NBA Offseason Evaluations

Atlanta Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks seemed to have a very interesting offseason. After trading away Dwight Howard for much less than what they could have gotten for him with market value, they let Paul Millsap walk to the Denver Nuggets on a 3-year, $90 million contract and Tim Hardaway Jr. go right back to the New York Knicks. It looks as though the Hawks are navigating towards a full rebuild.

Grade: C+

Boston Celtics: The Celtics offseason seemed to be very exciting, as they held the first overall pick. They ended up trading the pick and a future pick to the 76ers for the third overall pick. The franchise ended up selecting Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick.

The Celtics later picked up Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz in free agency, a 22-point per game scorer who will instantly make that team better, and help them compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Celtics had to release many key role players, and even traded starting SG Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris.

Grade: B+ 

Brooklyn Nets: The Brooklyn Nets are still faltering from a trade they made with the Boston Celtics several years ago, but they seem to be going in the right direction. One notable move they made this offseason was trading longtime center Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.  I think trading for a young, promising player like Russell is the first step toward a rebuild and just what the Nets need. The team also made moves such as trading for Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll, and trading for those promising players will help them reach their full potential while giving the Nets more veteran talent.

Grade: B+

Charlotte Hornets: Big expectations were there for the Hornets in the Eastern Conference, and it is fair to say that they were underwhelming in their 2016-2017 campaign.  Kemba Walker killed it, averaging 23.2 points per game and making an all star appearance. Yet, despite keeping most of their roster, the Hornets were still disappointing. They made some good moves in the offseason, however, acquiring star big man Dwight Howard for practically nothing and getting Malik Monk with the 11th pick in the NBA draft, and he was a steal and could most definitely be the steal of the draft. Grade: A-

Chicago Bulls: It looks like the Bulls have decided to go in a different direction. After an underwhelming season of barely making the playoffs, the parted ways with star player Jimmy Butler, trading him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the 16th overall pick. Dwyane Wade accepted his player option, and he looks like their best player, which doesn’t bode well for how the team is going to be in the 2017-18 season. I think it’s good that they found a direction for this team, but I think they should have gotten more for Jimmy Butler. Grade: C+

Cleveland Cavaliers: After losing in the NBA finals to the Warriors for the second time in 3 years, many people expected them to make a big move that would put them closer to the warriors. Instead, their offseason has been filled with chaos and confusion. David Griffin stepped down as GM, and the Thunder won the Paul George sweepstakes, a player they were desperately vying to get. Add Kyrie Irving requesting a trade to this dumpster fire of an offseason and you get complete and utter chaos. One good move they made, however, was signing Derrick Rose to a veteran’s minimum one year deal, a true steal, as Rose could have gotten much more money on the open market if wanted.

Grade: D

Dallas Mavericks: It seems as if the Mavericks have had a fairly boring, but effective offseason. A young an exciting team, the mavs can only go up. They acquired Nerlens Noel from the 76ers, a player that certainly has the potential to serve as their franchise center, and drafted Dennis Smith Jr, a player who has rookie of the year potential and one that was once projected to be a top 3 pick. They also signed Dirk Nowitzki to a very cheap 2 year, 10 mil. contract. However, I think the uncertainty regarding Nerlens Noel’s contract hurts them a little bit.

Grade: B

Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets are a young, promising team who just barely missed out on the playoffs in the 2016-17 season. They were lead by Nikola Jokic, a beast of a big man who can shoot and pass the ball. They also had talented depth and players like Gary Harris, Will Barton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried,  and have young, promising talent like Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray. They made a big splash in free agency by signing Paul Millsap to a 3 year, 90 million dollar contract, and is what they think could bring them into the playoffs. Their only significant loss was Danilo Gallinari, and he can easily be replaced by Wilson Chandler and others.

Grade: A-

Detroit Pistons: It looks like the Pistons have had a pretty boring offseason. They were a pretty mediocre team in 2015-16 despite making the playoffs, and they were worse in 2016-17 despite higher expectations. Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope underperformed down the stretch, and star big man Andre Drummond was good but not at the level he was at in 2015-16. The main move they made was trading Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley, a good move that will help them with talent in their starting lineup. Their main loss was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Lakers, signing a 1 year 18 million dollar contract with Los Angeles.

