With the offseason wrapped up and training camps beginning, rosters are now just about set. I’m gonna go over every teams’ additions and subtractions, and give them grades.
Add- Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo, Kris Dunn, Tony Snell, Solomon Hill
Lose- Treveon Graham, Jeff Teague, Deandre Bembry, Damian Jones
Trae Young is ready to win, and the Hawks addressed that this offseason. They did a great job of picking up players that are ready to help bring wins to Atlanta. I think their best addition was Bogdan Bogdanovic. After the Bucks-Kings trade fell through, the Hawks swooped in (pun intended) and picked Bogdanovic up on a 4-year, $72 million deal. He’ll be a great player alongside Trae Young. He shot 37% from three last season on seven attempts. Danilo Gallinari is also a great add. It’s already been announced that he’ll come off the bench, and he’ll be really good in that role. If the Hawks can stay in the playoff picture throughout the season, I expect Gallinari to be in the race for 6MOY. Rajon Rondo is a great replacement for Jeff Teague, and will fit nice off the bench behind Young as a playmaker and defender. Kris Dunn fits the same mold. Tony Snell can bring good 3-and-D play off the bench. Solomon Hill can be a veteran presence coming off a finals appearance.
The Hawks may have added a lot of talent, but that’s the problem. Someone is going to be unhappy with their minutes this season. Do you play Rondo or Dunn? Do you let Cam Reddish continue to develop, or play a sure thing in Snell? Does Bruno Fernando play at all with Onyeka Okongwu coming in? How many minutes will Kevin Huerter get? Lloyd Pierce will have to figure all that out.
Despite the minutes issue, the Hawks still did a great job of picking up players that can turn them from a lottery team to a playoff team this season.
Add- Tristan Thompson, Jeff Teague
Lose- Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Brad Wanamaker, Vincent Poirier
Boston will miss Gordon Hayward. He was (off the top of my head) a top three fourth option in the NBA last season. He’s a big loss, but Boston should still be alright. Jaylen Brown is perfectly capable of running the three, and adding Marcus Smart to the starting lineup will help with defending the NBA’s best guards. Tristan Thompson is a solid center that could start games over Daniel Theis depending on what Brad Stevens wants. Jeff Teague will be a good backup point guard for a team trying to make another deep playoff run. He can also help mentor young point guards Payton Pritchard and Carsen Edwards.
The Celtics are probably worse than they were last season on paper, but they should still be a team competing for a top three seed in the East.
Add- Jeff Green, Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet, Elie Okobo
Lose- Garrett Temple, Dzanan Musa, Justin Anderson
The Nets didn’t really have a super eventful offseason. They traded the 19th pick (Saddiq Bey) for Landry Shamet. Shamet will be a great fit alongside ball dominant superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. He’s a 40% shooter from three in his two year career, and players like him are in high demand for contenders. Bruce Brown is another young player on a small contract that can help the Nets win games. He can shoot, defend, and playmake pretty well. The Nets didn’t give up much to get him, so he’s a low risk, high reward player for them. Jeff Green will bring consistent scoring at the four, potentially even as a starter if Spencer Dinwiddie stays as a sixth man. Garrett Temple was a solid player last season, but the Nets didn’t lose anyone of too much value.
Of course, the Nets will have a great top five players (Durant, Irving, Dinwiddie, Caris Levert, Jarrett Allen) this year, but the moves they made add great depth to an already scary team looking to win it all.
Add- Gordon Hayward
Lose- Nicolas Batum, Dwayne Bacon, Willy Hernangomez
Charlotte spent a lot of money for Gordon Hayward. 4 years, $120 million is an All-Star contract. On paper, it looks bad to spend that money on an injury-ridden player that hasn’t been an All-Star since 2017. But I actually don’t think that it’s a bad move. For one, Hayward will be able to help win basketball games. He will most likely be the number one scoring option this year. He can take the big shots. He’ll take pressure off of LaMelo Ball and Devonte’ Graham. Graham, who was pretty inefficient last year (38% from the field, 37% from three), will benefit now that he has three other players to share the ball with. The Hornets also cut Nicolas Batum, so they could use his money to pay Hayward, which is another win.
