4. Courtney Lee to the Boston Celtics
I’m going to try to address this in the most unbiased way possible for being a Celtics fan. It’s hard, though, because Lee isn’t a guy you should be overly excited about coming to your team UNLESS your team is the Celtics. It’s because what Lee can provide for the Celtics this season is something they haven’t had in years: a two guard who can play both sides of the ball at the same, high level. The closest thing they’ve had to this was Delonte West and that wasn’t even for half a year. This undoubtedly makes the Celtics a better team. Ray Allen is one of the most gifted offensive players the league has seen but on defense, he just never was that guy. Avery Bradley has been praised as one of the best on-ball defenders in the league; on the contrary, don’t expect to run any sort of offense through him. Most of his points came from transition threes and backdoor cuts run in an offense playing sets in random. Lee isn’t going to be the solution to all of the Celtics problems on offense, but in addition to Jason Terry, it’s a step in the right direction at the two guard spot.
3. Nicolas Batum re-signing with the Portland Trailblazers
Talk about a conflicted return. Let me just start off by saying: I respect Blazer fans. It comes with just everything they’ve dealt with in their recent years in regards to Greg Oden and Roy. Aside from All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazer fans haven’t had a whole lot to be excited about. Then there’s Batum. The thought process of a Blazers fan must be: “Wait, what’s this? A 23-year-old athletic SF who essentially came out of nowhere? Our fortunes are finally changing! There’s no way he’d leave us to play for Minny! Wait, he said he wants to play for Minny? Pay him! … But not too much.” Batum could very well be on the brink of a breakout year, or he could be on the underachieving side of a four-year contract worth roughly $45 million, not including bonuses. The price seems about right considering the importance of bringing back Batum after trading Gerald Wallace at the deadline. Unfortunately, unless the Blazers make some big splashes before this year’s trade deadline, they’ll be back floating around in limbo.