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    Default Ranking the Summer Moves - Chad Ford (ESPN Insider)

    Ranking the Summer Moves
    Chad Ford

    You have to love summer in the NBA, when almost every team in the league can be a winner.
    You know the feeling: If my team can just make a big trade or a huge free agent acquisition or hit a home run in the lottery, maybe next season will be different.

    Keep track of which players each team added and lost this offseason. Chart

    To that end, we have already seen one of the most active summers in NBA history, with Shaq, Vince Carter, Ron Artest, Hedo Turkoglu, Richard Jefferson, Rasheed Wallace, Trevor Ariza, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villaneuva, Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph changing addresses and the NBA draft also reshaping rosters -- and we're not done yet.
    Here's my first take on how each team in the league has performed so far in remaking its roster, considering the situation it faced and the moves it's made. This isn't a ranking of who the best teams in the league are, just a device to track which teams have improved and which teams haven't.
    The teams are ranked 1 to 30, and we'll update the rankings as more signings and trades take place:
    Key: (U) = Unrestricted Free Agent; (R) = Restricted Free Agent

    1. San Antonio Spurs

    Key additions: Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair
    Key subtractions: Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, Kurt Thomas
    In limbo: Drew Gooden (U), Ime Udoka (U), Jacque Vaughn (U)
    The Spurs always seem to find a way to turn a little into a lot. They turned three aging players past their primes into Richard Jefferson -- an athletic forward at the peak of his game. And even without a first-round pick in this year's draft, they were still able to come away with some terrific players in the second round. Specifically, Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, who was the best rebounder in college basketball and is a beast in the paint. If his knees stay sturdy, he'll go down as the steal of the draft.
    Now it sounds like the Spurs also have the inside track on signing free agent Antonio McDyess. But even if they don't land him, they have dramatically improved their team and are, once again, serious contenders for an NBA title.

    2. Los Angeles Clippers

    Key additions: Blake Griffin, Quentin Richardson
    Key subtractions: Zach Randolph
    In limbo: Fred Jones (U), Brian Skinner (U)
    For the Clippers faithful looking for a glimmer of hope, this has been your summer. Not only did the Clips beat the lottery odds and land the best pick in the draft -- Blake Griffin -- they also were able to unload Zach Randolph for the expiring contract of Quentin Richardson.
    The Clippers now have a nice, young core of Griffin, Eric Gordon and Al Thornton, with seasoned veterans like Baron Davis, Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman. I'm not ready to declare the Clippers playoff-bound, but they made major strides in improving their talent and chemistry this summer.

    3. Detroit Pistons

    Key additions: Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye
    Key subtractions: Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Amir Johnson
    In limbo: Antonio McDyess (U)
    The Pistons' moves this summer have been a little underwhelming. Since Detroit traded away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson and his expiring contract, Pistons fans have patiently watched their team struggle for the first time in years. The silver lining the whole season was "Don't worry, great free agents are coming this summer to upgrade the team."
    On one hand, Pistons GM Joe Dumars delivered. He signed Ben Gordon, arguably the best free agent on the market, and quickly followed that up by signing Villanueva, probably the best free-agent power forward he could get with the money he had left. The combination of Gordon and Villanueva is an upgrade over Iverson and Wallace.
    On the other hand, the Pistons are far from a lock to return to the Eastern Conference finals. They are in serious danger of losing free agent Antonio McDyess, they don't have enough cash to sign another significant free agent and they still need help in the frontcourt, especially at center. Their first-round draft pick is 6-foot-11 and weighs 191 pounds -- meaning he's a few years away. And they are bringing in yet another head coach -- the fifth in Dumars' tenure as GM.
    I've learned over the years not to second-guess Dumars -- he's usually right whenever everyone else thinks he's wrong -- but does anyone think this Pistons squad, as currently constructed, is good enough to win a title now or even in two or three years? If the answer is no, can Pistons fans live with being just plain old good?