A lineup of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, and Cody Zeller with Graham and Miles Bridges off the bench is probably enough to compete for the playoffs. Since Charlotte hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016 and haven’t won a series since 2002, a bottom two playoff spot would be a huge deal for this young team.
Add- Garrett Temple, Noah Vonleh, Zach Norvell Jr.
Lose- Kris Dunn
The Bulls made their big noise with their generally surprising draft pick in Patrick Williams (I’m not a draft expert, so I don’t have an opinion), but they still managed to pick up a few solid players in free agency. Garrett Temple is coming off a solid season with Brooklyn (10 PPG, 3 RPG, 2 APG), and he will be a nice role player for another team trying to make the playoffs this year. Noah Vonleh spent last season as a third-string center for Denver, but he will get frontcourt minutes this year if Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen can’t stay healthy this year. He is still just 25, and the former top ten pick will look to make an impact this year. Zach Norvell is known for breaking Jordan Poole’s ankles twice in the 2019 Summer League, and will be trying to get minutes in Chicago’s log jammed wing rotation.
If Chicago can stay healthy (Zach LaVine, Markkanen, and Carter Jr. missed a combined 42 games last year), they will be another team looking to sneak into the playoffs this year.
Add- JaVale McGee, Thon Maker, Damyean Dotson
Lose- Tristan Thompson, Alfonzo McKinnie
Cleveland needed wings this offseason. Besides drafting Isaac Okoro, all their other moves were adding to the Cav’s packed backcourt and center position. JaVale McGee and Thon Maker join Andre Drummond and Ante Zizic in the center rotation. McGee and Tristan Thompson are pretty similar players, so considering all they gave up to replace Thompson was Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell, that’s a decent pickup. But former lottery pick Thon Maker, who is still trying to prove he was worth the 10th pick in the draft, will likely see little playing time. Damyean Dotson will likely play some backup minutes, but Dante Exum, another former lottery pick, will lose minutes because of it.
If Collin Sexton and Darius Garland can both take jumps, and Kevin Love can stay healthy, then Cleveland has a roster that can compete for a spot in the play-in tournament. But that’s not because of the moves they made.
Add- Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu
Lose- Seth Curry, Delon Wright, Justin Jackson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
The Mavericks had a great 2019-20 season. Luka Doncic emerged as an All-NBA first team player, and led the team to the 7th seed. Their goal this year is to finish top 5 in the West, and to compete for a championship. They made additions to help them do that. Josh Richardson is two years away from when he led the Heat in scoring, but he’s a very good 3-and-D wing that will be a great fit in Dallas. James Johnson is a solid player that will bring defense and hustle, as well as some three point shooting, to Dallas’s frontcourt rotation. Wesley Iwundu will be there as a third-string forward. Despite the good additions, the Mavericks also lost some key players. Seth Curry shot 45% from three last year, which will be missed. Delon Wright was also a solid contributor to Dallas’s backcourt rotation. Justin Jackson played some decent forward minutes.
I expect Luka Doncic to be top three, if not top one, in MVP voting next year. When you have a player like that, you will win games. The supporting cast is then the decider of exactly how many games you can win. Dallas made some good additions to help with that.
Add: JaMychal Green, Isaiah Hartenstein, Facundo Campazzo
Lose: Torrey Craig, Jerami Grant, Noah Vonleh, Mason Plumlee, Keita Bates-Diop
Denver made a spectacular playoff run last year. They want to run it back this year. The problem? Three of their key role players left for nothing. The Nuggets really wanted Jerami Grant back. They offered him the same contract the Pistons did, but he wanted a bigger role. They filled Grant’s spot with JaMychal Green, who will bring three point shooting, but will not defend nearly as well as Grant. Mason Plumlee’s spot will be filled with more playing time for Bol Bol. The Nuggets didn’t replace Torrey Craig. Isaiah Hartenstein was a top G-League player last season. The Nuggets are good at developing players, so he could also fill some of Plumlee’s minutes. Facundo Campazzo, who played six seasons overseas, will look to compete in the best basketball league in the world.
