In this article, strictly moves that demanded a player switch teams will be included in the order of time in which they occurred.
Derrick Favors Traded to Thunder
The 11-year man, Derrick Favors, is headed to Oklahoma City after shooting a career-high 63.8% from the field last season with the Jazz. Utah is ultimately getting off salary wages in this trade, as they swapped Favors and a first-round pick for a second-round pick. It’s unclear how OKC will utilize Favors, but due to his age (29) and his skill level (fully developed and a reliable backup center), it seems that he will likely be traded for a younger player or picks.
Tristan Thomspon Set to Exit The Garden
In a three-team deal, the Sacramento Kings will receive the Celtics’ center, Thompson, the Celtics will receive Hawks’ guard Kris Dunn and forward Bruno Fernando. Two mediocre players returned in the deal for the Celtics. Dunn, originally the 5th pick in the draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, has yet to show that he can hold on to a significant role on any NBA team. With Marcus Smart and Peyton Prichard serving as the starter and backup (as of now), there’s a possibility that Dunn could see real minutes for Boston. Fernando will act as a deep bench player. With Robert Williams, Al Horford, Grant Williams, and Jayson Tatum all on the roster, Fernando’s time at the forward or center positions will be extremely limited.
Richardson on His Way to Boston
Richardson, heading to his fourth team in four years, is looking to prove himself as a solid role player that can get it done both offensively and defensively. However, he is struggling with the offensive part, hence the four teams. The Celtics acquired him using the remainder of the trade exception left from the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade deal. Richardson struggled again from three last year, knocking down only 33% of his shots on a vast 4.5 attempts per game. Richardson will continue to get to his mid-range game, where he knocked down 49.5% of his attempts last season with the Mavericks.
Chicago Bulls Complete the Swap for Lonzo Ball
Here come the Bulls with their first move. Adding Lonzo spices up this Bulls squad and removes the playmaking and (some) scoring duties off of LaVine’s shoulders. Along with LaVine and Vucevic pick and rolls, you now have Lonzo, a prolific passer, to run pick and rolls with. When the second option listed is run, LaVine (41.9% from three) or another shooter for Chicago will await on the perimeter. Adding Ball to the roster opens up several other opportunities to this offense and it will prove to be intriguing as to how they utilize him in their offense. The negatives come with aggressiveness towards scoring and getting to the basket, as he took 8.3 threes last season and only 1.2 free throws a game. The best version of Lonzo is when he is attacking the rim. The defender then has to stay honest, giving him availability to shoot or pass the ball, both of which are a talent of his. Adding a pass-first mentality-based player like Ball to substitute for Coby White, a score-first mentality-based player, is something that will benefit Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, both players that require the ball.
On the other side, it’s questionable why Lonzo was traded. It was clear that he was welcomed and cherished there by Williamson and Ingram, not to mention the fit he had with Williamson in the offense. The strides that he had taken forward were promising as well. He has improved his three-point shooting significantly in New Orleans, jumping from 32.9% to 37.8% last season. The free throw shooting is where we’ve observed the biggest improvement, however. He came into New Orleans shooting 41.7% from the line throughout the previous season in Los Angeles. He’s raised that to 78.1%. So where do the Pelicans go from here? It’s tough to decipher, but they need a starting-caliber point guard because Tomáš Satoranský is nowhere near a starting point guard’s skill level. Where will they find another point guard? Their best bet is within a trade, and there’s almost no intel on who a possible trade partner could be. Garrett Temple was also a part of the deal. Temple is a below-average role player in the league and does most of his scoring in the paint with layups. He’s not a great outside shooter (career 34.6% from three) and his veteran defensive prowess will ultimately signify why he is on the court.
Kelly Olynyk Traded to Detroit
Kelly Olynyk isn’t exactly a household name, but people were made aware of his talent and skill throughout his time in Houston where he racked up 19 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and shot 39.2% from three. He also shot a career-high 54.5% from the field. Olynyk’s defensive limitations will always be present. A laterally slow athlete that struggles mightily while defending guards is who Olynyk is. He is incapable of playing on a primarily switching defense, as the opponent will take advantage of him all game. Although Olynyk is known as a stretch 4 or 5, his finishing is something to behold. His layup package includes a heavy dose of corkscrew finishes through contact and surprising the defense with quick-release shots within the paint to draw fouls. He shot 5 free throws per game last season at an 84.4% clip. That’s more attempts than Clint Capela, Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, and more. With the frontcourt consisting only of Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart, and Jahlil Okafor, Olynyk should receive a considerable amount of playing time.
