NBA Free Agency: Biggest Winners And Losers

What a free agency that we are experiencing!! I’ve already mentioned the insane contracts that are being handed out. Now the only question left is who is actually benefiting from this event. Here’s the biggest winners and losers of this summer:


Golden State

Last year the Spurs locked down Lamarcus Aldridge on Independence Day. This year Kevin Durant declared his independence and joined the 2-time reigning Western Conference champs. This is the first time ever that former MVPs are on the same team in their respective primes. The Warriors were on the verge of a repeat without KD. With Durant, this team has dynasty potential (similar to when LeBron joined the Miami Heat).

San Antonio

Even though they missed out on Kevin Durant, they was able to sign Pau Gasol, who they have coveted for years. Having him and Lamarcus Aldridge makes their offensive difficult to stop. They are interchangeable between the low and high post and Gasol is a skillful passer. If Duncan decides to return, they will make a formidable front court. Oh, and not to mention Kawhi Leonard and others.


The Pacers was relevant in the Eastern Conference 3 years ago but fell off due to a leg injury by Paul George and roster changes. They had already traded for Thaddeus Young and Jeff Teague before free agency started. Them signing Al Jefferson, along with already having Monte Ellis and their superstar Paul George, has made them a dark horse to get back to competitive status. I’ve heard they may bring back Lance Stephenson as well.

New York

A month ago, the Knicks didn’t look like they would improve too much this summer but that all changed after trading for Derrick Rose. Phil Jackson added Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings for much needed depth. New York should be a contender in the East. Just when you thought Phil didn’t care about the Knicks organization, he pulls off some impressive transactions.


When Derrick Rose was traded, management said that they wanted to get younger and more athletic, but also didn’t want to completely rebuild. They turned around and signed Rajon Rondo and Dywane Wade. That’s definitely goes against what was said  in he first part, but nonetheless the additions with Jimmy Butler makes the Bulls lineup intriguing. The team has the potential to do great things.


Oklahoma City

Losin Kevin Durant makes them the biggest loser of the summer by default. They went from a title contender to a team that will struggle to make the playoffs. What’s even worse, unless Russell Westbrook decides to sign a contract extension, the Thunder would be wise to trade him now so this situation doesn’t happen again a year from now.

LA Clippers

The Clippers missed out on Kevin Durant and resigned Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford. The bad part about this is that the teams that they have to beat to get to the NBA Finals (Spurs and Warriors) have gotten significantly better while they have stayed the same or gotten slightly worse. Unless DeAndre Jordan learns how to make free throws, the Clippers will always be inferior.


Look, 2 years ago the Rockets overachieved by going to the Western Conference Finals. Last season they barely sneaked into the playoffs like an 18 year old getting into a club with a fake ID. I don’t care how Dwight Howard was playing or his attitude, losing him and replacing him with Nene is not acceptable. Maybe this team will actually play better if James Harden starts playing defense or limit the isolation plays. Until then, this team is mediocre at best (Good luck making the playoffs next season).


Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are known to be aggressive when going after superstar free agents. However, striking out with Kevin Durant and then being stubborn and”playing chicken” with Dywane Wade has left Miami without their franchise player. Sure, they have plenty if cap space now and will be big players next summer but for time being, it’s not longer “Wade County” in Miami. Oh and not to mention, there’s still uncertainty on Chris Bosh’s future.


Last offseason, when the Wizards couldn’t keep Paul Pierce, the wheels started to fall apart (and other parts were dismantled as well in summer). First, Kevin Durant, who is from the D.C. area, doesn’t even request an interview with Washington. Next, the Wizards couldn’t land Dwight Howard or Al Horford. Lastly, they signed Ian Mahinmi (29 years old). He was a backup center for the Pacers making 4 million. The Wizards gave him 64 million over 4 years (16 million per season if the contract paid out equally). I know the contracts this offseason have been outrageous but to over pay an unproven player sounds desperate to me.

