Feb 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; A view of the NBA logo at the NBA All Star Jam Session at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Many teams made big moves this offseason, whether it was for good reason or bad reason. Big name free-agents like LaMarcus Aldridge, Monta Ellis, DeMarre Carroll, and Greg Monroe signed on other teams. There were many big winners in the offseason, unfortunately they didn’t all make the cut. Houston, Miami, and Sacramento are honorable mentions.
Next: San Antonio Spurs
Apr 29, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Portland Trailblazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) backs in against Memphis Grizzlies forwardZach Randolph
(50) in the first quarter during game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs landed the best big on the market in LaMarcus Aldridge. They also got Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Tim Duncan to resign at fair prices. The Spurs did lose Cory Joseph, Tiago Splitter, Aron Baynes, and Marco Belinelli.
They won’t be missed too much as the Spurs signed David West and traded a second round pick for Ray McCallum. McCallum is a nice cheap backup option that will replace Joseph, who got a 4-years, $30 million contract in Toronto. A simple switch like that makes it easy to understand why the Spurs won this offseason.
Next: Los Angeles Clippers
May 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forwardBlake Griffin
(32) and guardChris Paul
(3) walk on the court during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in game seven of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Clippers 113-100 to win the series 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers were loaded with talent, but they just can’t seem to take the next step. Last season it appeared that the Clippers were headed for the Western Conference Finals as they held a 3-1 over Houston. The Clippers blew a huge game six lead in the fourth quarter and the Rockets won in seven games.
The Clippers nearly lost DeAndre Jordan as there was various reports stating he would sign with Dallas. Chaos broke loose and he changed his mind electing to stay with the Clippers. The Clippers lost Matt Barnes, but that’s okay. They traded for Lance Stephenson (Barnes trade), signed Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich, and Wesley Johnson.
On paper the Clippers look as good as anyone without question, they must prove it now.
Next: Toronto Raptors
May 22, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (5) reacts during the second quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Raptors lost sixth man of the year Louis Williams and Amir Johnson and they traded Greivis Vasquez. What did they add? The Raptors signed DeMarre Carroll, one of the better “3 and D” players in the league. Carroll was terrific in the season, but in the postseason he was even better. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Next: Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 13, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) drives past Portland Trail Blazers centerRobin Lopez
(42) during the second quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Bucks landed Greg Monroe in free agency. The 25-year old big is one of the most underrated players in the league. Monroe averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds last year with Detroit. Monroe gives the Bucks everything they are missing, inside scoring.
The Bucks also traded for Greivis Vasquez and signed Chris Copeland. The Bucks did lose Jared Dudley and Ersan Ilyasova in free agency. The Bucks also drafted Rashad Vaughn, who is a terrific scorer and is only 18-years old.
Next: Indiana Pacers
Apr 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) reacts after a play during the second half against the Houston Rockets in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Mavericks 103-94 to win the series 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Indiana Pacers got the best bargain in free-agency. They signed Monta Ellis for four-years, $44 million. Ellis is a terrific scorer, he has averaged at least 18 points the last eight seasons. The trio of Paul George, George Hill, and Ellis will surely cause opposing teams trouble.
The Pacers also got off the hook of paying Roy Hibbert and David West lots of money this year. Both players have done a lot for the organization, but they are certainly on the decline. The Pacers also lost Chris Copeland and Luis Scola. The Pacers replaced Hibbert with Jordan Hill, who averaged 12 points and 7.9 rebounds. They also landed Chase Budinger via trade.
The biggest reasons the Pacers are winners are because of their two rookies. Myles Turner will likely start right away. Turner is a terrific shooter for his size and is one of the best shot-blockers in the draft. Joseph Young looks like a steal despite being selected with 43rd pick. He is a terrific scorer that is ready for the big moment.