Another blockbuster season of NBA free agency is (almost) in the books. Time to breakdown and grade how all 30 teams did for themselves this summer.
This won’t include rookies (you can find draft grades HERE), but simply a grade for free agency…
Lost: Al Horford, Kirk Hinrich, (Jeff Teague via trade)
Gained: Dwight Howard, Jarrett Jack
Re-signed: Kent Bazemore, Kris Humphries
Paying Bazemore star money and swapping out Horford for Howard isn’t ideal. With Teague gone along with the big change at center, it’s going to be a totally different look for the Hawks.
Lost: Jared Sullinger, Evan Turner
Gained: Al Horford, Gerald Green
Re-signed: Tyler Zeller
Getting Horford was huge for the Celtics, who’ve always struggled to lure big free agents. It’s a great fit that clearly improves the team. However with the assets Boston has, it’s never an “A” offseason until a legit superstar is acquired.
Lost: Jarrett Jack, Markel Brown, Wayne Ellington, Sergey Karasev, Shane Larkin, Thomas Robinson, Willie Reed, Donald Sloan, Henry Sims
Gained: Jeremy Lin, Luis Scola, Anthony Bennett, Trevor Booker, Randy Foye, Greivis Vasquez, Joe Harris, Justin Hamilton
I mean … at least Brooklyn didn’t re-sign any players from last year’s mess? The Nets are now widely considered the worst team in the NBA, and swapped a bunch of role players for a bunch of role players in free agency. It’s not an “F” since it would’ve been impossible to lure a star anyway.
Lost: Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin, Courtney Lee, Troy Daniels, Tyler Hansbrough, Jorge Gutierrez
Gained: Roy Hibbert, Ramon Sessions, Brian Roberts, (Marco Belinelli via trade)
Re-signed: Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams
The Hornets had an interesting offseason. They nailed re-signing Batum and Williams, but losing Jefferson, Lin and Lee will hurt. Their replacements aren’t quite on the same level, but Charlotte will be right back in the playoff mix in the East.
Lost: Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Aaron Brooks, E’Twaun Moore, (Derrick Rose and Mike Dunleavy via trades)
Gained: Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, (Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant via trade)
Wade was obviously a big surprise, and credit to the Bulls for quickly clearing space for him. But this team just feels like it’s not going to work. Rondo’s a locker room killer, and the combo of him with Wade and Jimmy Butler is going to really struggle shooting the ball.
Lost: Matthew Dellavedova, Timofey Mozgov, James Jones, Sasha Kaun
Gained: Chris Andersen, (Mike Dunleavy via trade)
Re-signed: Richard Jefferson … (LeBron James and J.R. Smith?!?)
The entire core is returning, but we’re just waiting for LeBron to sign his contract. Maybe the holdup is getting Smith signed first, but LeBron is holding out for something he wants. The Cavs will give it to him and they’ll be back in the Finals.
Lost: Chandler Parsons, Raymond Felton, Zaza Pachulia, David Lee, JaVale McGee, Charlie Villanueva
Gained: Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Seth Curry
Re-signed: Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, Dwight Powell
Nobody in the NBA benefits from KD choosing Golden State outside of the Warriors, but the Mavs tried their best to swoop in and collect all the scraps (and Steph’s little bro). It’s a nice offseason, but it does not get Dallas over the hump.
Lost: D.J. Augustin
Re-signed: Darrell Arthur, Mike Miller
Give Denver credit for offering Wade the most money, but they’re clearly not a destination for free agents. It’s all about building through the draft now for the Nuggets.
Lost: Joel Anthony, Cameron Bairstow, Steve Blake, Anthony Tolliver
Gained: Boban Marjanovic, Ish Smith, Jon Leuer
Re-signed: Andre Drummond
Re-signing Drummond was crucial for the Pistons. Now that their franchise player is locked down, they added three really nice backups. Whenever Cleveland’s dominance comes to an end, Detroit will be one of the teams waiting to take the East.
Golden State Warriors
Lost: Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Mo Speights, Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush
Gained: Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia, David West
Re-signed: Anderson Varejao, James Michael McAdoo, Ian Clark
Lots of key role players lost, but what the hell does it matter. Don’t sleep on adding Zaza and West to fill to void they lost with the other bigs. But this is all about KD. It’s just a question of how many rings this core earns.
