Yesterday, I busted out my list of NBA off-season winners. Today, it is time to call-out the losers who either made terrible off-season decisions or fell short in their attempt to achieve their goals.
When someone cashes in on a huge payday and joins up with two of the best players in the league, it is hard to call them an off-season loser. However, LeBron’s once squeaky clean imagine took a massive hit in the past month as he has morphed into the most hated player in the NBA since Ron Artest post-Malice at the Palace.
Note to future free agents, even if you are making a hefty donation to a charity, holding a one-hour special to announce your decision makes you look completely asinine and like a total egomaniac. In holding “The Decision”, LeBron didn’t just burn every bridge in Ohio, he bombed the holy hell out of them.
James will never be looked at the same as a lovable NBA player by fans of the league and has drawn the ire of almost everyone for choosing to team up with two elite players in his hunt for a league title rather than trying to win one on his own. With his addition, the Heat now turn into the Yankees of the NBA and will have targets the size of Australia on their backs for however long the Big 3 play together in South Beach.
As a result of LeBron’s decision to “take his talents to South Beach,” the Cavs now face the daunting challenge of winning without the King. They still have some talented veterans in Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and Anderson Varejao, but that core will by no means be a playoff caliber team anytime soon.
Cavs management has the difficult task of trying to up-grade their roster without having many valuable trade assets. Despite owner Dan Gilbert’s promise of winning a title before LeBron does in his rant of a letter, Cleveland is more likely to be one of the worst teams in the league yet alone sniff the post-season. If they unable to break out their magic wand and make some completely one-sided trades that will improve their roster before February, the Cavs may not be far from blowing up their roster and starting from scratch.
Let’s recap: Kahn turned three first round picks into three small forwards, gave Darko $20 million, traded away his best player for a pair of future draft picks, got into a war of words with Chris Webber that made Kahn look like a complete fool, and was then fined $50K for openly talking about the newly acquired Michael Beasley’s fascination with smoking marijuana. That sound you hear is Timberwolves’ fans repeatedly bashing a hot iron against their skull.
Kahn’s plan is messier than the Lohan family. He continues to be the laughing stock of NBA general managers and is winning over no T-Wolves fans or critics. Minnesota will once again be one of the worst teams in the league next season and their future may be resting in Kahn’s first ever draft pick who more than likely will never play a single minute in a Timberwolves’ uniform. KAAAHHHHNNNNNN!!!!
New Jersey Nets
It started when the Nets entered the off-season with the best odds of winning the NBA Draft Lottery and landing John Wall to help turnaround a franchise that was an absolute embarrassment last season. Instead, New Jersey dropped to the third pick and had to settle for a talented but still raw Derrick Favors.
Then the Nets figured to be one of the major players in free agency this summer as they entered the off-season with around $38 million in cap space and hopes of landing one or two star players. Instead, they struck out on signing any of the marquee free agents on the market and gave $69 million in guaranteed money to Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, and Johan Petro. To put it bluntly, that is not money well spent. And if anyone can translate that into Russian, new owner Mikhail Prokhorov will understand that his attempt at re-building the Nets this summer was a serious bust.
Check out more of David Kay’s off-season analysis.
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