We're back for Part II of the season reviews and moves ahead across the league. Tacking the "playoff" teams and what lies ahead for each squad. Click here for Part I.
To give this a little order - we'll use the order of the first round of the NBA draft to break things down ...
(P) = Player option. The player must "opt-in" for the last season on their contract.
(ETO) = Early Termination Option. The player, Andre Iguodala, can get out of their contract early by exercising this contract clause.
(T) = Team option. The team can terminate the player's contract for the upcoming season.
All decisions must be made before July 1st.
15. Milwaukee Bucks
Season review: The Bucks made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed out East, but got swept by the Miami Heat. Milwaukee made a big move at the trade deadline to acquire Redick and now must see if they can keep him.
Off-season plans: With Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Ersan Ilyasova all still young and developing as the front-court players of the future for the Bucks, they can and should focus on finding wings to surround them. Rumors about bringing back Ellis and Redick seem to be the priorities over Jennings and you can't really disagree with that line of thinking. Finding a point guard in the draft could be a wise move for the Bucks.
16. Boston Celtics
UFA: Chris Wilcox
Season review: Another season in the playoffs
Off-season plans: I believe there are some songs out there titled, "Where are we going" - perfect fit for this Celtics squad. Rumors sprang up about possible trades of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett around the trade deadline and those talks should be revisited this summer. It might be time to move in a new direction and if they could find a trade partner for Jason Terry and his bloated contract (two years, $10.6 million) that'd be even better. Finding a big ole big man would be nice with the No. 16 pick.
17. Atlanta Hawks
Season review: They didn't take a step back after the big Joe Johnson trade, but they also didn't make big playoff noise either (losing to the Pacers in six games). Sort of the same old story for the Hawks.
Off-season plans: Danny Ferry created some much needed room to work with the trade of Johnson. The team is now in a position to land two big time free agents. Pairing Dwight Howard with Al Horford would be a nice match for the Hawks as Al can move out to stretch the floor, a bit. Could the Hawks also land Chris Paul? I'm not sure if Ferry wants to immediately fill up the cap room he created, but we shall see. The Hawks have various needs in the draft and can take the best guy available without really worrying about position. Expect Josh Smith to relocate this off-season and maybe Korver too.
18. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston via Brooklyn)
See right above.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles)
20. Chicago Bulls
Off-season plans: Bringing back Belinelli should be an option for the Bulls and buying out Richard Hamilton would be a wise move. Will Taj Gibson ever get a shot to start for the Bulls? Can Carlos Boozer ever be moved? How will Rose come back to play? I'd be surprised if the Bulls made any major moves and they should look to target a young forward in the draft to hopefully challenge Boozer and Gibson.
21. Utah Jazz (from Golden State via Brooklyn)
22. Brooklyn Nets
Season review: Not a bad first season in Brooklyn. The team made some strides down the stretch once Deron Williams got healthy, but they didn't make the noise in the playoffs that their big salary should have paid for.
Off-season plans: C.J. Watson has a player option for just over one-million bucks next season, but might be able to lock-down a longer deal if he opts out - perhaps not. Rumors of the team trying to once again move Kris Humphries should be on the to do list as he'll eat up $12 million and gets outplayed by $1.6 million Reggie Evans. Can Brook Lopez take another leap next season? He has loooked good. The Nets should focus on a scoring big man in the draft.
23. Indiana Pacers
Season review: Making the Eastern Conference Finals was a nice building block for this team. Can they sneak into the Finals?
Off-season plans: They must bring back David West. He fits what the Pacers want to do perfectly and if they can agree to terms, it might be the best place for West to stay as well (but he'll have plenty of suitors this summer). If the Pacers can find another guard or perhaps bring back Augustin they will be in good shape. The draft should allow them to either a guard or another scorer to hopefully groom into a bench role. It would also be a good idea to retain Tyler and maybe Ben too.
24. New York Knicks
Season review: A 54 win season and a No. 2 seed out East was a pretty nice regular season for the Knicks. At times, they were talked about as perhaps the best team in the league and they also suffered some lows as their hot shooting cooled off. After beating the aging Celtics in six games, the Knicks succumbed to the Pacers in round two (in six games). The NBA's oldest team needs to shake some things up.
Off-season plans: J.R. is expected to opt out of his $2.9 million option for next season and some key free agents (Kenyon, Copeland, and Pablo) need to be looked at, but where will they get the room to sign anyone? Marcus Camby is due to make $4.3 million next season and only appeared in 24 games for the Knicks in a very reserve role. Camby will be 40 year old in March and Jason Kidd sure isn't getting any younger or better. Melo has asked for more scoring help and the draft could address that issue, to a point, but this team needs to look at the trade market for any upgrades or shake-ups they need to make.
Season review: After a 56-win season, the exciting regular season came crashing down with a Blake Griffin playoff injury and a first-round series loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. A deep team, but a veteran team that has some holes to fill.
Off-season plans: Vinny Del Negro has been fired, so they need to find a coach that Paul would approve of - if they have any hope of bringing back one of the league's best point guards. Can DeAndre Jordan and Griffin dominate games down low? If the Clips don't believe so, it could be time to move DeAndre for a guy like Kevin Garnett (if KG would waive his no trade clause). Barnes proved to be a key component for the Clips too so he should be brought back, but will the Clips have enough room? The biggest improvement this team can make will come with the growth of the two big men. If Eric Bledsoe gets moved, look for the Clips to go after a point guard or perhaps a big man that is NBA ready and a good defender (Jeff Withey?).
