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NBA Draft Kit: 2012 Eastern Conference Offseason Moves

Charlie Zegers

Charlie Zegers

Charlie Zegers writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics

Who's Coming: Jason Terry (FA), Courtney Lee (Trade), Jared Sullinger (21st overall), Fab Melo (22nd overall), Kris Joseph (51st overall) Jeff Green (FA), Jason Collins, (FA), Jamar Smith (FA), Dionte Christmas (FA)

Who's Going: Ray Allen (FA), E'Twaun Moore (Trade), Mickael Pietrus (FA), Marquis Daniels (FA), Greg Stiemsma (FA), Ryan Hollins (FA), JaJuan Johnson (Trade), Sasha Pavlovic (FA), Sean Williams (Trade)

The "Big Three" broke up when Ray Allen took his talents to South Beach. But Danny Ainge managed to keep the team's core together, find a suitable replacement for Allen and put together the best bench Boston has had since their championship season. Impressive, that.
Any thought of a full-scale rebuild went out the window when Kevin Garnett decided to stick around. So Ainge also brought back Brandon Bass, who looked awfully good alongside Garnett late last season. The loss of Allen and Avery Bradley - who will be sidelined at the start of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery - will be offset by the additions of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. And let's not forget the super-talented (but occasionally pouty) point guard Rajon Rondo and still-dangerous Paul Pierce.

When Bradley returns, the Celtics will have tremendous depth and flexibility. Terry is one of the league's best bench scorers. Lee can play the two and three and could become Doc Rivers' designated defensive stopper. Jeff Green - returning from a heart ailment that sidelined him all of last season - will see time at both forward spots. Jared Sullinger - a poor man's Elton Brand-type out of Ohio State - fell out of the lottery and landed in Ainge's lap after rumors of an injury made the rounds. He could be the steal of the 2012 draft.

Jeff Green missed all of the 2011-12 season after undergoing surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm. He is expected to re-sign with the team soon. It's unclear whether the team will want to have him serve as a backup to Pierce and Bass or if he'd become the starting power forward over Bass. Either way, he should find a way to be of use in most fantasy leagues.

Brooklyn Nets

Who's Coming: Joe Johnson (Trade), Reggie Evans (FA), CJ Watson (FA), Mirza Teletovic (FA), Tyshawn Taylor (41st overall), Tornike Shengelia (54th overall, from Sixers), Ilkan Karaman (57th overall), Keith Bogans (FA), Jerry Stackhouse (FA)

Who's Going: Johan Petro (Trade), Anthony Morrow (Trade), Jordan Williams (Trade), DeShawn Stevenson (FA), Gerald Green (FA), Ben Uzoh (FA), Jordan Farmar (Trade), Sundiata Gaines (FA), Damion James (FA), Armon Johnson, (FA), Shelden Williams (FA)

This is not the roster general manager Billy King was hoping would open the Barclay's Center. But as a Plan B, it's pretty darned good.

King accomplished the first to-do on his list by re-signing Deron Williams. And he added a top scorer by acquiring Joe Johnson (and his brutal contract) from the Hawks. That duo could give Brooklyn the top backcourt tandem in the East. But King's plans for the frontcourt didn't pan out. His proposed deal for Dwight Howard fell apart when Orlando shied away from taking on Brook Lopez or Kris Humphries, so the latter two will be back this season. Newly-acquired Reggie Evans gives the Nets another rebounder. He and Hump may combine to mask Lopez' biggest weakness.

New York Knicks

Who's Coming: Raymond Felton (FA), Marcus Camby (FA), Jason Kidd (FA), Ronnie Brewer (FA), Pablo Prigioni (FA), James White (FA), Kurt Thomas (FA)

Who's Going: Jeremy Lin (FA), Landry Fields (FA), Mike Bibby (FA), Josh Harrellson (Trade), Jerome Jordan (Trade), Jared Jeffries (Trade), Baron Davis (FA), Toney Douglas (Trade), Dan Gadzuric (Trade)

Apparently, Knicks management didn't think as highly of Jeremy Lin as the thousands of fans that were wearing his jersey last season. After publicly suggesting that they'd match any offer made to the phenom point guard, they opted to let him walk to Houston, getting nothing in return.

