Atlantic Division Edition
The 2019 NBA offseason has been one for the record books. From unexpected signings to shocking trades, it’s safe to say that the NBA has managed to captivate the sports world without even playing a single meaningful game in over a month. We have seen seven all-stars from this past season change teams. Now that things have (seemingly) calmed down, it’s time to take a look at how each team has faired this offseason.
Toronto Raptors: C-
Key Additions – Cameron Payne and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Key Losses – Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Draft – Dewan Hernandez
The Raptors knew the risk when they decided to trade all-star Demar Derozan for a potential one year rental in Kawhi Leonard last year. Although Leonard did leave after one year, it’s impossible to say the move didn’t pay off. He delivered the franchise their first-ever NBA championship and will always be a sports hero for the city of Toronto. They still have returning vets in Kyle Lowery, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka. With the added depth I believe this is still a team that could find themselves in playoff contention come April of next year.
Philadelphia 76ers: A
Key Additions – Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Trey Burke.
Key Losses – Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick, Boban Marjanovic.
Drafted – Matisse Thybulle, Marial Shayok, Jordan Bone.
After a heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Raptors in game 7 of the second round of the 2019 playoffs, it’s no surprise this team decided to make some changes. Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick are both big-time losses from last year’s starting lineup. Butler was their crunch time man, while Redick helped space the floor. The additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson will bring some much-needed size and improve a team that at times struggled on the defensive end last year. They still look to be rolling out a lineup that features four potential all-stars and has great depth to go along with that. Anything short of a Finals appearance for this team will most likely be a major let down.
Boston Celtics: B-
Key Additions – Kemba Walker, Enes Canter.
Key Losses – Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes.
Drafted – Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters.
It became clear towards the end of last year that Kyrie Irving was most likely going to be leaving. The fact that they were able to replace him with all-star guard Kemba Walker is a huge deal. Enes Canter is a nice pickup for a team that just lost Al Horford, but his struggles on the defensive side of the ball could prove to be a challenge. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both have the potential to be future all-stars. If either of them makes that leap this year, and Gordon Hayward continues to look like his old self, then this team could find themselves potentially hosting a first-round playoff series.
Brooklyn Nets: A
Key Additions – Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler, Garret Temple.
Key Losses – D’Angelo Russel, DeMarre Carroll, Ed Davis, Jared Dudley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Shabazz Napier.
Drafted – Nicolas Claxton, Jaylen Hands.
The Nets stole the New York City spotlight when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both decided to sign with the team. This first year will be quite an experiment and a chance to develop some young talent while Durant rehabs his torn Achilles tendon. They overpaid DeAndre Jordan from a salary standpoint, but it appears that was a move requested by Kyrie and Kevin. There are risks involved with these signings though. Irving is coming off a season where he lacked effort and motivation and seemed to be a locker room problem. Also, Durant’s health going forward is very much a concern, and that is a question that may not be answered until mid-2020. Look for this team to absolutely be in playoff contention, but probably will not be poised to make a deep playoff run until next year.
New York Knicks: C
Key Additions – Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Elfrid Payton.
Key Losses – Emmanual Mudiay, Mario Hezonja, DeAndre Jordan.
Drafted – RJ Barret, Ignas Brazdeikis.
“A very busy offseason for all the wrong reasons” is one way to describe the Knicks over the past month. If you look at the moves they made after they realized they weren’t getting a top free agent, you could say they did fairly well. The problem is, they had aligned themselves to make a run at multiple top free agents as well as getting Zion Williamson with the number one overall pick. None of that worked out, and they were left trying to piece together a team with a group of role players. If the 3rd overall pick RJ Barret can handle the bright lights of New York City, then they may at least have a franchise player to start building around. I expect this season to be about developing their young talent and will be looking at yet another high first-round draft pick come 2020.