Grading Every NBA Team’s Offseason – Bleacher Report - Techy Hunters

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Monday, August 30, 2021

Grading Every NBA Team’s Offseason – Bleacher Report

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    With Lauri Markkanen landing with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade deal, all of the top NBA free agents are off the board.

    September is (almost) here, training camps begin in just a few weeks and rosters across the league are being finalized.

    Yes, it’s finally safe to assign some offseason grades.

    Teams were graded based on talent added, needs fulfilled and who did the most with what cap space, draft picks and trade assets they had to work with.

    Here’s who’s in, who’s out and who’s back with how the offseason went for all 30 NBA franchises.

    Note: Rookies are denoted with (R).

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: PG Delon Wright, C Gorgui Dieng, F Jalen Johnson (R), G Sharife Cooper (R)

    Re-Signings: PF John Collins, G Lou Williams, F Solomon Hill

    Extensions: PG Trae Young (five years, $172 million or $207 million if voted to All-NBA team)

    Key Losses: PG Kris Dunn, F Tony Snell, C Bruno Fernando

    Fresh off an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks carried their success into the offseason.

    Trading for Wright (10.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 37.2 percent from three last season) gives Young a reliable veteran backup, while adding Dieng in free agency provides second-year center Onyeka Okongwu more time to recover from July shoulder surgery.

    Getting Collins back on a non-max deal (five years, $125 million) was a win for Atlanta, especially since the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder both had max cap space to offer. With Young’s extension, Atlanta has two of its core pieces both under contract for the next five years.

    Johnson and Cooper could turn out to be steals for a Hawks team that’s now loaded at every position with young and veteran talent, and making Nate McMillan the permanent head coach was the easy decision, as he took over Atlanta when it was 14-20 and led it to a 27-11 record. 

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    Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: C Al Horford, PG Dennis Schroder, G/F Josh Richardson, C Enes Kanter, PG Kris Dunn, C Bruno Fernando

    Re-Signings: N/A

    Extensions: G Marcus Smart (four years, $77 million), C Robert Williams III (four years, $47.9 million)

    Key Losses: PG Kemba Walker, G/F Evan Fournier, C Tristan Thompson, F Semi Ojeleye

    With two starters gone and Brad Stevens moving from the sidelines to the front office, the Celtics will certainly look and operate differently in 2021-22.

    Schroder was the bargain signing of the offseason after his market dried up, agreeing to less than the full mid-level exception for a chance to start and rehab his value in Boston. He’s a downgrade from a healthy Walker, however. The Celtics salary-dumped Walker and a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Horford. 

    Horford and Williams should be enough to stabilize the center position, but not adding a starting-level power forward means Jayson Tatum will continue to see most of his minutes at the 4.

    Richardson has disappointed the last two years with the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers, but his contract could help facilitate future trades.

    Extending Smart was important, but losing Fournier, who took up most of the Gordon Hayward trade exception, was a disappointment.

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    Logan Riely/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG Patty Mills, F/C James Johnson, PG Jevon Carter, G Cam Thomas (R), C Day’Ron Sharpe (R)

    Re-Signings: F/C Blake Griffin, G/F Bruce Brown

    Extensions: F Kevin Durant (four years, $194.2 million)

    Key Losses: G Spencer Dinwiddie, F Jeff Green, G Landry Shamet

    With Kyrie Irving‘s injury history a concern, the Nets were fortunate to land Mills on a two-year, $12 million contract. He’ll play the sixth-man role in Brooklyn and is good enough to start when Irving inevitably needs to rest or miss time due to injury. Picking up Carter via trade with the Phoenix Suns only added to the point guard depth.

    Griffin is still being paid $29.8 million by the Detroit Pistons this season, so Brooklyn was able to bring him back on a minimum deal. He’s best suited as the backup power forward, however, instead of the defense-minded center the Nets asked him to play in the postseason.

    Brown agreed to return on a $4.7 million qualifying offer. That’s another win for the Nets, as he likely could have gotten longer and more lucrative deals elsewhere.

    Not being able to re-sign Dinwiddie or Green was disappointing, but their spots should be filled by Thomas, a rookie flamethrower, and Johnson.

