The NBA offseason might be my favourite part of the NBA season besides the finals. It’s a opportunity for teams to improve their roster or to rebuild their roster through trades, the draft or free agency. Some teams General Managers completely fail the offseason. Then others absolutely nailed their draft picks, make the right trades or even sign the perfect role players, star players or even a superstar player for their teams. 2021 was a semi quiet offseason, not a lot of star or superstar players moved around but it was still entertaining for me. So here I’ll be giving out the top 3 worst and best offseason moves so far in my opinion.
#3 Worst: Denver Nuggets signing Michael Porter Jr to max contract extension
The Denver Nuggets and Michael Porter jr have agreed on a five-year extension that could be worth to $172 – $207 million. This extension was an desperate and painful decision for the Nuggets. I see the reason why they would do this agreement cause since it’s a small market city and trying get star players to sign there is hard. Unfortunately I don’t see their reasoning for a sending a max contract to a player who has only played 125 games and has a serious history of back injuries. MPJ’s first back surgery came in his freshman season at Missouri causing him to miss 53 games.
Dropping his draft value in 2018 to 14th overall. He went through another back surgery just a month after his draft. Even through two back surgeries, the Nuggets still felt he could be the counter stone of their franchise. Just after signing him to max extension, he needs a third back surgery. I think the Nuggets management made a mistake here. Michael Porter Jr is still young but I think the Nuggets are gonna be stuck with a player who gonna be mostly injured through his five-year contract.
#3 Best : Golden State Warriors offseason signings
The Warriors signing Otto Porter Jr, Gary Payton, Nemanja Bjelica and bringing back Andre iguodala all in minimum level contracts is paying off on the floor. Otto Porter Jr role has a power forward is a great fit so far. He’s 5th on the team for box blue/minus with +159 and he’s thriving in the 3-point range shooting 40%. Gary Payton is a highlight reel and an great hype man for the Warriors. Gary brings on the clamps on the defensive ends averaging 1.3 steals per game off the bench. In addition he’s shooting 63.1% from the field and 40.6% from the 3-point range.
Nemanja Bjelica found himself the perfect team to play his style of basketball. Nemanja abilities to stretch the floor helps the team get into the lane easier and makes the small ball 5 lineup deadly beyond the arc. Bring back Andre Iguodala was a must for the Warriors. Of course he’s much older but, his veteran leadership, his understanding how to play and his IQ of how to play in organization is something the Warriors needed back. Bringing in four impactful role players for super cheap is a fantastic for the Warriors depth. When Klay Thompson and James Wiseman come back this team will be one of the deepest teams in the league.
#2 Worst: Portland Trail Blazers only adding Larry Nance Jr, Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore
The one positive move that the Portland Trail Blazers did was bringing back Norman Powell on a 5-year $90 million deal. Besides that though, they didn’t make any big moves. They have a disgruntled superstar player in Damian Lillard who was in trade rumours all last season and in the past offseason. And this is what they got to try to convince Damian Lillard they’re a winning team. Larry Nance Jr, Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore? They’re decent role players but nothing close to a star like they needed. Their team record shows as they are 14-22 and 12th in western conference standing.
They could’ve use pieces like CJ McCollum, Robert Covington or Jusuf Nurkic for trade bait. in 2021 offseason there weren’t lots of top tier players available but there were players like Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook or try some sign-trades DeMar Derozan, Kyle Lowry or Lonzo Ball. Portland needs to shake up their roster and add some new faces before the trade deadline and try to make a playoff push. If they don’t, Damian could ask for a trade request and say his final goodbye to Portland next offseason.
#2 Best: Washington Wizards trading away Russell Westbrook
For the Washington Wizards to trade John Wall‘s contract for Russell Westbrook was great, but for somehow to trade Russell Westbrook away for efficient role players who have short cheap contracts is amazing. I give huge kudos to Washingtons management for pulling this off. First they keep Russell for a year to make themselves relevant again by making a the playoffs. Making the fans happy, make Bradley Beal happy and to add Russells’ trade value up. Then finally trade him to a team who’s desperate enough for a championship, the Lakers.
Then to get three quality role players in Kyle Kuzma Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell was smart from the Wizards management. Since the trade, Kuzma and KCP have been showing they’re great on the defensive end. While both shooting a respectful percentages at the 3. Montrezl Harrell is off the bench again and showing signs of his former 6th man of the year self. With the trade they’re were also able to get Spencer Dinwiddie. A great starting point guard beside Beal. This trade still makes the Wizards competitive, making them 7th in east right now. Overall though, the trade helps them get another star in the future. By trading the role players to get cap space or use them in a trade piece.
#1 Worst: The Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Russell Westbrook From the Washington Wizards
The Los Angeles Lakers traded all their valuable trade pieces for a star who completely doesn’t fit the teams play and I don’t know why they thought it was a good idea. Most of the world knew this wouldn’t work out but they were obviously desperate for a star talent. And they dropped the ball badly with this trade. They’re stuck with Russell Westbrook and his contract. To try trade Russell to a team at this point is gonna be very hard. And if they do find a trade partner, they will most likely lose the trade.
It’s really too bad the Lakers would rush to make a trade like this. Stuff like this could ruin a chance for another championship. Especially considering LeBron James just turned 37; they only have so many years to win. Russell Westbrook makes $91,217,624 million with two years to go. This trade deadline the Lakers need to make a splash to trade Russell away if they wanna build a championship team for years to come.
#1 Best: Chicago Bulls adding DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in free agency
The Chicago Bulls are your clean cut winners of the 2021 NBA offseason. To basically steal Lonzo Ball in a sign-and-trade while only giving up Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky and a second round pick was robbery. Lonzo Ball’s pass first mentality is a perfect fit for this Bulls team. Having Zach LaVine and now DeMar DeRozan as your primary scorers, you need a point guard who’s unselfish. And that’s not the only thing he’s good at. He’s also one of the best defensive guards and one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. He’s a guy that every team wishes they have on their team.
With Lonzo Ball being such a perfect fit, why not add more players like him? Alex Caruso, another great 3-D premier player to add on the wing. Caruso provides great defence on the premier, some 3-point shooting and of course an energy guy for his team. His ferocious dunks and his flashy passing plays just builds an energy for your team which every team needs every once in awhile during games.
Signing DeMar DeRozan is a great contract for the Bulls so far. $81 million for 3 years at first seems crazy for a guy who’s 32 and not even a superstar player. Well, DeMar DeRozan has changed the narrative and proven people wrong this season. The guy is playing like an MVP candidate and showing he could potentially be on the 1st All-NBA Team. Averaging 27 points while shooting 49.4% from the field is impressive, but his multiple game winner shots this season is showing he’s becoming a leader for this Bulls team. Surprisingly DeMar and Zach Lavine jell so perfectly together too.
You can tell there’s no ego from both of them while playing together. Having two unselfish scorers who can play off each other makes things easier for your team to get the wins. Adding DeRozan, Ball and Caruso were perfect moves to make. These guys are perfect jell guys to add to their core of Zach Lavine, Colby White and Nikola Vucevic. And it’s showing as the Bulls are 1st in the eastern conference and becoming a real contender for a championship this season.
Kudos Chicago Bulls.
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