It was a shortened 2011 NBA off-season and certainly lacked the excitement and drama of the summer of 2010. Some teams failed to make the needed moves to improve their roster and actually took a step back while other teams made drastic improvements. Here my NBA off-season losers which include the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, and Boston Celtics.
Los Angeles Lakers
Not only did their proposed deal for Chris Paul get vetoed by the league (or whatever David Stern wants to call it), the Lakers then panicked when Lamar Odom became unhappy and pretty much gave him away to the defending champion Mavericks for nothing. If you are going to give away one of your best players, at least trade him to a crappy team or send him to the Eastern Conference, not to one of your biggest challengers for in West. So now the Lakers will rely on free agent additions Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, and Jason Kapono to possibly play significant roles off the bench this season. This team definitely took a step back this off-season.
New Jersey Nets
With all of their cap space, the Nets struck out on their attempt to land one of the top free agents and were also unable to acquire Dwight Howard via trade. So their biggest off-season acquisitions… DeShawn Stevenson, Shawne Williams, and Shelden Williams. Ish. I will give them credit for learning from their mistakes of last off-season when they gave multi-year deals to guys like Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar, and Travis Outlaw (who coincidentally enough was amnestied), and instead signing guys like Williams and Kris Humphries to short deals so that they still have a good amount of cap space next off-season in hopes of re-signing Deron Williams and bringing in a free agent like Howard. That is, if they don’t make a trade for Howard during the season.
First the disaster relationship/wedding/divorce/TV show with Kim Kardashian, then he is unable to find a team willing to give him a long-term deal so he is forced to ink a one-year contract with the Nets. I think his rep may have taken a worse hit than LeBron’s did last off-season with that whole “Decision” debacle.
While some of the top teams in the East added key role players, the Celtics’ depth actually got worse this off-season. The situation with Jeff Green needing open heart surgery is simply unfortunate, but now Boston has a bench consisting of guys like Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Marquis Daniels, Sasha Pavlovic, and Keyon Dooling. A shortened regular season will help their aging stars but the Celtics will have a difficult time competing with teams like the Bulls, Heat, and Knicks.
They make this list simply because they did not amnesty Rashard Lewis. Really? You are okay with paying Lewis almost $46 million the next two seasons rather than freeing yourselves of his contract? I don’t get that decision. At. All.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.
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