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Which Team Has the Best Newcomer(s)?

The Sonics Rising staff continues to rank things, this time the most significant player acquisitions.

King James comes home.
King James comes home.

If you haven't noticed the trend here at Sonics Rising the last week or so, let me clue you in. We enjoy ranking things in the NBA. We can't get enough of it. Can't live without it. Here we go again.

This time, our staff ranked which teams made the most significant additions in the off season. Those rankings and a few choice words from yours truly will now ensue.


Uno - Cleveland Cavaliers

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank

Lebron James

Kevin Love

Mike Miller

1 1 1.0

As significant additions go, this one is a complete no-brainer for top billing. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA and one of the five best players in the history of the game. His departure from Miami makes the Heat little more than a dark horse in the Eastern Conference after four years of dominance. His return to the Cavaliers makes them an instant contender to win the conference. Adding Kevin Love to the mix makes Cleveland a serious threat to win the NBA Finals this season.

Dos - Dallas Mavericks

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank

Chandler Parsons

Tyson Chandler

2 5 2.7

Parsons by no means makes Dallas a serious contender to win the Western Conference, but he will be a quality starting forward for the Mavericks, having averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists last season for the Houston Rockets. This move should free things up a little bit for franchise face Dirk Nowitzki.

Tres - Chicago Bulls

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Pau Gasol 2 9 4.7

I would rank this as the second most important addition. The Bulls were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference last season and that was with Derrick Rose missing a significant portion of the season. Rose is, for the moment, healthy as the season approaches. If he stays that way all year, Chicago will seriously threaten to take the east. Pau Gasol may not be the player he once was, but he's a savvy veteran with Finals experience, who still averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists last season for the Lake Show. He also remains devastatingly handsome. If Rose remains healthy, Gasol could put the Bulls over the top.

Cuatro - Charlotte Hornets

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Lance Stephenson 5 10 6.0

The Hornets are, thankfully, no longer called the Bobcats. They are also, thankfully, a team that finally seems to be moving in the right direction. They have gone from perennial doormat to a playoff team, albeit a mediocre one for the time being. Adding Lance Stephenson's 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists this season solidifies the back court. If Stephenson can add some pep to that offense from the guard position, the Bobcats could improve in the standings a slot or two.

Cinco - Golden State Warriors

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Shaun Livingston 4 10 6.8

This is where things begin to drop off a bit in significance. Shaun Livingston is not a high impact player, but he is a nice addition who will provide the Warriors with some guard depth off the pine. He averaged 8.3 points and 3.2 assists last season.

Seis - Washington Wizards

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Paul Pierce 4 10 7.1

Paul Pierce is no longer a superstar in the NBA, but he's a solid player with a ton of experience and he might be the perfect player to add to a young playoff team like the Wizards. Pierce's 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds a game might not set the league on fire, but he can teach a young core of players how to finish games. He doesn't make the Wizards a threat to win the Eastern Conference, but he could play a major role in developing the team for the day that someone named Kevin Durant may come to town.

Siete - Phoenix Suns

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Isaiah Thomas 6 8 7.3

The Phoenix Suns just missed the playoffs last year, which is like the dictionary definition of a mediocre team. They are a team that likes to go fast, however, and they would like to go even faster, which is where UW alumn Isaiah Thomas comes in. Thomas isn't coming here to play shutdown defense. He's coming here to score and help others score, as he did for the Sacramento Kings last season at a clip of 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game. He's not the player to transform the Suns into a powerhouse, but he could help get them into the playoffs.

Ocho - Denver Nuggets

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank

Arron Affalo

Evan Fournier

3 11 8.2

The Denver Nuggets were a bad team last year that missed the playoffs by three slots with a losing record (36-46). Arron Affalo won't be enough to put the Nuggets into the post season in a tough conference, but he should help them improve some with his 18.6 points per game from the back court.

Nueve - Miami Heat

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank

Luol Deng

Josh McRoberts

4 12 8.8

To state the obvious one more time, the Miami Heat lost LeBron James, which downgrades the team significantly from a championship contender to a dark horse. Nothing and no one is going to replace James. The Heat, however, did as good a job of salvaging a bad situation as any front office could. They managed to hang on to Chris Bosh, which was crucial for any kind of success. Josh McRoberts is a role player at best, but the addition of Luol Deng (16 ppg, 5.7 rpg) gives Miami a chance to surprise some people in the playoffs.

Diez - Los Angeles Clippers

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank

Spencer Hawes

Ekpe Udoh

Chris Douglas-Roberts

9 14 11.2

The Clippers are contenders in the Western Conference. They added three players here, but the only one I will discuss here is Spencer Hawes. The Udub product will provide some scoring and passing depth as a big man. More important is the fact that Spencer loves him some Seattle. No current player in the NBA has been a bigger advocate of the league's return to Seattle than him and he's done so under great criticism at times. He is, quite frankly, Hawesome.


These  are barely worth mentioning, but mention them I shall.

Player(s) Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
Memphis Grizzlies
Vince Carter 11 18 12.6
Portland Trail Blazers

Steve Blake

Chris Kaman

7 19 13.6
Houston Rockets
Trevor Ariza 13 20 14.5
Orlando Magic
Channing Frye 13 19 14.8
Sacramento Kings
Darren Collison 13 23 16.7
Indiana Pacers
CJ Miles 15 21 17.4
Boston Celtics

Tyler Zeller

Evan Turner

14 22 18.3
New York Knicks

Jose Calderon

Samuel Dalembert

16 25 18.4
Toronto Raptors

Jordan Hamilton

James Johnson

17 21 19.5
Atlanta Hawks

Thabo Sefalosha

Kent Bazemore

17 25 20.6
Utah Jazz
Trevor Booker 18 23 21.1
Los Angeles Lakers

Jeremy Lin

Carlos Boozer

12 25 22.0
Detroit Pistons

Jodie Meeks

Caron Butler

22 25 23.4
Milwaukee Bucks

Jerryd Bayless

Kendall Marshall

Jared Dudley

24 25 24.4
Oklahoma City Thunder

Anthony Morrow

Sebastian Telfair

26 28 26.4
Philadelphia 76ers
Alexey Shved 26 28 26.9
New Orleans Pelicans
Jimmer Fredette 25 28 27.4