In his latest blog, TSN NBA Analyst Jack Armstrong looks at the latest offseason acquisitions made and how new players will fit in on their new clubs.
1. BRAD STEVENS (Celtics): Loved the job he did at Butler and think he's an outstanding young coach with great potential. Bold move by Danny Ainge? Sure. With the Celtics in a rebuild and lots of young players coming in the next few years you'll need a coach who is patient, a good communicator and a terrific teacher. He is all of those things. Will it take him a year to 18 months to get his feet on the ground as far as the differences between the NCAA and NBA games? Definitely, but with him inking a six-year deal the first two years will be lots of losses and development - you can judge him better in the win-loss category in Years 3 and beyond. Lots of chatter about NCAA coaches failing - it usually happens because you get lousy jobs. I see the NBA hiring lots of ex-players and retreads that really aren't that qualified that fail mightily as well. This guy is more than qualified to coach and lead and in a few years once he gets his bearings at this level he'll be fine. Risky, yes but I'm tired of watching a bunch of retreads that are just on the NBA Gravy Train that are at best average.
2. JARRETT JACK (Cavaliers): Like this signing for Cleveland. He's really matured and improved as a player and become a true pro. Did a wonderful job in Golden State and can play either guard spot for you. He's gotten over the starter/substitute nonsense that hurt him early in his career. He'll be a good compliment to their talented young guards. With the addition as well of Anthony Bennett as the #1 pick, something tells me that we'll be seeing plenty of 'Small Ball' on Lake Erie this upcoming season. Should be more entertaining, that's for sure.
3. AL JEFFERSON (Bobcats): Career 16 and 9 guy who will get more than his share of touches on a lousy team in Charlotte. Did they overpay for him? Three years at $41 million. What a great country! You run your franchise in a haphazard way and consistently make huge blunders in player evaluations and you end up having to overpay for anyone legit to come to your team. I like the Steve Clifford hiring as their coach but they've got a long way to go. Jefferson will put up big numbers on a poor team. At some point you need proven professional consistency and productivity to begin to improve. Jefferson will give them that.
4. DARREN COLLISON (Clippers): He's always intrigued me during his time with the Hornets, Pacers and Mavs. He's slightly improved over the years and still has to become a better playmaker for my taste but I think his better years are ahead of him and Doc Rivers will get it out of him. He'll have a talented roster to play with and have to fight for minutes behind Chris Paul which will make him better. Short term deal that works for both sides. Good pick-up to replace Eric Bledsoe.
5. JOSE CALDERON (Mavericks): Four years at $29 million. Good for him. Leadership and consistency. Lots of teams around the league really like him and this is a good landing spot for him. Playing for a top notch offensive minded coach in Rick Carlisle, he'll have the opportunity to play to his abilities. Murky picture right now with the failure to land Dwight Howard and the departures of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison. Step in the right direction for the Mavs though in getting him.