NBA Preview Part 6: Pacific Division

Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors
Key Additions: Jason Thompson, Kevon Looney
Key Subtractions: David Lee
Outlook: The reigning champs… a lot of people didn’t see this coming. some journalist and NBA players have criticized their title because their opponents were missing key players during the postseason. Truth of the matter is they played whoever was in front of them and got it done. With all of that being said, they are poised to defend their throne. They traded David Lee, but he wasn’t really a part of the rotation as you think. That move saves them money and provides flexibility down the road. In other words they should be able to contend for years to come, including this season. Expect them to back in the thick of things again.

Los Angeles Clippers
Key Additions: Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich, Wesley Johnson, Pablo Prigioni, Chuck Hayes, Branden Dawson
Key Subtractions: Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes
Outlook: If you take a look at this roster on paper, you would want to automatically place them in the NBA Finals. This team is loaded with talent, skill, leadership, and now championship experience on the court with Paul Pierce. If Chris Paul can’t get past the second round this year then I’m not sure who or what else you can blame. They resigned DeAndre Jordan in one of the most bizarre free agency signings of all time. Blake Griffin solidified his worth to the team when Chris Paul was out last season. You add Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson, two players who plays with an edge. Drafting Branden Dawson was a steal in my eyes. It’s basically do or die for this team otherwise somebody has to go! In a stacked Western Conference, one if two teams will be disappointed early. Will it be the Clippers again?

Los Angeles Lakers
Key Additions: Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr.
Key Subtractions: Jordan Hill, Ed Davis,  Wesley Johnson, Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, Ronnie Price
Outlook: The future looks much brighter now than it did a year ago. Any time you have Carlos Boozer on your team, it prevents your future (I know quite well). D’Angelo Russell will be pretty good… he might become a legitimate franchise-caliber player, but only time will tell. Larry Nance Jr. has bounce just like his dad. I’m not sold on Roy Hibbert, but it’s better than Carlos Boozer. Lou Williams and Brandon Bass were good signings. Julius Randle is finally back after missing last season. He looked good during preseason. Oh yeah.. Kobe’s back! Hopefully he can stay healthy for the most part this year. If this team gels and plays up to their potential, they can sneak into the playoffs. However, their ladder to climb is relatively difficult.

Phoenix Suns
Key Additions: Tyson Chandler, Mirza Teletovic, Jon Leuer, Devin Booker, Ronnie Price
Key Subtractions: Marcus Morris, Brandan Wright, Reggie Bullock
Outlook: In all honesty, I’m not sure what this team is trying to do here. They came close to signing LaMarcus Aldridge (even traded some players to clear up cap space to try to sign him), but those plans fell through. However, they seemed to be in rebuilding mode when they trade Goran Dragic at the trade deadline last season. I’m not sold on their back court of Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe. They are young, athletic, and talented, but their lack of skill and intangibles (leadership, game management, awareness) is really suspect. This team may continue a fast-paced offense (as they should), but getting wins will be difficult due to the lack of overall talent and skill. I’m expecting a high lottery pick, but you’ll never know.

Sacramento Kings
Key Addition: Kostas Koufos, Rajon Rondo, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marco Belinelli, Seth Curry, Caron Butler, Quincy Acy, James Anderson
Key Subtractions: Jason Thompson, Derrick Williams, Ray McCallum, Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, Andre Miller
Outlook: Sacramento has been at the door to unlocking their full potential for the past 3 to 4 years. You have the most under appreciated and probably the best overall center in the league with DeMarcus Cousins. You have an all-star caliber player who can score on anybody at will with Rudy Gay. You bring in players that has championship experience with Marco Belinelli, Caron Butler, and Rajon Rondo (who has something to prove after that horrible outcome in Dallas). This team has the biggest chip on its shoulders in the entire league, and I really think this is the year they break through that door of potential and legitimately compete for a playoff spot. Don’t be surprised if they are still in the hunt in late March.