    4. Washington Wizards

    Key additions: Randy Foye, Mike Miller
    Key subtractions: Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila
    In limbo: Juan Dixon (U)
    The Wizards traded the No. 5 pick in the draft -- along with Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov -- to the Wolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller two days before the draft. Wanting to be serious contenders in the East next season, they didn't think they'd get a player with their first-round pick that would crack their rotation.
    Meanwhile, Foye gives them an athletic, dynamic scorer who can play both backcourt positions. And Miller gives them a shooter with deep range -- something the Wizards have been missing. If Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood both come back healthy and motivated, the Wizards could be a serious threat in the East.

    5. Boston Celtics

    Key additions: Rasheed Wallace
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Glen Davis (R), Leon Powe (U), Stephon Marbury (U), Mikki Moore (U)
    GM Danny Ainge pulled off a coup of sorts by getting Wallace to accept a two-year deal. Sheed can be a pain to deal with at times but he still has a lot of talent and gives the Celtics some much-needed depth on the front line.
    All of the talk about trading Rajon Rondo seems to have cooled considerably, and that's probably a good thing for Boston. Rondo was its best player in the playoffs this past season and I'm not sure how trading him would improve the team.

    6. Orlando Magic

    Key additions: Vince Carter Ryan Anderson
    Key subtractions: Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, Tony Battie
    In limbo: Marcin Gortat (R), Adonal Foyle (U), Tyronn Lue (U)
    The Magic made a gamble I think they'll be happy with in the future. They essentially swapped Hedo Turkoglu and Lee for Vince Carter and Anderson. The gamble was that Turkoglu wasn't worth the $50 million he was looking for in the free-agent market and that Carter, whose contract has only two years of guaranteed money remaining, can do as good a job (or better) as Turkoglu.
    The team will be hurting a little more if it can't match Marcin Gortat's offer sheet from the Mavs: Without Gortat, the Magic have virtually no frontcourt depth. So while I think the Magic did get better this summer, their losses could also end up lessening the impact of the Carter trade.

    7. Toronto Raptors

    Key additions: Hedo Turkoglu, DeMar DeRozan, Reggie Evans
    Key subtractions: Shawn Marion, Jason Kapono
    In limbo: Carlos Delfino (R), Anthony Parker (U), Joey Graham (U)
    The Raptors made a nice free-agent addition in Turkoglu. While they definitely overpaid to get him, he's a great fit on a Raptors team that values spacing, shooting and skilled forwards. They also swung for the fences in the draft, landing DeRozan, who has as much athletic upside as any rookie.
    The losses of Parker and Marion will hurt a little, but I think the Raptors are poised to rebound from an awful 2008-09 campaign.

    8. Cleveland Cavaliers

    Key additions: Shaquille O'Neal
    Key subtractions: Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic
    In limbo: Anderson Varejao (U), Joe Smith (U), Wally Szczerbiak (U)
    I thought the future was now in Cleveland, but if it is, GM Danny Ferry has his work cut out for him. Trading for Shaq was a good deal and made a big splash in the media, but does anyone really believe Shaq has enough left to put the Cavs over the top?
    The Cavs have been spurned by a number of free-agent targets, including Charlie Villanueva, Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza. They still haven't locked up their two key free-agent forwards -- Anderson Varejao and Joe Smith. And they had a really odd draft, passing on proven college players like Sam Young and DeJuan Blair for a virtual unknown in Christian Eyenga. If the Cavs want to be the favorites to win it all in 2010 -- and convince LeBron James to stay -- they have a lot more work to do.

    9. Dallas Mavericks

    Key additions: Marcin Gortat
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Brandon Bass (U), Gerald Green (U)
    Re-signing Jason Kidd was huge to the Mavs' effort to stay relevant in the West. Adding Marcin Gortat will also help their front line (if the Magic don't match the offer in the next seven days). But the Mavs need to do a lot more if they want to be back in the mix for a championship.

    10. Atlanta Hawks

    Key additions: Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague
    Key subtractions: Speedy Claxton, Acie Law
    In limbo: Marvin Williams (R), Josh Childress (R), Zaza Pachulia (U), Ronald Murray (U)
    The Hawks are still, by and large, a team in limbo. GM Rick Sund has solidified his backcourt by re-signing free agent Mike Bibby, trading for combo guard Jamal Crawford and drafting the uber-athletic combo guard Jeff Teague. But the frontcourt still has lots of questions.
    Williams, Childress and Pachulia are all free agents. And there continue to be rumblings that Josh Smith can be had for the right price. I think it's going to be a few more weeks until we know for sure which direction the Hawks are really heading. But for now it looks like they're maintaining the status quo.

