Top Two NBA Off-Season Moves

Last year our Free NBA Picks went 40-20, which is an impressive 67%. We must admit, that didn't happen by accident.

Our Free NBA Picks system is a complicated formula which ranks teams offensive and defensive performances and determines which spreads have the most value. But as much attention as we pay to the NBA regular season, we pay even more to the off-season. During this time, we get a real solid idea of which teams might surprise the league (and the bookies) in the upcoming season.

That said, here are our two biggest off-season moves that could turn teams around in the NBA.

1. Bucks steal Richard Jefferson from Nets

By getting rid of a bad contract (Bobby Simmons) and arguably a bad player (Yi Jianlian) and adding one of the top small forwards in the game, the Bucks have improved drastically and should be a force to reckon with in the weak Eastern Conference. Despite the addition, they are still likely to fly under the radar due to a horrible 2007-08 season, so there should be plenty of opportunities to win some bucks on the Bucks.

2. Artest the missing piece in Houston

Houston, we have a problem-child. But we also have an extremely talented player. The Kings were nearly forced to part ways with Artest, and the Rockets made a great low-risk, high-reward investment. With the addition of Artest, the Rockets have a big three comparable to the NBA champion Boston Celtics. Artest and Tracy McGrady, along with a healthy Yao Ming, should compete for a spot in the NBA Finals.