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A look back at the NBA summer as training camps open

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foxsports admin

 
   
 
More than three months have elapsed since that inglorious moment late in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Finals when the New Jersey , trailing by six points with 44 seconds left, threw up their hands, removed their two best players and conceded defeat to the mighty Los Angeles . Another season is close ahead, with training camps opening Tuesday. Plenty happened over the summer. The relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans; underwent surgery; , , , and were traded; and retired; and decided to unretire. Dozens of other moves were made around the league in an effort to win a title, something that has eluded every team not coached by Phil Jackson nine times in the past 11 seasons. A team-by-team look, alphabetically, at what's changed: ATLANTA HAWKS: What's new: comes over in a trade with Milwaukee, providing an additional potential 20-point scorer to the frontcourt of and Theo Ratliff. Still broken: Woeful backcourt other than . Coach Lon Kruger begins season on hot seat. BOSTON CELTICS: What's new: manning the pivot, back in his home region of New England. Still broken: No proven point guard, no one to replace . CHICAGO BULLS: What's new: at the point; at small forward. Still broken: Big, strong bodies in the frontcourt. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: What's new: is in; , and - the three leading scorers last season - are out. Still broken: All signs point toward dreadful season. Best hope is winning draft lottery to take Akron's LeBron James. DALLAS MAVERICKS: What's new: returns to his original NBA city. Still broken: Addition of Jones does not solve size and toughness shortcomings. DENVER NUGGETS: What's new: , three foreign draftees - , Nikolaz Tskitishvili and - and a new coach, Jeff Bzdelik. Still broken: No chance of competing for 2003 playoffs, but loads of salary cap space next summer. DETROIT PISTONS: What's new: , instead of , as the primary offensive threat. at the point. Still broken: No low-post offensive threat. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: What's new: Eric Musselman as coach; Jr. to join frontcourt of , . Still broken: Now more than a decade since last playoff win. HOUSTON ROCKETS: What's new: Yao Ming to arrive in October after playing for China in Asian Games. Mo Taylor, expected back from serious injuries. Still broken: Plenty of talent but still very, very young. INDIANA PACERS: What's new: and draft choice are the only minor additions. Still broken: Patience running thin with lack of success under Isiah Thomas. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: What's new: The NBA leader in assists, , has arrived in a trade with Cleveland. Still broken: With no long term deal for , players still feel they'll never get top dollar from owner Donald Sterling. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: What's new: and rookie the new backups in the backcourt. Still broken: Nothing, as long as O'Neal recovers from foot surgery and returns healthy. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: What's new: Jerry West has added three pieces: Drew Gooden of Kansas; from the Cavs and center Cezary Trebanski of Poland. Still broken: Team is still paying rent on two practice facilities in Vancouver. MIAMI HEAT: What's new: is out for the season because of a kidney disorder. , and could represent a 60 percent turnover in starters. Still broken: Trade value of and has plummeted due to their long-term, expensive contracts. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: What's new: will become a starter due to the trade of Robinson. Still broken: George Karl's relationship with the team needed serious fixing at the end of last season. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: What's new: gets the job at the point while 's knee continues to heal. Still broken: Six consecutive playoff appearances without ever advancing out of the first round. NEW JERSEY NETS: What's new: is in; and takes over at starting small forward. adds a big shooter off the bench. Still broken: Poor performance in the finals was capped by their reprehensible Game 4 surrender. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: What's new: Their home city. After 13 years in Charlotte, the franchise has relocated to Bourbon Street. Still broken: isn't playing for a contract anymore, and he didn't play well for Team USA this summer. NEW YORK KNICKS: What's new: provides a low-post offensive presence missing since left. Still broken: Exceptionally weak at center and point guard. ORLANDO MAGIC: What's new: Grant Hill's ankle is supposedly healed this time. Still broken: Grant Hill's ankle will never be as strong as it once was. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: What's new: Larry Brown has blown up the team again, jettisoning Mutombo, , and bringing in nine new players. Still broken: 's maturity level continues to be an issue. PHOENIX SUNS: What's new: Teenager Amare Stoudamire, draftee and second-year guard make the younger. Still broken: makes $10.9 million this season; $11.7 million next season. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: What's new: has been bought out; has been brought back; and free agent and trade acquisition could clutter the backcourt. Still broken: , and Bonzi Wells are the other member of that cluttered backcourt, and somebody is going to be unhappy with his lack of playing time. SACRAMENTO KINGS: What's new: Added free agent center from the , providing a much-needed shot blocker who was a key component for Toronto. Still broken: is under indictment, and Peja Stojakovic had their confidence affected by their Game 7 loss to the . SAN ANTONIO SPURS: What's new: Emanuel Ginobili, a dynamic shooting guard from Argentina, should challenge for 's spot in the starting five. Still broken: They are 1-8 against the in the playoffs the past two seasons. SEATTLE SUPERSONICS: What's new: is unhappy that the team hasn't extended his contract. Still broken: Power forwards are Yugoslavs Predrag Drobnjak and , both of whom were benched at the World Championships. TORONTO RAPTORS: What's new: adds a scoring threat off the bench to replace the departed and . Still broken: didn't help at all last season, and the loss of free agent weakens the in the pivot. UTAH JAZZ: What's new: , and replacing , and Rusty LaRue. Still broken: Houston and the will be better, and the eighth playoff spot won't be easy to get again. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: What's new: , and have been brought aboard, relegating to a reserve role - at least to start the season. Still broken: is not yet ready to contribute.
Tagged: Hawks, Celtics, Pelicans, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Pacers, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Nets, Knicks, Magic, 76ers, Suns, Trail Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Thunder, Jazz, Wizards, Raptors, Grizzlies, Jason Terry, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Joe Johnson, Baron Davis, Andre Miller, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Erick Dampier, Larry Hughes, Antawn Jamison, Jeff McInnis, Michael Olowokandi, Darius Miles, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Eddie Jones, Chauncey Billups, Richard Jefferson, Marcus Camby, Troy Hudson, Dikembe Mutombo, Damon Stoudamire, Chris Webber, Derek Anderson, Antonio Daniels, Gary Payton, Vladimir Radmanovic, Vin Baker, Donyell Marshall, Richard Hamilton, Kwame Brown, Nene Hilario, Kareem Rush, Caron Butler, Fred Jones, Mike Dunleavy, Carlos Arroyo

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