2016 NBA Free Agency: Winners and Losers


This free agency period has been compelling. From the controversial decision that Kevin Durant made to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors, to the shocking news that Dwyane Wade was moving on from the Miami Heat and was going to be a member of the Chicago Bulls. Several big signings have occurred, as well as a few big trades. But what teams have benefited the most and what teams have been the most negatively affected by this offseason?

Golden State Warriors: Winners

The Golden State Warriors were one team out of several who were in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. Their roster full of talent, along with their coaching staff, intrigued Durant enough to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to join then Warriors. The Warriors had to give up a lot of depth but signing Durant helped create what is possibly the most intimidating starting lineup in NBA history. Along with Durant they also signed Zaza Pachulia and David West to much smaller contracts than both men deserved and they could possibly sign free agent Ray Allen.

New York Knicks: Winners

At the beginning of the offseason the New York Knicks traded Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez to the Chicago Bulls for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, and a second round pick. This trade was fantastic for the New York Knicks because they traded average role players for a former NBA MVP who is only twenty-seven years old. The Knicks also signed free agents Joakim Noah, who is Derrick Rose’s former teammate in Chicago, and Courtney Lee who can really help the Knicks offensively.

Miami Heat: Losers

The Miami Heat did successfully resigned their center Hassan Whiteside which was their number one priority, but they lost two important pieces to their starting lineup. Loul Deng signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Dwyane Wade, the face of the Miami Heat for 13 seasons, went to the Chicago Bulls.

Boston Celtics: Winners

The Boston Celtics biggest problem last year was that they simply lacked talent. They played together phenomenally but their best player was Isaiah Thomas who has spent about half of his career as a bench player. But they recently signed Al Horford who will help them both offensively and defensively.

San Antonio Spurs: Winners

The San Antonio Spurs already had a great team. But with Duncan considering retirement and not playing great last season they were looking for a new starting center. They found their need in free agent Pau Gasol who has Championship experience and can help them both offensively with his jump shot, and defensively with his size and blocking ability.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Losers

The Oklahoma City Thunder actually started the offseason off good by trading Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Illyasova, and the rights to the 11th pick Domantas Sabonis. But even after this trade one of their star players, and former MVP Kevin Durant, left their team and joined the Golden State Warriors. Without Kevin Durant it is debatable whether they will make the playoffs or not.

Indiana Pacers: Winners

The Indiana Pacers first traded George Hill in a three team trade to acquire former NBA All-Star Jeff Teague. They also traded their 20th pick in the NBA draft for Thaddeus Young. Finally, they signed Al Jefferson who will be a big help with his offensive skills and his sheer size. Now they have enough talent to potentially challenge the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago Bulls: Winners

The Chicago Bulls made a hilariously bad trade when they traded Derrick Rose away and they also lost Pau Gasol to the San Antonio Spurs. But they signed free agent Rajon Rondo who has Championship experience and led the league in assists per game last season. And they also signed free agent Dwyane Wade who also has Championship experience. The Bulls lost two big players and added two big players which ultimately gave them the identification change they needed.

Dallas Mavericks: Winners

The Dallas Mavericks are the only team, besides the Warriors, that truly benefited from Kevin Durant’s new contract. First the Mavericks signed free agent Harrison Barnes to a max contract then traded with the Warriors for Andrew Bogut. With a better starting lineup, and other western conference teams getting worse (Thunder) we should definitely see the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs once again.

Houston Rockets: Losers

James Harden and Dwight Howard had chemistry issues. Because of this, and their lack of success, Dwight Howard left the Rockets and signed with the Atlanta Hawks. With no second star in Houston their team is doomed to only get worse.

Memphis Grizzlies: Winners

The Memphis Grizzlies signed Mike Conley to an outrageous contract but their team still got better because they also signed free agent Chandler Parsons to a max contract. With Parsons bringing his shooting ability, which is something the Grizzlies drastically need, they will become a better team than last year.

Los Angeles Lakers: Winners

After losing Kobe Bryant to retirement the Lakers had a lot of cap space to play with. So they resigned Jordan Clarkson, signed Timofey Mozgov, signed Loul Deng, drafted Brandon Ingram, and traded for Jose Calderon. They added depth and surrounded their young talent with role players who are capable of good contribution.

About Emanuel Godina

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