b1rd {man} onthemoon

NBA Free Agency: Winners/Losers; West Edition
July 27, 2009, 2:54 am
Filed under: Sports

NBA free agency has been stirring with moves and signings since it began earlier this month. Some teams have reloaded for next year while others simply dumped salary while awaiting the Class of 2010, with the likes of LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh becoming available. Of course, there have been both Winners and Losers.

We’ll start with the Losers, as in my opinion most Western Conference teams made poor decisions.


Los Angeles Lakers

Yes. I said it. And I will not apologize either. The Lakers, who will attempt to defend their Championship, have made a big move. In signing Ron Artest, they basically traded Trevor Ariza to the Rockets for him. Artest is one of, if not, the best defenders in the NBA. His offense, though, is questionable at times. And, as always, Artest’s personality can be tricky as well. On paper, Artest > Ariza. HOWEVER, the Lakers were able to win “as a team” (that’s another story) because of role players such as Trevor Ariza. Prior to this past season, Ariza was a perennial nobody who shined at times. Yet he embraced his role as a “glue guy” and ended up shooting 40% from beyond the arc while making game-changing plays on defense. Ariza gave the Lakers the balance they needed; Kobe (and Gasol/Odom/Bynum?) took in the spotlight while guys like Ariza and Shannon Brown did the dirty work. This equaled a championship.

Yet adding another “star” player simply adds too many cooks to the p0t. Especially the one guy Kobe almost provoked into a fight during last years playoff series. Artest will play well, yet the Lakers will eventually succumb to the “ME ME ME” syndrome defending champions usually encounter. This is a main reason why the Lakers are Free Agency Losers. (L.A. might also lose Odom, which would be another huge change for the worse.)



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