Grade: C+

Golden State Warriors: The defending champions look to have had a pretty good offseason. After winning the championship, their main goal was to retain as much of the roster that they have now, and they did just that. They signed Stephen Curry to a super max, 5 year, $200 mil. contract and resigned star forward Kevin Durant to a 2 year, $53 million dollar contract. They also brought back key role players Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, Javale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, as well as signing a good bench piece in Nick Young, from the Los Angeles Lakers. The warriors achieved all the goals they needed to.

Grade; A+

Houston Rockets: After having a surprisingly good 2016-17 season, the rockets had a very interesting offseason too. The main highlight of their offseason is that superstar point guard Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers in a sign and trade to the Houston Rockets for Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 first round pick. They also locked up superstar MVP candidate James Harden to a contract extension that would pay 228 million through the 2022-2023 NBA season. Trading for Carmelo Anthony would make their offseason better, but for now, it has been successful anyway.

Grade: A

Indiana Pacers:  The Pacers only made one very significant move this offseason, but it was VERY big, to say the least. They decided to go in a different direction with Paul George after he showed several indications he wanted out of  Indiana. They didn’t get much for George (Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis), but they did choose a new direction for the team, going towards a rebuild. They signed Darren Collison in the offseason on a 2 year, $20 mil. dollar deal, and traded C.J. miles for Raptors backup Cory Joseph.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Clippers: After several years of disappointment for the best team in the city of angels, they decided to part ways with superstar point guard Chris Paul, trading him to the Houston Rockets. In return they got Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 first round pick. Even though it seemed like they were going in a different direction, they resigned star forward Blake Griffin to a 5 year, $173 million contract. It should be interesting to see how they fare in a stacked western conference this year.

Grade: C

Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers are still going to be at the bottom of the west most likely, but they did make a few splashes in the offseason. They drafted southern California native Lonzo Ball with the number 2 overall pick, and he is set to be their point guard of the future. They also traded away the large contract of Timofey Mozgov but traded away promising young player D’Angelo Russell to the nets for Brook Lopez. Their big free agent signing was a 1 year, $18 million dollar contract with Kentavious Caldwell Pope.

Grade: B

Memphis Grizzlies: After the Grizzlies squeaked into the playoffs with new coach David Fizdale, it looks like the Grizzlies are attempting to move into a different direction. They drafted former projected lottery pick Ivan Rabb and prospect Dillon Brooks. They also let Double-Double machine Zach Randolph and the ageless wonder Vince Carter walk to the Sacramento Kings in free agency. However, they made up with this somewhat by adding Tyreke Evans and Ben Mclemore, from the Kings. Tony Allen and JaMychal Green have yet to sign, with Tony Allen most likely leaving, and JaMychal most likely staying. It should be interesting to see how their season pans out.

Grade: B-

Miami Heat: The Heat had a fairly boring offseason, although they were hoping to make a big splash by signing Gordon Hayward. The only real significant moves they made were resigning Dion Waiters and James Johnson on multi year contracts, to players who broke out while playing for the Heat. They also drafted Bam Adebayo with the 14th overall pick.

Grade: B

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks had a successful season, making the playoffs, with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way. He posted around 23 points a game, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. This offseason, however, they didn’t make many big moves. Their biggest move was signing role player Tony Snell to a 4 year 46 million dollar contract.

Grade: C+

Minnesota Timberwolves: As the Timberwolves move closer to becoming contenders, they decided to make a big move. On draft day, they gave up the 7th overall pick, Zach Lavine, and Kris Dunn for Jimmy Butler. They also received the 16th pick in that trade. They also were able to sign Jeff Teague to potentially be their point guard of the future.

Grade: A+

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans made a big splash by trading for DeMarcus Cousins. They now have an elite tandem of big men with Cousins and Davis. However, I think it’s fair to say this offseason has been pretty disappointing. They resigned Jrue Holliday to a really big 5 year, 126 million dollar contract for an average point guard, and all they did to address their depth issues was sign Rajon Rondo. Until this team is able to get proper depth around their two stars, they won’t be contenders.

Grade: C-

New York Knicks:  The Knicks have had a very dramatic offseason. There has been continued speculation about their star player, Carmelo Anthony being traded, and news that Kristaps Porzingis was disgruntled with the situation within the team. The cause of much of the drama, Phil Jackson, was let go by the franchise, which was, in my opinion, a good move for Porzingis, but as well as for the whole team going forward. They made a controversial draft pick at #8 with Frank Ntilikina, many are already calling him a bust. Time will tell what will happen with this franchise and it should be interesting to see how it plays out!

