Feb. 20, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash during game against the Washington Wizards at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Wizards 104-88. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NBA Offseason: Grading the Pacific Division

The final installment of my six part series looking at the offseason of every NBA team takes us out west to the Pacific Division.

With the acquisition of Steve Nash, are the Lakers now the favorite to come out of the Western Conference? Are the Clippers continuing to get better? Could the Warriors make a return to the playoffs?

I take a look at that and much more as I grade the offseason of every team in the Pacific Division.

 

Golden State Warriors

June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), right, is introduced as the number seven overall pick to the Golden State Warriors by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Players Added

NBA Draft: F Harrison Barnes, C Festus Ezeli, F Draymond Green, C Ognjen Kuzmic
Free Agents: F Carl Landry, F Brandon Rush
Trades: F Edin Bavcic, G Jarrett Jack

Players Lost

Trades: F Dorell Wright

I love the Warriors draft as Barnes can slide right in and become the productive small forward the Warriors have been missing. Ezeli and Green will prove to be nice depth parts. In addition I like the additions of Jack, Landry and the re-signing of Rush. The Warriors are suddenly a very deep team and if Andrew Bogut returns to form, a return to the playoffs should be likely. Grade: A-

Los Angeles Clippers

Players Added
Free Agents: G Chauncey Billups (re-signed), G Jamal Crawford, F Grant Hill, C Ronny Turiaf
Trades: G Willie Green, F Lamar Odom

Players Lost

Free Agents: G Randy Foye, G Nick Young
Trades: F Reggie Evans, F Sofoklis Schortsanitis, G Mo Williams
Waived: F Ryan Gomes (amnesty)

The Clippers signed Blake Griffin to an extension but weren’t able to do the same with Chris Paul. That may put the Clippers in win-now mode. Crawford, Odom, Hill and Billups can all help this team, but it all depends on whether or not Odom wants to play at a high level or quit on his team. I’m going to lean towards Odom being a good pickup for now though. Grade: B+

Los Angeles Lakers

Players Added

Apr 8, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison (4) argues a referee

NBA Draft: C Robert Sacre
Free Agents: Devin Ebanks (re-signed), F Jordan Hill (re-signed), G Darius Morris (re-signed), G Steve Nash, FAntawn Jamison
Trades: G Darius Johnson-Odom (Draft-day trade with Mavs), G Steve Nash (sign-and-trade with Suns)

Players Lost

Free Agents: G Ramon Sessions

For a team that has been worried about the luxury tax for a year, the Lakers made a huge splash getting Nash. Jamison is a steal at the veteran’s minimum and Ebanks and Hill provide depth. The Lakers are now very dangerous. Grade: A

Phoenix Suns

Players Added

NBA Draft: G Kendall Marshall
Free Agents: F Michael Beasley, G Goran Dragic, F/C Luis Scola, G Shannon Brown (re-signed)
Trades: G Wesley Johnson

Players Lost

Free Agents: G Aaron Brooks, F Grant Hill, G Ronnie Price
Trades: G Steve Nash, C Robin Lopez, F Hakim Warrick
Waived: G/F Josh Childress (amnesty)

The Suns lost Steve Nash and lost out on Eric Gordon, so it’s officially rebuilding time in Phoenix. I like the Suns getting Dragic, who is very good. I’m not real excited about them signing Beasley, who has problem playing team ball and will be playing out of position. Adding a 32-year old Scola is also puzzling for a rebuilding team. Grade: C-

Sacramento Kings

Players Added

NBA Draft: F Orlando Johnson, F Thomas Robinson
Free Agents: G Aaron Brooks, F Jason Thompson (re-signed)
Trades: F James Johnson

Players Lost

Trades: F Orlando Johnson (draft day trade to Indiana)
Waived: C Hassan Whiteside

The Kings have good young talent and just need to learn how to win. Adding a competitor and a winner like Robinson with the No. 5 pick in the draft was a steal. Giving Thompson $6 mil a year was surprising, since he won’t beat out either Robinson or DeMarcus Cousins. Equally puzzling was the signing of Brooks as it decreases the trade value of both Jimmer Fredette and Tyreke Evans. Grade: C

If you missed any part of the six part series, here’s the breakdown of each team’s offseason grade.

A: Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets

A-: Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors

B+: Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

B: Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors

B-: Portland Trail Blazers

C+: Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers

C: Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves

C-: Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers

D-: Chicago Bulls

F: Orlando Magic

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