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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Robert Wing On September 23, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
2012-2013 Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks have the sort of roster that feels like it should be playoff-worthy, but they’ve missed that particular train for two years in a row. A full season with Monta Ellis running alongside Brandon Jennings could help remedy that, but are either one of those guys in the team’s long-term plans? That’s just one of many questions surrounding Milwaukee this season, but despite all the uncertainty they’ve actually got a chance to be a pretty interesting team.
HOOPSWORLD takes a look at the 2012-13 Milwaukee Bucks:
This is really a hard team to get a feel for. Some trades have to be inevitable because right now there’s too much duplication of talent at certain positions. Trying to get everyone to fit together into a cohesive unit has to be a nightmare that keeps Coach Skiles up at night. He’s on the final year of his deal and may not last through the season. Bucks’ management hasn’t done him many favors. They’re undersized, especially in the backcourt with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. They have a glut of forwards and a lot of money tied up with them, yet the positions aren’t necessarily a strength of theirs. All signs point towards a grueling season in Milwaukee. They’re capable of topping the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons, but since they have more potential it’s hard to project Milwaukee finishing anywhere other than the cellar.
5th Place – Central Division
– Yannis Koutroupis
2012-2013 Phoenix Suns Season Preview
According to Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns didn’t want him back. They decided it was time to move on from what was a great era with Nash into an unknown future.
Now that the Suns have made the plunge, they’ve got a solid roster filled primarily with capable young players. It’s going to take a lot for the team to make the postseason but coach Alvin Gentry will get the most out of this roster.
It may be a development year but the Suns have enough talent to compete and entertain.
HOOPSWORLD takes a look at the 2012-2013 Phoenix Suns:
The Suns aren’t getting much respect in the run-up to the 2012-13 NBA season, but rest assured, taking them lightly would be a mistake. Goran Dragic has grown tremendously as a player since his first stint in Phoenix, Michael Beasley and Wes Johnson have much to prove and are now in the perfect system to do it, and the additions of Luis Scola and Jermaine O’Neal represent radical upgrades in the frontcourt. Sure, Steve Nash and Grant Hill are gone, but the Suns are younger, deeper and as high octane as ever. They’re in a very competitive division, but don’t be surprised if they are very much in the playoff chase come April.
4th Place – Pacific Division
– Bill Ingram
2012-2013 Houston Rockets Season Preview
Over the last couple of seasons the Houston Rockets have been seemingly one piece away from contention. The team around Yao Ming was ready to contend, but with their superstar center absent the team fought to stay above .500. After failing to land a significant franchise player in trade, the Rockets finally cashed in all their chips this summer, sending out almost all of their veterans in exchange for draft picks and young players. On the one hand, they are much further from contention than they were at the end of last season. On the other hand, after failing to land a key player via trade, the only other available option is to draft one. You’ve got to lose a lot of games to draft a franchise player, and Houston looks set to do just that.
HOOPSWORLD takes a look at the 2012-13 Houston Rockets:
It’s going to be an ugly year for the Houston Rockets. Over the offseason, the Rockets took a risk by stockpiling young talent and making a run at a superstar like Dwight Howard. They struck out and now they’re stuck with all of the prospects who were never supposed to put on a Rockets jersey. Jeremy Lin will keep Houston relevant and give the fans something to get excited about, but Houston’s roster is a mess. They have way too many power forwards and they received next to nothing in return for outgoing significant contributors like Kyle Lowry, Chase Budinger, Samuel Dalembert, Courtney Lee and Marcus Camby. Houston wasn’t able to trade for a franchise player, but they may be able to land one in the 2013 NBA Draft. They’ve certainly positioned themselves to land a high pick.
5th Place – Southwest Division
– Alex Kennedy
2012-2013 Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview
Columbus wasn’t looking for America and Philadelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn wasn’t looking for Andrew Bynum. Thorn and his staff actually sought Dwight Howard, but couldn’t put together an offer that was as enticing as those of the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers. Ultimately Brooklyn-Orlando talks broke down and the Magic weren’t interested in Bynum (he can become a free agent after the season and has injury issues), so Thorn & Co. facilitated the four-team deal and landed a prize center in the process. Bynum, a native of New Jersey, has given every indication that he intends to stay with the 76ers for the long haul, but chances are he’ll wait until after he becomes a free agent to make that official. For the price of Maurice Harkless, Andre Iguodala, Nik Vucevic and a first-round pick, the 76ers landed Bynum and veteran swingman Jason Richardson. They’re not as deep as they were a season ago, but Philadelphia’s ceiling just got significantly higher.
HOOPSWORLD takes a look at the 2012-13 Philadelphia 76ers:
A lot of folks love the 76ers now that they’ve acquired a franchise center in Andrew Bynum, but I’m not among those drinking that particular brand of Kool-Aid. Losing the veteran leadership of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand in favor of turning the team over to more emotionally enigmatic players like Bynum and Evan Turner doesn’t scream “success” to me. This is a group that has overachieved for two seasons in a row, but now that they’re younger than ever the team just looks primed to take a step backwards. They could still potentially end up with a spot in the playoffs, but the Atlantic is a very tough division this year. Coming out of it in better shape than an 8 seed just seems like a stretch, even with Bynum.
5th Place – Atlantic Division
– Joel Brigham
2012-2013 New York Knicks Season Preview
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Yes, the 2011-12 Knicks season had a little bit of everything. From the depths of the lockout to multiple losing streaks, a head coaching change, and fines for inappropriate twitter pictures, to the dizzying heights of Linsanity – the truncated campaign had it all. In the end, the Knicks qualified for the postseason, but were quickly dispatched by the eventual champion Miami HEAT. What does 2012-2013 have in store for New York?
HOOPSWORLD takes a look at the 2012-13 New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks ended the 2012 campaign on a very sour note, but heading into training camp for the 2013 season everyone on the team is saying all of the right things. Amar’e Stoudemire says he’s healthy again and in great shape, Raymond Felton told HOOPSWORLD in Las Vegas he was as hungry as ever to get back on the court, Carmelo Anthony is saying he sees titles in the team’s immediate future and Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby are both saying they’re willing to sacrifice their numbers in order to push the team over the hump. The Knicks look really good on paper, but the game isn’t played on a stack of loose-leaf paper. I’m not personally sold on the Knicks putting it all together this season. If they do, they can definitely make some noise but I’m not ready to co-sign this as a formality just yet.
5th Place – Atlantic Division
– Lang Greene
Team Salaries Averaging 67.1 Million
By Eric Pincus
The numbers are fluctuating with camp invites, but as the 2012-13 NBA season nears, teams have locked in most of what they’re going to pay for the upcoming season.
A few interesting free agents remain but rosters are close to what they’ll be on opening night (less those trying out on non-guaranteed contracts).
For a summary, check out the HOOPSWORLD NBA Team Salaries 2012-13 page, which breaks down each team’s total salary, available exceptions, tax liability and remaining cap room.
On average, teams are paying $67.1 million, which is about $9.1 million over the salary cap of $58 million but $3.2 million below the luxury tax threshold at $70.3 million.
Topping the list would be the Los Angeles Lakers at $101.9 million, which will shrink once the roster is set at 15 or lower. The Cleveland Cavaliers are at the bottom with just $48.2 million in committed salary.
Technically the salary “floor” is $49.3 million, the minimum teams need to spend, but since the Cavaliers have $12.3 million going to Baron Davis as an amnesty cut, they’re considered above the floor.
Currently eight teams are over the tax, which remains a dollar-for-dollar penalty one last year. Next season, it becomes a graduated tax, which should dramatically change how teams spend money long-term.
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