Kyle Lowry, South Beach Bound
As Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa vacate to Tampa Bay (Toronto), Kyle Lowry is headed towards the beaches of Miami in a staring role with Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. To everyone complaining about Lowry’s age, yes, Achiuwa was traded away in this deal, but Dragic is 35 now, the same age as Lowry. Achiuwa is the price they had to pay for an upgrade. From the Raptors’ point of view, it’s restart time. They’ve reached the point where they need to build around their young talent and draft capital. Currently, the oldest player on the roster (excluding Dragic) is Khem Birch at 28. Dragic will contribute to the young players’ development and serve as a bridge to the future. The Raptors have quite the solid lineup at the moment, but it won’t get them deep into the playoffs against other competitive East teams. Dragic will serve as the backup point guard behind Fred VanVleet and Precious Achiuwa will fill in with the frontcourt amongst fellow teammates in Khem Birch and Chris Boucher.
From the Heat side of the exchange, this trade is everything. Is this the closest they’ll ever get to a ring? Almost. If they had one more piece like a Derrick Jones Jr., who they had rostered during their Finals run, instead of KZ Okapala, I would be inclined to say that this is the closest they’ll get to winning a championship. Think of a Kyle Lowry-led offense with your scorer and guard defender in Jimmy Butler, your shooter in Duncan Robinson, and your rebounder, scrapper, paint defender, and secondary playmaker in Bam Adebayo. Their starting lineup will prove to be pretty terrifying, but in the long run, their bench will be the determinant in how far they advance.
Torrey Craig Leaves Suns for Pacers
It’s always surprising when a player leaves their team who did so well throughout the previous season for a mediocre team such as the Pacers. In some cases, the player wants to have a larger role in the offense, a different coach is a reason for the change, or the city is more desirable for the player and his family. It’s unclear why Craig decided to sign with Indiana, but the Pacers sure will be happy to have him. Craig is a defensive stopper and can hold his own when switched against bigs. At 6’7, 221 pounds, and an immense wingspan (couldn’t find actual measurements), any opponent is in for a poor shooting night while being defended by Craig. The knock on the four-year man has been his shooting, which he has steadily improved with the help of his professional shooting trainer. He’s improved his 3P% from 29.3% to 36.9% and he’s developed his free throw shooting from 62.9% to 80%.
Sharpshooter Doug McDermott Signs with Spurs
Most NBA fans are aware of McDermott’s existence but aren’t aware of the talent and skill he’ll actually bring to this team. His three-point shooting (40.7% for his career) is his bread and butter, however, opponents key in too much on his three-point shooting ability and this is when he utilizes his ability to drive to the basket and finish. He’s not a terrific left-hand finisher, but good things happen when he gets to his right. He is a terrific off-ball cutter and threw down several dunks last season off of those cuts. As for lineup changes, Keldon Johnson will replace Rudy Gay at the power forward spot, and McDermott will fill in at the 3.
Jeff Green on the Move to Denver
There are not many people out there that aren’t fans of Jeff Green. Granted he isn’t what everyone thought he would be at the 5th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, we all know who Green is. He isn’t a star, he’s a role player, and a phenomenal one at that. After reinventing himself in Houston with the small ball lineup after a forgettable outing with the Jazz, Green boosted his value even more with the Nets last season. He shot a second-best in career 49.2% from the field and career-high 41.2% from three. I’m aware that being a member of the Nets team last season where the ball is flying around and everyone is making threes can certainly improve your percentage and confidence, so we’ll have to wait and see if his three-point shooting can stick around. His off-ball cutting plus his drives to the hoop (at age 34) are still hazardous to opponents if not addressed. At 6’8, Green is a versatile defender that can play and guard anywhere from small forward to center. Green will back up Nikola Jokic at the center position and will surely see some time at power and small forward.
Sterling Brown Signs With Dallas
Most people aren’t aware who Brown is or who he played for last season, so let me give you a swift rundown. Brown was taken with the 46th overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft by the 76ers and then traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for cash considerations. He played under coach Jason Kidd, now the head coach for the Mavericks. He then signed with the Houston Rockets for the 2020-21 season where he averaged 8.2 PPG off of 44.8% shooting from the field and 42.3% shooting from three. His game consists almost entirely of shooting threes and blowing past defenders for easy layups. He is also a solid off-ball cutter and understands how to get easy layups. Nothing special, but a solid third or fourth string option.
Mavericks Welcome Reggie Bullock
An average three-point shooting team throughout last season (36.2%), the Mavericks’ front office is always seeking shooters to surround Doncic with. Bullock shot 41% from three last season with the Knicks and was a reliable defensive stopper. His options outside of shooting are limited, as he does not dribble or pass well. He gets to the free-throw line less than once per game (past two seasons and career). When game planning against him, the only thing you have to worry about is his shooting. Bullock will serve as the backup small forward for the Mavericks and his shooting will be very much appreciated when defenders attempt to help on Doncic’s drives to the basket. This is when Luka can rack up the assists with dishes towards the corner to a shooter such as Bullock who shot 47% on corner threes last season.