Despite that loss, New York is much deeper at the point guard position this year. Raymond Felton is the likely starter. The Knicks are hoping he'll return to the borderline All-Star form he showed during his first stint at Madison Square Garden (as opposed to the out-of-shape shell of himself he was in Portland last season), and that his return will jump-start Amar'e Stoudemire. Jason Kidd and Argentine Olympian Pablo Prigioni are Felton's backups. Landry Fields signed with the Raptors and Iman Shumpert is out until January while recovering from a torn ACL, so shooting guard is a big question mark. J.R. Smith will probably start the season there, but Ronnie Brewer and Kidd could get time at the two as well. The addition of veteran center Marcus Camby will help the Knicks maintain their defensive pressure when Tyson Chandler is out of the game.

The big question for New York will be whether or not Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony can both be productive in Mike Woodson's offense. Knicks fans are hoping they'll see Anthony deployed as he was during the Olympics - as a deadly spot-up shooter - and not the post-up ball-stopper he became late last season.

Philadelphia 76ers

Who's Coming: Andrew Bynum (Trade), Jason Richardson (Trade), Kwame Brown (FA), Dorell Wright (Trade), Nick Young (FA), Arnett Moultrie (27th overall), Darryl Watkins (Trade), Maalik Wayns (FA), Royal Ivey (FA)

Who's Going: Andre Iguodala (Trade), Elton Brand (Amnesty), Nikola Vucevic (Trade), Jodie Meeks (FA), Maurice Harkless (15th overall, to Magic), Craig Brackins (FA), Louis Williams (FA), Tony Battie (FA), Xavier Silas (FA), Sam Young (FA), Edin Bavcic (Trade)

The Sixers drew a fair amount of criticism for standing pat going into the 2011-12 season. Continuity worked to their advantage at first; with a roster more or less the same as the 2010-11 version, Philly was less affected by the shortened preseason and built up an early lead in the Atlantic. But that didn't last - they barely hung on to the final playoff spot in the East and were able to advance to the second round mostly due to Derrick Rose's injury.

This year, Philly will have a very different look. The acquisition of Andrew Bynum in the four-way Dwight Howard deal gives the Sixers the best big man in the conference. They clearly plan to make Bynum the centerpiece of their offense. He'll be the focus, which should open up shots for perimeter players like Nick Young, Dorrell Wright and Jason Richardson. If it all works out, Philly could be a top-three team in the East.

But there's some risk involved. They're gambling that they'll be able to re-sign Bynum and point guard Jrue Holiday to long-term deals, and that Evan Turner - who didn't play particularly well when sharing the floor with Andre Iguodala - will take the next step in his development now that Iguodala is a Denver Nugget. Bynum's injury history is also a concern, but the Sixers are very deep in the frontcourt after bringing back Spencer Hawes and signing Kwame Brown.

Toronto Raptors

Who's Coming: Kyle Lowry (Trade), Landry Fields (FA), Terrence Ross (8th overall), Jonas Valanciunas (5th overall, 2011 draft), Quincy Acy (37th overall), Tomislav Zubcic (56th overall), John Lucas III (FA)

Who's Going: Jerryd Bayless (FA), Gary Forbes (Trade), James Johnson (Trade)
The Raptors had big plans for this offseason, but some fell through, leaving general manager Bryan Colangelo with a roster that is pretty clearly a work in progress. Colangelo's primary target was Canadian basketball hero Steve Nash. But Nash opted to stay closer to his kids and landed in Los Angeles. Colangelo was left holding the bag - in the form of Landry Fields, a player he signed mostly to disrupt the Knicks' attempt to acquire Nash.

The Raptors rebounded by acquiring Kyle Lowry, who played at an All-Star level last season but didn't get along well with Houston coach Kevin McHale. With Jose Calderon still on the books as well; look for Colangelo to shop the Spaniard heavily as the trade deadline approaches. The team also seems to be losing faith in DeMar DeRozan, as they used the eight overall pick in the 2012 draft on swingman Terrence Ross.

The Raptors' most important addition may be center Jonas Valanciunas, their 2011 first-round pick who will join the team after playing out his contract in Europe. People love Valanciunas' potential, but he may have a rough rookie season, as the Atlantic Division is suddenly loaded with very tough matchups. Good luck dealing with Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez, rook.

Central Division

Chicago Bulls

Who's Coming: Kirk Hinrich (FA), Vladimir Radmanovic (FA), Nate Robinson (FA), Marquis Teague (29th overall), Marco Belinelli (FA), Nazr Mohammed (FA)

Who's Going: Omer Asik (FA), Kyle Korver (Trade), Ronnie Brewer (FA), CJ Watson (FA), John Lucas III (FA), Mike James (FA), Brian Scalabrine (FA),

The Bulls have posted the best record in the NBA for two years running, but I wouldn't bet on a three-peat.

