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Posted: Monday October 26, 2009 1:10PM; Updated: Monday October 26, 2009 4:00PM
Ian Thomsen Ian Thomsen >

5 Minute Guide to '09-10 season (cont.)

8 good buys to be had

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Tracy McGrady could be trade bait for the Rockets if he proves to be healthy in his return from major knee surgery.
Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images
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Chris Kaman, Clippers
If the skilled center shows he's healthy, the Clippers would like to move his contract.

Yi Jianlian, Nets
Rebuilding teams may be willing to gamble on his talent while benefiting from his draw from the Chinese market.

Andres Nocioni, Kings
His contract isn't attractive, but he'd provide toughness and shooting to a contender.

Tracy McGrady, Rockets
He could help a playoff contender on a second-half run. So could Bucks guard Michael Redd.

Carlos Boozer, Jazz
His track record with injuries is so-so and he'll be looking for big money next summer, but he provides All-NBA numbers.

Andrei Kirilenko, Jazz
He could supply frontcourt glue to a contender that lacks chemistry.

Andray Blatche, Wizards
This young, long talent has some value and a reasonable three-year contract worth $10 million.

Josh Smith, Hawks
He's only 22 with five years of NBA experience, and the potential to be an All-NBA defender.

All-needs team

In general terms, the Warriors need more defense and the Bucks need more offense. Now let's go deeper ...

C: The Pistons need a low-post scorer and shot-blocker here.
PF: The Bulls need to find a scorer here to complement Derrick Rose.
SF: The Hornets need outside shooting in place of Peja Stojakovic, who has been slowed by back problems.
SG: The Timberwolves need a big-time scorer on the wing.
PG: The 76ers need to find a replacement for Andre Miller's floor leadership.

8 no-brainer acquisitions

All of these newcomers should help:

Ron Artest: What did the Lakers lack? Toughness.

Richard Jefferson: He should be a perfect fit at both ends of the floor for the Spurs.

Vince Carter: A scorer and playmaker who raises the Magic's talent level.

Rasheed Wallace: He strengthens the Celtics in a number of areas, starting with defense.

Hedo Turkoglu: He'll create mismatches and provide a second ball-handler to Toronto.

Mike Miller and Randy Foye: The acquisition of these two solidifies the Wizards' rise back into contention.

Stephen Curry: The No. 7 pick in the draft will score a lot of points in Don Nelson's offense.

Tyreke Evans: The finesse Kings began to transform the franchise by using the No. 4 pick on a tough point guard with the potential to physically dominate the opposition.

5 acquisitions that will be watched closely

Some around the league are questioning these newcomers:

Shaquille O'Neal: Will he slow the tempo and clog the lane for LeBron? I think he'll ultimately do far more good than harm to Cleveland.

Ben Gordon: Will he coexist with Richard Hamilton? The important thing to remember here is that the Pistons are just beginning to reinvent their roster, with more moves to come that will change team chemistry.

Emeka Okafor/Tyson Chandler: The trade that sent Okafor from Charlotte to New Orleans will provide an opportunity to study the merits of each big man in a new setting.

Shawn Marion: After his numbers dropped the last year and a half with Miami and Toronto, Marion has a chance to restore his value while being reunited with Jason Kidd in Dallas.

Andre Miller: Brandon Roy needs the ball as much as Miller. It will be interesting to see how two smart players work this one out together in Portland.

4 under-the-radar issues

Marquis Daniels: The Celtics need him to help at the point, but the 6-6 Daniels has missed 141 games in six seasons. Will he stay healthy?

Courtney Lee: Now that the Nets are counting on him for big minutes at shooting guard, can he become his generation's Raja Bell?

Scott Skiles: Michael Redd is surrounded by a bunch of hustling defenders. Can an NBA team earn respect without scoring?

Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions and Ricky Rubio: How will the first two progress in Minnesota? Will they be overshadowed by Rubio at Barcelona?

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