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: SF Kelly Oubre Jr., C Mason Plumlee, PG Ish Smith, SG James Bouknight (R), C Kai Jones (R)

    Re-Signings: N/A

    Extensions: G Terry Rozier (four years, $96.3 million)

    Key Losses: PG Devonte’ Graham, SG Malik Monk, C Cody Zeller

    There’s no reason the Hornets shouldn’t make the East playoffs after a terrific summer, one that saw them add both immediate help and some good, young prospects.

    Getting Oubre to sign a two-year, $24.6 million contract was good value, as he’ll likely carry the second-team offense.

    Plumlee is an upgrade at center over Cody Zeller, and his remaining two-year deal should blend nicely into rookie Kai Jones eventually taking over the position. Bouknight fills the minutes and shots left from Monk’s role in the rotation as well.

    The Hornets also turned restricted free agent Graham into a first-round pick from the New Orleans Pelicans, a smart move that prevented them from overpaying a backup and losing him for nothing.

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: F DeMar DeRozan, PG Lonzo Ball, PG Alex Caruso, SF Derrick Jones Jr., C Tony Bradley

    Re-Signings: G Javonte Green, PG Devon Dotson

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F/C Lauri Markkanen, PF Thaddeus Young, PG Tomas Satoransky, C Daniel Theis, G/F Garrett Temple, F Al-Farouq Aminu

    Chicago’s offseason can be broken down into two parts.

    The point guard upgrades, adding Ball via sign-and-trade and Caruso in free agency, were brilliant. The fact that Chicago was able to get Ball on a reasonable four-year, $80 million deal from the New Orleans Pelicans while not even having to give up Markkanen or a first-round pick was one of the best transactions this summer.

    Caruso is a good three-point shooter and willing defender who knows how to play as a high-level reserve. Both he and Ball will do wonders for the team’s offense.

    The DeRozan sign-and-trade, however, feels odd.

    With Zach LaVine, Ball, Coby White and Nikola Vucevic all needing their touches, adding a ball-dominant, non-three-point shooting wing just doesn’t fit. Chicago overpaid both in contract (three years, $81.9 million) and assets surrendered (2025 first-round pick, Young, Aminu) for DeRozan, a player it’ll almost certainly try to trade before his contract is up.

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    Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG Ricky Rubio, F/C Lauri Markkanen, F/C Evan Mobley (R)

    Re-Signings: C Jarrett Allen

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F Larry Nance Jr., F Taurean Prince, PG Matthew Dellavedova

    The Cavs had perhaps the easiest drafting spot in the NBA at No. 3 overall, where one of Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green or Mobley was always going to be available.

    With Mobley falling to third, Cleveland got its new power forward and now faces a logjam at the position since Kevin Love—with two years and $60.2 million remaining on his contract—isn’t willing to discuss a buyout.

    Trading for Rubio filled the backup point guard position, but the Cavs also needed wing help and three-point shooting and had to give up Taurean Prince (41.5 percent from deep with Cleveland) in the deal for Rubio. To this point, general manager Koby Altman has done nothing to improve the wing.

    Giving Markkanen a four-year, $67 million deal seemed like an overpay, especially with few teams possessing any sort of cap space to drive up his price. The Cavs also had to give up Larry Nance Jr., their most versatile defender and a Northeast Ohio native, in the process.

    Nance is better than Markkanen, who now becomes a $17 million backup for a Cavs team who already took Mobley to be its franchise power forward and gave Allen a five-year, $100 million deal.

    For a team that’s preached culture building for the past three years, parting with Nance just to overpay Markkanen was a mistake.

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    Glenn James/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: SF Reggie Bullock, C Moses Brown, G/F Sterling Brown, HC Jason Kidd

    Re-Signings: SG Tim Hardaway Jr., C Boban Marjanovic

    Extensions: PG Luka Doncic (five years, $207 million)

    Key Losses: G/F Josh Richardson, F Nicolo Melli, HC Rick Carlisle

    Bullock is a perfect fit in today’s NBA as a 3-and-D wing, and his 42.5 percent catch-and-shoot success rate should bode well next to Luka Doncic.