Derrick Rose will be sidelined until the new year - at minimum - with the knee injury he suffered in the first round of the playoffs. And most of the bench players who filled in so admirably when Rose was injured last season are gone. General manager Gar Forman has replaced the likes of Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and CJ Watson with lower-cost options like Kirk Hinrich, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed in an attempt to minimize the team's luxury tax bill. It certainly seems like they're resigned to limping through the 2012-13 season while Rose recovers and then re-tooling next summer when Rip Hamilton's deal comes off the books.

It will be interesting to see who fills in for Rose as Chicago's lead guard. Hinrich is probably the leading candidate at this point, but at this stage of his career he's a better spot-up three-point threat than floor general.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Who's Coming: Dion Waiters (4th overall), Tyler Zeller (17th overall), CJ Miles (FA), Jeremy Pargo (Trade), Jon Leuer (Claimed off Waivers), Kelenna Azubuike (Trade)

Who's Going: Anthony Parker (Retired), DJ Kennedy (Trade), Antawn Jamison (FA), Semih Erden (FA), Manny Harris (FA)

The Cavs could have been major players in the free agent market - they were reportedly involved in at least one permutation of the Dwight Howard trade. When that failed to materialize, they opted to continue their rebuilding efforts through the draft.
Some would say drafting Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick was a major reach. Waiters, after all, didn't even start for Syracuse last season. Others see a lot of Dwyane Wade in Waiters' game and called him the most NBA-ready perimeter player in this rookie class. He'll have the chance to prove himself more or less immediately; with Anthony Parker retiring, Waiters is getting penciled in as the starting shooting guard alongside Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.

The Cavs' only other significant addition will be Anderson Varejao, who will be back after missing much of last season due to injury.

If Varejao stays healthy, Waiters is anything close to as good as advertised and second-year pro Tristan Thompson continues to improve, the Cavs will have a fairly impressive young core to pair with their future All-Star point guard. But they still seem like a long shot to make the playoffs in 2013.

Detroit Pistons

Who's Coming: Corey Maggette (Trade), Andre Drummond (9th overall), Kyle Singler
(33rd overall, 2011 draft), Vyacheslov Kravtsov (FA), Kim English (44th overall), Khris Middleton (39th overall)

Who's Going: Ben Gordon (Trade), Ben Wallace (Retirement), Vernon Macklin (FA), Walker Russell Jr. (FA), Damien Wilkins (FA)

General manager Joe Dumars is still trying to dig his way out from under the ruinous contracts he gave Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in the summer of 2009. He dumped Gordon on the Charlotte Bobcats this summer in exchange for Corey Maggette - who is equally overpaid but whose deal expires after this season.

The long-term plan is to build a team around Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and possibly Jonas Jerebko. But dead-weight contracts belonging to Villanueva, Tayshaun Prince and Maggette stand in the way. Next summer - when Maggette, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum come off the books - will bring some relief, but Prince is signed for three more seasons.

In the meantime, the biggest question is whether or not coach Lawrence Frank can find enough minutes to mollify his potentially-disgruntled veterans while developing the guys that are actually part of the solution. It seems inevitable that some of his small forward options - Maggette, Prince, Jerebko, Kyle Singler - will be forced to log minutes out of position, which could lead to Detroit playing a lot of unconventional lineups.

Indiana Pacers

Who's Coming: Ian Mahinmi (FA), DJ Augustin (FA), Gerald Green (FA), Miles Plumlee (26th overall), Orlando Johnson (36th overall, from Kings)

Who's Going: Darren Collison (Trade), Dahntay Jones (Trade), Leandro Barbosa (FA), Louis Amundson (FA), Kyrylo Fesenko (FA), A.J. Price (Fa)

The Pacers maintained the status quo in the offseason, which may be good enough to win the Central Division and a number two seed in the East. Priority one was to re-sign George Hill, who will become the full-time point guard now that Darren Collison has been traded to Dallas. Their second big task was to lock up all-star center Roy Hibbert, which they accomplished by matching Portland's offer sheet to the restricted free agent.
DJ Augustin may be Hill's backup at the point and a scorer off the bench to replace Leandro Barbosa. Ian Mahinmi - acquired in the Collison trade - will back Hibbert and provide depth in the frontcourt, and Gerald Green - who resurrected his career in a half-season with the Nets - could be a nice complement to Danny Granger at the three spot.

The Pacers selected Duke big man Miles Plumlee with the 26th overall pick, a move generally panned as a bit of a reach. It seems unlikely that the rookie will get much playing time unless he's pressed into service by an injury to David West or Tyler Hansbrough.

