2010 NBA Off Season Recap: Northwest Division

It has been two weeks since the start of free agency. Most of the big players have already changed teams or resigned. Expect a ton of trades to continue to go down. But it's been two weeks, so let's take a look at how the teams are transforming. We'll start with my favorite team, Denver's, division.

1. Denver Nuggets

C - Nene, Chris Andersen, Brian Butch
PF - Al Harrington, Kenyon Martin, Shelden Williams
SF - Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman
SG - Arron Afflalo, JR Smith
PG - Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson, Anthony Carter

The Nuggets have only made one major move, and that was adding more offense in big man Al Harrington. He is not the best player out there, a chucker who can't rebound for his position, but he offers some much needed depth in the front court. They now have four players who can do different things. The problem is the other three big men continue to have trouble staying healthy. The back court remains the same with Anthony Carter resigning. The key is Carmelo Anthony, as Nuggets fans continue to pray that he agrees to an extension.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

C - Serge Ibaka, Cole Aldrich, Nick Collison, BJ Mullens
PF - Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, DJ White
SF - Kevin Durant, Morris Peterson, Kyle Weaver, Latavious Williams
SG - Thabo Sefolosha, James Harden, Daequan Cook
PG - Russell Westbrook, Eric Maynor

Oklahoma City has chosen to continue to build through the draft. They have added one more piece to a very impressive core in Cole Aldrich. Aldrich might only be a slightly better version of Nick Collison, but I think he can become at least a serviceable starting center. Daequan Cook and Morris Peterson might see a few minutes as well. But honestly, they just need for young guys Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka to continue to improve.

3. Portland Trail Blazers

C - Marcus Camby, Joel Przybilla, Greg Oden
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, Luke Babbitt
SF - Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews (offer sheet)
SG - Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, Elliot Williams
PG - Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Armon Johnson

The Blazers threw quite a bit of money at Wesley Matthews to keep him from going to a division rival. He is a nice shooter who should be the first wing player off the bench. They also added a couple more first round draft picks in Luke Babbitt and Elliot Williams. The Blazers love to cycle in and out young players. The key though will be the health of the big men, especially Greg Oden. Anything they get from him this year will be a bonus, as Marcus Camby is the man at center now. Also, rumors have the Blazers refusing to trade Nicolas Batum for a top five draft pick, so they are expecting quite a bit from him. Health is key for Portland, as they have a very good starting five and a deep bench.

4. Utah Jazz

C - Al Jefferson, Mehmet Okur
PF - Paul Millsap
SF - Andrei Kirilenko, Gordon Hayward, Jeremy Evans
SG - CJ Miles
PG - Deron Williams, Ronnie Price

Al Jefferson is no Carlos Boozer, but the Jazz now have an intriguing and deep three man big rotation. Jefferson is your classic back to the basket beast. Millsap does the dirty work and Okur can step out and hit the three. This team is still Deron Williams though, he is a monster who should be an All Star for many years to come. The wing positions are in some flux with Wesley Matthews probably not coming back. Andrei Kirilenko is better off being a backup, as is CJ Miles. Jerry Sloan likes to work his rookies in slowly, but they could really use Gordon Hayward's shooting right away. They need to sign another wing player.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

C - Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic, Kosta Koufos
PF - Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Ryan Hollins
SF - Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward
SG - Corey Brewer, Wayne Ellington
PG - Jonny Flynn, Luke Ridnour, Ramon Sessions

David Kahn is on quite a rampage. He continues to move players in and out like he is running a fantasy league. The Wolves can at least say they are somewhat deep. They now have five starters who might not be better then the five players backing them up. He started the off-season by being duped by Darko Milicic like GM's before him by signing him to a ridiculous contract. Then he was happy enough with that move that he traded their best players and only thing to show from the Kevin Garnett trade for a couple draft picks that will be in the late teens or 20's. Getting Michael Beasley for nothing was nice, but he just seems to have absolutely no plan. The signing of Luke Ridnour shows that. This will be the worst team in the West, bar none.

Jonathan Carrano

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