Zach Collins Signs with San Antonio
Well, guess what? Zach Collins is injured for another season. I would normally give my analysis on this move, but until Collins can participate in practice without getting hurt, I think I’ll wait.
Trevor Ariza Reunites with Lakers
It’s been a long time coming for Ariza, as he was last a part of the organization in 2009 when they won the championship. As of now, it appears that Ariza holds the backup small forward spot behind LeBron James. Ariza shot 35% on threes last season on 4.8 attempts per game. He will be the three-and-d player of this basketball team.
Dwight Howard Threeunites With Los Angeles
He’s back, again. It was a real question why the Lakers allowed Howard to walk in free agency last season because of his tremendous impact on the team throughout their championship run. It was clear last season that they needed a rough and tough player like Howard to keep the team intact. Harrell wasn’t enough of a defensive stopper and Drummond… well, he was Andre Drummond and I don’t believe much more needs to be said. Howard was the primary screen setter for the team in 2020, and with Westbrook and LeBron on the same court, plenty of screens will be set. Last season, Howard averaged 8.4 RPG which equated to 17.5 RPG per 36 minutes. He is proving every game that, despite his age (35), he is still an elite rebounder in this league.
Evan Fournier Signs With New York
The Knicks had an awful large amount of cap space to spend on trades and free agents. $73M of that went to Fournier on a four-year deal. Evan Fournier is a good name, but not a quality one. He’ll give you a solid 30 point outing, and then come back the very next night and shoot 2/18. He’s just that type of player, and the Knicks took a mighty gamble when they decided to sign him, let alone to this kind of deal. Setting the money aside, Fournier fits the mold for this team, another scorer that can assist Randle with the load. He also knows the game of basketball and carries himself about with a high IQ. He will most likely be at the forefront of their offense beside Julius Randle, and his consistency will determine how far this team goes.
Alex Caruso Departing for Chicago
A crushing moment for Lakers fans as news broke of Alex Caruso signing with the Bulls. Caruso, fresh off of a 40 3P% season, signed a four-year, $37M deal with Chicago and will serve as the backup to Zach LaVine at the shooting guard position. Caruso is further suited for this position because Coby White is a considerably stronger playmaker and will benefit the team more at point guard.
Daniel Theis Chooses Houston for Next Destination
From Boston to Chicago, and now to Houston. Theis signed a four-year, $36M deal with the Rockets, and will likely start at the PF position. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff integrates both Wood and Theis until their game plan. We might even see Theis start at the 5 and Wood return to the 4 spot where he played throughout his first 4 seasons in the NBA. Whatever they decide to do, Theis is more suited to guard a center than Wood, despite the 2-inch height difference. Even with the height difference, Theis outweighs Wood by 31 pounds. Theis has been experimenting with his shooting range, attempting a career-high 2.5 3PA per game. This proved hurtful, as he shot a career-low 29%. His range has been improving, and his form is proving that point. Whether he continues to pose any significant threat from deep to keep the defense honest or allow the defense to sag off is up to him. Theis continues to mingle within the top of the league in FG% in the restricted area. He shot 80.3% in 23 games, better than Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Clint Capela, and more.
Cody Zeller Signs With Portland
After spending his first 8 years in the league with Charlotte, the former 4th overall pick has signed a one-year deal with the Portland Trailblazers. He knows his way around the basketball court and can find the most comfortable shot available for himself. Zeller will backup Jusuf Nurkic at the center position.
New Orleans Trades for Devonte’ Graham
After his breakout year during the 2019-20 season averaging 18.2 PPG and 7.5 APG, Graham is headed to the Pelicans on a four-year, $47M deal for a lottery-protected first-round pick. Graham’s improvement has been well noted by fans and the media, and he will bring his three-point shooting to the Pelicans. However, his struggles around the rim and inside the three-point line have been noticeably dismal. He only shot 44% at the rim and 37.7% from the field last season with the Hornets. His defense isn’t exactly a pillar of his game either. Graham has been and will be a defensive liability. Teams are going to capitalize on his defensive weaknesses. Graham may be a great backup point guard to have on your team, but having him as a starter may prove to be detrimental to the organization.
Lakers Continue the Reunion; Sign Kent Bazemore
Another meek signing for the Lakers. Bazemore is a three-first type player but is capable of driving to the rim when defenders play up on his shot. With all of the Lakers’ new additions, Bazemore won’t see a lot of court time, as he will be the third option at the small forward position.
Semi Ojeleye Signs One-Year Deal with Milwaukee
The defensively centered, Ojeleye, will join the Bucks as a third-string power forward for the upcoming season. Ojeleye is a low-volume shooter, and only attempted 4 shots per game in 17 MPG last season with the Celtics. He will not see much playing time if any, and when inserted into the game, won’t make much of an impact.