Milwaukee Bucks

Who's Coming: Samuel Dalembert (Trade), John Henson (14th overall), Doron Lamb (42nd overall), Joel Pryzbilla (FA)

Who's Going: Shaun Livingston (Trade), Jon Leuer (Trade), Carlos Delfino (FA), Jon Brockman (Trade), Kwame Brown (FA)

The Bucks filled a major void by acquiring veteran center Sam Dalembert from the Rockets for Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuer and some swapped picks. The addition of Dalembert and free-agent signee Joel Przybilla will allow coach Scott Skiles to play Drew Gooden, Ekpe Udoh, Luc Mbah a Moute and Larry Sanders at the four spot - how he finds minutes for them all is anyone's guess.

Milwaukee also re-signed Ersan Ilyasova, who is probably best-suited to play as a stretch four, but who might wind up at the three due to the power forward log jam. Ilyasova is a very good three-point shooter and rebounder. Consider him a poor man's Kevin Love and draft accordingly.

In the backcourt, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings will be back as the starters. Ellis will be Milwaukee's primary scoring threat. Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy Jr. figure to be the primary backups, especially with Carlos Delfino headed to Houston, but both have contracts that expire after this season and could be shopped heavily.

Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks

Who's Coming: Devin Harris (Trade), Lou WIlliams (FA), Kyle Korver (Trade), Johan Petro (Trade), Anthony Morrow (Trade), Jordan Williams (Trade), DeShawn Stevenson (FA), John Jenkins (23rd overall), Sofoklis Schortsanitis (Trade), Mike Scott (43rd overall)

Who's Going: Joe Johnson (Trade), Marvin Williams (Trade), Kirk Hinrich (FA), Vladimir Radmanovic (FA), Tracy McGrady (FA), Jannero Pargo (FA), Jerry Stackhouse (FA), Willie Green (FA), Jordan Farmar (Waived)

Danny Ferry took over the Hawks general manager position and immediately started a major renovation. He moved Joe Johnson's supposedly untradeable contract and dumped Marvin Williams for another expiring deal, putting the Hawks in position to be major players in free agency next summer. In the meantime, though, this franchise could take a major step backwards.

As so often happens with rosters assembled to clear cap, the 2012-13 Hawks are a collection of odds and ends. Lou Williams - the leading scorer on the Sixers last season - will take over some of Johnson's scoring responsibility, while Devin Harris and Jeff Teague split the point guard position. Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow are very good perimeter scorers, and DeShawn Stevenson is a lock-down perimeter defender. Throw in rookie John Jenkins, and coach Larry Drew will have a lot of interesting options for his backcourt and on the wing.

In the frontcourt, Atlanta will have all-star center Al Horford back; Horford missed the bulk of the 2011-12 season due to injury. They still haven't parted ways with Josh Smith, but the moves Ferry made this offseason resulted in Smith taking back his yearly trade request. But there's not much depth after those two - just backup center Zaza Pachulia and expiring contract Johan Petro. Seems reasonable to suspect that Ferry will bring back Ivan Johnson, who is unsigned as of press time.

Charlotte Bobcats

Who's Coming: Ramon Sessions (FA), Ben Gordon (Trade), Brendan Haywood (Claimed off Waivers), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd overall), Jeff Taylor (31st overall)

Who's Going: Corey Maggette (Trade), DJ Augustin (FA), D.J. White (FA), DeSagana Diop, Matt Carroll (FA), Derrick Brown (FA), Jamario Moon (Waived)

The Bobcats probably won't be as bad as they were last season. Of course, the 2011-12 Bobcats had the worst winning percentage in NBA history, so that's not saying a whole lot.
The addition of veterans Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood should really help. Sessions' arrival spelled the end of the comically-undersized DJ Augustin/Kemba Walker point guard tandem; Augustin is an Indiana Pacer now. Gordon gives the league's worst offense some scoring punch, and Haywood is a serviceable big man on a team that really didn't have one. The tricky part will be using the veterans to stabilize the team without interfering with the development of Walker, Bismack Biyombo and especially Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. That'll be a big challenge for rookie head coach Mike Dunlap, who was an assistant on Steve Lavin's staff at St. John's last year.

MKG presents an interesting challenge for fantasy players this season. His unique skill set would make him an ideal player to complement a superstar on a good team. Charlotte, though, is notably short on superstars. Or good-ness. It may be a year or two before the rookie starts to really show his considerable potential.

