The moves that set up the 2012-13 NBA season began the day before the Miami Heat finished off the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 21. During the off day between the penultimate and the decisive games of the Finals, the Washington Wizards sent Rashard Lewis and a draft pick that turned out to be Darius Miller to the New Orleans Hornets for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.
It remains to be seen if that move is going to have an impact on this season's championship. It certainly won't for the Wizards or Hornets. But of course New Orleans bought Lewis out of his deal, which freed him up to sign with the Miami Heat. Lewis hasn't played a major role for the Heat, but he's shot lights-out when he has gotten onto the court, and it's not too farfetched to imagine him going on a crucial shooting spree in the playoffs.
Since the Washington-New Orleans trade, there have been more than 300 player moves across the league, and many of them will play a part in determining which club hoists the Larry O'Brien Trophy four months from now. Some moves will have more of an effect than others this spring, while other transactions will have more long-term resonance.
Let's focus on the near-term for now and revisit four moves from the offseason that will have the most major impact on playoff implications.
1. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis acquired by Heat
Hollinger playoff odds: 22 percent