    Still, this wasn’t the star signing most Mavericks fans likely would have preferred. With Tim Hardaway Jr. back and Kristaps Porzingis still under contract, Dallas went from a potential star destination in free agency to now having to rely mostly on internal improvements.

    Based on their resumes’, going from Carlisle to Kidd is a big downgrade. Dallas has to hope that previous coaching failures and playing a lead assistant role with the Los Angeles Lakers have improved Kidd’s ability to lead.

    This roster has way too many big men (Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Marjanovic, Brown, Willie Cauley-Stein) and seems destined to pull off a trade at some point.

    Getting Doncic to agree to a max extension was the most important part of the offseason, but the Mavericks didn’t do enough to become a title contender.

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    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    Key  Arrivals: F Jeff Green, Nah’Shon Hyland (R)

    Re-Signings: G/F Will Barton, PF JaMychal Green, G Austin Rivers

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: C JaVale McGee

    Denver wisely chose not to rock the boat too much, bringing back Barton, JaMychal Green and Rivers while adding Jeff Green for frontcourt depth.

    With Jamal Murray likely to miss most of the regular season while recovering from a torn ACL, getting Barton on a new two-year, $30 million deal helps keep the offense afloat. First-round pick Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland averaged 19.8 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 40 percent from three during summer league and could make an immediate offensive impact off the bench.

    Losing McGee to the Phoenix Suns in free agency may be a blessing in disguise if it means either Bol Bol or Zeke Nnaji gets a chance to join the rotation.

    Jeff Green was terrific for the Brooklyn Nets last season (11.0 points on 41.2 percent shooting) and is likely taking the spot of veteran forward Paul Millsap, who’s yet to sign anywhere as an unrestricted free agent.

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    Michael J. LeBrecht II/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: F/C Kelly Olynyk, F/C Trey Lyles, G Cade Cunningham (R)

    Re-Signings: G/F Hamidou Diallo, PG Cory Joseph, G Rodney McGruder, G Frank Jackson

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: C Mason Plumlee, SG Wayne Ellington

    Getting the No. 1 pick for the first time in 51 years was a blessing for a Pistons team already stocked with young talent.

    Cunningham is a natural leader, someone who’s going to take a lot of pressure off last year’s lottery pick, Killian Hayes, as the two share ball-handling duties as Detroit’s starting backcourt.

    Outside of selecting Cunningham (which was an easy decision), the Pistons didn’t do a whole lot this offseason.

    Getting Olynyk on a three-year, $37.2 million deal was done to give Cunningham and others the spacing they would need, and choosing not to trade Jerami Grant was the right call for a young team that needs veteran leaders. The Pistons didn’t sacrifice the future for win-now help, a wise decision for a team that will be one of the worst (but most promising!) in the league.

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    Janie McCauley/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: F Otto Porter Jr., F Andre Iguodala, PF Nemanja Bjelica, F Jonathan Kuminga (R), SG Moses Moody (R)

    Re-Signings: N/A

    Extensions: PG Stephen Curry (four years, $215.4 million)

    Key Losses: G/F Kelly Oubre Jr., PF Eric Paschall, G/F Kent Bazemore

    The Warriors did as well as they could have this offseason for not making a star trade and are now set up to become big-time buyers before the trade deadline.

    Kuminga has incredible upside as a two-way forward, and he’s sure to create plenty of highlights with his leaping ability. Moody is going to be another coveted trade asset, one who could see some early work with Klay Thompson likely out until Christmas.

    Getting Porter on a minimum deal was one of the best bargains of the summer, and a reunion with Iguodala should boost the team’s spirit while they wait on Thompson’s return. A Curry extension keeps him out of the 2022 free-agent class, even if that contract could look pretty rough by the end ($59.6 million owed in 2025-26 when Curry is 37 years old).

    The whole Oubre experiment turned out to be a dud, unfortunately, as the Warriors watched their third-leading scorer walk in free agency for nothing.

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    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: F/C Daniel Theis, SG Jalen Green (R), C Alperen Sengun (R), SG Josh Christopher (R), F/C Usman Garuba (R)

    Re-Signings: G/F David Nwaba

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F/C Kelly Olynyk, G/F Sterling Brown

    Adding four first-round picks to a rebuilding roster is always a good thing, especially if one of them looks like he could lead the league in scoring one day.

