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NBA

Divisional Rankings: Which Pacific Division team won the offseason?

pacific-division-offseason-rankings-072319-ftr-nbacomillustration
Pacific Division Offseason Rankings (NBA.com Illustration)

From top to bottom, the Pacific Division has been one of the most active in the league this offseason.

One All-Star headed elsewhere, while four All-Stars entered the division to bolster its top three teams - the Clippers, Lakers and Warriors. In addition to undeniable talent present in LA and The Bay, both Phoenix and Sacramento continue to build around a number of future All-Stars of their own.

With that in mind, who won the offseason and where does each team stand? Take a look…

1. LA Clippers

Key Additions: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Moe Harkless, Mfiondu Kabengele

Key Losses: Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Garrett Temple

Re-signed: Patrick Beverley, JaMychal Green, Rodney McGruder, Ivica Zubac

While two teams in the Pacific Division added an All-Star this offseason, the Clippers added two.

Kawhi Leonard made his case as the league's best player in the 2019 postseason, posting outrageous averages of 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals over 24 games to lead the Toronto Raptors to their first championship in franchise history, winning Finals MVP in the process. Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder came up short in the playoffs, but his body of work in the regular season was good enough to earn consideration for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

MORE: Why Kawhi and PG make Clippers title favourites

Almost equally as impressive as the duo the Clippers brought in is the fact that they did so while holding on to a number of key pieces. While future star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and second-leading scorer Danilo Gallinari were parts of the package that landed George, the team held on to its leading scorer and Sixth Man of the Year in Lou Williams, Sixth Man of the Year finalist Montrezl Harrell and re-signed the menacing defender that is Patrick Beverley.

Last season, LA won 48 games by scrapping and making things difficult for opposing teams; the Clippers identity was epitomized by their record-breaking 31-point comeback victory over the Warriors at Oracle Arena in the opening round of the playoffs. With the foundation laid, the Clippers now add two superstars in the mix and have the potential to be one of the scariest teams in the NBA on both ends of the floor.

With that in mind, the Clippers have a legitimate shot to compete for a title from Day 1.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Key Additions: Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Danny Green

Key Losses: Lonzo Ball, Tyson Chandler, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram

Re-signed: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo

The Lakers offseason has been a success off of the strength of the fact that they finally got their guy.

While the move essentially depleted the entire roster, Anthony Davis is finally headed to Los Angeles to don the purple and gold. In acquiring Davis, the Lakers provided LeBron James with the best teammate of his 17-year career.

After missing out on Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers filled out their roster by bringing in the likes of Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Avery Bradley to make an immediate impact, while the re-signings of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo provide continuity.

MORE: Offseason grades for the Lakers

With a number of depth signings, LA is built to the strengths of its star players and is set to rise back to the top of the Western Conference after the roughest stretch of years in franchise history.

LeBron should be rejuvenated after a long offseason and will have something to prove considering some have written him off due to his injury-plagued first season as a Laker. With No. 23 leading the charge, the Lakers have their sights on banner No. 17.

3. Golden State Warriors

Key Additions: Willie Cauley-Stein, Jordan Poole, D'Angelo Russell

Key Losses: Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston

Re-signed: Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson

Golden State did just about as well as it could this offseason considering the fact that it lost one of the greatest scorers of all time in Kevin Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

To soften the blow of Durant's departure, the Warriors came to terms on a sign-and-trade agreement that would send Nets All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell to The Bay to be the presumed Day 1 backcourt mate of Stephen Curry, while Klay Thompson rehabilitates the torn ACL suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

While re-signing Thompson may have seemed like it had always been a guarantee, keeping the original 'Splash Brothers' together was crucial for the continuity of a team that will look very different on opening night. In addition to Durant, the team also lost - or parted ways with - Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala, Damian Jones and Shaun Livingston.

With the number of key players that will suit up for other teams next season, offseason acquisitions will be looked upon to step up, namely Willie Cauley-Stein, who, along with re-signed big man Kevon Looney, will be the team's anchors on the interior.

MORE: Offseason grade for the Warriors

Draymond Green exhibited peak-level play for the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals; we could see more of the same to open the 2019-20 season as the aforementioned roster turnover could result in a renewed sense of urgency from the three-time All-Star in a contract year.

While the Warriors' streak of consecutive Finals appearances looks unlikely to continue, they will most certainly be a playoff contender and stand to make a run in the postseason once the team is back at full strength.

4. Sacramento Kings

Key Additions: Trevor Ariza, Dewayne Dedmon, Cory Joseph

Key Loss: Willie Cauley-Stein

Re-signed: Harrison Barnes

The Kings surprised many last year, as they exceeded expectations and were in contention for the West's final playoff spot up until the final weeks of the season.

Sacramento began its offseason with a coaching change, parting ways with Dave Joerger and hiring Luke Walton, who spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Lakers. Walton, 39, is an ideal head coach for a young team like the Kings and will be able to coach to their strengths of uptempo play while aiding in the development of each young player.

The Kings largely kept last season's core intact while making a few key additions via the draft and free agency. While centre Willie Cauley-Stein opted to sign with Golden State, Sacramento replaced him with Dewayne Dedmon, who should fit seamlessly with this team. Dedmon brings experience and will stretch the floor, as the 7-footer connected on 38.2% of his 3.4 3-point attempts last season.

In re-signing Harrison Barnes, the team retains a solid veteran with championship experience and will have the entire preseason to learn his team after he was acquired near last season's trade deadline. The team also added championship experience by signing Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph, two more veterans that could aid in a playoff push.

Ultimately, this stage in the Kings' franchise is about the development of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III. The moves the team made this offseason allow them to both develop their young core while remaining competitive enough to be in the mix for a playoff seed again this season.

5. Phoenix Suns

Key Additions: Cameron Johnson, Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric

Key Losses: Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren

Re-signed: Kelly Oubre Jr.

Landing at fifth on this list isn't a knock on the Suns, but rather a nod to the impressive work put forth by the other four teams in the Pacific Division this offseason.

Phoenix was one of the more active teams in the league, making a number of transactions to move the franchise in the right direction after going 19-63 in the 2018-19 season.

In recent memory, the Suns' biggest flaw was the lack of a starting point guard; this summer, the team addressed that glaring need by bringing in free agent point guard Ricky Rubio to start, acquiring Jevon Carter from Memphis via trade and signing undrafted free agent Jalen Lecque to round out their depth at the 1. Rubio, who averaged 12.7 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds last season, will pair with Devin Booker to form a solid backcourt.

Last season, there was a logjam on the wing for Phoenix and while it was forced to deal its second-leading scorer in T.J. Warren as well as 2017 No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson, it was a necessary evil in order to create more opportunity for Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre and this year's draft selection Cameron Johnson.

Dario Saric is an underrated acquisition in that he can space the floor and serve as a solid frontcourt mate for 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. Phoenix's busy offseason has resulted in roster continuity, giving the franchise a clear path to continue to build around the 1-2 punch of the future in Booker and Ayton.

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