The “Dwightmare” ended with the Lakers losing Howard to the Rockets. The 76ers traded their all star point guard for an injured rookie. Andrew Bynum signed with the Cavaliers before playing any game with the 76ers and The Nets somehow managed to get the biggest payroll is NBA History.
In the midst of all these franchise defining moves, there were some really good pickups that went under the radar. So in order to shed some light on them, here are, in no particular order, 5 great pickups of this off-seasons:
Pacers trade Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a 2014 lottery protected first round pick to the Suns for Luis Scola
In the last NBA playoffs, the Pacers took the defending champs Heat to a tenacious seven game series, and that was without their star Danny Granger and with one of the league’s worst bench.
But this year won’t be the same. Danny Granger would be back, though it’s still questionable whether Frank Vogel will get him in the starting lineup or make him the sixth man. Anyway, he’s going to be a great addition to the team.
The Pacers picked up CJ Watson from Brooklyn Nets and Chris Copeland from the Knicks, both of whom would provide them the one thing the Pacers seriously need – 3 point shooting.
Watson is a 40 percent 3-point shooter throughout his career, and Copeland who played 56 games for the Knicks last season, shot 42 percent from the 3-point stripe, showing that he could hit the long ball. They would also be great off the bench players.
The Pacers though did lose Jeff Pendergraph (Spurs) and Tyler Hansbrough (Raptors) in the free agency and to make up for that loss, Larry Bird, who was reinstated as Pacers GM this season, traded Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a lottery protected 2014 draft pick to the Suns for veteran Luis Scola.
Now this was a remarkable trade. Bird managed to trade Gerald Green who posted field goal percentage of 36 and 3-point percentage of 31, Miles Plumlee, who only got 55 minutes of action last season, a trade pick which is projected to be in the lats 20s for an Olympic Gold Medalist who averages a near double-double if his stats are adjusted to per 36 minutes.
Scola is a team first guy and would thrive in the in a limited role, he could provide significant rest to starting PF David West and would get really nicely fit the lineup if any of their big men get injured.
Does it give them the edge over Miami? I’m not sure, but it certainly makes a better team as whole and a much tougher team then last year.
For the Suns, they made the right rebuilding move by trading a veteran who never did exactly fit in their system for two young guys and a draft pick. On the flip side it also meant that their next year line-up would be a total disaster.