    Green is now the face of the franchise in Houston, and Sengun could have a big impact as a rookie as well.

    Signing Theis as a defensive option next to Christian Wood was smart, but this roster is dangerously vet-heavy for a team that needs its young players to grow and develop. John Wall‘s contract is untradeable, but Houston probably should have moved at least one of Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr. or D.J. Augustin, especially after re-signing Nwaba to a three-year, $15 million deal.

    Flipping a veteran (even for a future second-round pick) would have added assets and freed up shots for one of the incoming first-rounders who may see their minutes limited now.

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    A.J. Mast/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: HC Rick Carlisle, G/F Torrey Craig, G Chris Duarte (R), F Isaiah Jackson (R)

    Re-Signings: PG T.J. McConnell

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F Doug McDermott, G Aaron Holiday

    The Pacers were relatively quiet in free agency, with Craig their main addition as a multi-positional defender off the bench.

    Duarte, a 24-year-old rookie, should contribute to winning immediately, and Jackson gives the frontcourt some depth with McDermott leaving for the San Antonio Spurs.

    Knowing they weren’t going to compete with the Spurs’ three-year, $42 million deal, the Pacers were smart to turn McDermott’s signing into a sign-and-trade, netting them a $7.4 million trade exception to use in the next calendar year.

    Indiana’s success will largely depend on Carlisle’s impact as the new head coach and the return of T.J. Warren from a foot injury that caused him to miss all but four games last season.

    The Pacers didn’t make any major moves but might not have needed to, either.

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: G Eric Bledsoe, F Justise Winslow, G Keon Johnson (R), G Jason Preston (R)

    Re-Signings: SF Kawhi Leonard, PG Reggie Jackson, F Nic Batum

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: G Patrick Beverley, PG Rajon Rondo

    Despite having no draft picks and limited money to offer in free agency, the Clippers did as well as they could have given their situation.

    Getting Leonard back on a four-year, $176.3 million deal was the most important part, even if the threat of him leaving in free agency never seemed like a real possibility. Re-signing other key players in Jackson (two years, $21.6 million), Batum (two years, $6.5 million) and getting Serge Ibaka to pick up his $9.7 million player option when all three likely could have gotten paid more elsewhere was a major win as well.

    Swapping Beverley and Rondo for Bledsoe lowered the tax bill while also giving the Clippers some scoring punch while the team waits for Leonard to recover from a partially torn ACL.

    Johnson and Preston should both get a chance at making the rotation with Leonard sidelined and Beverley and Rondo gone, giving this team some good, young prospects to balance out a veteran-heavy roster.

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: PG Russell Westbrook, G Kendrick Nunn, PF Carmelo Anthony, SG Wayne Ellington, SG Malik Monk, C Dwight Howard, F Trevor Ariza, G/F Kent Bazemore, PG Rajon Rondo (reportedly)

    Re-Signings: G/F Talen Horton-Tucker

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Dennis Schroder, F Kyle Kuzma, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C Montrezl Harrell, PG Alex Caruso, C Andre Drummond, PF Markieff Morris, SG Ben McLemore

    While he’s not a perfect fit, Westbrook was easily the most talented player the Lakers could have added given their limited trade assets and non-existent cap space. The pre-trade meeting between Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis to talk about putting egos aside and doing whatever it takes to win should be a good sign that this can work as well.

    Given what little options they had to fill out the rest of the roster, Rob Pelinka and company did an admirable job.

    Nunn and Monk should play big minutes as two of the few players who are yet to hit their peak and can shoot, while Ellington and Ariza provide some needed floor-spacing around the Big Three.

    The center position (Marc Gasol and Howard) is a disaster, however, which could lead to Davis spending a healthy dose of his court time at the 5.

    Making significant changes to the roster isn’t something new for a team led by James, but given that he’s turning 37 in December, this might be his most challenging flip job yet.