Sam Dekker Returns to the NBA; Joins Raptors
After two seasons playing overseas, Dekker now returns to the NBA to play for the Raptors. Dekker shoots the three-ball at a low percentage, but he knows his way around the court. Whether he is making off-ball cuts or cuts to the rim on a give and go, Dekker is skilled at reading the defense and being aware of what will yield him a quality shot.
Rudy Gay Issues Agreement with Jazz
With 15 years of experience in the league, Gay brings a fountain of knowledge and that will transition onto the court during games. The principal factor that aided Utah’s defeat in the playoffs was Gobert’s incapability to switch and closeout on perimeter players. The Clippers then utilized that to their advantage and therefore won the series. Acquiring Gay gives them another option to run their defense. Gay is a capable offensive player and he can play either small forward or power forward. However, he can also play the center position in a small-ball lineup, something the Jazz did not have last year. Also, the position he plays influences his effectiveness. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Spurs outscored competitors by 6.5 points per 100 possessions when Gay played center, 4.5 when he played power forward, and 4.0 when he played small forward. These numbers simply add to the proof that position at his age matters. When he plays small forward (which he shouldn’t have to worry about), his job is to keep up with quicker athletes and score on them. Obviously, this is much more difficult to accomplish than scoring on slower big men (yes, big men are tall, but Gay is 6’8 and can hold his own). Anyway, the Jazz now have insurance for an opposing small-ball lineup with Rudy Gay, who will essentially play backup power forward behind Royce O-Neale but can play center when demanded.
Nemanja Bjelica Signs with Golden State
Let’s keep this short and sweet. Bjelica was signed for his shooting to benefit Steph when he drives the lane and to keep defenses honest on closeouts. Adding another shooter just makes them harder to guard offensively. He has his limitations defensively that consist mainly of slow-moving feet and poor lateral quickness, but his time on the floor will be so minuscule, it won’t affect the team in any considerable way.
Rodney Hood Attempts to Re-Jump Start Career With Bucks
It’s been a tough couple of years for Hood, as he’s missed a flurry of games, but he is hoping to turn his career back around with the Milwaukee Bucks on a one-year deal. Can he do it? That I can’t tell you, but I will answer what he’s capable of. Hood has struggled from three throughout the games he hasn’t been 100%. You can trust me on this one, he is a shooter and will shoot the ball. If he is healthy and ready to go this season, we’ll know and see it in his game. If he’s looking like his old self, putting the ball on the floor, pulling up for contested mid-range jumpers, and knocking down threes at a consistent rate, that’s how we know he’s back because that’s what he can do. With Middleton, DiVincenzo, Connaughton, Hill, and Allen all in the depth chart ahead of him, it’s likely that we will see a limited 10 or so MPG tops per game from him.
James Johnson Signs With Brooklyn
Another mediocre signing for the Nets, as Johnson doesn’t exactly fit their playstyle. He was signed because of his defensive ruggedness and will be competing for third-string minutes with DeAndre’ Bembry. I believe he can win that matchup.
Andre Drummond Joins Joel Embiid in Philadelphia
Let’s be honest, there aren’t many fans of Andre Drummond in the world. He may be a two-time all-star, 4-time rebounding champion, and an all-NBA player in 2016, but we all know the real struggles hidden (yet not so hidden) in his game. Drummond’s offensive rebounding stats are unbelievable, however, much like Clint Capela, Drummond misses plenty of close shots and gets his own rebound. Despite being 6’10, Drummond has never shot 70% at the rim. Defensively, he lacks lateral quickness and struggles to defend quicker, stronger, or skilled big men. Average against average, he’ll hold up, but add anything remotely special, he’ll struggle. As for the previous beef amid Drummond and Embiid, there was nothing major between them. Embiid, being his usual self, trolled Drummond after he destroyed him throughout the previous game.
Robin Lopez Signs With Orlando
The former Washington backup center signs a one-year, $5M deal with the Magic as he looks to continue his 13-year career. Lopez may not be the most impending center, but he has mastered the hook shot and it is practically impossible for defenders to guard that shot. Myles Turner even went as far as to say he was the toughest center to guard in the league when asked. Defensively, Lopez is a strong individual but his ability to move quickly is non-existent. Lopez is currently the third-string center behind Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba. The Magic are attempting to elevate their young centers and Lopez is not a part of that. If Bamba doesn’t develop, the Magic will be looking to trade the former 6th overall pick.