    11. New York Knicks

    Key additions: Jordan Hill, Toney Douglas, Darko Milicic
    Key subtractions: Quentin Richardson
    In limbo: David Lee (R), Nate Robinson (R), Chris Wilcox (U)
    The Knicks didn't get what they wanted in the draft -- a point guard of the future in either Ricky Rubio or Stephen Curry -- but they did draft the best available players with their two first-round picks. Add in the trade of Darko Milicic for Quentin Richardson, and the Knicks upgraded their front line.
    But the truth is we won't know how to grade the Knicks' summer for a while. Lee and Robinson are still out there as restricted free agents, and we have no idea whether they will get offer sheets and, if they do, whether the Knicks will match. If the Knicks match, they'll have to trade Eddy Curry or Jared Jeffries to clear more cap room in the summer of 2010. But with the cap number likely falling into the $53 million area next summer, will they even have enough cash to lure a top-flight free agent?
    Based on what the Knicks have done so far this summer, their roster has gotten a little better. But Knicks fans are expecting more.

    12. Golden State Warriors

    Key additions: Stephen Curry, Acie Law, Speedy Claxton
    Key subtractions: Jamal Crawford
    In limbo: Rob Kurz (U)
    It's hard to grade the Warriors right now because we're still waiting to see if they can pull off the rumored Amare Stoudemire trade. The proposed deal on draft night had them sending Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli and the No. 7 pick for Stoudemire. But since then the Warriors have been balking at including Curry, whom they drafted with the seventh pick, in the deal.
    As it turns out, they think Curry will be perfect in a backcourt with Monta Ellis. I'm not sure I can argue with that. I thought Curry was a great pick on draft night. If the Warriors find a way to pull off the deal without including Curry or Anthony Randolph, they will rocket up this list. If they do include one of them, they'd be giving up a lot for Stoudemire -- maybe too much for them to be a true contender.

    13. Oklahoma City Thunder

    Key additions: James Harden, B.J. Mullens
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Desmond Mason (U), Robert Swift (U)
    The Thunder are the "it" team among NBA junkies, who have a crush on Sam Presti for quickly turning a bad team into the best young team in the league. Kevin Durant is a superstar in the making. Russell Westbrook could be special. And Harden is a nice addition -- a savvy guard with an old-school game who will be fine playing third fiddle to Durant and Westbrook. If you factor in that last year's other draft pick, Serge Ibaka, has been looking pretty good in summer league, and that Mullens has enormous potential, the Thunder appear to be bursting at the seams with talent.
    However, their reticence to make a play in the free-agent market and their voiding of the Tyson Chandler deal in February mean that the Thunder won't be much better than the squad that suited up last season. Eventually, the Thunder will have to take some risks and add some veterans into the mix. I don't blame Presti for being patient, but next year he's probably going to have to make a big move.

    14. Sacramento Kings

    Key additions: Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, Sergio Rodriguez
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Bobby Jackson (U), Rashad McCants (U), Ike Diogu (U)
    The Kings are clearly in rebuilding mode and they aren't spending any money. However, they did make a few nice moves on draft night. Tyreke Evans is a terrific, physical slasher who knows how to score. Omri Casspi is tough as nails and has a high-energy game.
    Put them together with the acquisition of Andres Nocioni in February and you can no longer call the Kings soft. On the other hand, you also can't call the Kings good. While the additions of Evans and Casspi help Sacramento's future, it's going to be a long time before you see the Kings in the playoffs again.

