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal, but outside of those two players lack much young talent to look forward too next season, and in a thin NBA draft coming up may struggle to make the proper selection to add to the small young core.

Washington however could take two different approaches going into the 2013-2014 season. They could put the best team possible out on the basketball court, and hope they can make the playoffs again. The better option however, would be to add the best available player in the NBA draft and hope that Trevor Ariza does not return to the team after declining his player option. The Wizards have struggled in the past at making the correct draft selection. Outside of the obvious pick in John Wall, the team hasn't managed to draft any player worth mention and keep them on the team as they develop into something solid. The team would be best off taking the consensus best player available in the draft, as the history of picks has shown a lack of competence by the management staff.

With the third pick in the NBA draft Washington is likely to see Otto Porter on the board, who would be a wise choice for the team. Porter fundamentally sound NBA ready small forward who should be able to contribute to the team immediatly. While the NBA is still a league where big men are the largest game changers, the team does have a decent duo of big men in Nene and Omeka Okafor. On the note of Nene and Okafor, the team should also look to move them this offseason. Okafor could provide stellar defense for a team in need of a center in a league that seems to lack talent at that position. While Nene may be considered untradable due to a 13 million dollar a year salary through the 2015/2016 season, and the production of the veteran big man declining last season to less than 50% shooting to go along with missing 20 games during the regular season and only averaging 12 points a night and 7 rebounds.

The Wizards look to be in somewhat of a rut over the next few seasons, if drafting correctly this draft and hopefully being able to obtain a solid draft pick in next years too, the team could be in a decent position after a few years of player development.

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