Tai is a community contributor to TheFiveBy5.com and co-host to The Jazz Nation Podcast.
Winner: Golden State Warriors
Just when we had thought that the Lakers had won free agency for the summer of 2018, they signed a bunch of guys that can’t shoot and are strange fits next to LeBron James. Then, the two-time defending champs swooped in and added Demarcus Cousins. BOOOOOOGIE. Even if Cousins can’t fully return to the player he was before he suffered a torn Achilles, he’ll still be an upgrade over the centers the Warriors threw out there this past season. Bada-Bing Bada-Boom.
Loser: Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are a loser in the sense that almost the entire Western Conference got better and they overpaid just a bit for Jusuf Nurkic. It seems to me that the Blazers are delaying the inevitable here. At some point they are going to need to face reality, bite the bullet and trade one of their stars in the backcourt.
Winner: Los Angeles Lakers (I guess)
Whenever you add the best player in the world I think that team by default have to be labeled as a winner. But the moves after they signed LeBron have been questionable to say the least. Imagine the best player of the generation falling into your lap and then your moves following the signing of him are to sign Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo. Then explaining your reasoning behind it as, “you don’t want players that’ll be scared to play with LeBron.” I mean….WHAT??? The KCP deal is fine to me. Sure, it might be a little bit of an overpay, but I think he’s a decent player and it keeps cap space available for you for the loaded free agency class of 2019. Every other signing they’ve made though… Woof. I wonder what odds I could get that Rajon Rondo is going to hurl a ball at Lonzo Ball at some point during next season. Sheesh, what an offseason for the Lakers. They got LeBron though, so that’s all that really matters.
Loser: Houston Rockets
Losing Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, lowing ball Clint Capela, signing MCW and then becoming the favorites to sign Carmelo Anthony (eek) is about the worst possible offseason the Rockets could’ve had. This seems like the opposite of a Daryl Morey offseason. I definitely think they’ve taken a step back with the offseason they’ve had, and if they actually sign Melo? Yikes. You lose your two best wing defenders and go after a guy in Melo that’s unplayable in the playoffs? How long are we going to do this Melo thing? Guys, he’s a below average NBA player right now that still thinks he’s a top 5 player in the league. He’s not someone anyone should want on their team at this stage of his career. I did like the James Ennis signing though.
Winner: Toronto Raptors
LeBron is out of the East!!! We The North Rise UP! You guys survived the LeBron crucible and maybe now you won’t fall apart in the playoffs. That in of itself makes the Raptors big winners.
Loser: Cleveland Cavaliers
Sorry, Cavs fans. There’s nothing else to say. He came back and gave you guys your championship and strip-mined your franchise for all their assets to do it. I’d imagine Cavs fans would take that trade off every single time though. Welcome back to basketball darkness, Cleveland.
Winner: Utah Jazz
The Jazz were one of the best teams in the league last season when they had everyone healthy. They steam rolled almost everyone in their way during the 2nd half of the season, going from a lowly record of 19-28 to the 5th seed in a loaded Western Conference. This team has a very good core and they deserve the chance to run it all back for a full season to see just how good they might be. Also, while bringing everyone back, they maintain cap flexibility for next offseason.
Loser: Charlotte Hornets
If anyone would like to explain to me what exactly the Hornets are doing that would be great, because I’m lost here. Tony Parker? Mozgov? Biyombo? What exactly is going on here? I’m very confused. Not to mention that Kemba Walker is going to be an unrestricted free agent next year. Good luck trying to sell him on the future of this roster.
Loser: Washington Wizards
Jeff Green and Dwight Howard have been making teams worse for half a decade now and the Wizards got both. Just when you thought there was no possible way their chemistry could get worse, they go out and sign these two. Hilarious.
LeBron James: casino.org
Kemba Walker: pinterest.com
Dante Exum: thejnotes.com
Dwight Howard: aminoapps.com
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