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: C Steven Adams, G/F Jarrett Culver, PF Juancho Hernangomez, SF Ziaire Williams (R)

    Re-Signings: C Killian Tillie

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: C Jonas Valanciunas, F Justise Winslow, SG Grayson Allen

    The Grizzlies were extremely active on the trade market, swapping Valanciunas for Adams and Eric Bledsoe before moving Bledsoe to the Los Angeles Clippers for Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo. Memphis then traded Beverley to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Culver and Hernangomez, and it also dealt Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    With the dust finally (probably?) settled, it’s tough to tell if the Grizzlies got better or worse.

    Moving from Valanciunas to Adams is a downgrade, but it did allow Memphis to move up to No. 10 overall to select Williams, likely the small forward of the future. The Grizzlies also picked up a first-round pick via the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022, giving them three firsts overall next year (their own and the Utah Jazz pick via the Mike Conley trade).

    Winslow was never healthy enough to make an impact, and the emergence of Desmond Bane made Allen expendable.

    If Culver turns into a reliable rotation piece, this offseason will have been a success. If he flames out and Williams continues to struggle with his shot like he did in one year at Stanford, the Grizzlies will miss Valanciunas even more.

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    Scott Audette/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG Kyle Lowry, PF P.J. Tucker, PF Markieff Morris

    Re-Signings: G/F Duncan Robinson, G Victor Oladipo, PF Udonis Haslem

    Extensions: G/F Jimmy Butler (three years, $146.4 million)

    Key Losses: PG Goran Dragic, G/F Andre Iguodala, G Kendrick Nunn, F Trevor Ariza, PF Nemanja Bjelica, F/C Precious Achiuwa

    Miami may have had the best summer of any team (outside of the Milwaukee Bucks, for obvious reasons), as it should return to title contender status in 2021-22.

    Lowry (17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 39.6 percent from three) was arguably the biggest prize of the offseason, and at age 35 should still have a few really good years left.

    Tucker is still a pesky on-ball defender who can make life miserable for opponents, and getting Robinson back on a five-year, $90 million deal helps give everyone the spacing they need.

    Signing Oladipo to a one-year, minimum contract could turn out to be the bargain of the offseason if he can return to the court as early as November following surgery on his right quadriceps tendon.

    Needless to say, Pat Riley and company had their best offseason since 2010.

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    David Dow/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG George Hill, SG Grayson Allen, SF Rodney Hood, F Semi Ojeleye

    Re-Signings: PF Bobby Portis, F Thanasis Antetokounmpo

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PF P.J. Tucker, SG Bryn Forbes

    This offseason was already a success for the Bucks on Dec. 15, 2020, the day Giannis Antetokounmpo agreed to a five-year, $228 million extension that kept him out of the 2021 free-agent class.

    Already into the tax, the Bucks did as well as they could have by signing a quality backup point guard and familiar friend in Hill, bringing back a fan favorite in Portis on a two-year, $9 million deal and adding Hood and Ojeleye to a strong bench.

    The trade for Allen (10.6 points on 39.1 percent shooting) helps make up for the loss of Forbes and gives Milwaukee some insurance at shooting guard if Donte DiVincenzo suffers any setbacks from his ankle injury.

    Keeping Tucker in uniform would have been nice but ultimately proved too costly for the defending champs, who may have a better roster now than the version that won a title just over a month ago.

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    Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: F Taurean Prince, G Patrick Beverley

    Re-Signings: N/A

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Ricky Rubio, G/F Jarrett Culver, PF Juancho Hernangomez

    The Wolves were active on the trade market, dealing Rubio to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Prince and a 2022 second-round pick before swapping Culver and Hernangomez for Beverley.

    Prince shot the ball extremely well between the Brooklyn Nets and Cavs (9.5 points on 40 percent from three) before ankle surgery ended his season. He has the size at 6’7″ to play either forward position and will likely battle second-year wing Jaden McDaniels for the starting power forward job.

    Beverley slides into Rubio’s old role as the team’s backup point guard, even though he’s not nearly the playmaker Rubio is.

    After trading up to No. 6 in the 2019 draft to select Culver, swapping him for a 33-year-old guard who’s no longer an elite defender was a disappointing end to his Wolves career.

    Minnesota remains an interesting Ben Simmons trade destination, a deal that would salvage what’s been an uninspiring offseason.

