Tracking Every NBA Team's 2015 Free Agency Moves
Off-season (n.) - a time of year when a particular activity, typically a sport, is not engaged in.
For most athletes, general managers, club presidents, and business agents, off-season is the time to lay off their respective sports and enjoy life. This is not always the case, however. The NBA, in particular, is just as busy during the off-season as it is throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
Each team aims to strengthen their roster and their chances to compete for the title, and the off-season is the perfect time to do just that. While ball clubs can trade in the middle of the regular season, its effect on team chemistry makes it a less practical option than venturing the draft day and free agency.
According to NBA.com, the top 10 free agents this year are Brandon Knight, Paul Millsap, Goran Dragic, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge. All of these 10 stars have either stayed with their teams or signed with another.
Let's take a look at the different routes every team and player took as of the latest:
Why fix when nothing's broken, right? After outclassing all other 29 teams last season, the Golden State Warriors don't see a good reason to shift gears. They just re-signed Draymond Green and Leandro Barbosa, drafted Kevon Looney, and traded David Lee for Gerald Wallace to give Green's deal some room.
Similar to the Warriors, last year's runner-up Cleveland Cavaliers didn't shake up much. The only addition to their roster is former Cavalier Mo Williams. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, OKC Thunder, and Houston Rockets are three other teams that opted to just re-sign resident stars.
Other ball clubs that took the same route include the New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers, and Orlando Magic engaged in minimal transactions that involved less significant players.
The Nets traded Mason Plumlee for a draft pick; the Grizzlies added Matt Barnes and Brandan Wright; the Sixers got Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson; and the Magic signed C.J. Watson.
While these aforementioned teams didn't bother much in the off-season, several others were busy making big changes to their lineups.
Stepping Up the Ladder
As a cellar-dweller last year, the New York Knicks spent time and money this summer by signing Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Kyle O'Quinn, and Derrick Williams. The Los Angeles Lakers, likewise, want to go up the ranking again by signing Lou Williams and Brandon Bass. They are currently working to land Roy Hibbert, as well.
Addressing Roster Gaps
The other Los Angeles ball club, the Clippers, lost an anchor in DeAndre Jordan. They were able to address their depth, however, by acquiring Lance Stephenson and signing Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson. Co-Pacific division teams Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns also made significant roster changes.
The Kings signed Kosta Koufos to complement DeMarcus Cousins down low and added James Anderson to fill the guard spot left by Nik Stauskas. The Suns, on the other hand, landed a star in Tyson Chandler.
While the Clippers are busy strengthening their bench, the Dallas Mavericks took the opportunity to lure DeAndre Jordan towards their city to fill the hole left by Tyson Chandler. As the Mavs saw Monta Ellis walk out of the city, they tried to close the gap by signing Wesley Matthews.
Staying on the Game
With the East trying to be as competent as the West, several teams also made big moves. To start, the Indiana Pacers aims to get back in title contention by signing Monta Ellis. Division rivals Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons have the same things in mind. The Pistons lost center Greg Monroe to the Bucks, although they added beef in the frontline by signing Aron Baynes.
The other East teams include the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Wizards. The C's got David Lee and Amir Johnson; the Hornets added Nic Batum, Spencer Hawes, and Jeremy Lamb; the Raps signed Cory Joseph, Bismack Biyombo, and DeMarre Carroll; the Hawks added Tim Hardaway Jr. and Tiago Splitter; and the Wiz secured the services of Alan Anderson and Gary Neal.
Turning the Tide
Losing four of five starters is really big for any ball club. The Portland Trailblazers, however, tried to move on to a new era with Damian Lillard. To compensate for the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Robin Lopez, and Nic Batum, they got Gerald Henderson, Noah Vonleh, Mason Plumlee, and Al-Farouq Aminu.
It's quite a surprise that the San Antonio Spurs are touted the biggest winners of the free agency after securing the services of LaMarcus Aldridge. Although they lost Tiago Splitter and Aron Baynes, they quickly addressed the hole in their frontcourt by snagging David West as well.
The upcoming 2016 Season holds a lot of promise for all teams and their fans. With numerous roster shakeups that happened in the off-season, people around the world will be looking forward to October.