Nets Steal Patty Mills From Lakers
This signing was more about the Lakers than the Nets. Brooklyn did not want the Lakers to acquire Mills, so they signed him to a two-year, $12M deal. Imagine how great the Lakers would be if they managed to acquire Mills. Mills is currently the backup shooting guard behind Kyrie Irving in the depth chart. Mills is a volume three-point shooter, but he knows the game very well and will contribute majorly to the Nets’ ball movement.
Carmelo Anthony Signs with Lakers
LeBron, Russ, and now Melo too? Fans can’t get enough of the Lakers’ new roster. Carmelo has had an inconsistent career of shooting from deep, but his past two seasons have shown that he can shoot accurately and consistently. His mid-range game is still on top, shooting nearly 45% from 10-16 feet. He continues to work with Chris Brickley on footwork and his mid-range games, which continues to be a lethal weapon in the NBA. Anthony will back up Anthony Davis at the power forward spot. Remember as I said earlier, aging does not affect a power forward or center as much as it affects a guard or small forward.
Malik Monk Accompanying Carmelo in Los Angeles
There aren’t many Malik Monk fans out there, and most forget that he was drafted 11th overall in the 2017 draft. I’ll be frank, I’m a fan. At this point of his career, he isn’t exactly looking like a lottery pick, but his upside is still admirable at 22. Following a dismal year of shooting throughout the 2019-20 season, Monk improved his shooting to 40.1% from three last season as he averaged 11.7 PPG in just 20.9 MPG. He can also climb upstairs with a 42″ max vertical. With all of the talented guards and forwards on the roster, it will be tough for Monk to see playing time. He is currently the fourth-string shooting guard.
Chicago Bulls Trade for Demar DeRozan
The Bulls traded Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, and two second-round picks towards DeRozan for three years. Bulls fans love that the front office is making moves again, but did the Bulls do a little too much in hopes of LaVine’s trust? DeRozan isn’t exactly the player you want alongside LaVine. His game is similar to LaVine, only without three-point shooting. Although DeRozan’s playmaking has taken to new heights, it’s questionable whether his shooting will fit into the picture. As for the other side of the trade, Thaddeus Young was a major part of the Bulls’ offense last season. From passing to rebounding to defense, Young could do it all. What was an integral part of the Bulls’ anatomy is now being shipped to the Spurs. Young will back up Keldon Johnson at the power forward position in a lineup starring Derrick White and Lonnie Walker. Al-Farouq Aminu will once again stand below in the depth chart. As of now going into the season, he is the third-string power forward.
Trailblazers Sign Tony Snell
Tony Snell had a 50/50/100 season with the Atlanta Hawks last season in 47 games. Incredible right? He shot 2.3 threes per game in 21.1 MPG and knocked them down on a 56.9% clip. Despite these fascinating numbers, Snell is a standstill shooter. He can’t shoot on the move such as a J.J. Redick, Duncan Robinson, etc. He is strictly a catch-and-shoot shooter. Now, he is a phenomenal catch and shooter, but defending a straight-up shooter is one of the easiest defense mechanisms. This means that it is exceedingly simple to eliminate Snell from the play. The most he can contribute to this team is a mediocre 3&D player and will serve as the third-string power forward and sixth-string small forward.
Kendrick Nunn Chooses Lakers Over Money
Nunn was offered ‘significantly’ more money, but he turned it down to chase a ring with the Los Angeles Lakers as they add another firm athlete to their roster. After a terrific rookie season averaging 15.3 PPG, he came right back last season averaging 14.6 PPG while shooting 48.5% from the field, 38.1% from three, and 93.3% from the free-throw line. He’s a score-first point guard and never looks to pass the ball first. Nunn will back up Westbrook at the point guard position.
Markieff Morris Signs With Miami
You won’t notice Morris that much on the basketball court, and there’s no but to add to that sentence. Morris isn’t a particularly athletic player, and his shooting has remained iffy throughout his entire career. Morris will back up P.J. Tucker at the 4 spot and provide a spark of mid-range shooting off the bench with three-point hits at times.
Ish Smith Signs One-Year Deal With 12th Team
The Charlotte Hornets inked Smith to a one-year deal following a two-year stint with the Washington Wizards. Smith has 11 years of experience in the league and turned 33 this offseason. With Rozier playing the two-guard, Smith will back up LaMelo Ball at point guard. His quickness and speed, even at his age, are remarkable and he handles the ball on a string. Whether his mid-range shot is up to par next season is subject to his health. A healthy Smith can make a move to get to his spot for a jump shot and hit it with ease. On defense, his hands are quick, but opponents will pick on his size. I had previously made statements asserting that Smith had Kyrie-like handles. People thought I was delusional, but I was quite serious and people will get another taste of his tremendous dribbling next season.
