During this extremely fun and entertaining offseason (except our Blazers who created huge buzz about a summer that ended up being as climactic as figuring out the final destination of a Merry-go-Round). But where do all of the moves and acquisitions in the West leave the conference? Who will be fighting for the #1 Seed? Who will see if they can set the all-time suck record in an attempt for Andrew Wiggins? And who just wants to have a BBQ in the middle of the pack?
1. LA Clippers - if they would have gotten the same package that the Brooklyn Nets did, they would be booking their tickets to play Miami in the finals right now. However they still had a very productive offseason, adding to their extensively talented roster with the addition of Reddick and Dudley. Their most important addition may have been Doc Rivers. (gosh Del Negro sucked)
2. San Antonio Spurs - how, how, how can they still be so good. Remember when 3 years ago everyone wrote off the Spurs and said they should blow it up? Until they lose Pop and Duncan, they will be a Top 3 team in the West. (If they would have added Kirilenko, they would be #1.)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder - oh how the mighty have fallen, Im kind of sick of them anyway. Martin left them, Blazers beat them out for Dorrell Wright. Steve Adam's is raw. But Durant is Durant and the Thunder will still be contenders in the West.
4. Golden State Warriors - this was by far the hardest spot to peg, because Memphis, Houston, and Golden State will all be in contention for this spot. However, the integration of Iguodala will be a lot easier than the integration of Dwight Howard to Houston. Therefore, the Warriors will continue to get better and barring injury to Curry, will have home court advantage.
5. Houston Rockets - the acquisition of Howard will have a little bit of an adjustment period, but this team will be good, possibly great by next year.
6. Memphis Grizzlies - I like the move to get Koufas, and retaining Allen was a solid choice. We will see if Memphis' sacrifice of Lionel Hollins to the math gods will appease their insatiable appetite (it seemed like Gay was a delicious appetizer).
7. Denver Nuggets - they had the most confusing offseason by far in the Western conference. Letting go of Coach Karl, adding JJ Hickson to a crowded front court, trading Koufas, and who knows what they are doing with Mozgov, but they still have a very talented roster.
8. Portland Trailblazers - they did it!! they assembled and executed the perfect poor-man plan. Their roster is littered with Poor men. Damien Lillard is shaping up to be a poor-mans Derrick Rose, Matthews is a poor-mans Iguadala. Batum is a poor-mans Lebron. Aldridge is somebodies rich-man. Robin Lopez is a poor-mans Brook Lopez, CJ is a poor-mans Jason Terry. A poor-mans team for a poor-mans playoff spot.
9. New Orleans Pelicans - All the moves that they were making looked great, then you look at the final product and cant help but feel extremely cluttered. A backcourt of Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers, and Tyreke Evans makes for a lot of players that need the ball in their hand to succeed. Bill Simmons talked about the idea of replacing the acquisition of Tyreke Evans with the possible acquisition of Paul Millsap, then you get a little bit more excited about what this team could do. Regardless they will be a fun experiment to watch.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves - they added some nice pieces and if they can avoid injury, they will be much higher on this list than they are now.
11. Dallas Mavericks - a lot of mediocre deals put around an old Nowitzki so he doesnt go into retirement on a 82 game losing streak.
12. LA Lakers - take a bad defensive team with Dwight Howard, now remove Dwight Howard. Luck the Fakers. This is why you dont make deals with the devil Mike D'antoni...
13. Sacramento Kings - man do I wish Sacramento could have moved to Seattle, then maybe the NBA would have readjusted the divisions, and no longer have Minnesota and OK in our division, how stupid is that? Their roster and team do not interest me other wise. I want to like them, they just suck so bad every year.
14. Utah Jazz - Lost both of their starting front court players, added Trey Burke, and (in their minds) hopefully Andrew Wiggins a year from now. But if they do, they will be a major contender in a few years with all the young talent they have now.
15. Phoenix Suns - if you asked me in 2010 who would be the better more entertaining team, Spurs or Suns, my answer would have obviously been the Suns. Now, I would rather watch TV guide than a Suns game.