Winners and Losers from Week 1 of NBA Free Agency
Everything imaginable has been happening around the NBA and it is safe to say that the beginning of NBA free agency has been wild.
From trades, to free agent signings, the NBA landscape has been altered and new franchises will be looking to make statements in the upcoming season. Stars are on the move, role players are finding new opportunities, and there have already been big losers and even bigger winners a week into free agency.
Who are those winners and losers? Let’s take a look!
- Minnesota Timberwolves
Not saying the Wolves have become contenders over night, but they have worked their way out of the Western Conference cellar and it looks like they are finally playoff bound.
It first all started when Minnesota pulled the trigger on the Jimmy Butler trade, finding themselves a veteran superstar and a guy who can provide coach Tom Thibodeau great minutes on both ends of the floor. Pair Butler up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and something is starting to brew in Minneapolis.
The Wolves did not stop there. Needing a viable option at point guard after finally moving on from Ricky Rubio, the Wolves signed former All-Star Jeff Teague to a nice contract, then brought in some depth in power forward Taj Gibson.
Shooting remains a question mark and with Butler and Gibson now in the fold, some of Minnesota’s defensive holes have been clogged. The Wolves may not contend this upcoming season, but they are most definitely on the rise!
- Boston Celtics
It may have cost the Celtics Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, but now with Marcus Morris aboard along with Hayward, the Celtics have a stout group that is ready to take the Cleveland Cavaliers to at least a Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
All jokes aside, Brad Stevens is a phenomenal coach and will get the most out of this team. The pieces fit together well, the Celtics still have solid defenders, and a couple young players that should bode well as the Celtics look to reach the pinnacle of the NBA world
- Golden State Warriors
Who doesn’t fear the luxury tax? The Golden State Warriors definitely do not.
The goal going into the summer was to bring back key pieces of their championship roster, and rest assured, the Warriors did just that and then some. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, and surprisingly, even Shaun Livingston and David West returned on new deals.
The Warriors then dipped into the free agent pool and found some more pieces that can help them to return to championship glory next season. Productive wing Omri Casspi seems to be the perfect fit for the Warriors and the Warriors added some swagger to their roster, bringing on shooting guard Nick Young.
Guess ‘Iggy’ and ‘Swaggy p’ are reunited again, only this time, in the Bay Area.
The main takeaway is the Warriors remain the title favourites, and when that remains the case, how can they not be considered free agency winners?
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Tim Hardaway Jr.
- Teams with Cap Room next Summer
- Utah Jazz
It has been an incredibly rough summer for the Utah Jazz to say the least.
After not only reaching the playoffs for the first time in a while, but making their way through to the second round, the Utah Jazz lost two of their best offensive players in the span of a week. First George Hill and then Hayward. The only thing they have to show for their departures, is Ricky Rubio.
Thankfully, 3-and-D player Joe Ingles re-signed with the Jazz, but unfortunately for them a big turnaround year may have been all for naught, as it looks like Utah will make their way down the standings as quickly as they worked their way up a year ago.
Time to give Dante Exum another shot at trying to become the star the Jazz were hoping to receive during the 2015 NBA Draft
- New York Knicks
If there is ever a list that the New York Knicks can crack, it is this one.
I realize that Phil Jackson is gone after a horrible tenure with the franchise, but trouble still lures over the franchise in the form of team owner James Dolan – quite possibly the worst owner in professional sports. If a franchise wants to win, the vision is build from the front office and the message is than sent down to the rest of the organization.
Oh, and the Knicks just signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71-million offer sheet.
Yeah, it’s time to delete this franchise.
- Atlanta Hawks
Two years ago, the Atlanta Hawks were a 60-win team and set four All-Stars to the NBA All-Star Game. Fast forward two years, and their infamous superstar-less starting line-up is gone and the Hawks have absolutely nothing to show for it.
Even Dwight Howard is now gone after the Hawks got fleeced in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. Dennis Schroder is the guy the Hawks want to rebuild around and it seems like this rebuild will take a while.
Sometimes a front office has to realize that they are not winning with their core and must acquire assets before their starts leave town for nothing.
The Hawks royally messed this one up!
- Chicago Bulls
- Indiana Pacers
- Los Angeles Clippers