What Do the Offseason Free Agency Moves Mean for the NBA Western Conference? Team by team analysis

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Answered by: Sean, An Expert in the NBA Basketball Category
If you've been paying attention, you would know that the 2013 NBA offseason free agency period is one for the history books. The two perennial powerhouses of the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, have been reduced to a mediocre eighth seed and a tanking franchise in rebuilding mode, respectively. In the West, the strongest conference only gets strong with some serious adjustments.



Houston Rockets

With the acquisition of Dwight Howard, which was preceded by James Hardens arrival last year, the Houston Rockets have suddenly catapulted into legitimate contender territory. Sports pundits tend to focus on the high-caliber coupling of Harden and Howard, but the Rockets' bench is so deep and young, they're starting to look like a dynasty in the making, granted Dwight hangs around long enough. We will have to leave the Jeremy Lin question on the table, as averaging 13 and 6 in your sophomore season coming off of ACL surgery is respectable, though, maybe not quite deserving of that abomination of a contract the Rockets gave him.

Denver Nuggets



The Nuggets continue their murky offseason with the acquisition of Nate Robinson to back up starter Ty Lawson. Obviously this means Andre Miller is on the outs in the Mile High City and Denver, and that Josh Kroenke wants a very, very short backcourt (Lawson is 5' 10" and Robinson is 5' 9").

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings had a rocky year, but amazingly fought the Maloof brothers to a standstill and turned a disinterested ownership and an aging arena into a hopeful, new starting point for the franchise. The key to their on-court success is clearly the development of Jimmer...just kidding. If Ben McLemore gets meaningful minutes and DeMarcus Cousins finds his happy place, the Kings could be a mid-major contender in a very tough Western conference.

Portland Trailblazers

The L-Train has reportedly asked for a trade from the Blazers, who've seemed to be in a rebuilding mode since Brandon Roy and Greg Oden bowed out of the league with bum knees. Luckily for the Blazers nabbed reigning ROY Damian Lillard is last years draft, their first good luck in decades it seems, and if C.J. McCollum's Summer League play is any indication, Rip City is about to challenge Curry and Thompson highest scoring backcourt in the league.

San Antonio Spurs

I'm going to buck NBA journalistic tradition and say one thing about that Spurs that doesn't involve Gregg Popovich being the best coach in the NBA. The Spurs need a center for Tim Duncan to mentor because, let's face it, despite a strong showing last season, The Big Fundamental can't handle 38 minutes a game for very much longer. Tiago Splitter is best suited at the five, and all the good centers were taken by the time the Spurs picked at 28 this year. Rumors have been flying about the Spurs, amongst others, courting the rehabilitated Greg Oden, but anything tangible has yet to materialize. Despite their big man woes, Kawhi Leonard has yet to even come close to his ceiling and he is a future all-star.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns nabbed Eric Bledsoe, and suddenly became a dark horse contender. Personally, I think Bledsoe was too good to pass up, but Goran Dragic is a terrific point guard with huge upside and now Bledsoe's addition creates a logjam with two PG's who both deserve to start. Can we just drop the charade for a minute and acknowledge that the Morris twin novelty is adorable? Okay, moving on...

Golden State Warriors

One could argue that the addition of Andre Iguodala during the offseason free agency automatically turned Golden State into top-tier championship contenders, but we heard that exact same spiel last year with the Nuggets. Sure, he averaged 1.7 steals a game and the Nuggets showed huge statistical improvements in defense when A.I. was on the court, he turned the ball over three times a game, including five or more turnovers is 8 different games, shot a weak 45% from the field, 32% from deep and 57% from the charity stripe. Looking at the numbers, Iguodala is fairly one dimensional and will continue to be so until he develops a consistent jump shot and takes care of the ball. Harrison Barnes deserve the starting three spot, but they'll probably slide him down to the four so Iguodala and Klay Thompson can start, which is a shame because Barnes is a much reliable spot-up shooter from deep than DreDre.

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