Under the Radar, Over the Hump

The strong move quiet
-Memphis Bleek

The 2012 off season was a lot less stressful for us fans than the 2011 one was, to say the least. A lot of player movement, of course Dwight to LA, Bynum to Philly, AD getting drafted by the Hornets, Joe Johnson to the Nets, Ray signing with Miami, just to name a few. Those were the major moves, sometimes it’s those James Posey like signings in 07 for Boston, Shane Battier in 2011 for Miami that propel a team from great to legendary. These are 5 under the radar moves that took place this summer which may crown a new team champion in June, or at least lead to a deeper playoff run:

5. DJ Augustin to the Pacers:

As we saw in the 2012 Playoffs, the Pacers were solid at every position except for the one. Darren Collison was a decent point guard but clearly wasn’t the answer for Indy through his first three seasons. They brought in George Hill, a relatively small combo guard who will probably see starters minutes at the pg position, but can he effectively run the show? DJ Augustin is coming off of a down season but then again could you really have had a ‘good’ season on the team with the worst single season winning percentage ever, probably not. This move makes a lot of sense for the Pacers. On a team that has an influx of athleticism and talent, they lack players with good basketball IQ, and playmakers, Augustin brings both of those to the table for a Pacers squad that pushed Miami to 6 in the East Semis.

4. OJ Mayo to the Mavericks:

Truth be told, this move has the ‘potential’ to be the biggest move of any made this off season. But since OJ hasn’t lived up to his own potential as of yet, this is where we have to rank it among under the radar movements. Dirk desperately needs a second scorer, he’s still a legit 25-30 a night guy but he’s getting older and could use someone else in the lineup with 20 a night ability. Enter OJ Mayo who has been a disappointment pretty much every year except his rookie season. A new city, better coach, and a starting role could prove bountiful for OJ. If Mayo can become the player we thought he’d be, this season the Mavs could erase the memory of a failed championship defense and possibly sneak back into the top 4 in the West. 

3. Jamal Crawford to the Clippers:

If you watched the Clippers last season you saw that the only player who could create not only for himself but for others was CP3, granted Chauncey Billups went out early in the campaign. Now the Clippers add a top 5-7 scoring guard of the past 7 years to their mix and the offense looks a lot different in Hollywood. Playing as a reserve, where he has flourished throughout his NBA career, will allow Jamal to pretty much run and be the offense for the Clippers when the second unit is in. He will also allow the Clippers to play small when they can and open up the inside for Blake Griffin (who hopefully has added much to the repertoire). Of course this signing doesn’t help bolster their defense, but in the West great offense has historically trumped great defense. If Jamal does what he did in Atlanta I honestly can see Lob City being the crown jewel of Los Angeles.

2. Andre Igoudala to the Nuggets:

This move only flew under the radar because it happened as Iggy was over in London helping the US win a gold medal. Despite his lack of putting the ball in the hoop consistently, Iggy is arguably top 5 at his position. Honestly, the Nuggets don’t really need Iggy to be the 20 point scorer we know that he won’t be. They lead the league in scoring last year by pushing the tempo, now add a player who thrives on the break and is a known lockdown defender to the likes of Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, and Kenneth Faried and the Nuggets fast break should actually improve. There’s also no doubt in my mind that the move to bring Iggy in was made as a defense, literally for Kobe and KD. Andre immediately upgrades coach Karl’s roster, whether or not they can move up from the 6th seed in a competitive West is the question left to be answered.

1. Jason Terry + Courtney Lee to the Celtics:

Losing Ray Allen doesn’t hurt at all when you can replace him with another scorer (Terry) and a younger and more athletic defender (Lee). Along with getting a healthy Jeff Green, all of a sudden a Celtics bench that struggled to generate points will become extremely dangerous and one of the best around. Add to that the fact that they have a player in Terry who will be more than happy to take some of the late game pressure off of Pierce and you have a signing that could pay off big time in the Playoffs. Terry also will be joining a team of old heads which will make ‘adjusting’ nothing but a thing. The Celtics made the best under the radar signing by adding the JET because he is a proven winner, one of the best 6th men of the generation, and a guy who probably has no love lost for the Heat just like the rest of the city of Boston.

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Swishhhhh

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