The Nuggets will still compete for a top three seed in the West this season, but when they get to the playoffs, their losses will be missed.
Add: Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Delon Wright, Jahlil Okafor, Josh Jackson, Wayne Ellington, Dzanan Musa, Rodney McGruder, LiAngelo Ball
Lose: Christian Wood, Luke Kennard, Bruce Brown, Langston Galloway, Tony Snell, Thon Maker
The Pistons basically have a completely new roster after all the moves they made. The big signing was Jerami Grant on a 3 year, $60 million contract. He left Denver in search of a bigger role, and he will find that in Detroit. Delon Wright is a potential starter at the two, and he was a pretty good addition as well. Two seasons ago he averaged 15/7/7 in 14 starts for the Grizzlies, and Detroit would be ecstatic if he could have that same production this season. Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor will fill the center rotation, but that may take away minutes from draftee Isaiah Stewart. Josh Jackson is looking to prove that he was worth the fourth overall pick three years ago. Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder can shoot. LiAngelo Ball will sell tickets. Despite all these new additions, Detroit still lost their guy, Christian Wood. I’m sure they were really looking to bring him back, and they paid Plumlee in a panic after he left. Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown were both good young players who were traded away.
I’ll be interested to see if Detroit goes young this year, or if they try to compete for a playoff spot . They made moves to set themselves up for both, so we’ll see which it is when the season begins.
Golden State Warriors
Add: Kelly Oubre Jr., Brad Wanamaker, Kent Bazemore
Lose: Ky Bowman
The Warriors got a steal when they traded a first round pick and a second for Kelly Oubre Jr. He averaged 19/6/2 last season for Phoenix. With Klay Thompson injured, he will help fill in some of that production. Brad Wanamaker will be a good backup point guard for this year, because next year Nico Mannion could move into that backup one. Kent Bazemore makes his return to Golden State to play some backup wing. Golden State’s big get was James Wiseman, who fills Golden State’s position of need. Ky Bowman was solid last year as an undrafted rookie, but he won’t leave a hole in his absence.
Golden State had a great offseason, and they will be in contention for a deep playoff run in the 2020-21 season.
Add: John Wall, Christian Wood, DeMarcus Cousins, Gerald Green, Sterling Brown, Kenny Wooten
Lose: Russell Westbrook, Austin Rivers, Jeff Green, Robert Covington
The John Wall/Russell Westbrook swap was unexpected. The trade is a little iffy for Houston, but if John Wall can come back as a top ten point guard, then Houston wins the trade. Houston is looking to go back to normal play after a small-ball experiment, and Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins are great players to add. Wood will be a great fit. His ability to stretch the floor will be super for Houston. Cousins is getting one last chance to show he can play, and I think he’ll play well. He can run pick-and-rolls with Wall or Harden, and he has shown the ability to be ok from the three point line. Gerald Green’s return is also great for the Rockets, and will slide back in nicely to Houston’s 3-and-D wing collection. Austin Rivers was a very good backup point guard last year, and now the Rockets will rely on Chris Clemons to take those backup point guard minutes. Robert Covington is also a big loss for the Rockets defense, and no replacement for him means James Harden will be guarding opposing team’s best players.
The Rockets, with Harden potentially wanting out, will do everything they can this season to finally make the Finals. The moves they made will definitely help them with their goal.
Add: Jalen Lecque, Kelan Martin
Lose: Alize Johnson, T.J. Leaf
What a boring offseason from Indiana. Bringing back Jakarr Sampson means they basically have the same roster as last season. Jalen Lecque and Kelan Martin are both young players who will be looking for minutes. Losing Alize Johnson and T.J. Leaf could mean more minutes for Goga Bitadze, but probably not considering Johnson and Leaf didn’t play much themselves.