Georges Niang Agrees to a Two-Year Deal with 76ers
Niang is not a name that makes an appearance often in the NBA, but he is the perfect fit for the 76ers. The stereotypical fan’s thinking is that the 76ers need shooting. It can never hurt to add more shooting, and that’s exactly what they did with Niang. They filled the position of need, power forward, and they added a capable shooter (42.5% from three last season and 40.4% for career). Niang will back up Tobias Harris at the four spot.
Hassan Whiteside Signs Deal With Jazz
It seems that no NBA fan is fond of Whiteside, and I understand that. He is a very slow center and only manages to block all the shots he does with his incredible 7’7 wingspan and 9’5 standing reach. As I previously stated, Whiteside is a slow center, and clocking in at 32 years old could hamper his ability even more. With Gobert and now Rudy Gay both on the roster, if Whiteside can post a solid 10 MPG at the backup center position to replace Derrick Favors, he and the Jazz will be right on track.
Knicks Bring in Kemba Walker
Like most others, I have mixed feelings surrounding Kemba Walker. He is undoubtedly still a great player in the NBA, but his health, age, and position lead me to believe that he can’t precisely be the player that everyone aspires him to be. When healthy, Walker is exactly what the Knicks need. It was apparent last season that the Knicks lacked a true playmaker to boost their offensive output. Last year, it was clear that the ball was not moving around as much as it needed to, and that was even more exposed throughout their short stint in the playoffs. They ranked 29th in APG during the regular season. Acquiring Walker adds playmaking and knowledge of the game to this roster, something this team can most certainly use.
Tony Bradley Signs One-Year Deal With Chicago
The Bulls lacked a backup center with Daniel Theis signing with Houston. The options were limited, and the Bulls were left with Bradley as their best option. Bradley is a solid rebounder and is a consistent finisher around the paint (74.2% around the rim). Bradley will back up Vucevic at the center position.
Warriors Trade Eric Paschall to Utah
The Utah Jazz are going all-in on versatility, and I’m not quite sure what the Warriors are doing. Paschall came into the league as a 23-year-old and averaged 14 PPG on 50% shooting. Paschall is a 6’6 forward that can play anywhere from SF to C* (*rare). Paschall can defend practically all positions on the court. At 6’6 and 255 pounds, Paschall is a powerful human being and can outmuscle guards while also finessing big men with his speed. Paschall will serve as third-string power forward, even though he is truly a backup small or power forward.
Spencer Dinwiddie Traded to Wizards in 5 Team Deal
It might’ve been very complicating for the casual fan to comprehend all that occurred in this exchange, so let’s break it down into simpler terms. Washington gave up Chandler Hutchinson and a 2022 second-round pick to the Spurs, and a 2024 and 2025 pick swap to the Nets.
Dinwiddie was signed to a three-year, $62M deal with the Wizards and will start in the backcourt with Bradley Beal. Before his injury, Dinwiddie was developing quite well, as he averaged 20.6 PPG during the 2019-20 season on 41.5% shooting from the field. He is a drive-first point guard and can finish nicely around the rim throughout block-seeking centers. His lack of a three-point shot worries me. His playmaking will hold up just fine, but Dinwiddie’s shot is what will haunt him down the stretch. Beal will often bring the ball up the court, leaving Dinwiddie off the ball. Beal is a driver himself, and that leaves Dinwiddie on the perimeter for an outside shot. When he is tired and worn out, he needs to be able to rely on his three-point shot, and he can’t do that.
On the other side of the equation, Chandler Hutchinson is a fantastic cutter. However, he is not a fantastic finisher, shooting 41.2% at the rim last season. He’s improved his three-point shooting throughout his time in the NBA, which will benefit him in the future. It is speculated that he will serve as third-string small forward behind Doug McDermott and Devin Vassell.
Hornets Acquire Kelly Oubre Jr.
After his contract with Golden State expired, Oubre Jr. signed a two-year deal worth close to $25M. Oubre has never been labeled as a three-point shooter, and he only shot 31.6% on threes. As if he doesn’t realize shooting threes is not ideal for him, he rattled off 5.2 of them per game last season. To make things worse, he shot 69.5% from the free-throw line. For things to work in Charlotte, Oubre will be placed in the dunker’s spot and will be the recipient of many LaMelo Ball lobs and just plain passes for dunks just like in Golden State. Oubre will come off the bench for Gordon Hayward at the small forward position.
Andre Iguodala Reunites With Golden State
After spending two seasons with the Miami Heat, Igoudala is heading back to the bay as Miami declines his team option. Iguodala took in $15M from the Heat last year, and for a 36-year-old player coming off the bench, that is much too grand of a cash amount. We all know what he’ll bring to the Warriors. Veteran leadership for the young ones and defensive prowess when he sees court time. Just don’t count on seeing him on the court too often considering Golden State’s new additions of Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and Otto Porter Jr.
