Latest posts by Joe Broback (see all)
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NBA free agency began this week, and billions of dollars were spent on the first day alone. The insanity that is free agency provided quite a bit of entertainment, and we saw players sign incredible deals. Some with new teams, but some with the same team from last year. Some teams won by signing and trading for better players, while others found it beneficial to move on from their best player. We take a look at some of the winners and losers of NBA Free Agency.
Note: not all free agents have signed yet. This is just a current view of what’s happened. Check out our free agent tracker so you don’t miss any updates!
Giannis started off the Bucks summer by getting his own shoe, and it was all good news from there. Milwaukee brought back their biggest free agent in Khris Middleton on a seven year, $178 million deal. They also re-signed Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and Brook Lopez (they also added Brook’s brother Robin). They did lose Malcolm Brogdon in a sign-and-trade with Indiana, but received a couple picks out of the deal.
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis is gone, but the Pelicans received a nice package in return. Players like Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram will team up with Zion Williamson and Jrue Holliday. That’s an exciting lineup already. Then, they added the likes of JJ Redick and Derrick Favors. So it’s more of an offseason win, but it’s all still part of the free agency period.
Losing Jimmy Butler alone could be considered a win. Butler said he wanted to play on a winning team, but left the 76ers in favor of the Miami Heat. Interesting. Philly received Josh Richardson as a part of a sign-and-trade that included four teams. They also managed to surprise everyone by signing Al Horford away from the Celtics and also added Tobias Harris. Ben Simmons signed an extension with the team as well. Getting better by trading one of your best free agent is tough to do, but the 76ers did so perfectly.
Utah started off by trading for Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. That resulted in Ricky Rubio signing with the Suns, but Conley’s an upgrade. That alone could have been a great move. However, they weren’t done. In addition to re-signing Emmanuel Mudiay, the signed Indiana Pacers free agent Bojan Bogdanovic and former Washington Wizard Jeff Green. Conley and Bogdanovic add to an already dangerous lineup, and give Utah a legit chance in the Western Conference.
Brooklyn’s turnaround from the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade came full circle in free agency. After making the playoffs last year, the Nets made a big splash. They didn’t sign just one big free agent. They signed two. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to join the Nets, a team that’s suddenly a title contender. Brooklyn also managed to sign DeAndre Jordan and also added Wilson Chandler.
Golden State Warriors
Yes, they lost KD (more on that later), but overall they did well in the long run. Klay Thomspon won’t play most of this season, but the Warriors locked him up for the next five years. They also made a splash by adding Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell.
In yet another disappointing free agency, the Wolves lost out on another big name. D’Angelo Russell was the name linked to Minnesota for a while, and there seemed to be a good chance of him joining the team. Even without the necessary cap room to sign him, it appeared that Minnesota was trying to move money to make this work. It didn’t, and it got worse. Not only did Russell not sign with Minnesota, but Wolves helped him get to Golden State. They received Shabazz Napier, Trevor Graham, and cash from the Warriors. They also lost Taj Gibson to the Knicks, and couldn’t find a way to move Andrew Wiggins. At least the Wolves were able to sign Jordan Bell.
Golden State Warriors
You can’t lose a player like Kevin Durant and not be in this category. Golden State finds themselves in a tough situation without KD and Klay Thompson this year.
Los Angeles Lakers
Signing Jared Dudley won’t win you many free agencies. Technically acquiring Anthony Davis makes the offseason a success, but the Lakers don’t have much to show for it. If they can get Kawhi Leonard, they’re winners. If they don’t, I’m not sure where they go from there.
New York Knicks
This could go either way. Not a big loss, but also not a big win. New York lost out on the KD and Kyrie sweepstakes (to Brooklyn of all teams), but they did well to sign some solid guys. Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, and Taj Gibson give the Knicks solid additions in free agency. They also signed a young Bobby Portis and Julius Randle (who’s got tremendous potential). It wasn’t a terrible free agency, but it was a rude awakening from the reality fans wanted.
Kemba Walker gave the Hornets a chance to win whenever he stepped onto the court. Now, he’s gone. Charlotte lost their best player in free agency to Boston, who sent Terry Rozier back in return. That’s a loss for sure, and Kemba’s absence will be noticeable next year.