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:

WINNERS

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.

Indiana

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.

Chicago

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.

LOSERS

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.

Houston

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).

Miami

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.

Washington

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.

RG3: Vince Young 2.0



Do you remember the great QB Vince Young was going to be? The man single-handedly led the Texas Longhorns to a national championship over the favored USC Trojans. He was supposed to succeed Steve “Air” McNair in Tennessee as the 3rd overall pick in 2006. Instead, Jeff Fisher didn’t even want to draft him (the owner wanted Young). He didn’t want to start him. The only legitimate weapon he had on offense was Chris Johnson. Young was benched when any opportunity occurred (I.e. Young left the game for a play or 2 and was cleared to come back in but Fisher would keep him sidelined). Fisher didn’t want to develop him either.

On top of all of that, it was rumored that Fisher was “black-balling” Young and it appears to be successful. After Young’s tenure ended in Tennessee, he played one year in Philadelphia and hasn’t been on a team for a full season, if any season. Granted, Vince acted immature at times like when he had “disappeared” that one time and throwing pads in the stands, he didn’t deserve the overall treatment for his career.

Does any of this sounds familiar when referring to Robert Griffin III? RG3’s rookie year was exceptional (RG3 Rookie Highlights), winning rookie of the year and leading the Redskins to a playoff berth for the first time in ages. Remember in the playoff game, RG3 injured his knee and could barely walk. Mike Shanahan kept him in the game. RG3 eventually tore his ACL. Between after that injury and now, Robert Griffin has been in a position to fail. Even though he might have rubbed people the wrong way with certain comments in the media and social media, he hasn’t had a positive environment.

Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle (offensive coordinator) were his coaches the first 3 years. RG3 rushed back his second season to try to play following the torn ACL. His recovery time was impeccable, but his play suffered. With the result of his sub par performance that year, the Washington Redskins struggled as well. RG3 was benched the last 3 games of the season for Kirk Cousins. Nothing changed for the Redskins in 2014, except Robert Griffin III dislocated his ankle and missed a good portion of the NFL season. His played continued to replicate the previous year.

Mike and Kyle Shanahan were terminated in the off-season. Washington hired Jay Gruden as their head coach. His primary focus was to “fix” RG3. However, in this summer’s preseason, RG3 was knocked out of the second game with a concussion. The 3rd preseason game is usually the dress rehearsal for the regular season, and he was initially cleared to play. However, another doctor reversed the decision. Jay Gruden announced that Kirk Cousins would be the opening day starter. Shortly after that announcement, another statement was made by the head coach that Kirk Cousins will be the starter going forward. Coincidentally, the same doctor that reversed RG3’s decision of his eligibility resigned (sounds skeptical).

RG3 needs a new start in a healthy environment. He needs to be around leadership that truly wants him there and do whatever they can to put him in the best situation to succeed. Despite the poor performances, the man can still play. I would take him in Chicago. It’s hard to have a winning culture in a toxic environment. He still needs to fix some of his mechanics and ego but if he was able to meet a head coach and organization half way, you will probably see brighter days from the 2nd overall pick from 2012. Where do you think Robert should go to? Personally,¬† I believe Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, and Kansas City would be good destinations for him. I hope things changes for the better for him. We don’t want see another Vince Young situation.

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JGood