The Bucks and Pacers remain the only playoff contenders in the Pacific division as we continue to look through each and every NBA team's offseason moves.
The Bulls parted ways with Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison, not too much action there. They signed Garrett Temple and Noah Vonleh (already waived). They drafted Patrick Williams with the 4th pick and Marko Simonovic with the 44th pick.
Saying goodbye to Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison wasn't too hard, I imagine. Dunn had the defensive talent, so unfortunately when he was on the floor, he wouldn't provide much offensive talent either. This year, I don't think they would've used him that much considering Coby White will likely start at PG and Satoransky will likely back him up.
Garrett Temple signed a one year, $5,000,000 deal with the Bulls. This isn't exactly a bold move by any means, but it adds some depth to the rather shallow Bulls bench. At 33, Temple is coming off the best scoring season of his career. However, that career-high is a mediocre 10.3 PPG. in 28 MPG off of very poor shooting numbers. At the moment, Otto Porter is the designated starter at the SF position, but the bench role is a toss-up between Chandler Hutchinson and Temple, and the better man will win the backup role.
This offseason, the Cavs said goodbye to Tristan Thompson, Alfonzo McKinnie, and Ante Zizic. They signed JaVale McGee, Thon Maker, and Damyean Dotson. The only player they drafted was Isaac Okoro with the 5th pick.
Defense was a main concern for the Cavs, and they've certainly made moves to improve on that end. The acquisitions of Isaac Okoro in the draft, plus JaVale McGee to hold down the paint. This team certainly won't specialize in defense, but at least the defensive side of the ball for the Cavs won't be as critical as it was last season. JaVale McGee might not stand out as a key player this next season with the Cavs, but he will unquestionably be a prominent substitute to Andre Drummond. Thon Maker is a bold move made by the Cavs. It's what I would call a low-risk high reward situation. The Cavs only shelled out $1.7M for Maker, but he has the capability of being a knockdown shooter from the mid-range, and even being a solid shooter from deep. As a big man, Maker was drafted 10th overall in the 2016 draft for his length, his ability to shoot the ball at 7'0, and his tremendous talent at sending away opponent's shots. Despite the high draft pick, he's never gotten big minutes. During the 2018-19 season, Maker was played 19.4 MPG, as he scored a mediocre 5.5 PPG. As of right now, Maker is the last option for both the 4 and the 5, but that could likely change as the course of the season moves on.
You might remember the players that Detroit took in, and if you think that the Pistons did well this offseason, then you presumably don't realize who the Pistons let go.
The Pistons might've added Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Delon Wright, Josh Jackson, Jahlil Okafor, Wayne Ellington, Dzanan Musa, and Rodney McGruder, but what they gave away is nowhere near the talent that they gave away. The Pistons parted ways with Christian Wood, Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, Bruce Brown, Tony Snell, Thon Maker, John Henson, and Brandon Knight. Now, some of those were quite necessary, such as John Henson and Brandon Knight, but who they traded, or even just let go to free agency, is a looming question. Despite the heavy departures, the Pistons had a good draft, picking up Killian Hayes with the 7th pick, Isaiah Stewart with the 16th, Saddiq Bey with the 19th, and Saben Lee with the 38th.
