NBA offseason recap: Miami Heat stay pat, still team to catch in Southeast Division

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Everyone in the Southeast Division is trying to catch the Miami Heat. Did the other four teams get close?

The Miami Heat did next to nothing this offseason, but unsurprisingly, the two-time NBA champs are still the team everybody's chasing in the Southeast Division.

That's not to say nobody else made moves. The Wizards moved closer to re-signing John Wall to a max deal, keeping their franchise player in the fold while adding DC-area talent Otto Porter through the draft. The Hawks added Paul Millsap and Elton Brand to bolster a frontcourt led by Al Horford. And the Magic and Bobcats picked up Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller in the draft.

But simply put, this is a division with one NBA champion and three squads that selected in the top five of this year's draft. The futures of other teams ould get bright, but that can't outshine two straight Larry O'Brien trophies.

Here's every move made by a Southeast Division squad this offseason, complete with analysis:

Miami Heat

Returning players under contract: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Shane Battier, Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Jarvis Varnado

Added Lost

James Ennis

Free Agents Chris Andersen Juwan Howard (?)

Mike Miller (Amnesty)

The Heat clearly entered this summer planning to keep quiet after winning their second consecutive title in the spring. While other teams bolster their rosters to make a run at the reigning champions, Miami looks to maintain the status quo with a group highly similar to the one that beat San Antonio in June. As the folks say, don't mess with success.

Atlanta Hawks

Returning players under contract: Al Horford, Lou Williams, John Jenkins, Mike Scott, DeShawn Stevenson, Shelvin Mack

Added Lost

Lucas Nogueira

Dennis Schroeder

Mike Muscala

Free Agents

Jeff Teague

Kyle Korver

Paul Millsap

Elton Brand

Josh Smith

Devin Harris

Ivan Johnson

Anthony Tolliver

Zaza Pachulia

Johan Petro

Dahntay Jones


Jared Cunningham

Waivers Gustavo Ayon

After years of being a second-tier contender in the East, the Hawks continue to remake their roster under GM Danny Ferry. By re-signing restricted free agent Jeff Teague, nabbing Paul Millsap on an insanely good contract and getting Kyle Korver to return on a backloaded deal, Ferry was able to keep Atlanta highly competitive while avoiding risky long-term deals like the $54 million commitment Josh Smith received from Detroit. It's unclear how good Atlanta can be with this group, but after years of the same, at least things are changing.

Washington Wizards

Returning players under contract: John Wall, Nene, Bradley Beal, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton

Added Lost

Otto Porter

Glen Rice Jr.

Free Agents

Martell Webster

Eric Maynor

Garrett Temple

Cartier Martin

Jason Collins

A.J. Price

Leandro Barbosa



With much of the roster already in place after years of activity, the Washington Wizards opted to keep things simple this offseason. No big moves, just the drafting of Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., re-signing of Martell Webster and Garrett Temple and the addition of Eric Maynor. Rather than stir things up after a surprisingly successful second half to 2012-13, Washington simply hopes to maintain that success with better health from key players like John Wall and Nene. If it works, there may be some playoff basketball in D.C.

Orlando Magic

Returning players under contract: Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Maurice Harkless, Al Harrington, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, Hedo Turkoglu, Doron Lamb, E'Twaun Moore

Added Lost

Victor Oladipo

Romero Osby

Free Agents

Jason Maxiell

Ronnie Price

Beno Udrih

DeQuan Jones



The Magic added an excellent prospect in Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick in the draft, but this is a franchise aiming for another high pick a year from now. Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart ... ultimately, the Magic need to land one of those premier guys to take another leap forward. With an extremely young roster powered by Oladipo, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, the Magic should be pretty bad next season despite having some damn good pieces to build around. If they can add one of the big 2014 guys to mix, GM Rob Hennigan's rebuilding project could reach success pretty quickly.

Charlotte Bobcats

Returning players under contract: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo, Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon, Jeff Adrien, Jeff Taylor, Brendan Haywood

Added Lost

Cody Zeller

Free Agents

Al Jefferson

Gerald Henderson

Josh McRoberts

Jannero Pargo

Reggie Williams

Byron Mullens

DeSagana Diop



Tyrus Thomas (Amnesty)

The final season of Bobcats basketball will presumably be a frustrating one, like many that have preceded it. Despite the constant flow of lottery talent into Charlotte, the franchise simply hasn't translated that into success, to the extent that ownership plans to bring back the old Hornets moniker in hopes of fostering some positive response from fans. It's not a bad idea, but with such a desperate need to improve, one should probably wonder why the team found it necessary to sign Al Jefferson this offseason. Not that he's a bad player, but with the opportunity to land a possibly elite young player next summer, now seems like a weird time to be looking for minor improvements.

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