Lost: Dwight Howard, Terrance Jones, Josh Smith, Donatas Motiejunas, Jason Terry, Andrew Goudelock
Gained: Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon
Re-signed: James Harden (extension)
Losing Howard will be addition by subtraction. Harden’s now committed long-term and will get some help from Anderson (who they hope will finally fill the PF void) and a bench scorer in Gordon. If Capela can handle big minutes, Houston will be a better team.
Lost: Ian Mahinmi, Solomon Hill, Jordan Hill, Ty Lawson, (George Hill via trade)
Gained: Al Jefferson, Jeremy Evans (Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young via trade)
It’s hard not to include the trades here because that pretty much was Indy’s free agency. They went out and got guys that put them in the mix as the second-best team in the East. Teague, Young and Jefferson all come in on great contracts ready to contribute.
Los Angeles Clippers
Lost: Jeff Green, Cole Aldrich, Jeff Ayers, Pablo Prigioni, C.J. Wilcox, Branden Dawson
Gained: Brandon Bass, Mo Speights
Re-signed: Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah a Moute
Not much of an offseason for the Clippers. They moved a first-round pick for Green at the last deadline, and now he’s gone. The usual hole at SF still exists. The two PF signings are interesting, though? Are we going to see a Blake Griffin trade?
Los Angeles Lakers
Lost: Kobe Bryant, Brandon Bass, Roy Hibbert, Metta World Peace, Robert Sacre, Ryan Kelly
Gained: Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, (Jose Calderson via trade)
Re-signed: Jordan Clackson, Tarik Black, Marcelo Huertas
Re-signing Clarkson was the Lakers only solid move this summer outside the draft. The young core of Ingram/Russell/Randle/Clarkson will be exciting. The Mozgov and Deng signings and Calderon trade are the complete opposite of going in that direction.
Lost: Lance Stephenson, Jordan Farmar, Matt Barnes, Chris Andersen, Xavier Munford, P.J. Hairston, Nick Calathes, Bryce Cotton
Gained: Chandler Parsons, Troy Daniels, Andrew Harrison
Re-signed: Mike Conley
Memphis should have a bounce back year, but Parsons has shown regression in his game and has had trouble staying on the court. Meanwhile, Conley just signed the richest contract in NBA history. The Grizz are a middle of the pack playoff team in the West, but they have no flexibility going forward.
Lost: Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Gerald Green, Dorell Wright
Gained: Luke Babbit, Wayne Ellington, Stefan Jankovic, James Johnson, Modney McGruder, Willie Reed, Okaro White, Derrick Williams, Dion Waiters
Re-signed: Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Udonis Hadlem
Re-signing Whiteside saved Miami’s offseason. While the Chris Bosh situation works itself out, the Heat are really just treading water until they can lure some free agents to join Whiteside on South Beach. For now, things don’t look good.
Lost: O.J. Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Damien Ingles, Johnny O’Bryant, Steve Novak, Greivis Vasquez
Gained: Matthew Dellavedova, Mirza Teletovic
Re-signed: Miles Plumlee
Not much action for the Bucks on the free agent market, but it’s hard not to be excited about their potential. Thon Maker had a nice Summer League and could be dangerous with Giannis and Jabari.
Lost: Tayshaun Prince, Greg Smith
Gained: Jordan Hill, Cole Aldrich, Brandon Rush
Same deal as the Bucks here. The Wolves didn’t do much, but adding Kris Dunn to the Wiggins/KAT core sounds like fun to me. If they can re-sign these kids, this team could be peaking right when the Warriors are coming down in a few years.
New Orleans Pelicans
Lost: Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Norris Cole, Toney Douglas, Kendrick Perkins, Jordan Hamilton, James Ennis
Gained: Terrence Jones, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill
Re-signed: Alonzo Gee, Tim Frazier
The Pelicans needed a change and this is a start. They let go of a ton of role players that proved they weren’t going to get it done. Now the key becomes finding guys who will. More needs to follow.