Grade: C

Oklahoma City Thunder: After losing Kevin Durant, they seem to have found his replacement. The Oklahoma City Thunder traded for the superstar forward and gave up very little, only Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. They also resigned Andre Roberson and signed stretch big Patrick Patterson. The Paul George trade could most definitely make them contenders again and they should be able to be a top 3 seed in the west!

Grade: A+

Orlando Magic: The Magic have consistently been an underwhelming and mediocre team ever since Dwight Howard left them. They drafted Jonathan Isaac with the 6th overall pick, but that’s about all they accomplished this offseason. Some free agent signings they made were signing Jonathan Simmons and Marreese Speights, solid role players, but they won’t make the Magic a playoff team.

Grade: D+

Philadelphia 76ers: After several years of being a downright horrible basketball team, it looks like Philadelphia is starting to pick it up. Joel Embiid has injury issues, but when he plays he is among the best centers in the league, despite only being a rookie. They traded up to the number one overall pick, and grabbed Markelle Fultz. Their previous number one pick, Ben Simmons, didn’t even get to play a single game, and a lot is expected of him. In Free Agency, they added sharpshooter J.J. Redick on a 1 year $23 million dollar contract, and added veteran player Amir Johnson. They could easily be a playoff team in the east and have made several beneficial moves.

Grade: A

Phoenix Suns: The Phoenix Suns have recently been a pretty terrible team, but they seem to be getting back on track. They drafted big men Dragan Bender and Marquesse Chriss last year, and Devin Booker has become a star and went for an outrageous 70 points in a game. However, their defense has been horrendous and was projected to be the number 2 pick, but ended up getting the number 4 pick. They ended up selecting Josh Jackson, who is slated to be their franchise small forward. They didn’t make many moves in free agency, but they’ve still had a solid offseason.

Grade: B

Portland Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers had a somewhat underwhelming season after C.J. McCollum broke out the previous year and won the most improved player, earning an unexpected playoff spot after LaMarcus Aldridge walked in free agency and they lost 4 out of 5 players in their starting 5. Notable moves they’ve made this offseason would be trading the 15 and 20 pick to Sacramento for the 10th overall pick, as well as trading Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets, freeing up much of his salary. The trail blazers offseason has been largely uneventful, but nothing crazily wrong has happened.

Grade: C

Sacramento Kings: The Kings had a very successful offseason, for the first time in a long time. They used the 5th pick on coveted De’Aaron Fox, the 15th pick on standout Justin Jackson, and the 20th pick on very talented but injury prone Harry Giles. They also potentially got their backup point guard of the future in Frank Mason. In Free Agency, they added veteran players George Hill, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter. They won’t be competing for a playoff spot this year, but they have established a good mix of veterans and young players and could be a force to be reckoned with in a few seasons.

Grade: A

San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs had another 60 win season, and finished as the 2 seed, making it the to Western Conference Finals. It could have been a much more competitive series if Kawhi Leonard wasn’t injured on a controversial play, where Zaza Pachulia appeared to hurt Leonard. In the offseason, the Spurs looked to make a big move and sign Chris Paul, but he ended up getting traded to the Houston Rockets. They resigned Pau Gasol, added Rudy Gay, which could prove to be a big addition, but lost breakout players, Dewayne Dedmon and Johnathan Simmons to the Southeast division.

Grade: B

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors had a disappointing 2nd round playoff exit, and surprisingly barely squeaked past the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. They decided to keep their core together though, resigned Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry. They also ended up trading Cory Joseph to the Indiana Pacers for C.J. Miles.

Grade: B

Utah Jazz: The Jazz were looking good after the offseason. They were coming off a 50+ win season and they had a good, young core to build off of. However, that all went south, when their star, and arguably best player, Gordon Hayward, arguably betrayed them and left for the Boston Celtics. The loss of hayward is big, and forces them to start over in the west, and ruins a team that looked to be on the rise. Notable moves they made is resigning Joe Ingles to a multi year deal and signed players like Jonas Jerebko and Thabo Sefolosha.

Grade: D-

Washington Wizards: After having a slow start to the season, the wizards really picked it up. John Wall proved to be a true superstar, average 23 points a game and almost 12 assists. Bradley Beal was his second hand man, and proved not to be a bust and the shooting guard of the future for Washington. Moves they made in the offseason were resigning Otto Porter to a long term deal, and signing shooter Jodie Meeks.

Grade: B

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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