Friday, June 22, 2012

What to Look Forward to This Offseason

The NBA season ended last night, in case you missed it. The Miami Heat won the championship in five games over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Congrats, Heat. I guess. I mean, a championship is nice, but think of all the fun things you could have been doing if you had lost in the first round to the Knicks. The Knicks have gotten to do fun things in their off-time since that first round, so HA!

Anyway, the ending of the 2011-12 season is not as sad as the ending to the 2010-11 season because we still have so much to look forward to! First and foremost, there won't be a lockout this summer, so basketball will return by October! Likewise, that means free agency will start on July 1, like always. We'll have the Summer League, which is always a great time! We can focus on basketball, not business.

We also have the Olympics to look forward to! I didn't get to watch much of the 2008 "Redeem Team", but I'm excited to watch this year's team. Especially because many Knicks are involved - Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are on the team, Jeremy Lin is supposed to play for the Select Team.

So, with all that said, take the jump for some things to look forward to this offseason, for the Knicks and for the whole NBA!

 - The NBA Draft is six days away! And for the Knicks, there is almost no insight as to who they like, or what position they'll even draft for. DraftExpress has the Knicks taking Darius Johnson-Odom at 48, which I wrote about here.

 - I'm also interested to see how teams like the Portland Trailblazers, New Orleans Hornets, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers (among others) draft. Those teams all have multiple picks and could really shape their franchises with this draft.

 - We're still waiting for the decision on the Bird Rights Hearing. As Alan Hahn said, the arbitrator Kenneth Dam must be very busy, or facing a very tough decision. HAHA!!!

 - J.R. Smith has to make his decision to opt in or opt out by June 26... or this coming Tuesday. I imagine that if the decision on the Bird Rights comes before that date, it will greatly impact Smith's choice.

 - This summer's free agent class is kind of weak, but there are a bunch of good point guards who can make a difference of playoff and championship contending teams: Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Goran Dragic, Jeremy Lin, Chauncey Billups, Jameer Nelson, Mo Williams, etc.

 - I'd be happy with one or many of those bros, if that was at all possible. Speaking completely hypothetically, I'd particularly be happy if players with the names Lin, Steve, or Deron became Knicks.

 - Jeremy Lin was invited to the U.S. Select Team and it seems he's going to play. It should be a great experience for him.

 - Tyson Chandler will likely be the starting center for the U.S. Olympic team, since Dwight Howard is out. So, that'll be cool.

 - Oh, and Mike D'Antoni and 'Melo will be reuniting for the Olympics. Hmm....

 - Some big name, impact players could be on the trading block this summer. Obviously I don't know what GMs are thinking, or if any deals have been discussed but I think some of these fellas could be traded this summer: Pau Gasol, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, and maybe even that Dwight Howard fella.

 - In terms of the Summer League, Lin and Iman Shumpert won't be participating, so it looks like it'll be a draft pick (picks?), Josh Harrellson, and Jerome Jordan. Perhaps Toney Douglas or Landry Fields would make an appearance to get some workouts in, but they may find that insulting at this point as experienced players.

 - I bet James Harden will shave his beard this offseason. Or at least trim it.

See, guys?! Plenty to be excited about! Basketball never stops!

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