    15. Utah Jazz

    Key additions: Eric Maynor
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Paul Millsap (R), Jarron Collins (U), Ronnie Price (U), Morris Almond (U), Brevin Knight (U)
    GM Kevin O'Connor has had his hands full the past few weeks. Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur both opted into their contracts, eschewing free agency and giving the Jazz some serious financial issues. It was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the Jazz are clearly better with both Boozer and Okur. On the other hand, if they re-sign Millsap, they will likely incur the luxury tax -- a big no-no in past years in Utah. Ultimately, I think O'Connor will find a way to move Boozer or Andrei Kirilenko for some cap relief.
    The addition of Maynor was the most underrated move of the draft. He'll be a perfect backup for Deron Williams. Overall the Jazz are on pace to be really good again next season -- just at a much higher price tag.

    16. Indiana Pacers

    Key additions: Tyler Hansbrough
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Jarrett Jack (R), Marquis Daniels (U), Rasho Nesterovic (U), Maceo Baston (U)
    I like the strategy Larry Bird and David Morway are employing in Indiana. They aren't swinging for the fences with their transactions. Instead, they are going for singles and doubles and they've been converting over the past two years. No, Hansbrough isn't a sexy addition, but he should be in the league for 10 years, maybe even as a starter. And he brings the toughness and energy that the Pacers really need.
    The good news is that if the Pacers can re-sign Jack and Daniels on the cheap, and if Mike Dunleavy comes back healthy, they could make a run at the playoffs next season. The bad news is that even if all of those things happen, the Pacers are still one more star player away from being a serious threat in the East. At some point Bird and Morway are going to have to do something bold if they want to contend like they did before things went downhill after the Palace Brawl.

    17. Charlotte Bobcats

    Key additions: Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Raymond Felton (R), Sean May (U)
    After Larry Brown traded half his roster last season, one would expect he'd trade the other half this summer for sure. While the Bobcats have talent, they aren't the playoff contender he wants them to be. However, the Bobcats have been pretty quiet.
    Henderson was a solid addition in the draft and, if they can re-up Felton at a reasonable number, they should be set at guard. But rumors are cropping up again that Gerald Wallace is back on the block, so the Bobcats may not be done reshaping their roster just yet.

    18. Portland Trail Blazers

    Key additions: None
    Key subtractions: Sergio Rodriguez
    In limbo: Channing Frye (U), Raef LaFrentz (U)
    Kevin Pritchard is the most active GM in the league. That's why it's such a shock to be wondering what he's up to on July 8. The team made a huge pitch to Hedo Turkoglu but was left at the altar for the more cosmopolitan Raptors. The Blazers' draft was a disappointment, as well. Pritchard tried to move up high in the draft but couldn't. He ended up taking Spanish forward Victor Claver, who won't play in the league for at least the next two years.
    The Blazers are saying they'll be patient. They have cap room and could make a run at David Lee. Or they could sit back and try to be a trade partner for a team trying to clear room. But for a team that came out of the gates saying it had the green light to "go for it" and make a major upgrade, the early results are disappointing.

    19. Miami Heat

    Key additions: None
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Jamario Moon (R), Luther Head (U), Jamaal Magloire (U)
    The Heat have done virtually nothing this summer, much to the chagrin of soon-to-be free agent Dwyane Wade. The team is wisely trying to save its money for next summer when it should have room to add another great player, like Chris Bosh, to the roster. But in the meantime, Wade and Heat fans are wont to be a little frustrated.

    20. Denver Nuggets

    Key additions: Ty Lawson
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Linas Kleiza (R), Dahntay Jones (U), Johan Petro (U), Anthony Carter (U)
    The Nuggets have some serious cap issues that could cause them to slide even further in these rankings. The pickup of Lawson was a nice draft-night move, and they were quick to re-sign Chris Andersen. But they really need to re-sign Kleiza and Jones if they are going to repeat what they did last season. Right now, given the financial straitjacket they're in, I'm not sure they can pull it off.

    21. New Orleans Hornets

    Key additions: Darren Collison
    Key subtractions: None
    In limbo: Melvin Ely (U), Ryan Bowen (U)
    The Hornets are another team with financial problems that may end up having to trade away good players for cap relief. They almost did it at the trade deadline with Tyson Chandler and his name has surfaced again in trade rumors this summer. With the team unwilling or unable to spend, Hornets fans have to just hold their breath that the damage won't be too bad.