Grizzlies Trade Grayson Allen
After a solid 2020-21 season with the Grizzlies, Memphis decided to part ways with three-year guard Grayson Allen and bring in Sam Merrill. The exchange also granted two second-round picks to Memphis. Allen will serve as the second or third string wing depending on Budenholzer’s rotation and where Pat Connaughton plays. Allen will contribute some major points if he receives playing time with the second or third group, just as he did in Memphis whenever he started or came off the bench. He is a solid shooter as he shot 39.1% from three last season. Merrill, entering his second year, was Milwaukee’s deep bench shooter. He shot 44.7% from three on 47 total attempts throughout the entire regular 2020-21 season.
Justise Winslow Signs with L.A.
After Memphis declined his team option for the upcoming season, Justise Winslow signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. Not a significant move here for L.A., however, Winslow does bring some playmaking and defense to the table, which could turn out to be helpful. Nonetheless, don’t expect to see him on the court for exceeding amounts of time. He’s played in a total of 37 games throughout the past two seasons of his career and only started 6 of them. Between injury and superior athletes available, Winslow’s court time is bound for a large decent.
Dennis Schroder Settles for Deal With Celtics
$84M is the amount of money Schroder was offered by the Lakers to resign with them. A legendary franchise where players aspire to play. Schroder thought too highly of himself and declined the offer, and look what it’s come to. A $5.9M trade exception deal with the Celtics. Likely, Schroder won’t start, as Marcus Smart is expected to start at point guard. This leaves Schroder in competition with Payton Pritchard. Schroder can certainly win the job, yet I believe that Pritchard would be a better two-guard than point guard. His scoring ability, shooting, and lack of passing the ball lead me to this conclusion. Also, Josh Richardson is currently the backup at both the shooting guard and small forward.
Grizzlies Trade Eric Bledsoe to Clippers
Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Daniel Oturo were included in the package for Rondo, and there’s not much to go through here since Beverley was later traded, Rondo was waived, and Oturu will not be in the rotation.
Grizzlies Trade Patrick Beverley to Minnesota
The Timberwolves needed all the defense they could get this offseason after their 28th ranked defense was torn to shreds last year, and beginning with Beverley is a good start. In addition to his forever rugged defense, Beverley has shown that he is a solid catch and shoot option from three. Beverley shot 39.5% from three throughout his 4 seasons with the Clippers, 90% of them were assisted. Beverley won’t create his shot, but if you give him a good look, he will knock it down at a consistent rate. Beverley will back up D’Angelo Russell at point guard.
On the other side of the exchange, the Grizzlies received Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez. Culver is a 22-year-old with two years of experience. To keep things honest, Culver hasn’t yet found himself in the NBA. Last year’s confusion under head coach Ryan Saunders only made things worse. Culver lost his confidence in just about everything. As of now, he is strictly a defensively centered player that cannot shoot threes and struggles from the free-throw line. Culver will serve as the third-string shooting guard. Juancho Hernongomez was later traded to the Boston Celtics.
Celtics, Josh Richardson Agree to One-Year Deal
A late signing for the Celtics, as they pick up the defensive specialist in Richardson. Although his three-point shot was inconsistent last season (33%), he improved his free throw shooting to an impressive 91.7%. Whether that percentage can stick, I’m not sure, but he held that number up for an entire season, and that gives me hope. As of right now, it seems that Richardson would start at shooting guard.
Cavs, Bulls, and Blazers Complete Three-Team Trade
The Cavs acquire Lauri Markkanen while the Bulls receive Derrick Jones Jr., a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick from the Trailblazers, and a 2023 second-round pick from Denver via the Cavs. The Trailblazers will receive Larry Nance Jr.
Let’s start with Markkanen. The Cavs will start him at the power forward position beside Jarrett Allen (or Evan Mobley) in the frontcourt. Although having Markkanen and his three-point shooting (40.2% last season) will aid Allen’s paint scoring (75.2% at the rim last season), but his defensive liabilities will hurt the team. Markkanen struggles to stay on his feet when guarding a stronger center/power forward because of his lack of strength. Standing 7’0 with poor mobility, Markkanen struggles to keep up with smaller forwards and guards. With an already poor defensive backcourt in Garland and Sexton, the choice is to either trade one of the guards (likely Sexton before Garland) or be terrible defensively for the 5th straight season.
Derrick Jones Jr. will be inserted into the backup small forward position behind DeMar DeRozan. Jones Jr. is a high flyer and will deliver excitement into United Center. Jones enjoys driving to the basket and although he shoots well at the rim (66.2%), his free throw shooting is not present to bail him out when fouled. He only shot 64.8% from the line last season with the Blazers.