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: C Jonas Valanciunas, PG Devonte’ Graham, G/F Garrett Temple, PG Tomas Satoransky, HC Willie Green

    Re-Signings: G/F Josh Hart

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Lonzo Ball, C Steven Adams, G Eric Bledsoe, F/C James Johnson, HC Stan Van Gundy

    Trading Adams and Bledsoe in a deal for Valanciunas seemed like the start of a big offseason for the Pelicans, who desperately need to start making playoff runs. The former Memphis Grizzlies center is a capable three-point shooter and decent enough defender, although Myles Turner would have fit better. Still, getting off Bledsoe’s contract was a plus.

    From there, things went downhill.

    Not matching a reasonable four-year, $80 million deal for Ball was only acceptable if there was a better backup plan in place (narrator: there was not). Graham is a downgrade from Ball in nearly every area, and the Pelicans had to give up a first-round pick just to facilitate a trade for the restricted free agent. After only getting a second-rounder from the Chicago Bulls for Ball, this was a slap in the face.

    Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have to start wondering what the plan is—if there’s even one at all.

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    Key Arrivals: PG Kemba Walker, SF Evan Fournier, SG Quentin Grimes (R)

    Re-Signings: PG Derrick Rose, C Nerlens Noel, G/F Alec Burks, C Taj Gibson

    Extensions: Julius Randle (four years, $117.1 million)

    Key Losses: G/F Reggie Bullock, PG Elfrid Payton

    It’s understandable that the Boston Celtics didn’t want to pay Walker $74 million over the next two years, given the questionable health of the 31-year-old’s knees. For the Knicks, taking an $18 million gamble over the next pair of seasons is well worth it.

    Signing Walker after his trade to and buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder was a stroke of good luck for New York, who used Payton as its starting point guard most of last season.

    Walker and Rose may not be the most durable pair of floor generals, but they are still extremely productive when on the court.

    Noel and Burks got some nice raises to return to their reserve roles, and Fournier (four years, $73 million) should start between RJ Barrett and Randle.

    Getting Randle to agree to an extension worth $29.3 million on average was a great deal for the Knicks, who could have lost (or had to really overpay him) in free agency next year.

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    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: C Derrick Favors, G Josh Giddey (R), G Tre Mann (R), F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (R)

    Re-Signings: C Mike Muscala

    Extensions: PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (five years, $172 million or $207 million if voted to All-NBA team)

    Key Losses: C Al Horford, C Moses Brown, C Tony Bradley, G Svi Mykhailiuk

    There’s no reason OKC shouldn’t be the worst team in the NBA this season, as Sam Presti and company made every effort to get worse in an attempt to add more draft picks.

    Swapping Horford and Brown for Kemba Walker netted the Thunder the 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft, a selection that was then sent to the Houston Rockets for multiple future first-rounders.

    While adding picks is fine, OKC passed on the chance to select center Alperen Sengun, who Houston took at 16. After trading one young center in Brown to Boston, the Thunder should have stayed put and simply picked up Sengun to pair with Giddey, the sixth overall selection.

    At some point, the Thunder have to try to compete, as they don’t possess a single player making over $9.7 million this season. 

    Both Giddey and Mann could turn out to be solid starters, but this team should have swapped future picks to try and trade up for some frontcourt talent to build with as well.

    Getting Gilgeous-Alexander to agree to an extension was nice, but one has to wonder how patient he’ll be with this roster moving forward.

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    Michael J. LeBrecht II/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: C Robin Lopez, G Jalen Suggs (R), F Franz Wagner (R), HC Jamahl Mosley

    Re-Signings: PF Moritz Wagner

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F Otto Porter Jr., HC Steve Clifford

    Getting Suggs to fall to No. 5 overall was extremely fortunate for Orlando, a player who probably would have gone first overall last season.

    For a franchise that needed a guiding light and future All-Star, Suggs is now that guy for the Magic. While it creates a depth chart dilemma with Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz, Suggs should be the primary ball-handler for this team.

    Jonathan Kuminga would have been the perfect partner for Suggs, who went one spot before Orlando was picking again at No. 8. Wagner has the size and skill set to be a solid starter, but the eye test doesn’t scream future star.

