The Spring is the best time of the year for sports fan. Spring training, The Masters, NFL free agency and the draft, but March and April are also arguably the best time of the year for the sport of basketball. It's easily the highlight of the season for college hoops with the conference tournaments, leading into March Madness. In the NBA, teams jockey not only for a spot in the playoffs, but seeding as well. In the fantasy world, the focus now is on specific categories and that elusive piece you can land in free agency or on your league's waiver wire!
As we roll into the 2012-'13 NBA season, we're going to take you through an overview of each of the six divisions. Who are key newcomers? Who are notable for your fantasy team? Last season was brutal with a late and sudden December start to an abbreviated season. We continue our previews in the Western Conference, with a look at the Southwest Division. San Antonio's big three are back for another run, do Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan have anything left in the tank? The Memphis Grizzlies continue to ascend and may be poised to take over the Division with Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay among the best in the West at their positions. O.J. Mayo is finally showing his potential, but can Dallas stay competitive until Dirk Nowitzki returns? Wow, that's all I can say about Houston and new leading man James Harden. Lastly, New Orleans rebuilds around Anthony Davis but the process has a long way to go.
As we play out the final month of the 2011-'12 NBA season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with the New Orleans Hornets.
As we roll towards February and the All-Star break, NBA clubs are looking to make adjustments. Most clubs still have hope of making the post season, while a few may already be tinkering with the future in mind. A one time NBA All-Star may finally be emerging from free agency and trade rumors are rampant. Those looking for a center find one on the market after already being traded once this season.
Just one caveat, the deal is "pending league approval" The Los Angeles Clippers caved in to the demands of the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. After breaking off the talks saying the demands were just too high, the Clippers went ahead and made the deal anyway. The hold up in the deal was which guard the Clippers were going to trade to the Hornets. Los Angeles wanted to move Eric Bledsoe, while New Orleans was insisting on Eric Gordon. Bledsoe's recent injury complcating matters even further, but the Clippers gave up in the end.
The Lakers got the jump on the Chris Paul sweepstakes only to get trumped by the NBA league office. But wait, is Chris Paul still heading to Los Angeles? Maybe so, but instead of joining Kobe and Showtime CP3 may be running with Blake Griffin and the Clippers. The Lakers thought they had completed a deal that would bring the mercurial guard as Kobe's back court mate and even briefly re-submitted a deal before giving up altogether. Now its the Clippers turn.....