Finally, the most essential piece of this exchange, Larry Nance Jr. departing for Portland. This gives the Trailblazers flexibility at the power forward position. The question still looms over the franchise whether to start Robert Covington or Nance. Covington may shoot better from the free-throw line, but they were quite similar in 3P% last season (37.9% Covington/36% Nance), which fans relate to the factor that separates the two most. Nance also shoots better at the rim and is a faster player than Covington. He also has more weight to throw around. Both Covington and Nance are the same height, yet Nance weighs in a whole 36 pounds heavier. I think you can presume who I think should be starting.
Rajon Rondo Signs With Lakers
Rondo was signed by the Clippers close to the end of last season. Although he didn’t do anything spectacular, he showed that he was still capable of facilitating a genuine offense. He averaged 7.6 PPG with 5.8 APG on 48.6 FG% and 43.2 3P%. Rondo will serve as the third-string point guard.
Celtics Pull Off Minor Deal for Juancho Hernangomez
It’s tough to estimate where Hernangomez will sit in the depth chart as of now with Grant Williams and Jabari Parker, but if the Celtics can get a solid 10 or so MPG from him, that’s exactly what they’re looking for. Hernangomez averaged 7.2 PPG in 17.3 MPG while shooting 43.5% from the field last season with the Timberwolves.
On the other side, the Grizzlies received Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and a 2026 pick swap. Dunn, the former 5th overall pick in the 2016 draft showed absolutely nothing last year with Atlanta as Nate McMillan would roll out rookies before Dunn. At this point, 5’11 Carsen Edwards has shown more to me than Kris Dunn has, and I believe that he will occupy the third-string point guard spot. Edwards is a speedy guard that can finish under big men. His passing proved legitimate in summer league and his three-point shot looked well. Whether he can carry that shot into the real games is doubtful, but he has given me hope.
Brooklyn Nets Trade DeAndre Jordan
The Nets traded DeAndre Jordan along with 4 second-round picks and $5.78M to the Detroit Pistons for Jahlil Okafor and Sekou Doumbouya. Jordan was later waived and the Nets got Okafor (25) and Doumbouya (20). The former 3rd overall pick, Okafor, after his first season, has shown little promise and I don’t see him showing much more throughout his career. Doumbouya hasn’t yet shown that he can score efficiently, and he’s flat out struggled in the league so far. He is still very young, so hopefully, Brooklyn will be able to develop this young athlete.
LaMarcus Aldridge Returns to Nets
LaMarcus Aldridge cleared health protocols and now he’s the starting center for the Nets! How’s that for a turnaround? Aldridge shot terrific (80% from three in the 5 games he played with them) and he also shot well with the Spurs throughout the 21 games played before he signed with Brooklyn. I’m slightly apprehensive towards Aldridge, and I can almost guarantee he won’t play big minutes. His health (non-related to the incident before) remains a concern and I’m not sure how well he’ll hold up, especially come playoff time.
DeAndre Jordan Signs With Lakers
The Lakers just keep adding players to their roster. They knew they were going to trade Marc Gasol, and they needed a backup center to hold down the fort when Dwight Howard sits out. Howard and Jordan are very similar in playing styles and it will be interesting to see how the two will perform at their position. He shot tremendously from the field and at the rim last season with the Nets (76% FG% and 82.6% at the rim). This information proves that Jordan is still a force to be reckoned with in the paint and can still score at a high level if they need him to (which they won’t).
Bulls Sign Alize Johnson to a Two-Year, $3.6M Deal
Flashback to March 24th, 2021. Alize Johnson was making his debut for the Brooklyn Nets and he recorded 23 points and 15 rebounds. That’s just a taste of what he’s capable of. Now, this was against Utah Jazz backups and he scored that amount because of the period the Nets were in. A lot of players were hurt at this time, the Nets were signing older players, and Johnson was one of the guys to receive a call. Those 23 points are by far his career-high, and that won’t happen again, but it just goes to show that he possesses the skill. His favorite shot is the push shot. He took more shots from 3-10 feet (deep paint range) than he did at the rim. He doesn’t have a three-point shot and will choose not to take the shot even if he has an opening.
E’Twaun Moore Signs One-Year Deal With Orlando
Although he was likely signed as a potential trade filler for later, I am a fan of Moore. In the limited time I watched him play last season with the Suns, Moore is a patient player. Despite being a three-point shooter, Moore takes his time and attempts to drive to the basket or at least get to the mid-range where he is more comfortable. With the Suns, he shot 75% from 10-16 feet (mid-range), and 54.5% from 16-3P (deep mid-range). Moore won’t get much playing time in Orlando either, sitting behind Jalen Suggs, R.J. Hampton, and Gary Harris, but I hope that we can watch this guy play again this year.
Finally. It’s all been recapped, it’s all been broken down, and you now know everything you need to know surrounding these players that switched teams this offseason. If another move occurs, I will be sure to analyze it as soon as possible.