Featured Image by: Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Written by: Ben Pfeifer
With every notable free agent now inked up, free agency has basically come to an end. A few unimportant players will be signed, but this is it. Free agency has been crazy, and the league will certainly look very different next season.
Atlanta Hawks: C+
The Atlanta Hawks made some decent moves this offseason. The big one was signing Dwight Howard. He is no longer the player he once was, but he will still get you a double-double per game. Dwight is an interesting fit for Atlanta, a team who loves shooters and floor spacing. Horford was perfect for this scheme, but Howard has been working on his jumpshot this offseason. They signed Kent Bazemore to a 70 million deal, which I think is definitely overpaying for a player that has averages 6 points in his career. In addition, they got Malcom Delaney who is a solid backup point guard option.
Boston Celtics: B
Sure, they didn’t get Kevin Durant who was their main focus, but they still had a good offseason. They signed a very good center in Al Horford who can be a force in the low post, which the Celtics have needed. Brad Stevens can surely do a great job with Horford. The Celtics also re-signed many of their less notable free agents such as Jonas Jerebko.
Brooklyn Nets: B-
The Nets desperately need some players, and they got some. They convincing Tyler Johnson, a very solid player last year, on a 4 year 50 mil offer. But now that Miami lost Wade, they likely will match this offer in the next three days. The Nets also signed Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, and Justin Hamilton who could be solid contributors this year. The Nets were in talks with Allen Crabbe as well, but it looks like the Blazers will keep him.
Charlotte Hornets: C+
The Hornets signed swingman Nicolas Batum to a huge deal, 120 million over 5 years. He is very good, but I do not think he deserves the max. They also signed Roy Hibbert, Brian Roberts, and Ramon Sessions for depth. In addition, they were able to resign Marvin Williams who is very solid. They sadly were unable to retain Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, and Jeremy Lin who all were solid for the Hornets. I don’t expect another playoff run this year.
Chicago Bulls: B+
The Bulls made one of the biggest signings of the season, bringing back the hometown man Dwayne Wade. He is an amazing player, coming off one of his best seasons. Him aging seems to not effect him much. The Heat have not given Wade what he deserved for a few seasons now, and it was good for him to move on. They also signed Rajon Rondo to run the show, who is a very good passer. They lost Pau Gasol which his fine, for he doesn’t fit the Bulls scheme. It is strange that the Bulls seemed to be rebuilding after losing Rose and Noah, but now have a solid playoff roster. It will be interesting to see how Chicago does this year.
Cleveland Cavaliers: B
The Cavaliers did not really need to do too much this free agency. They resigned Richard Jefferson who was vital to their finals win and let Matthew Dellavedova walk, which was a good move. “Delly” did not contribute in the finals, and is not worth his large price tag. Mozgov also walked well for the same reasons. Cavaliers did draft promising rookie Kay Felder who will have a chance to play backup point guard. The Cavs also got Dunleavy in a trade, and of course will re-sign Lebron James.
Dallas Mavericks: B-
The Mavs made a lot of moves. They did not resign Chandler Parsons, which is good because they would be overpaying for a player who has under performed for Dallas. The Mavericks were also able to sign Harrison Barnes who is a bright young player who could do a great job in Dallas. They also resigned Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Powell, and Deron Williams for small deals. Freshly signed Seth Curry should also be a good option off of the bench.
Denver Nuggets: C
The Nuggets have had a very quiet offseason so far, only able to resign Darrell Arthur on a 23 million deal. This was a good sign as Arthur is a decent bench contributor. Let’s see if the Nuggets will trade Kenneth Faried soon.
Detroit Pistons: B
The Pistons resigned Andre Drummond to the max, which is well deserved for one of the best centers in the NBA and is an absolute monster. Ish Smith was a nice sign and solid backup point guard. On the downside, the Pistons vastly overpaid for Jon Leuer with a 42 million contract. I mean if Leuer can get 4o million, can’t I get a minimum deal?
Golden State Warriors: A
The Warriors signed Kevin Durant. This makes the Warriors nearly unstoppable, and is a very good signing. This is not about Kevin Durant who I think is a coward, but is only about the Warriors. They lost Harrison Barnes, Bogut, Ezeli, and Barbosa but it doesn’t matter in comparison the signing of KD. Even with an exodus of bench players, they still retained depth by signing Zaza Pachuila, David West, and maybe Ray Allen soon for a veteran minimum.
Houston Rockets: C+
The Rockets lost Dwight Howard, which is not that terrible for he is declining and is not a good fit with James Harden. They also signed solid players in Nene, Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson. Gordon will likely become a solidified sixth man for Houston.
Indiana Pacers: B-
The Pacers signed Al Jefferson to a 3 year 30 mil deal. He is aging, but will be a very good backup center and mentor to Myles Turner. They lost Ian Mahinmi who is worse than Jefferson, and saved 16 million on him. They also lost Solomon Hill who is a good bench player, but is not worth his price tag for Indiana. Indiana has had a very good overall offseason and should be a contender next year.
Los Angeles Clippers: C-
The Clippers could not get Kevin Durant, but did resign most of their players. Including Jamal Crawford who will always be a solid scorer on the bench. Wesley Johnson will also be alright on the bench, but Austin Rivers for 35 million is a lot of money for a very inconsistent player. There was a lot more potential for the Clippers to improve this free agency.
