Tuesday, 29 September 2009

2009 NBA Offseason Review: Atlantic Division

Over the past couple of seasons, the Atlantic Division has been dominated by the Boston Celtics. Ever since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen got into town, they have not been challenged in the Atlantic. That doesn't appear to be changing this year at all, as the Celtics have beefed up their team with the addition of Rasheed Wallace, a free agent pickup from the Detroit Pistons. He should add another offensive weapon and veteran presence as Boston looks to get back to the NBA Finals.

The Raptors made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason by acquiring Hedo Turkoglu, a free agent from Orlando. He should add a scorer and creator, giving the Raptors a solid trio of Jose Calderon, Turkoglu, and Chris Bosh. After missing the playoffs the last couple of seasons, they look like they should have a good chance of getting back. However, they need to stay healthy, because there is not a lot of depth there.

Philadelphia has made it to the playoffs in back-to-back years and will look to improve on their finish from last season. They did not make the big splash like they did last year with Elton Brand, and had a quiet offseason. The biggest move was not resigning Andre Miller, meaning Lou Williams will slide into the starting point guard role. Williams is young and might not be a true point guard, but he has showed a lot of explosion and scoring ability early on in his career. They also signed sharpshooter Jason Kapono to fight for minutes.

The New Jersey Nets continued their rebuilding efforts by trading away Vince Carter. He was a stud for them last season, but with the struggles of the team, there was no reason to keep him around. The key piece they got back was second year guard Courtney Lee, an important contributor for the Orlando Magic last season. The Nets will look to build around him and Devin Harris.

Last, the New York Knicks did not do much, as they did all they could to preserve cap space for 2010. They made runs at guys like Ramon Sessions and Jason Kidd, but in the end their offseason was a lot of work without much results. They did get Darko Milicic, but mostly they are hoping to build around a young core and then entice a big name free agent (or two) to come to New York next season. Their only goal was not to compromise cap space for next year, and they achieved that.

What do you think of the moves made?