Keeping the same roster isn’t terrible for Indiana, though, because they will probably make the playoffs. But a first round exit is probably the ceiling for a team that didn’t improve when other teams did.
Los Angeles Clippers
Add: Serge Ibaka, Luke Kennard, Nicolas Batum, Ky Bowman
Lose: Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, Jamychal Green, Rodney McGruder, Joakim Noah
After an early playoff exit last season, the Clippers were looking to mix things up a little. Disappointing play from Montrezl Harrell in the playoffs (10 PPG, down from 18 PPG in the regular season) led to Los Angeles letting him walk. Their replacement was Serge Ibaka, a great two way center with championship experience. He’ll bring shooting from the five, which is something Harrell or Ivica Zubac can’t do. Luke Kennard will be a great scorer, and he’ll most likely come off the bench because of how bad he is on defense. Nicolas Batum, now that he isn’t defined by his contract, will bring some solid 3-and-D play on the wing. Jamychal Green was a good role player last season, but Patrick Patteron’s return softens the blow of Green’s departure.
The Clippers brought in some good guys to help create an improved roster that will have championship aspirations once again.
Los Angeles Lakers
Add: Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol, Wesley Matthews, Alfonzo McKinnie
Lose: Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley
It’s not often that you see a team win a championship and get better. That’s what the Lakers did this offseason. Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell are a great center duo. Gasol will bring defense and shooting into the starting lineup, and Harrell will come off the bench to catch some lobs from Alex Caruso while he looks to compete for 6MOY again. Harrell won’t have competition from Dennis Schroder this year, as Schroder will be starting PG for the Lakers. He’ll take pressure off of LeBron during the regular season as a secondary ball handler. Schroder also shot 41% on catch and shoot threes last year, and if he can do that again he’ll be a really good weapon for Los Angeles. Wesley Matthews is another great 3-and-D wing who can guard opponent’s best players. Alfonzo McKinnie, another player with prior championship experience, will bring some hustle.
The Lakers lost some key pieces from last year, but they replaced them with better players. For the reigning champs to pull that off earns L.A. a very high offseason grade.
Add: Mario Hezonja
Lose: Josh Jackson
The Grizzlies’s biggest addition for the upcoming season is actually Justise Winslow. Winslow, who was traded to the Grizzlies at last year’s deadline, missed most of last year with an injury. He’ll play his first games for Memphis this season, most likely as the starting small forward. Mario Hezonja is a former lottery pick who has shown a few flashes of being good, (dunking on Giannis and then stepping over him) and he will play some ok minutes for Memphis if he plays at all. Josh Jackson showed some promise last year, averaging 9 PPG in 22 games for the Grizz. He wasn’t an important piece though, and I don’t think Memphis will miss him all that much.
The Grizzlies had a similar offseason to Indiana, where they made very little moves, and the moves they did make were very minor. They’re also in the same boat as Indiana where not improving when other teams did could hurt their playoff chances.
Add: Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless
Lose: Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr., Solomon Hill
Losing Jae Crowder, who was a key piece in Miami’s Finals run last season, is a big blow for Miami. Maurice Harkless will not plug that hole completely, and my guess is that Miami hopes Precious Achiuwa will be able to fill some minutes at the four. Avery Bradley is a great pickup for a backcourt that includes below average defenders Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn. Bradley will also hit some threes off the bench (36% last season).
Bringing back Goran Dragic and Meyers Leonard (who was a bit of an overpay) were the main signings for the Heat this offseason, and they will be looking for jumps from Herro and Robinson as they look to return to the Finals.
