Warriors– Defending champs keeps core intact and add versatility and shooting in form of Swaggy P, Casspi, and potential stat sheet stuffer Jordan Bell. Good luck to the rest of the league.
Clippers– While everyone says the Clips are a loser this free agency, I disagree. “Lob city” wasn’t gonna remain in LA and even if it somehow did, Lob City is 1-11 vs the Warriors the last 3 seasons, including a current 10 game losing streak. Being able to trade Cp3 and get something in return was huge. While Cp3 is the games ultimate floor general, him and Doc had their differences about how the offense should be ran. They picked up Beverly, Dekker, and Lou Williams, all guys who can contribute immediately. Resigning Blake was a huge move. It shows the direction they are going. They aren’t ready to fold right now by putting this much trust in Blake and being the primary offensive weapon maybe he can grow even more. The move I like best from them is Danilo Galinari. Yes he has had his fair share of injuries but the Clips have been used to this with Cp3 and Blake. Galinari is extremely skilled for his size and putting him at SF in the front court with Blake and Deandre gives them a ton of size and length. You can’t beat the Warriors at their own game, so I like the counter they are using here by going big. It still won’t be enough to beat the Warriors, but the Clips are still going to be a strong team in the west.
Lakers– Lonzo was acquired in the draft rather than free agency, but this still deserves attention. He has superstar potential written all over him and Magic believes in him enough to trade away number 3 overall pick DeAngelo Russell from just 2 seasons ago. They got rid of the huge Mozgov contract and added KCP to a gigantic one year deal. I love the KCP move for them. KCP is getting a lot of money for just being there for a rebuilding year, but his agent is LeBron’s which could mean LeBron to the Lakers. Pretty much every one on that team is signed for just this upcoming season so they will have a ton of money to make moves in free agency next season. This is Hollywood and Magic is running the show now. Showtime Lakers suddenly doesn’t seem too far fetched.
Twolves– Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau are reuniting in Minnesota. Towns is going to be a top 5 player in the game soon and Wiggins is a future all star. Throw in one of the best 2 way players in the game in Jimmy, who still has a lot of miles left, and the Wolves are headed not only to the playoffs for the first time ever without KG, but they could make a run in the next few years. Also picked up Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford, all players who will contribute a lot and help mentor this young and dangerous squad.
Banana Boat- LeBron, Cp3, D-Wade, and Melo all of a sudden doesn’t seem like a myth. With the news that Kyrie wants out of Cleveland, LeBron and the Cavs are in serious trouble. We will have to wait and see what ultimately will happen to their current roster, but things are looking unclear for the future of LeBron in Cleveland. The banana boat members have all voiced their opinion about wanting to play together at the end of their careers, but the way things are shaping up I think there’s a good chance it could happen next season. The biggest hurdle in terms of contracts to make this a reality was Cp3’s deal. He declined his option and is not locked up long term. The others can also decline a player option next season to ultimately all choose where they want to play together. I believe the banana boat fantasy is almost a guarantee to happen in the Cavs lose in the finals again this year.
Knicks- I’m tired of the pathetic Knicks constantly being in the news. Their organization is trash and they will never win anything as long as James Dolan is the owner. Melo won’t be in NY after the trade deadline and I’m not confident in the Knicks getting a good return. Signing Tim Hardaway Jr to a 4 year $71 million deal was the worst deal I’ve ever seen. They drafted him a few years ago, he didn’t show any promise and he went to Atlanta where he came off the bench. Now they bring him back for $71 million?! I wonder if they did this just to make media news, even though it was for the wrong reasons. Knicks continue to be a crappy organization.
Jazz- Brought in Ricky Rubio (lost starter George Hill) to try and bring back Hayward and it didn’t work. The Rubio move makes no sense to me because it changes the identity of the Jazz. They have been a superb half court offensive team and excellent defensively. Rubio can’t defend and is more effective on offense in fast break situations. They will now have to make Rudy Gobert the centerpiece of the team and while I love him as a player, I don’t think you can win a title in today’s NBA when your centerpiece is your center; especially a center that only plays in the paint.
Cavs- They got smacked by the Warriors in the finals and did nothing to improve their roster this off season. Only move they made was in the front office with the firing of GM David Griffin. With the news about Kyrie wanting to be traded who knows if the Cavs will even win the east this year. Even if they reach they finals again I don’t see them beating Golden State with this current roster.
Pacers- Paul George was going to leave after this season and I applaud them for trying to get something in return. But getting Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis is a horrible return. They were a 7 seed in the weak east last year and now losing PG and having no true prospects, I don’t see them making the playoffs and I have no clue what direction the franchise is headed.