There’s always room for improvement, and this off season is one to remember as some embarrassing performances of last season turned some teams to the top of the list, while the contenders moved even further up. Almost all of the teams that improved were already contenders, but some still got a lot better. This was mostly a result of a team signing free agents, or swapping an assortment of players to give the team a different look.
Orlando Magic: Making it to the finals last year, the Orlando Magic changed more than not. Effectively swapping Hedo Turkoglu for Vince Carter, and adding a new “Powerful” Power Forward in Brandon Bass, this team will be dangerous. Losing Courtney Lee is the only downside of the Magic’s off season.
Dallas Mavericks: An active participant in the off season and being able to sign Shawn Marion is a good start, but this team definitely has room to improve to keep up with the West. Without Brandon Bass, the Mavericks will be missing toughness and strength.
Los Angeles Lakers: Not much movement for LA this off season, although swapping Ron Artest for Trevor Ariza just makes this club worse. Re-signing Lamar Odom was one key to success that was fulfilled.
Portland Trailblazers: Losing out on several talented additions, Portland did sign Andre Miller, who is arguably a solid veteran and can lead Portland further in the right direction.
Detroit Pistons: Detroit did not really improve at all, and made their odds of making the playoffs a lot worse because of the loss of Rasheed Wallace. His sharp shooting was a big key in making the Playoffs. Now it is up to Ben Gordon to help Detroit stay on top.
Boston Celtics: Adding Rasheed Wallace and losing Leon Powe doesn’t change the situation that much. Just look for Boston to score a bit more.
Toronto Raptors: Shawn Marion was a big loss, but Hedo Turkoglu gave Toronto a building blog for the future. With Demar Derozan and Hedo Turkoglu, Toronto is on their way to success.
Los Angeles Clippers: With the first pick in the draft, selecting Blake Griffin you can’t go wrong. The Clippers have easily turned things around, but Zach Randolph was a big loss.
San Antonio: Richard Jefferson will be a great helper for Tim Duncan and a key to the future. Also look out for DeJuan Blair.
Cleveland Cavaliers: The story of the offseason. Signing Shaquille O’Neal makes the Cleveland Cavaliers the most improved team in the NBA. Even after losing Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace, Shaq can make up for those two. Signing free agents left and right, Cleveland is a very dangerous team going into next season.