NBA Offseason Report Cards -- Atlantic Division

By Josh Cohen
September 22, 2010

It was an extremely eventful and hectic summer around the NBA. Several superstars, including LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and Shaquille O’Neal, are all on new teams.

With training camp about to begin, let’s take a peek at what we can expect opening night in the NBA to look like around the league.

In this edition, we analyze the Atlantic Division. Check out the expected lineups for opening night for each the Celtics, Nets, Knicks, 76ers and Raptors and then submit the grade you think each franchise deserves on their offseason Report Card using the following grading system:

A - Made the best possible moves they can make; are definitely improved from last season; have enough pieces to contend for the championship or at least make a deep playoff run

B - Had a purpose and followed through with it; made enough adjustments to not be considered a sinking ship; not a championship contender but should be good enough to compete for a playoff spot

C - Didn’t seem to have a plan or focus; made questionable transactions; not a team that is headed in the right direction





BOSTON CELTICS


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R

Rajon Rondo

Ray Allen

Jermaine O'Neal

Kevin Garnett

Paul Pierce

Shaquille O'Neal

Glen Davis


Key Additions: Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, Delonte West, Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody

Key Subtractions: Rasheed Wallace, Tony Allen

Cohen’s Thoughts: Kendrick Perkins will miss the first half of the season after tearing his ACL in his right knee during the NBA Finals, but the Celtics signed both Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal to help fill the void until his return.

I really think Boston improved after a somewhat surprising run to The Finals this past season. It will be extremely forceful up front and with a core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, the Celtics should be one of the favorites to capture the NBA championship (as long as they are healthy).

What grade do you give the Boston Celtics on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
What grade do you give the Boston Celtics on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
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NEW JERSEY NETS


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R

Devin Harris

Terrence Williams

Brook Lopez

Derrick Favors

Travis Outlaw

Troy Murphy

Jordan Farmar


Key Additions: Derrick Favors, Travis Outlaw, Troy Murphy, Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Damion James

Key Subtractions: Courtney Lee, Yi Jianlian, Chris Douglas-Roberts

Cohen's Thoughts: It may be more appropriate to inscribe TBD in this synopsis since rumors suggest the New Jersey Nets are the “favorites” to land Carmelo Anthony in a trade.

But, as of right now, these reports are just rumors and we must analyze the Nets with what they currently possess.

New Jersey drafted Derrick Favors with the third overall pick, acquired veteran Troy Murphy in a four-team trade from Indiana and signed wing players Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow.

The Nets also have a new head coach, Avery Johnson, and should be ecstatic about their move to the Prudential Center in Newark before their expected relocation to Brooklyn in two years.

Not many NBA experts expect the Nets to advance to the postseason (with their current roster), but most anticipate them to be more competitive.

What grade do you give the New Jersey Nets on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
What grade do you give the New Jersey Nets on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
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NEW YORK KNICKS


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R

Raymond Felton

Wilson Chandler

Amar'e Stoudemire

Anthony Randolph

Danilo Gallinari

Ronny Turiaf

Toney Douglas


Key Additions: Amar'e Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph, Raymond Felton, Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason Jr.

Key Subtractions: David Lee, Al Harrington, Tracy McGrady, Chris Duhon, Eddie House

Cohen’s Thoughts: The New York Knicks had one ultimate goal prior to July 1: Sign LeBron James.

It didn’t happen.

The Knicks, now, have a new-fangled aspiration: Acquire Carmelo Anthony.

It seems, according to numerous published reports, Carmelo wants to play for New York more than any other franchise. However, because Denver is unwilling to let Anthony walk next summer when he is an unrestricted free agent without quality pieces in return, the Knicks don’t appear to be the favorites to land the three-time All-Star.

Unless the Knicks can persuade the Nuggets to accept Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and a few of New York’s younger players, it doesn’t seem likely Carmelo will be wearing blue and orange any time soon.

When they acquired Tracy McGrady from the Rockets last season, the Knicks relinquished their 2012 first round draft pick and allowed Houston to swap its 2011 first round selections with New York. It seems possible that if the Knicks can somehow acquire a 2011 or 2012 first round draft pick from a "lower rank" team, perhaps they would have leverage to incorporate that asset in any deal with Denver for Anthony.

As of right now, nonetheless, New York will have to rely on its freshest luminary, Amar’e Stoudemire, to steer the ship.

What grade do you give the New York Knicks on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
What grade do you give the New York Knicks on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
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PHILADELPHIA 76ERS


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R

Jrue Holiday

Evan Turner

Elton Brand

Thaddeus Young

Andre Iguodala

Lou Williams

Andres Nocioni


Key Additions: Evan Turner, Andres Nocioni, Spencer Hawes

Key Subtractions: Allen Iverson, Samuel Dalembert

Cohen’s Thoughts: There is one simple way to appraise the Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand’s health and fortitude.

Philadelphia signed Brand, a two-time All-Star, to a mega contract in 2008 and expected him to be the inspiration to a franchise with championship aspirations.

But Brand’s continual decline has instead resulted in immense disappointment. The 76ers missed the playoffs in 2010 and now hope their new head coach, Doug Collins, can re-energize the club.

They definitely have the pieces to be one of the more improved teams in the NBA, especially after adding rookie sensation Evan Turner in the NBA Draft. But again, Philly’s success comes down to Brand’s health and reliability.

What grade do you give the Philadelphia 76ers on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
What grade do you give the Philadelphia 76ers on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
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TORONTO RAPTORS


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R

Jose Calderon

Leandro Barbosa

Andrea Bargnani

Amir Johnson

DeMar DeRozan

Linas Kleiza

Jarrett Jack


Key Additions: Leandro Barbosa, Linas Kleiza, Ed Davis, Julian Wright

Key Subtractions: Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Marco Belinelli

Cohen’s Thoughts: It was an extremely intricate summer for the Toronto Raptors.

Chris Bosh, once believed to be the redeemer of basketball pride in Canada, left to join Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami.

Hedo Turkoglu’s trade demands came to fruition when he was dealt to Phoenix and first round draft pick Ed Davis tore his meniscus in his right knee during summer workouts that will force the rookie to miss at least six weeks.

There is one thing Raptors fans should be somewhat eager about: DeMar DeRozan. Some NBA insiders suggest DeRozan has the potential to be a perennial All-Star.

What grade do you give the Toronto Raptors on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
What grade do you give the Toronto Raptors on the NBA Offseason Report Card?
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