Western Conference Offseason Wrap-up 1. What free agent signing will have the biggest impact on their new team? John Bond, TrueBlueNation.com: I think it has to be Dwight Howard in Portland. He will have a huge impact wether it be good or bad. If he comes in and lives up to his potential then it will pay off, but if he comes in and starts clanking free throws and not playing well alongside LaMarcus Aldridge it could blow up in BBJ's face. Ryan Coleman, Sol Invictus: Dwight Howard to Portland, no question. They have a very good starting group now and should easily be one of the top teams out west, if not the favorite on pure talent alone Drew Holoubek, Running of the Bulls: I don't know how the answer can be anything other than Dwight going to Portland. His presence on defense and rebounds alone have to make the Blazers a threat to win the conference. Matt Ingram, TheHawksNest.com: How can you say anything else besides Dwight Howard. He is immediately the best player on the team and changes the entire focus of that offense. Now Dwight has a history of chemistry issues, so the impact could be either a positive or negative one. Time will tell. Mike Erickson, FourStageRocket.com: D12 for sure in Portland. I dont think that can be argued. 2. What under the radar signing will provide the biggest value to his new team? JB: The Hornets picked up Josh Selby. On paper this doesn't look like that big of a deal but Selby is a JR guy and I have a feeling that bad things are going to happen to the opponents that overlook him. RC: I think Aminu will have a solid year for the Thunder, he allows Durant to be mismatched at the 4 and is a great rebounder and perimeter defender. It was an ignored move, but he was a solid player for the Suns last year in limited minutes DH: I really like some of the moves the Rockets made at the point, bringing in guys like Ish Smith to solidify what was really the only weakness in the starting 5. MI: I've got a tie for this one, Ill say Josh Selby winding up in New Orleans is huge. I'm quite interested to see the back court rotation for the Hornets. Blake, Rivers, Gordon and Selby, any combination of those guys would a be solid back court. Look for the Hornets to continue to make noise. The other guy ill go with is Aaron Brooks back to the Rockets. He has shown he can have success in that city, in 2010-2011 he average 19 points a game there. Brooks is a solid PG and will be a great addition to the rockets. ME: Homer pick here, i think Wes johnson/Ariza/Bell/Barbosa will make life so much easier in Houston. The Rockets had ZERO depth last season and were surprisingly competitive. I think that crew will help the rockets to 5-7 more wins and push for the 7-8 seed 3. How many Wins do the following new additions add to their respective teams: Dwight Howard & Nikola Pekovic JB: Dwight Howard - Portland was an 8 seed last year and now I think they will jump up to 4. Nikola Pekovic - RyanC is going from basically not having a center at all to getting a great young center that will push him into the playoffs. RC: Dwight Howard - at least 10, this signing is huge and makes the Blazers a much better team than they already were Nikola Pekovic - I will say 5. Pek is incredible on the offensive glass and is very good inside, where he earned a post proficiency signature skill. DH: Dwight Howard - probably 4-5 wins, but the playoff implications are HUGE. Nikola Pekovic - the Suns were already playing far better after the Derozan deal, and I would have picked them for the playoffs before getting Pek. I think he gives them 2-3 more wins. MI: Dwight Howard - I'll say 10 wins, thats a big jump, but this addition makes The Blazers one of the most formidable teams in the west. A top seed would not be out of the question at all, though the Hornets and Clippers will have something to say about that. Nikola Pekovic - I'm not as high on this guy as some of the other people around the league. I'll say the Suns get over .500 this season, but I dont know if its because of this guy. They had an arguably better Center last year in town in Marcin Gortat and seemed to under use him severely before trading him for DeRozan. So it might just be a philosophy issue. Ill certainly be watching though, that is an exciting team with some very nice pieces, once again though, I'm not sure if Pekovic will be utilized to his fullest. ME: Dwight Howard - 5-7 wins i would say. BBKKK should be in the hunt for the #1 seed in the West Nikola Pekovic - This should put the Suns in the playoffs, easily. 4. Just on offseason signings alone, how many new playoff teams do we see in the East? JB: I think Phoenix jumps in. RC: I think the Suns make a push and make it in DH: I'll say 2 - I think Houston and Phoenix make it this year. MI: Houston should make it in if the can keep Coach Mike E in town long enough to coach some games. I also think the Suns get in with a much better team. ME: I think both Houston and Phoenix get in the dance. 5. Who ultimately won the offseason in the East? JB: Right now you have to say that Portland won because they got the #1 sought after guy. But let's not forget that the Clippers were able to hold onto CP3. RC: Portland. They went from middle of the pack to top 2 or 3 in one offseason. DH: Nobody wants to say it, but it has to be bringbackjimmy. He got Dwight over about 4 owners who pursued him. MI: Houston is my choice, they added the most pieces and are a much deeper team now. ME: BBJ. hands down That’s a wrap for this edition of 5-On-5.