Miami Heat

Who's Coming: Ray Allen (FA), Rashard Lewis (FA), Justin Hamilton (45th overall)

Who's Going: Eddy Curry (FA), Juwan Howard (FA), Ronny Turiaf (FA), Dexter Pittman (FA)

Scary thought for the NBA: this year, Miami might be even better.
The NBA Finals showed just how unstoppable Miami can be as a team when the supporting cast hits open threes. Mike Miller hit 7 of 8 from downtown in the championship-clinching 121-106 win over Oklahoma City. But Miller is inconsistent and oft-injured; there was considerable talk that he'd retire this summer. No worries - Miami was able to bring in some insurance sharp-shooters. Ray Allen - the NBA's all-time leader in made threes - was so eager to get away from Rajon Rondo that he took less money than the Celtics were offering to sign with the Heat. And Rashard Lewis fell into Pat Riley's lap after being waived by the Hornets.

It's hard to say how much playing time either of the new arrivals will get. It's not hard to envision how they'll be used. Float out on that three-point line, wait until LeBron and D-Wade break down the defense, hit that wide-open jumper.

The Heat still haven't addressed their general lack of size. While they're more than capable of winning with smaller lineups, they'd probably prefer to have someone other than Chris Bosh man the middle for 82 games. Don't be surprised if they look to add a center on a minimum deal before training camp opens.

Orlando Magic

Who's Coming: Arron Afflalo (Trade), Al Harrington (Trade), Moe Harkless (15th overall, from Sixers), Andrew Nicholson (19th overall), Gustavo Ayon (Trade), Christian Eyenga (Trade), Josh McRoberts (Trade), Nikola Vucevic (Trade), Kyle O'Quinn (49th overall)

Who's Going: Dwight Howard (Trade), Jason Richardson (Trade), Ryan Anderson (FA), Chris Duhon (Trade), Earl Clark (Trade), Von Wafer (Waived)

I challenge you to say something positive about Orlando's offseason.

Didn't think so.

The Magic botched the Dwight Howard saga, letting the situation drag on until there were very few suitors remaining. Talks with the Nets fell through; Houston was apparently unwilling to make a deal without assurances that Howard would re-sign next summer; and that left new general manager Rob Hennigan with very few options. That said, wouldn't the Magic have been a lot better off if they had kept Andrew Bynum - generally regarded as the second-best center in the league - instead of taking on Moe Harkless, Al Harrington and a slew of draft picks that will probably land in the bottom third of the first round?
Orlando's other big trade doesn't make much sense either; they sent Ryan Anderson - a talented young stretch four and player that might have been part of their rebuilding plans - to the Hornets for unheralded backup center Gustavo Ayon. Meanwhile, they still haven't unloaded Hedo Turkoglu's putrid contract. Re-signing Jameer Nelson also looks like a mistake in retrospect. This team probably won't be bad enough to hit the top of the lottery, but they certainly won't be good enough to reach the playoffs.

Much of this will be forgotten if Moe Harkless turns into a real stud; Philly reportedly believed he'd turn into an Andre Iguodala type. But most observers believe he'll need a year or two to develop before we really see that potential.

Washington Wizards

Who's Coming: Trevor Ariza (Trade), Emeka Okafor (Trade), Bradley Beal (3rd overall), AJ Price (FA), Thomas Satoransky (32nd overall)

Who's Going: Rashard Lewis (Trade), Andray Blatche (Amnesty)

The Wizards could take a significant step forward this season, thanks to a series of moves that increased their talent level, with a little "addition by subtraction" thrown in. The signature move of the offseason was the trade of Rashard Lewis - a shooter well past his prime - to the Hornets in exchange for slasher Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor. The Wiz took on significant money to make the deal, but the addition of the two veterans should stabilize a team that too often lost games due to immaturity and general knuckle-headedness.

Speaking of which, the trade allowed Washington to hang on to their amnesty waiver, which they used to rid the team of Andray Blatche. It's not outrageous to suggest that Blatche will some day start playing to his considerable potential, but it simply wasn't happening in Washington.

Ariza's arrival created another problem, though. He's not a good three-point shooter, and John Wall is just dreadful from beyond the arc. The Wizards are hopeful that they've solved that problem by drafting Bradley Beal - generally regarded as the best shooter in this year's draft.

With Wall and Beal, Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Ariza, Okafor, and Nene the Wizards have a fairly impressive core of players, all under the age of 30. That may not be enough to get them into the playoffs, but don't be surprised if they're in shouting distance of the eight seed next March.