David Aldridge of NBA.com released his offseason power rankings this morning, ranking each team (1-30) based on the moves they made this offseason.
The Houston Rockets sit at the top of his list, with the Dwightmare coming to an end and Dwight Howard landing in Houston, Aldridge believes that the Rockets had the best offseason. Beyond Howard, they were able to pick up Marcus Camby, Omri Casspi and Reggie Williams, as well as retaining Aaron Brooks and Francisco Garcia. They also were able to rid themselves of Royce White, which might be considered a "plus."
Obviously, the Rockets had a top-heavy offseason, but when you're able to add someone like Howard while maintaining your core -- and keeping Omer Asik -- you certainly have to tip your cap to Daryl Morey and his team this summer.
However, did they have a better summer than the Brooklyn Nets, who ranked second on his list?
As we know, the Nets picked up a few key free agents in Andrei Kirilenko, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson, and, oh yeah, traded for two future Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Not to mention they retained Andray Blatche (at $1.3 million) and brought in Jason Kidd, the franchise's most beloved player, to coach their team.
Much of his skepticism, though, comes via Kidd's ability, or inability, to coach this team to a title. He writes:
For all the heat and speculation the mega-trade with Boston produced, the Nets' biggest transaction remains their gamble on Kidd, who literally took off his Knicks uniform one week and was named Brooklyn's coach the next. He's never spent a minute on anyone's bench in any capacity other than as a player. Other former players have gotten that kind of shot before, from Bill Russell to Danny Ainge to Magic Johnson to Larry Bird to Mark Jackson. But few have had to come in and coach as veteran a team as Kidd will, that has such great expectations.
He also wonders if Mikhail Prokhorov might close his checkbook, eventually, if this sort of spending doesn't show immediate results.
There will continue to be questions asked about Coach Kidd and the Nets offseason until, at least, the season tips in late October. That's just something Nets fans probably need to get used to.
- With summer shuffling all but finished, Rockets stand at the top - David Aldridge - NBA.com