New York Knicks
Lost: Arron Afflalo, Langston Galloway, Derrick Williams, Cleanthony Easrly, Kevin Seraphin, Lou Amundson, (Robin Lopez, Jose Calderson, Jerian Grant via trade)
Gained: Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings, Justin Holiday, (Derrick Rose via trade)
Re-signed: Lance Thomas, Sasha Vujacic
Might as well swing for the fences and go for something if you’re the Knicks. They did with the Rose trade then supplemented it with some decent signings. This could be a playoff team now, but it feels like one that’d be opening on the road. Let’s sit back and see what happens.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Lost: Kevin Durant, Dion Waiters, Randy Foye, Nazr Mohammed, (Serge Ibaka via trade)
Gained: (Victor Oladipoa, Ersan Ilyasova via trade)
This was the opposite offseason of the Warriors. Funny thing is, I gave OKC an “A” on draft night. Losing KD changes that grade all the way around in a hurry.
Lost: Brandon Jennings, Shabazz Napier, Andrew Nicholson, Jason Smith, Dewayne Dedmon, (Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova via trade)
Gained: Bismack Biyombo, Jeff Green, D.J. Augustin, Jodie Meeks, C.J. Wilcox, (Serge Ibaka via trade)
Re-signed: Evan Fournier
Tough to figure out what the Magic are doing here. Adding Ibaka and signing Biyombo when they already have so many front court bodies is a head scratcher. Oladipo seemed like the team’s best guard, but they’ll now rely on Fournier and Mario Hezonja.
Lost: Ish Smith, Isaiah Canaan, Elton Brand
Gained: Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, Dario Saric (2014 first-rounder)
Free agency has nothing to do with where this team is going. So here’s a recap of the elite prospects Philly has: Simmons, Okafor, Noel, Embiid, Saric and a future Lakers first-round pick. What these chips turn into means everything.
Lost: Chase Budinger, Jon Leuer, Ronnie Price, Mirza Teletovic
Gained: Leandro Barbosa, Jared Dudley
Yet another neutral grade for a team with no free agency goals. They did well in the draft to get both players that they targeted at No. 4 — Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss. Let’s see what they turn in to.
Lost: Mo Harkless, Gerald Henderson, Chris Kaman, Brian Roberts, Cliff Alexander
Gained: Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli, Shabazz Napier
Re-signed: Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard
Portland could really be the third or fourth best team in the West this season. They made great moves to surround Lillard with talent. If Portland can one day bring in an elite talent to play alongside Lillard they’d be in fantastic shape.
Lost: Rajon Rondo, Seth Curry, James Anderson, Quincy Acy, Caron Butler, Eric Moreland, (Marco Belinelli via trade)
Gained: Arron Afflalo, Matt Barnes, Lamar Patterson, Garrett Temple, Anthony Tolliver
Who knows what the Kings are doing. Their moves in free agency will keep them in the basement of the league, and their draft was even more complexing. Why draft all the centers? This team is stuck until they just get it over with and trade Boogie.
San Antonio Spurs
Lost: Tim Duncan, David West, Kevin Marin, Andre Miller, Matt Boner, Boban Marjanovic, (Boris Diaw via trade)
Gained: Pau Gasol, Dewayne Dedmond
Re-signed: Manu Ginobili
The only real significance here is Duncan out, Gasol in. As great as it would be to have both, Gasol is still an upgrade here. The Spurs will fill in the cracks as they always do and have a fantastic season.
Lost: Bismack Biyombo, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jason Thompson
Gained: Jared Sullinger
Re-signed: DeMar DeRozan
The big thing was bringing back DeRozan, who keeps them in the mix for the second-best team in the East. Sullinger in for Biyombo completely changes the landscape when it comes to a backup big, but it shouldn’t hurt as long as Valanciunas stays healthy.
Lost: Trevor Booker
Gained: Joe Johnson, (George Hill and Boris Diaw via trade)
Utah didn’t do too much, but made small moves to get a little bit better. This team is supposed to grow into a West playoff team on it’s own, and adding these three vets should help push them there.
Lost: Alan Anderson, Jared Dudley, Drew Gooden, J.J. Hickson, Nene, Ramon Sessions, Garrett Temple
Gained: Trey Burke, Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, Jason Smith
Re-signed: Bradley Beal, Marcus Thornton
The Wiz added some capable backups with high upside after making the decision to go with Beal as a franchise player behind Wall. Like many others, they feel this combo could have them contending for next-best in the East behind Cleveland.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.