Los Angeles Lakers: C
The Lakers really wanted to sign a big ticket free agent, but were not able to lure any great players to Los Angeles. They overpaid for Timofey Mozgov who is decent, but not worth 64 million. The best thing they did was resign Jordan Clarkson and sign Luol Deng. Deng will be good off of the bench and be a nice veteran presence in the locker room. They also resigned Tarik Black as a player to occasionally come off the bench. Lakers fans better get used to the young core they have.
Memphis Grizzlies: B
The Grizzlies made Mike Conley the highest paid NBA player ever, which is not deserved. That being said, Conley is a quality player who is great on both sides of the ball. Signing Chandler Parsons was also a great addition to their team. He will be a consistent shooter who will help Memphis space the floor. They brought back James Ennis, who is very athletic and could be a decent role player.
Miami Heat: B
The Heat lost Dwayne Wade, who is the greatest Heat player ever. Saying this, it may be time to move on as tension was gradually rising between the two parties every year. They did not get Durant but they did resign Hassan Whiteside, which is another example of Pat Riley working his magic. They also lost Joe Johnson and Luol Deng which makes the Heat loose a veteran presence in the locker room, yet clears up a lot of cap. Miami will likely match the offer for Tyler Johnson. The Heat will not be as good next year, but are setting up a good path for the future.
Milwaukee Bucks: C
The Bucks lost Jerryd Bayless, but signed Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. These players will likely be nothing more than bench players. Delly could start, but most likely won’t with Giannis playing point. The Bucks have had a questionable offseason, but Giannis Antetokounmpo should develop even more this year.
Minnesota Timberwolves: C
The Timberwolves did not do too much and did not need to this offseason with their great young core. They signed Brandon Rush and overpaid for Cole Aldrich for depth.
New Orleans Pelicans: C+
The Pelicans lost Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, who were two good role players for New Orleans, but they were expendable. Solomon Hill had a very good season on the bench for Indiana, and should be able to do the same for New Orleans. Anthony Davis should continue to lead the Pelicans with Buddy Hield, and soon they should be a playoff team.
New York Knicks: B+
The Knicks have had a very busy offseason. Firstly, the Knicks got Derrick Rose from the Bulls who if healthy is an excellent point guard. They signed Joakim Noah who is a very solid player who will give his all every game. They also signed Courtney Lee who is a pin-point shooter and will be able to space the floor for New York. The signing of Brandon Jennings will give the Knicks a great backup point guard. The Knicks would continue to retain Lance Thomas who is super valuable player off of the bench. The Knicks signed a few international players with potential in Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugus Kuzminskas. Expect the Knicks to make a playoff run this year.
Oklahoma City Thunder: D
The Thunder took the hugest hit of the offseason, losing superstar Kevin Durant to the Warriors. Even with their great trade with Orlando, this will set the Thunder back miles and make Russell Westbrook want to leave. The Thunder’s future is very murky, but they have some decent young players. It will be very strange to see Durant in a yellow jersey next season.
Orlando Magic: B
The Magic had a solid offseason, which was led by the signing of Bismack Biyombo. He is a workhorse center who is insane on the glass, and he will be a very good compliment to the offensive minded Nikola Vucevic. They were able to resign Evan Fournier who had a great season, and D.J. Augustin who will be a solid backup after losing Brandon Jennings. Jeff Green could also be a solid bench player.
Philadelphia 76ers: B-
The Sixers added solid depth to their young core with Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson. Bayless should start at point guard, taking over Ish Smith’s former role. The Sixers also signed Sergio Rodriguez, who has been very good overseas in Spain. The Sixers should still suck this year, but the future is bright in Philly.
Phoenix Suns: C+
The Suns reacquired former players Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa who will both be good shooters off of the bench. They also resigned P.J. Tucker who is a solid veteran player. They let go of Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer, which is good. This opens up minutes for exciting rookies Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender to play.
Portland Trail Blazers: B-
The Blazers signed Evan Turner who is coming off of a great year as the sixth man for the Celtics as a primary ball handler. He will most likely keep this role with Portland. Portland will also most likely resign Allen Crabbe who is a valuable piece to the team. Portland should be good this year as they were last.
Sacramento Kings: C+
The Kings followed up an abismal draft with an alright free agency period. They got Matt Barnes and Aaron Afflalo, who are two very solid players who could be good players off of the bench and possibly starting lineup. Still, the Kings had a bad offseason and will likely soon lose DeMarcus Cousins. If I were DeMarcus, I would have demanded a trade the second after the Kings draft finished.
San Antonio Spurs: B-
Veterans Boris Diaw and David West were lost, but the Spurs signed star power forward Pau Gasol. He is a magnificent offensive player, but is a liability on defense at this point in his career which could be detrimental to San Antonio, but I am confident Greg Popovich will figure it out.
Toronto Raptors: B
The Raptors did what they needed to and that was to resign DeMar DeRozan. He is one of the best players on the team and was crucial to their playoff run this year. They lost Bismack Biyombo which hurts, but they were not in a position to pay him what he wanted and rookie Jakob Poeltl could likely fill his role soon.
Utah Jazz: B-
The Jazz were trying to add veteran leadership to their young team. And along with acquiring George Hill they signed isolation god Joe Johnson. This will help mentor the young players in the Jazz and provide leadership in the locker room.
Washington Wizards: B
The Wizards resigned Bradley Beal to the max deal which is what they needed to do. Beal can develop into a deadly scorer, and I think this year could be the year. They also signed Ian Mahinmi who was very good in Indiana last year. The Wizards could definitely compete for a playoff spot next year.