In the seventh part of our analysis about the most important under the radar move of each NBA team this offseason, we will go on with the next set of teams. In this article we will examine the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Wolves will be in a playoff run this upcoming season. The team will finally have back its two injured stars, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. The team also re-signed Nikola Pekovic and also drafted the 6’11” center Gorgui Dieng. Assuming Love will be healthy next season and will remain that way, the Wolves will have a very strong frontcourt. Pekovic emerged as a quality center last season, as he averaged 16.3 points per contest and 8.8 rebounds. His performance is getting better each season and that’s why the Wolves can be optimistic about their starting center. What Minnesota silently achieved as of lately, is to build a very strong and capable frontcourt, especially at the power forward and center position. The big men will play a vital role in the team’s course in 2013-2014.
The New Orleans Pelicans are a team that will see a significant difference from the previous season. Despite having the No.1 and also the No.10 overall picks of the previous NBA Draft, the team didn’t manage to record a good season. Now, a few important moves in the offseason later, the Pelicans will enter the 2013-2014 much stronger and much more capable than the season before. With all the moves the team performed during the summer, it has now formed a young group of guys, able to compete at the highest level. So we can say that there wasn’t a single move under the radar for the New Orleans Pelicans, but the team has been drastically improved and it is now ready to make big steps to the next level. With no doubt, hard work will be required, as there are lots of young players, who will need time and experience to become better. But the foundations are there for the Pelicans and the team’s fans should be optimistic and excited.
The third and last team we will examine in this article is the New York Knicks. The team will contend for a championship in 2013-2014 and they made a few moves to ensure they will be competitive. The most noticeable move of the offseason for New York was the acquisition of Andre Bargnani through a trade. The 7-footer center will upgrade the team’s big-men line, especially after the continuous injury issues of Amar’e Stoudemire. One of the moves that didn’t draw much attention during the offseason was the retention of Pablo Prigioni. Normally, the re-signing of a player at his age –he is 36 years old- shouldn’t be big news. However, Prigioni showed that he is a very capable player on both ends of the floor. He has managed to keep his body in a great shape and he showcased his abilities and the ways he can help the team during the 2012-2013 season and particularly in the playoffs.