Add: Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, D.J. Augustin, Torrey Craig, Bryn Forbes, Treveon Graham
Lose: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez, Sterling Brown
In hopes of keeping Giannis happy, the Bucks traded their point guard rotation and their future (three firsts, two seconds) to bring in Jrue Holiday. Jrue Holiday is one of the best two-way guards in the NBA. The Bucks will be happy to have a third best player who consistently plays well. Milwaukee also brought in a whole new bench. D.J. Augustin will play a similar role to what George Hill did as a backup PG, Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes will bring three point shooting, and Treveon Graham will be the new Sterling Brown. My favorite pickup for the Bucks is Torrey Craig, who will defend positions 1-4. He’s a perfect bench player for the Bucks. I can’t wait to watch him play.
The Bucks made a lot of moves this offseason, and I think they were good ones. The Bucks revamped roster matches up well against other East contenders, and they are my prediction to go to the Finals next year.
Add: Ricky Rubio, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Ed Davis
Lose: James Johnson, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, Kelan Martin
Minnesota switched to winning mode when they traded for D’Angelo Russell last season. The moves they made this offseason reflect that. Ricky Rubio will be great in his return for Minnesota. He’s a playmaker, and Russell’s a scorer, and that creates a balanced PG tandem. Bringing back Juan Hernangomez and signing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson help patch Minnesota’s weakest position in power forward, but trading away James Johnson was a bit questionable. Malik Beasly’s return also creates a bit of a jam on the wing, with Beasley, Anthony Edwards, Josh Okogie, and Jarrett Culver all capable of starting this year. Ed Davis will bring rebounding as a backup big.
Minnesota is in an interesting situation, as they have a good young core (Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell, Edwards, Culver, Okogie, Naz Reid) that will most likely look better in a few seasons, but Towns wants to win now, and Minnesota’s offseason reflects that.
New Orleans Pelicans
Add: Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, Willy Hernangomez, Wenyen Gabriel
Lose: Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors, Jahlil Okafor, E’Twaun Moore, Kenrich Williams, Frank Jackson, Darius Miller
New Orleans lost the Jrue Holiday trade. Picking up three first round picks helps, but Eric Bledsoe is another inconsistent offensive PG next to Lonzo Ball. He hasn’t been very good in the playoffs in the last few seasons, and that’s a bad sign for a Pelicans team with playoff aspirations. He is still an All-Defensive player though, so it’s not the worst. Steven Adams is an upgrade from Derrick Favors, and he will help contribute to winning basketball. Wenyen Gabriel will bring hustle and rebounding to the Pelicans group of young talent.
For such a big move, the Holiday trade wasn’t a very good one for New Orleans. They didn’t make any other pickups to really make up for it, and the Steven Adams trade is the only move keeping the Pelican’s offseason grade above average for me.
New York Knicks
Add: Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Austin Rivers, Omari Spellman, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jacob Evans
Lose: Bobby Portis, Maurice Harkless, Damyean Dotson, Wayne Ellington, Kenny Wooten.
For the last few offseasons, New York has been looking to bring in winning players. After losing out on Zion, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant last offseason, they filled out their team by paying a bunch of veterans who didn’t move the needle. Marcus Morris Sr. was the brightspot, and the Knicks capitalized on that by trading him to pick up a 2020 draft pick (which after a few trades, ended up in the Knicks drafting Immanuel Quickley). This year, the Knicks brought in role players who will likely end up being traded just like Morris. Alec Burks had a good 2019-20, averaging 15/4/3 for the Warriors and the 76ers. He is capable of starting off this season averaging 20, just like Morris last year. Austin Rivers will share minutes at the one with Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith, and Frank Ntilikina, which will probably hurt his production a little. Nerlens Noel is a slightly older, less good version of Mitchell Robinson, but he will be a solid backup five after the Knicks cut Taj Gibson. Omari Spellman has promise. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can be a wing defender.
