If you took the chance to read my first article in which I covered the Central Division then I'm sure you found it useful if you are new to the game. This article will preview the Atlantic Division which is a very interesting division. In my opinion some of these teams could be a challenge and some could be really easy to manage. There are some big names in this division and it'll be interesting to see how one might handle them.
Boston Celtics Draft Pick 16 Free Agents: Paul Pierce(Non Guaranteed salary in 13-14), Chris Wilcox Potentially freeing up about 2million in cap(a lot of no namers)
General: Well this team needs lots of work. I'm sure most of you are hearing about the potential Kevin Garnett trade with the Clippers and even Danny Ainge knows its time to rebuild. If you are considering choosing this team you will have a lot of work to do. You have to make a decision on whether you want to build around Rondo after the ACL injury. I'd definitely build around him because he is the best point guard when healthy and he should be fine when he's back. I'd perfer not to trade him but I would tell other GM's that he is available for trade if the right deal comes along. Boston loves its basketball and if you plan to rebuild you have to bring in potential all stars in order to get this team going again. Other than Jeff Green(and Rondo) there is no one on this roster worth keeping. You have to somehow free cap using KG and Pierce, whether thats trading for expirings or trading for young quality players. They must go! You would be very wise to bring in a couple of bigs and possibly move Green to the 3 position, if you do that you must bring in perimeter players off the bench for shooting. If you don't want to rebuild and believe one more year is in the books, then you can retain the same lineup and just ADD onto it! Don't add players with large contracts because this core will be broken up sooner or later and when its broken up, you're stuck with a large contract that belongs to a role player.
Draft: At pick 16 you are free to take a risk, draft the player with the highest upside even if he might bust. First, look at who falls out the lottery and if you don't like them then go with someone like Schroder if he's on the board, Shabazz Muhammad(to replace Pierce, might be a good pick since he can take on a big potential all star role) or go with the much needed big like Olyknyk, Plumlee, or even someone like Adams. Basically don't limit yourself, this team needs players all across the board.
Free Agency: Don't know how much cap you're going to have left, but I'm guessing you chose to rebuild if you have cap, which means KG and Pierce might be gone. If this is the case, only sign young quality players that can very productive. In other words, you are not free to make meaningless pickups, role players are very easy to find. O.J. Mayo is an option at the 2, even someone like Andrew Bynum. Sign high quality guys but don't overspend on someone that won't contribute to a winning team in the future. Remember you have Rondo, and building around him should be your goal.
Draft pick: 22 Free Agents: CJ Watson player option, Keith Bogans, Andray Blatche, and Jerry Stackhouse Potentially freeing up over 3 million
General: Wow, I hate this team, I don't see a future here. This team wants to win now and if you choose this team you might want to consider rebuilding even though your owner will fire you. Joe Johnson is on the downside of his career with a ridiculous contract, and he holds little value so you're better off keeping him. Gerald Wallace is terrible, for some reason he did not have a good season and he should go because he is not producing for what he's worth. Other than Blatche there is no power forward and I am not convinced Blatche is a starter material. Brook Lopez is a must keep and he is an excellent center. Look to build around Deron Williams and and Lopez! I would try to package Blatche and Wallace for a better big man to play down low with Lopez. Miami might consider moving Bosh? David West? even someone like ZBO or Bargnani. I'd prefer to have a defensive big but the ones that might be available are better offensive players and you can't have enough offense under the rim(see Memphis). The 3 position is an important position because they guard your best player, since Wallace is on the decline, his production can be duplicated at much cheaper. Perhaps use your pick make a trade, or sign some guys with the MLE, ala Corey Brewer!
Draft: Again, this late in the draft my rules are draft whoever slips or draft someone with the highest reward and highest risk. Rudy Gobert, Tony Mitchell, the kid from Greece, or Karvasev. This team needs a bench, they're all garbage, patch it up! Maybe trade this pick for two second rounders! Players late in this draft are tier 4 players...HINT HINT RICKY LEDO(early second rounder)
Free Agency: Just remodel the bench, use your MLE, and LLE wisely. Trade for depth and add 2-3 quality guys, simple as that.
New York Knicks
Draft Pick: 24 Free Agents: Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Rasheed Wallace, J.R. Smith(player option) Freeing up over 5million
General: I hate this team more than Brooklyn. There is no future here, but New York is in a win now state. We all know Melo needs help, and he doesn't really defend. Other than Melo, there is no one on this team worth keeping unless you like Chandler. Felton is just an average point guard, J.R. Smith is a sixth man, Amare Stoudamire is garbage(no one will take him so amnesty him), and there is no big man to play power forward. If you don't care about winning then this team should be easy to rebuild. I would suggest to build around Melo but he is your only trading chip and he's not really proving to be a franchise piece,(yea i know he's super talented). Clean house, there is no hope with this team unless you get lucky trading with some chump. Trade Melo and toss Amare with him for cap flexibility. Don't trade Melo unless Amare goes with him. Cap flexibility and young players with small contracts should be had here.
Draft: Trade the pick for some quality players in the second round, or rip someone off who's eager to draft.
Free Agency: Free up cap using Amare and then go after the biggest names possible, don't know how else to put it since no one else can get you value besides Melo. Free Agency is important but don't spend all your cap on a few guys try to distribute it if you're guy is gone. Remember to think long term, the past GM has never done that.
Draft: 11, 35 Free Agents: Andrew Bynum, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, Royal Ivey Freeing up 25 million
General: This team has a nice pg with Holiday and a nice hybrid 2-3 with Turner. Thaddeus Young is also nice but if you don't believe he can play the 3, then don't start him. Tweeners are bad news for you in your lineup. At this point, stay away from resigning Bynum unless he is the missing piece to your run by the time Free Agency hits. If you plan on starting young at the 3 then you must target perimter players, so bringing back Nick Young for around 5million would be wise. I would definitely consider moving Bynum though for a starting power forward who can play with his back to the basket.
Draft: Draft a center, or someone who fell(once again). Cody Zeller**, Shabazz Muhammad, KCP, McCollum would be my first three options because those three might be there. If not then go for someone like Olyknyk or Plumlee. Go for a backup point guard in the second round( strongest position later in the draft)
Free Agency: If you don't take a center and someone like Pekovic is on the market for much cheaper than Bynum then try to sign him instead. I would adress the big men posiitons in the Free Agency first then go after wings. A productive backup point guard would be valuable also if you didn't draft one in the second.
Draft Pick: none Free Agents: Telfair, and Alan Anderson Potentially freeing up: 3 million
General: I love this team even though they have no draft picks. After acquiring Gay, they are a piece or two away from contending. Lowry is an above average starting point guard. Valanciunas is a franchise center, and they have two excellent wing players. The only problem is Bargnani, I'd definitely put him on the block and look for a defensive power forward. Valanciunas has a nice post game and there is enough scoring on the perimter. I would target teams with cap issues( Toronto did that to get Rudy Gay). I wouldn't move anyone from the starting lineup unless you were getting a clear upgrade without giving up other starters. Not really much to do with this team but if you wanted to challange yourself you could break it up. This would be a good team to take if you were a rookie and I wouldn't do much but add on to it.
Draft: No picks, but could slide into the 2nd because they will be cheap and the 2nd round is considered to be strong. Backup point guards once again since Telfair is leaving and Calderon was traded.
Free Agency: After trading for your big man to replace bargnani, this team will need all sorts of help off the bench. I would first go after two big men that would cost you the MLE total ( 60 and 40 % MLE). Next I would bring in a backup point guard. This team should contend with a prodcutive free agency and a nice replacement to Bargnani in the future.