Final Offseason Improvement Rankings: Pacific Division

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March 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Suns were the worst team in the Western Conference and the fourth-worst overall. They earned the fifth pick in the 2013 draft with that miserable season. This coming season, the Suns will exciting and more interesting, but also worse, because almost all the other teams improved themselves. This could give the Suns one of the top picks in a potentially top-5 draft in NBA history. I asked editors around FanSided’s NBA Division for the low-down on their team.

Disclaimer: It took a while to coordinate with everyone and with some people I couldn’t get in touch, so I had to assess the offseasons of some teams. Also, I had to update some teams who continued signing and trading players after these were written.

  • Los Angeles Lakers – Jacob Rude  (Lake Show Life)

Obviously, any conversation about the Lakers free agency begins and ends with Dwight Howard. Whether or not the Lakers courtship of him was an act of desperation is a moot point as it was unsuccessful in the end. To add to the fun, the further we get from the Dwightmare, the more stories about Howard’s antics and battles with teammates surface. Much has been made about his decision and the aftermath, so let’s move on past that.

For the Lakers, the game plan has been to keep all contracts to one-year in order to maintain maximum cap flexibility for next summer. They let Chris Duhon, Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock, Devin Ebanks, and Earl Clark walk, with Clark being the only significant loss. They brough in Chris Kaman on the mini mid-level exception, then signed Nick Young and Jordan Farmar to the veterans minimums. The team will likely look to add another small forward to the roster, possibly from their summer league team. (after Jacob wrote this they signed Wesley Johnson and other smaller signings).

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