The NBA has dominated the headlines over the past month. The Raptors won their first NBA Title on June 6th. The NBA draft was June 20th and for the last 72 hours, the NBA free agency has taken over radio, tv and the water coolers at work. Below are the Winners and Losers of the 2019 free agency and off-season moves.
If I had to rank the best two way players in basketball, Kahwi Leonard would be #1 and Paul George would be #2. The Clippers just added both to their rosters. The NBA landscape has changed. The best players in the world are signing with the Clippers and Brooklyn. Not the Knicks and the Lakers.
New Orleans Pelicans:
The Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Lakers but what they got in return since the season ended has been a tremendous improvement. New Orleans drafted Zion Williamson with the number 1 overall pick and signed J.J Redick to a two-year $26.5 million deal. Redick is one of the best shooters in the NBA and averaged 18 points per game with the Philadelphia 76ers last season. The Pelicans also added Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Jrue Holiday averaged 21 points, 7.7 assists and 5 rebounds per game. This is a young team that will continue to add talent and they should be very exciting to watch. This is a team that could make the playoffs this year.
Brooklyn added Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. I am not sure how Jordan will fit into the mix. The Nets have a 21 year old center named Jarrett Allen who averaged 10.9 points. 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. It doesn’t appear that Durant will play next season but the other New York team added one of the best point guards in the game and Durant has a career scoring average of 27 points per game.
The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis last season. They also added Seth Curry, Boban Marjanovic, Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones from the Heat as part of the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade. Luka Doncic won the rookie of the year in 2019. He averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6 assists. I don’t know how good this team will be on defense but they should be able to put up a ton of points night in and night out.
The Jazz landed shooter Bojan Bogdanovic and rugged forward Ed Davis, and the Jazz got better offensively and defensively especially if you count the Mike Conley acquisition. Quinn Snyder is a very underrated coach and his team should win 50 or more games next season
The Philadelphia 76ers reached deals with Tobias Harris and Al Horford and plan to acquire Josh Richardson from the Heat in the Butler deal. The 76ers added Horford who played with the Celtics last season. They hurt their rivals and got better even without Jimmy Butler.. The big question mark for Philly is their outside shooting. Losing Redick will be hard to replace. They should still win 55 games and be a threat to get to the NBA Finals
‘The Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors lost Kevin Durant but they may be better in 2020. GS added, D’Angelo Russell and center Willie Cauley-Stein. Russell averaged 21 points and 7 assists with the Brooklyn Nets. He can shoot the three and create shots off the dribble. He will be a perfect fit with the high powered Warriors offense. Stein averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds last season in Sacramento and he will be the starter at center. Both players are under 26 years old. Steve Kerr’s team got younger and more athletic and acquired two starters without giving up anything of value.
If you want to know who lost in free agency, look no further than the “Big Apple.” The New York Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis last year with the thought process that they would be able to sign two mega free agents. They didn’t land Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler or Kahwi Leonard. James Dolan is the worst owner in all of sports. He has ruined a once very good franchise. The Knicks have won 1 playoff series win since 2000. They haven’t drafted a player to make multiple all-star games since Patrick Ewing. He is an anchor around the neck of the New York Knicks Franchise.
Top 5 to win the title:
5) Philadelphia 76ers
4) Los Angeles Lakers
3) Milwaukee Bucks
2) Golden State Warriors
1) Los Angeles Clippers
Follow The Sports Whisperer on Twitter…Montejp231
and listen to The Full Monte Football Show