Free agency is like a tug of war, it has left each conference wide open in a sense. The West looks like we are seeing the rise of a new titan. The East is up for grabs as multiple teams are making solid power moves.
Losers are teams that stay stagnant and end up grabbing C or D tier, free agents. The winners are never passive always looking to continuously build on the blocks of their foundation.
The Jazz did not stop after making a trade to get Donovan Mitchell a new backcourt mate in Mike Conley Jr. They continued to add the necessary pieces. They were forced to move on from a fan favorite in Derrick Favors. In return, they added a nice 18 ppg scorer in Bojan Bogdanovic on a 4-year deal worth $73 Million. They also deepened their bench by adding a backcourt for Rudy Gobert in a glass cleaner like Ed Davis. Bench pieces like Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay cannot hurt either.
The Jazz is looking good in a wide-open Western Conference. They are poised if the chemistry works out to be dark horse contenders. They could feasibly find themselves in the Western Conference Finals. Things are looking up for Salt Lake City.
The Nets were the most active team from the jump of free agency. The highlight is getting the duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The biggest free agent acquisitions in Brooklyn’s history. They may have to wait on KD, but it could very well be worth the wait.
Other under the radar moves made by Brooklyn were signing DeAndre Jordan and Garrett Temple to decent and reasonable deals. I believe the Nets have done enough to at least get out of the first round. I honestly do not think this team is done because the latest addition of Wilson Chandler says so.
New Orleans Pelicans
David Griffin is a basketball genius. The Pelicans gave him keys to the front office and they win the lottery draft, Zion Williamson. Trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for young talents and picks. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart are promising players. The sneaky additions of Jaxon Hayes, JJ Redick, and Derrick Favors were under the radar. The return of Darius Miller only serves to boost the second unit.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers arguably are NBA Champs on paper. Adding the two best two-way players in the NBA does this for you. On top of the best bench in the NBA. The Clippers could easily win the West. These additions make people about retaining key pieces like Patrick Beverly, Rodney McGruder, Ivica Zubac and new addition in 3 and D guy Maurice Harkless. The Clippers could be the better team in LA again this year.
Los Angeles Lakers
Speaking of LA, the Lakers addition of Anthony Davis is not being talked about enough. The Lakers landed arguably the best big man in the sport. The Lakers managed to fill out their roster with many role players and two former All-Stars in Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins.
The additions of Quinn Cook, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, and Troy Daniels cannot go unnoticed. The Lakers are deep especially with the returns of JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell Pope. The Battle of LA is heating up.
The Timberwolves are losers because they put all their focus on one free agent, D’Angelo Russell. They lost Derrick Rose to the Pistons. Their back up plan in Ricky Rubio signed with Phoenix. Now, in a weird turn of events, Russell is a Warrior. The Warriors are looking to trade, but does Andrew Wiggins really entice the Warriors. I do not think so.
This non-action will not help the Timberwolves of getting back to the playoffs. The West is open for the moment, but I believe the door may be closing on the Wolfpack to add significant pieces.
New York Knicks
They started off free agency with the leaked info that they refused to offer Kevin Durant a max contract. They went on to fill out their roster with 3 power forwards in Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson. They also added decent shooters in Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock.
The failure to land a big fish in the sea of free agency will keep Knicks fans from sleeping. James Dolan criticism does not make for positive media attention. I smell many more Stephen A Smith rants on the Knicks. I guess Brooklyn will continue to run the State. How’s that for a New York state of mind?
Michael Jordan, this does not look on your resume. Low balling Kemba Walker. Losing your team’s two top scorers in free agency. Maybe, it’s time to get Mitch Kupchak out of there. The only bright side is the Hornets quickly found Kemba’s replacement in Terry Rozier. Rozier is undoubtedly getting a starting gig and payday.
The Hornets should salvage the season by going young and not caring about the win-loss record. Play a line up of Terry Rozier, Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, and Cody Zeller. Win 25-30 games. Got the plan?
What’s worse you getting rejected by your crush or the Kings getting rejected by Al Horford? I’ll wait for you to think it over. The Kings did add some pieces, but not enough to thread the needle to get back to the playoffs. The additions of vets such as Cory Joseph, Trevor Ariza, and DeWayne Dedmon were solid, but not franchise changing.
This team screams NBA purgatory all over. They are not good enough for a postseason run or bad enough for a top pick. What are the Kings doing? Hopefully, the young core is ahead of schedule or this could be another meh season.