    Lopez is a good locker room veteran but shouldn’t be playing over Wendell Carter Jr. or Mo Bamba as this team continues to build up its core.

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    Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: C Andre Drummond, PF Georges Niang

    Re-Signings: SF Danny Green, G/F Furkan Korkmaz

    Extensions: Joel Embiid (four years, $196 million)

    Key Losses: G George Hill, C Dwight Howard

    So, about that whole Ben Simmons trade thing…

    With Simmons still on the roster (but totally about to be traded, right?), the offseason for Philly still feels incomplete.

    Getting Green back on a two-year, $20 million deal was good value and gives the Sixers a tradeable contract should they want to piece together a future deal. Korkmaz also re-signed at a reasonable rate (three years, $15 million), and Niang (two years, $6.8 million) brings some outside shooting to the frontcourt.

    Although his value has taken a hit over the past two years, getting Drummond on a minimum deal still seemed like a bit of a surprise. If he locks in on the defensive end and continues to rebound at a high level, Drummond is easily the best backup center in the NBA.

    With Kyle Lowry no longer an option, the Sixers may be waiting on a potential Damian Lillard fallout with the Portland Trail Blazers before they finally trade Simmons.

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    Bart Young/Getty Images

    New Arrivals: SG Landry Shamet, C JaVale McGee, PG Elfrid Payton

    Re-Signings: PG Chris Paul, PG Cameron Payne, C Frank Kaminsky

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: G/F Torrey Craig, PG Jevon Carter

    Bringing back Paul was the first and most important item on the Suns’ offseason to-do list, and his four-year, $120 million contract is actually a lot more team friendly than it looks.

    The $30 million fourth year is non-guaranteed, and only $15.8 million of Paul’s $30.8 million is promised in the third year. If things go south quickly for the 36-year-old point guard, Phoenix has an out.

    Re-signing backup point guard Cameron Payne on a three-year, $19 million is good insurance for Paul and helps keep his minutes in check, with Payton serving as extra depth.

    McGee is still a good rim protector and Shamet, 24, is a career 39.7 percent shooter from deep. It’s been a good offseason for the Western Conference champs, although finding extensions for Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges would have made it even better.

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: PF Larry Nance Jr., C Cody Zeller, SG Ben McLemore, SF Tony Snell, HC Chauncey Billups

    Re-Signings: G/F Norman Powell

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: SF Derrick Jones Jr., PF Carmelo Anthony, C Enes Kanter, F/C Zach Collins, HC Terry Stotts

    Adding Nance in a three-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls was a huge boost for Portland, especially for a team that finished 29th overall in defense last season.

    Nance was the Cavs’ most versatile defender, averaging a career-high 1.7 steals per game and ranking in the 97th percentile for defensive swing rating, shaving 9.3 points per 100 possessions off Cleveland’s defensive rating when he was on the floor.

    He’s good enough to start at power forward or be a key piece to Portland’s rotation off the bench. Re-signing Powell was a must, and a five-year, $90 million deal was solid value for a player with his scoring ability.

    The rest of the Blazers’ offseason additions (McLemore, Zeller, Snell) won’t make much of a difference, as Portland must now convince Damian Lillard that it did enough to make this team a title contender.

    On paper, it’s not looking good.

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    Michael J. LeBrecht II/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: C Tristan Thompson, C Alex Len, PG Davion Mitchell (R)

    Re-Signings: C Richaun Holmes, SF Maurice Harkless, SG Terence Davis

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Delon Wright, C Hassan Whiteside

    The Kings love them some centers and point guards, an odd choice in a league that’s been dominated by forwards for the past decade.

    Re-signing Holmes to a four-year, $46.5 million deal was a win, especially for a player who was reportedly seeking nearly twice that on the open market.

    Drafting Mitchell, yet another guard to go along with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, is going to cause some playing time issues, especially with Buddy Hield still on the roster. Keeping Marvin Bagley III was a curious move as well, as he’ll go into free agency next year and hasn’t seemed thrilled about staying in Sacramento.

    If the Kings can package Hield and Bagley together for some wing help, this roster makes far more sense. For now, it’s a talented, awkward-fitting bunch that will fall short of the postseason.