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis via Houston)
27. Denver Nuggets
Season review: We all know how it went down in Denver. A franchise high 57-wins, a killer injury to Danilo Gallinari, and a disappointing first round exit in the post-season.
Off-season plans: Will the team lose Masai Ujiri (now in Toronto) and George Karl? The Nuggets must decide what to do with the direction of this team and if Iguodala is a part of it if he opts out of the final year of his deal. Gallo may not be back until, at least, February and once he's back he'll have to work himself back into playing shape and hope for no setbacks. The team must find someone to replace him in the starting lineup or a bench guy to hold it down as someone like Wilson Chandler starts. Talk of tanking has crept into the comment sections here on D.S., but if Karl's here (likely) that won't be an option. Some additional scoring depth is needed and if the Nuggets keep the No. 27 pick they should be able to take the best player available - regardless of position. A youth movement at point guard would be nice, a shooter like Reggie Bullock, or perhaps a young prospect like Giannis Adetokoubo could be options as well.
Season review: Another trip to the NBA Finals for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu. Can they stay undefeated in the Finals during Duncan's era? Duncan is 4-0 in the Finals and the trio of Duncan, Parker, and Manu is 3-0.
Off-season plans: Could Manu be on his way out? That seems unlikely. Talk of Duncan retiring if the Spurs win it all should be put to rest as those who know Duncan say he'll be back no matter what. Neal has been productive for the Spurs, as has Blair, and basically anyone they play. Other than Manu and Splitter, the Spurs could go in different directions with their other role player needs. If they could find a guy ready to compete now in the draft, that'd be best to give the Spurs more weapons to use next season.
30. Phoenix Suns (from Miami via L.A. and Cleveland)
Teams with only 2nd Round Picks or No Draft Picks
34. Houston Rockets
UFA: Francisco Garcia (T)
Season review: An exciting season and the No. 8 seed out West with a 45-37 record. James Harden's acquisition was a brilliant one by Daryl Morey and the team will be looking to add more pieces this summer.
Off-season plans: Bad news for Garcia, who has a team option for $6.4 million for the 2013-14 season, he's gone. The Rockets are trying to create enough room to ink Dwight Howard so rookie Thomas Robinson could be gone too (freeing up an additional $3.5 million) as rumors are swirling that Houston has been looking into moving him for the better part of a week. If they can land Howard, the Rockets will be locked and loaded for a big run next season. It's Howard or bust, for now. A little wing depth or point guard depth would be wise in the second round for Houston, too.
41. Memphis Grizzlies
RFA: Austin Daye, Jon Leuer
UFA: Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless (P), Keyon Dooling
Season review: A nice run to the Western Conference Finals, but they got swept by the Spurs there. After two pretty big trades during the season, it was a successful campaign for the Grizz.
Off-season plans: Why didn't Ed Davis get a shot in Lionel Hollins' rotation after coming over from the Raptors in the Rudy Gay trade? Does Hollins return as the coach? Will Zach Randolph be moved to make way for Davis and save even more money? Mike Conley looked great, at times, but needs to focus on his offensive production in the off-season. Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince are nice defensive guys, but a little redundant as limited offensive players. If they can bring Allen back, either moving Prince to the bench or tricking a team into trading for him would be wise. I'm not sure if Bayless will be back and the team needs a more reliable scorer anyway. With their lone draft pick (thus far) they need to focus on a wing player with a scoring mentality ... Erick Green out of Virginia Tech? Will he be there?
UFA: Alan Anderson, Aaron Gray (P), Linas Kleiza (P), Mickael Pietrus, Sebastian Telfair
Season review: They finished 34-48, yet only four games out of the No. 8 seed out East. Rudy Gay, and his massive contract, is now on-board and word is after some laser eye surgery he might be able to shoot straight again.
Off-season plans: Bryan Colangelo is out as GM and Ujiri is in and already busy - dismissing the former VP of Basketball Operations Ed Stefanski and scout Maury Hanks. Without any draft picks and limited cap room (Kleiza and Gray will be picking up their options) it'll be hard to make many changes in the off-season. Kyle Lowry has a non-guaranteed option, but he should get a chance to redeem is frustrating 2012-13 campaign. I'd expect more trade rumors for Andrea Bargnani, but they didn't find any takers around the deadline ... we'll see what happens.
UFA: Andris Biedrins (ETO), Jarrett Jack, Richard Jefferson (P - already said he's taking it), Carl Landry (P), Brandon Rush (P)
Season review: They made it back to the playoffs and broke Nuggets' fans' hearts in the process. A nice run against the Spurs before injuries and cold shooting did them in.
Off-season plans: People want to point out that the Warriors are in for big things, but with key free agents Jack and Landry's future up in the air, dregs Biedrins and Jefferson weighing the cap down, and no draft picks - it might not be all ice cream and puppy dogs for the Warriors. With Rush coming back the team will get yet another scoring threat and nice all-around player. Hopefully David Lee can make it back from injury too.
UFA: Ray Allen (P), Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers (T), Juwan Howard, James Jones (P), Rashard Lewis (P)
Season review: They are in a dogfight to make it back to the Finals after taking the No. 1 seed out East again. This could mark the third straight trip to the Finals if they can make it past the Pacers. They are 1-1 in the Finals the past two seasons.
Off-season plans: I'd seriously consider letting Chalmers and his $4 million price tag walk in the off-season. They should bring back the Birdman and hope Allen opts in while hopefully Jones and Lewis opt out (not likley on Jones and Lewis). Veterans will be looking to team up in South Beach, so who will the Heat have to choose from this summer?
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