    22. Chicago Bulls

    Key additions: James Johnson, Taj Gibson
    Key subtractions: Ben Gordon
    In limbo: Aaron Gray (R)
    The Bulls made a big, bold move at the trade deadline in February and gave the Celtics all they could handle in the first round of the playoffs. But since then, things haven't gone well. They lost their best scorer, Gordon, to the Pistons. The word is they're shopping their starting power forward, Tyrus Thomas. And I'm still scratching my head a little concerning their draft.
    The Bulls still have lots of talent, but losing Gordon means they've taken a step back.

    23. Los Angeles Lakers

    Key additions: Ron Artest
    Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza
    In limbo: Lamar Odom (U)
    The Lakers ended the season on the ultimate high of winning a championship. But I haven't liked anything they've done since then.
    On draft night they traded away the rights to Toney Douglas and Patrick Beverley for cash and future second-round picks, the argument being they needed to save every penny when trying to re-sign Ariza and Odom. Then they turned around and low-balled Ariza and then replaced him with Artest, one of the most unpredictable players in the history of the game. And now the team is struggling to get Odom re-signed.
    I know Artest is a talent, but he's unreliable. Why the Lakers would pass the torch from Ariza, who was just coming into his own, to Artest is a risk I just don't understand. And if somehow Odom decides to bolt for a team like Cleveland for the midlevel exception, the Lakers will have taken a big step backward.
    Don't get me wrong: Even with Artest and without Odom, the Lakers would have a shot at winning it all again next year, but they would be much less of a sure thing.

    24. Houston Rockets

    Key additions: Trevor Ariza
    Key subtractions: Ron Artest, Dikembe Mutombo
    In limbo: Von Wafer (R)
    It's tough to be a Rockets fan right now. Yao Ming might have to miss the entire season with a foot injury. Tracy McGrady is rehabbing again, but you have to wonder if he'll ever be healthy. Ron Artest, who did such a great job of harassing Kobe Bryant in the playoffs, decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
    And so far the best the Rockets have been able to do is sign Ariza. While he's a talented, athletic wing who in the long run will be an upgrade over Artest, in the short run it's not clear exactly how he'll fit. Put all that together and it looks like the Rockets could be a team in free fall in the West next season.

    25. Philadelphia 76ers

    Key additions: Jrue Holiday, Jason Kapono
    Key subtractions: Reggie Evans
    In limbo: Andre Miller (U), Donyell Marshall (U), Royal Ivey (U), Theo Ratliff (U), Kareem Rush (U)
    The 76ers made the first trade of the offseason, swapping Evans for Kapono. Philly needed the shooting, so that works. And I really liked the Sixers' draft pick, Holiday, a great value at No. 17 in the draft.
    But Holiday is not ready to be a big contributor at the point, and the Sixers don't seem close to a deal to re-sign incumbent point guard Miller. If they lose him, the Sixers may take a step back next year, even if Elton Brand is healthy. Miller was the glue and a driving force for that team, and I don't think a combo of Lou Williams and Holiday can replace him.

    26. New Jersey Nets

    Key additions: Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Rafer Alston, Tony Battie
    Key subtractions: Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson
    In limbo: Maurice Ager (U)
    The Nets' draft day was pretty eventful, as for the second straight year they made a major trade to cut payroll. Last year they shipped out Richard Jefferson (for Yi Jianlian and future cap space), and this year it was Carter (for Lee and future cap space).
    After the Carter trade, the Nets are going to take a pretty big step backward this season, but they'll take solace in the additions of Lee and Williams, the No. 11 pick. Lee showed a lot of promise as a "Rip Hamilton Jr." in the playoffs, and while he's no Vince Carter, he should be a solid partner in the backcourt with Devin Harris. Williams has the talent of a top-five pick, with great size and athleticism -- he can do just about everything but shoot.
    The ultimate success of the Nets' long-range plan won't be known until next summer, when the Nets will have a lot of cap room. If they sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or another star, New Jersey honchos Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe will look like geniuses. If they don't, their plan takes a major setback.

