10 best offseason moves, from steals to smart deals

Updated: January 10, 2007, 3:55 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
Getting something for nothing isn't as easy as it looks.

Just ask the Denver Nuggets, for example. Their offseason acquisition of shooting guard J.R. Smith -- who makes his return to the lineup tonight -- seemed like a simple, no-brainer play. Give Howard Eisley's contract and two second-round picks to the Bulls and -- voila! -- the shooting guard problem is solved.

J.R. Smith
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesIf J.R. Smith had gone to college, he would have been wearing Carolina blue.

In reality, Denver's offseason coup was several months in the making, and required a leap of faith or two along the way. The fact that the Nuggets had Eisley and those picks lying around was no accident, but the result of careful planning to take advantage of future opportunities.