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    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: F Doug McDermott, PF Thaddeus Young, PF Al-Farouq Aminu, F/C Zach Collins, SG Bryn Forbes, PG Joshua Primo (R)

    Re-Signings: N/A

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: F DeMar DeRozan, PF Rudy Gay, PG Patty Mills, F/C Trey Lyles, C Gorgui Dieng

    One of the few teams to feature max cap space this summer and needing frontcourt help, the Spurs missed out on John Collins, Lauri Markkanen and others only to give McDermott and Collins a combined $64 million.

    The last remaining member from a Spurs title team, Mills, is now gone, leaving for the Brooklyn Nets, while Gay signed with the Utah Jazz. San Antonio was at least able to flip DeRozan in a sign-and-trade for a first-round pick and Young, who was an important part both on and off the floor with the Chicago Bulls.

    Taking yet another guard in the first round with Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV and Tre Jones already on the roster was a surprising decision, especially if the team knew DeRozan was unlikely to return.

    San Antonio has at least been competitive the past two seasons while missing the playoffs. This could be the first year in two-and-a-half decades the Spurs are bad, with no All-Star left on the roster.

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    Michael J. LeBrecht II/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG Goran Dragic, F/C Precious Achiuwa, F Sam Dekker, G Svi Mykhailiuk, F Scottie Barnes (R)

    Re-Signings: SG Gary Trent Jr., C Khem Birch

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Kyle Lowry, C Aron Baynes, SF Rodney Hood

    The end of the Lowry era seemed inevitable, so to even get Dragic and Achiuwa back in a sign-and-trade was better than nothing.

    Dekker and Mykhailiuk bring some shooting to the second unit, and Birch played well enough as the starting center last year to earn a three-year, $20 million deal.

    Passing on Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs in favor of Barnes was a risky move, and we likely won’t know if it was the correct move for years to come. Suggs seemed like the perfect replacement for Lowry, however, and now there’s more pressure on Fred VanVleet as the primary ball-handler for the first time in his career.

    The decision to flip Norman Powell for Trent at the deadline proved to be the right one, as Toronto was able to sign the 22-year-old to a three-year, $51.8 million deal.

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Key Arrivals: PF Rudy Gay, C Hassan Whiteside, PF Eric Paschall

    Re-Signings: PG Mike Conley

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: C Derrick Favors, PF Georges Niang

    Much like the Phoenix Suns with Chris Paul, the Jazz’s offseason depended on re-signing Conley in free agency.

    The 33-year-old likely could have received more than the three-year, $68 million deal he ultimately agreed to, a contract that only has a partial guarantee ($14.3 million of the $24.4 million) in the third year.

    A new deal for Conley (especially when factoring in previous extensions for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert) pushed the Jazz deep into the luxury tax, however, causing them to dump Favors and a future first-round pick onto the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Whiteside was a good bargain-bin replacement at center, and Paschall, a friend of Mitchell, should keep the face of the franchise happy.

    Gay is another veteran who can shoot and defend off the bench for a team that should once again be one of the best in the league.

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    Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

    Key Arrivals: PG Spencer Dinwiddie, PF Kyle Kuzma, G/F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C Montrezl Harrell, G Aaron Holiday, SF Corey Kispert (R), HC Wes Unseld Jr.

    Re-Signings: PG Raul Neto

    Extensions: N/A

    Key Losses: PG Russell Westbrook, C Robin Lopez, C Alex Len, PG Ish Smith, HC Scott Brooks

    Kudos to the Wizards for getting off the contracts of John Wall and Westbrook in back-to-back offseasons, all while ending up with some good role players in the process.

    Washington may not be a better team than the one that made the East playoffs last season, but it has a whole lot more depth and roster flexibility.

    A healthy Dinwiddie should be a good fit next to Beal in the backcourt, with both able to play on or off the ball as needed. Kuzma should see more touches now that he’s away from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Harrell will need to be at his best to take minutes away from Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant before he hits unrestricted free agency.

    The Wizards can’t sell this team as a title contender to Beal yet, but there’s a lot more opportunity now to turn it into one.   

        

    All salary information via Spotrac. Stats via NBA.com and Cleaning the Glass unless otherwise noted.



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