Let’s Talk Moves: My Winners, Losers, Potential Circus Situations and Definite Afterthoughts of NBA Free Agency so far
After a week of activity in free agency, almost all of the big time free agents have indicated where they will be playing next year.
The common way to look at this time of the year is with winners and losers, but I cannot just have those two ‘awards’, because this year, free agency has, to me, been far more unpredictable than just winners and losers.
I will also look at the potentially turbulent situations as well as the teams who made under-the-radar moves that bode well for their fans next year.
For the first time in forever, there is off season attention, if not hype, being thrown upon the San Antonio Spurs. Their moves internally to initially retain Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard would have been more than enough for them and honestly were the moves I expected.
However, with the Spurs getting the top free agent available in LaMarcus Aldridge, getting Duncan and Ginobli back for one more run, and convincing David West to chase a ring in Texas, I think that the hype is justified.
The only question mark for the Spurs will, I think, be how they deal with having the target on their back. Part of the Spurs’ way has included flying under the radar, so how will they deal with the attention from around the league.
Kevin Love returning to the Cavaliers was the biggest surprise of the offseason. I honestly thought that with the way that he was reduced to nothing more than a floor spacer in the offense, and with the way Tristan Thompson made the Cavs more dynamic with his offensive rebounding, that Love would have left for greener pastures.
At the very least, if Love returned, I would have expected him to take a shorter term deal. The fact that he didn’t shows his commitment to winning, and also his awareness of the perfect situation he is in to play with LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
The only hesitation with the Cavs for me is the amount of money they have in their primary options who can be positionally redundant.
My final winner is the Milwaukee Bucks, who aready have a couple of my most intriguing players for next year in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.
Getting Greg Monroe, I think was the perfect move to develop Coach Kidd’s vision for this team, and to create an anchor for the athletic, versatile perimeter players to work off of.
Unfortunately, while there were winners this free agency, there were also also losers. First up is a team from Hollywood.
This picture seems to tell us everything we want to know. DeAndre Jordan leaving is devastating for the Clippers. They couldn’t land Tyson Chandler or in reality, any other big man on the market, and losing the leading rebounder in the game for nothing really hurts.
As another thought, the rebranding effort has been almost universally panned, and even though the logo and jersey have begun to grow on me, I still don’t like the way the new era of Clippers basketball began with the loss of a prized player.
The key here is losing DeMarre Carrol to an Eastern Conference playoff team. Reportedly, it would have had to have been either Paul Millsap or Carroll, but the loss of Carroll still hurts the improvement the club made last year on its way to 60 wins.
Potential Circus Situations
Nothing to look at here. We know Rondo + Karl + Boogie + Vivek has the potential to be the most entertaining train wreck in the league.
The Definite Afterthoughts for me are the Lakers and the Knicks. The reason for that is their lack of success in recruiting any big names. However, for the Lakers, their moves to sign Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and trading for Roy Hibbert were good consolation prizes. The Lakers contingent expected miracles, and for once, it didn’t happen. But the Lakers got better, and apart from going from worst to first, is all anyone should ask for
Additionally, aside from free agency, their recent picks of Randle and Russell are super exciting. Rookies may not translate directly to wins for teams, but they have the potential to improve the ‘basketball situation for any club’.
Literally everything I said about the Lakers is also true for the New York Knicks. They whiffed on the big free agents, and got consolation prizes like Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez. They, like the Lakers, got better. However, unlike the Lakers, they have Carmelo Anthony wasting the best years of his career in a rebuild.
So while the Lakers have Kobe Bryant with five rings, the Knicks have ‘Melo who doesn’t have a title and wants one badly.
It’s on Phil Jackson to push the rebuilding project’s pace up in order to not frustrate Carmelo and the rabid Knicks fans.
Free agency has been fun and those were my winners, losers, circus situations and afterthoughts of Free Agency I’m curious to see what Summer league brings in Vegas.