New York’s offseason may look similar to what they did in 2019, but the role players have more promise to perform well, so the Knicks can turn them into draft capital or young players.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Add: Al Horford, George Hill, Trevor Ariza, Darius Miller, Justin Jackson, Ty Jerome, Frank Jackson, Admiral Schoefield, T.J. Leaf, Kenrich Williams
Lose: Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel, Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader
If you saw the players OKC lost and the players they brought in without any context, you would think this would be the worst offseason ever. But actually, it could be one of the best. The Thunder made 10 trades this offseason, which resulted in them owning 17 first round picks and 14 second round picks from 2021-2027. Alongside those draft picks, they brought in a slew of youth, drafting/signing/trading for Ty Jerome, Frank Jackson, Admiral Schoefield, T.J. Leaf, Theo Maledon, and Aleksej Pokusevski to pair with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, and Darius Bazely. OKC also brought in Al Horford, George Hill, and Trevor Ariza, who will be solid veteran rentals to help the young players grow.
After this offseason, it’s safe to say that OKC has one of the brightest futures in the NBA, and that deserves one of the highest grades for this offseason.
Add: Dwayne Bacon
Lose: D.J. Augustin, Wesley Iwundu
As well as being boring, this was one of the worst offseasons of 2020. Dwayne Bacon was Orlando’s only signing, and he will bring exactly what Wes Iwundu did, which is third string wing minutes. They also lost D.J. Augustin, who was a bright spot in Orlando’s last two playoff runs. Cole Anthony was drafted to replace him, and he will most likely match the scoring Augustin brought.
Orlando didn’t improve this offseason, and that’s a bad thing, because they are in danger of losing their playoff spot now to a team like Atlanta or Washington.
Add: Dwight Howard, Seth Curry, Danny Green, Tony Bradley, Vincent Poirier, Terrance Ferguson
Lose: Josh Richardson, Al Horford, Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III, Rual Neto
Philadelphia addressed the problems that led to their way-too-early playoff run last year. They dumped Al Horford’s, who’s large contract was a failed experiment. Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley can’t shoot as well as Al Horford (in theory) can, but Howard will bring more consistency than Horford did at a much smaller dollar amount. Sacrificing Josh Richardson was more than worth it to bring in Seth Curry and Danny Green, which will help with Philly’s spacing problem. Terrance Ferguson will bring some athleticism as a backup wing.
The Sixers had a pretty good offseason compared to last year’s, as they addressed all their problems and fixed them well. Philly may still find themselves losing in the first round next year, but they look a lot more competitive this season.
Add: Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, Langston Galloway, Damian Jones, E’Twaun Moore, Abel Nader
Lose: Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky, Ty Jerome, Elie Okobo
The Suns made the biggest trade of the offseason, and the best move award goes to them as well. Chris Paul puts Phoenix over the hump into playoff contention. He is an excellent fit. He will benefit Devin Booker by being another All-Star option to handle the ball, and he will benefit DeAndre Ayton by being the handler in some killer pick-and-rolls. I expect Ayton to take a big jump with CP3 dishing him the rock. Jae Crowder is another great pickup for a Suns team looking to compete. Crowder’s coming off a Finals appearance, and he is just a winning roll player. Langston Galloway and E’Twaun Moore add veteran shooting off the bench. Kelly Oubre is a big loss, but Mikal Bridges is ready to step in and take those minutes. Damian Jones and Jalen Smith will fill Aron Baynes’s minutes.
Of course, the best move award contributes to one of the best overall offseaons. Phoenix will be a good team next year because of it.
Portland Trail Blazers
Add: Robert Covington, Enes Kanter, Harry Giles, Derrick Jones Jr.
Lose: Hassan Whiteside, Trevor Ariza, Mario Hezonja, Wenyen Gabriel
One of the best pickups for any team this offseason is Robert Covington to Portland. He’s a perfect fit. He is one of the best defending forwards in the NBA, and will be a big help in improving Portland’s bottom-three defensive rating from 2019-20. Hassan Whiteside may look like a massive loss based on his stats from last year (15 PPG, 13 RPG, 3 BPG), but he’s actually a good loss. Jusuf Nurkic is a much better option, and Whiteside (Who’s stats will likely deflate this season) would just take minutes from him. Enes Kanter and Harry Giles are much better options for backup centers. Kanter’s last stint in Portland resulted in him averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds, and he’ll likely be able to replicate that production this year. Derrick Jones Jr. is a high flyer who will likely play some good wing minutes for the Blazers.