The Pistons thought Jerami Grant was going to be their rock. Well, so far that hasn't happened. Grant was mediocre in the preseason and didn't turn any heads during his first regular season game, only pitching in 9 points with very poor shooting efficiencies. Mason Plumlee will bring veteran leadership to a rather youthful team. He will also be the defensive anchor and inside scoring presence for this team. Plumlee can also be a passing big man, as I've seen in his days in Denver. Jahlil Okafor is an excellent paint scorer. Once he gets around the rim, there's not much you can do to stop him. Last season with the Pelicans he shot 62.3% from the floor, and he will bring that presence to Detroit. As for McGruder, Musa, and Ellington, they will seldom see the floor, and the Pistons only spent around $9M on all of them this year. However, that number will go up in the upcoming years, decreasing Detroit's salary cap spending space. I saved Delon Wright and Josh Jackson for last, and this is because I think these two were the best additions the Pistons made. Delon Wright is a competent scorer with the basketball IQ of a veteran. At 28, Wright has hit his prime, and the Piston will look to utilize him as best as they can. He might not have had a breakout debut, but expect this man to be on the come up in the next several games. Now, onto Josh Jackson. Josh Jackson was looking like a bust, but we can never put that word on someone's name until they are fully healthy. Right now, Jackson is fully healthy, and the Pistons know this, as they went out to get him. Jackson has a prominent debut for the Pistons, and I expect to see this type of scoring for him a lot more in the future.
If you're a Pistons fan and desired for them to rebuild, well, you can stop desiring, because, at this point, it's not going to happen. The Pistons aren't bad enough to rebuild, but they're not good enough to compete for a playoff spot. So again they remain in the spot of mediocrity, as it's felt like they've been in for years.
The Pacers had a very quiet offseason, only parting ways with TJ Leaf, and adding Jalen Lecque. The only rookie they acquired in the draft was Cassius Stanley with the 54th.
Letting go of T.J Leaf was a questionable move simply because of how cheap they had him on salary for. It's certainly not a big loss for the Pacers, JaKarr Sampson will step up on the depth chart. Jalen Lecque another one of those low-risk high reward situations. We all know the talent that Lecque has and how capable he is, he just has to be given the minutes. As of right now, I don't see Lecque getting big minutes, but if he ever does, watch out, it's because he's improved.
It's been a surprisingly busy offseason for the Bucks. They've parted ways with several key rotational players, but they've brought in plenty of talent as well. The Bucks said goodbye to Eric Bledsoe, Wesley Matthews, George Hill, Robin Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marvin Williams. Despite the departures, the acquired Jrue Holiday, D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig, and Nik Stauskas. They drafted Jordan Nwora with the 45th pick and Sam Merril with the 60th.
Shooting was a problem for the Bucks last season. They added Bryn Forbes for that. Pick and roll was a struggle for the Bucks last season, they added D.J. Augustin for that. The Bucks went all-in trying to persuade Giannis to stay, and they got the job done. I presume the Bucks realized how well Malcolm Brogdon worked with the Bucks, and that is why they went out and added Jrue Holiday. Defensive, shooting, playmaking, they both have it all, and Holiday will restore that "Brogdon feel" to this team. D.J. Augustin brings the pick and roll prowess that he can utilize with Brook Lopez, but he also has the touch to knock it in from deep. I think he and Lopez, if on the floor at the same time, could really work out because of Lopez's talent. Lopez has the ability to finish in the paint, but he can also knock it down from deep at a high rate when open, and you better believe Augustin will find him. Adding Bobby Portis probably wasn't the move people were expecting, but with the departures of Ilyasova and Marvin Williams who both played PF, Bobby Portis was certainly the way to go. Portis is 6'10, but that doesn't mean he can't shoot it from deep. Portis will help the Bucks by stretching the floor, and his mid-range game will be on display this entire season. I think Portis will learn from Khris Middleton this season because their games are very similar. Bryn Forbes brings shooting to the table as he has shot just around 40% from three for his career. He will come off the bench to aid with three-point shooting with the second unit. Finally, Torrey Craig. Craig is a defensive stopper. When the Bucks are up by one point with 10 seconds left, even if you haven't seen him all game, you'll see Craig at the scorer's table ready to check in. In addition to his excellent defense, Craig has been working out with NBA shooting coaches this offseason, and his three-point shot will be looking more stable than it did last season where he only shot 32.6% from three.
It's been a fantastic offseason for the Bucks, and they've addressed seemingly all of the major issues that hindered them from making it to the championship last year. Personally, I can't wait to see what the future holds for Milwaukee.