    27. Phoenix Suns

    Key additions: Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, Earl Clark
    Key subtractions: Shaquille O'Neal
    In limbo: Grant Hill (U), Matt Barnes (U), Stromile Swift (U)
    Phoenix GM Steve Kerr broke up one of the most enjoyable teams in NBA history to get O'Neal, and in about a year's time the Suns went from leading the Western Conference to drafting in the lottery. Last month, the Suns gave Shaq away for cap relief, a clear signal the team is rebuilding. Another sign: The Suns have discussed trading away Amare Stoudemire. And while the team is trying to sign 35-year-old point guard Steve Nash to an extension, and might succeed, his long-term future with the franchise is in doubt. On the other hand, the draft addition of Clark was a solid one -- he's super talented and a great fit in the Suns' run-and-gun offense, though he needs to overcome some questions about his character.
    The Suns still have talent, but they missed the playoffs in the tough West, and it's not clear how soon they'll be back during this rebuilding period.

    28. Milwaukee Bucks

    Key additions: Brandon Jennings, Amir Johnson
    Key subtractions: Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva
    In limbo: Ramon Sessions (R), Keith Bogans (U)
    The Bucks took a serious step back when they shipped off Jefferson to the Spurs for nonguaranteed contracts and then didn't give Villanueva a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted, instead of a restricted, free agent. That move essentially handed him over to the Pistons for nothing.
    In the place of Jefferson, Villanueva and possibly starting point guard Sessions, a restricted free agent the Bucks may not be willing to pay, the Bucks are banking on young, unproven talents. Their lottery pick, Jennings, is a terrific athlete who can score like crazy. He needs to get stronger, work on his jump shot and settle down a bit, but he has the tools to be great. Last year's lottery pick, Joe Alexander, will step into Jefferson's shoes -- he's another super athlete, but he looked lost for most of his rookie campaign. And replacing Villanueva will be Johnson, a long, athletic big man who was a disappointment last season for the Pistons but might benefit from a change of scenery.

    29. Minnesota Timberwolves

    Key additions: Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila
    Key subtractions: Randy Foye, Mike Miller
    In limbo: Ricky Rubio (???), Rodney Carney (U), Shelden Williams (U)
    The Timberwolves had one of the weirdest drafts in NBA history, including the selection of point guards with both of their lottery picks. Two weeks later, we keep waiting to hear about a trade that explains where one of the two -- Rubio or Flynn -- is really going to land, but instead we have Minnesota GM David Kahn saying he wants to keep both of them. Meanwhile, Rubio is threatening to sign with a European team for the next two or three years.
    So, to recap: The Wolves sent away two key players on their roster, Foye and Miller, in exchange for some undesirable contracts and a player -- Rubio -- who is threatening that he won't play for the Wolves. If Kahn sorts all of this out, either via trade or by persuading Rubio to come and try his mad experiment, the Wolves will move up in these rankings and I may even call Kahn a genius.
    But for now, the team appears to be in disarray and considerably worse off than it was going into the draft. Not a great start for Kahn.

    30. Memphis Grizzlies

    Key additions: Zach Randolph, Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, Sam Young
    Key subtractions: Darko Milicic
    In limbo: Hakim Warrick (R), Quinton Ross (U)
    Though I'm not a huge fan of Thabeet, I understand why the Grizzlies went that way on draft night -- Rubio wasn't cooperating and Thabeet filled a need as an athletic shot blocker. And I really liked their other two picks, Carroll and Young, who will provide some of the toughness the Grizz have lacked.
    So why are they all the way at the bottom of the list? Because I'm still trying to make sense of the acquisition of Randolph.
    The Grizzlies had lots of spending room under the salary cap, and it appeared they had free agent David Lee ready to be the tough, athletic rebounder they need to complement scorers like Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo. Then suddenly, a day into free agency, they passed on Lee and took on the last two years and $33 million of Randolph's contract instead. Randolph is a talented offensive player, but he has a terrible track record of seldom passing the ball and often getting into trouble, making him perhaps the worst possible fit for a franchise trying to build around some talented young players.
    I don't blame Memphis GM Chris Wallace, as a number of sources have told me that it was owner Michael Heisley who pushed for Randolph over Lee. But I don't think it's hyperbole to call this move devastating to the franchise.
    Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

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