Portland’s lineup now consists of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Rodney Hood, Covington, and Nurkic (With Carmelo Anthony, Kanter, Jones Jr., and Gary Trent Jr. off the bench), and that lineup is capable of finishing top 3 in the packed Western Conference.
Add: Hassan Whiteside, Frank Kaminsky, Glenn Robinson, Chimezie Metu
Lose: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Alex Len, Harry Giles, Kent Bazemore
Bogdan Bogdanovic is a big loss for the Kings, in a good way and a bad way. Mostly a bad way, as no one the Kings added will replace 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists this season (although Tyrese Haliburton could in a couple years.) But, now Buddy Hield can be happy as a starter, and a happy, starting Buddy Hield is one of the best volume shooters in the NBA. In terms of additions, the Kings made questionable ones. Hassan Whiteside is good, but if Sacramento signed him in hopes he can replicate what he did last year, they will be disappointed. He’ll be sharing frontcourt minutes with Marvin Bagley, Richuan Holmes, Frank Kaminsky, and Chimezie Metu. Kent Bazemore was pretty good for Sacramento last year (10 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 SPG), but Glenn Robinson will slide into those minutes nicely.
Sacramento will most likely finish short of the playoffs yet again, unless they make a move at the deadline.
San Antonio Spurs
Add: Keita Bates-Diop, Cameron Reynolds
Lose: Bryn Forbes, Chimezie Metu
Here’s another super boring offseason. I expect more moves to be made midseason for San Antonio (DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge trade?), but for now, they made no changes to their 2019-20 roster. Bryn Forbes leaving is honestly a good thing, because Lonnie Walker will get more playing time, and he has more upside going forward than Forbes. The two signings San Antonio made, Keita Bates-Diop and Cam Reynolds, are on two-way contracts, so they hardly even mean anything.
The Spurs did nothing this offseason, but their future looks bright, as a young core of Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Tre Jones, and Walker (as well as whatever they can get in return for DeRozan and Aldridge in a trade) is a good team.
Add: Aron Baynes, Alex Len, DeAndre’ Bembry, Alize Johnson
Lose: Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Toronto is worse than they were last season. Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol were the anchors of Toronto’s elite defense 2019-20 roster, and they are gone. Aron Baynes can match the shooting the other two brought, but not the defense. Alex Len shot 36% from deep two years ago. DeAndre’ Bembry is a solid defensive guard. Alize Johnson could be something based on Toronto’s player development trends.
Winning 50+ games again is a tall order for Toronto in an East that just got better, but they surprise every year.
Add: Derrick Favors
Lose: Tony Bradley, Ed Davis, Rayjon Tucker
Another team with a low-key offseason, but at least Utah got a little better. Derrick Favors will play good backup center minutes that Tony Bradley wasn’t ready to provide quite yet. He’ll be a great bridge to when Udoka Azubuike is ready to step in. Ed Davis wasn’t important to Utah last year at all. Rayjon Tucker got the Jazz a second round pick from Cleveland.
Though Utah didn’t get that much better, they still improved. Derrick Favors’s return will most likely contribute to a Jazz team that will compete hard in the playoffs.
Add: Russell Westbrook, Robin Lopez, Rual Neto
Lose: John Wall, Admiral Schoefield
After a confusing period of time where John Wall requested a trade and said he was happy in Washington a few days later, he was traded. Russell Westbrook will form an All-Star backcourt with Bradley Beal that should be enough for Washington to make the playoffs. There is plenty of shooting around Westbrook that should lead to another good offense for Washington. Davis Bertans is back for the long haul. Robin Lopez creates a floor-stretching center rotation with Thomas Bryant and Moritz Wanger.
The Wizards traded Wall for a more sure thing in Russell Westbrook, and they should benefit from it. I expect Washington to make a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.