It's been an absolute whirlwind of an NBA offseason packed into a crazy week of rumours, transactions and the 2020 NBA Draft.
Almost every team in the league looks slightly different than it did to close out the 2019-20 season and it all happened in a blink of an eye.
We asked our NBA.com staff which team had the best offseason?
Here's what they had to say.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): I think the Portland Trail Blazers had the best offseason, so far.
I really like the move to acquire Robert Covington. It gives the Blazers a legit first-tier defender and also another knockdown shooter to space the floor on offence. (Covington struggled from three last season but is a career 35.6 percent 3-point shooter) Picking up Derrick Jones Jr. gives them another solid wing defender they can throw at opposing teams which takes the pressure off Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum defensively.
Getting Enes Kanter gives them another body up front to battle some of the beefier teams in the league.
All in all, I think this off-season Portland had to do two things, get depth and get some defenders - they did both. All they need now is some health. The Blazers were second in man-games lost to injury last season with 265. With the moves they've made, and a little bit of help from the health gods, they'll be one of the biggest risers in the Western Conference standings this season.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm a huge fan of what the Los Angeles Lakers have done. They still have to re-sign Anthony Davis - it would be an absolute disaster if he decides to sign elsewhere for whatever reason - but they've hit a homerun with each of their trades and signings so far.
In Dennis Schröder, the Lakers are getting another ball-handler who can take some of the playmaking burden off of LeBron James in the regular season, which is important considering the short turnaround from last season to this season. There are some questions about his jump shot, but I think he's a good enough 3-point shooter to play alongside James and Davis at the end of games.
In Montrezl Harrell, they're getting last season's Sixth Man of the Year who is a far superior scorer than JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, who made up the team's centre rotation last season. Harrell isn't the defender than either of them are, but picking up Marc Gasol gives the Lakers someone they can throw at the likes of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic in the playoffs. Even at the age of 35, Gasol is still one of the best post defenders in the league. He's also a legitimate 3-point shooter and an elite passer at the centre position. Putting him next to James and Davis is basketball nirvana.
Last but not least, the Lakers picked up Wesley Matthews for a fraction of the price of Green. Even if you're of the belief that Green is the better player, there's not much in it. The two of them shot almost the same from 3-point range last season and they're equally strong perimeter defenders.
All in all, I think the Lakers have the potential to be even better this season than they were last season. It would've been easy for them to run it back with the same team last season, but they've been one of the more aggressive teams in the league this offseason. Kudos to their front office for not taking their foot off the gas.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): As hard as it is not to say the Los Angeles Lakers after trading for Dennis Schröder and signing both Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol, I'm agreeing with Carlan here. It's the Portland Trail Blazers.
Two years ago, the Blazers went to the Western Conference Finals with a deep roster that had a number of reliable role players around their two stars Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Players like Seth Curry, Enes Kanter, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jake Layman, Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless - that's more than an entire second unit of guys who can contribute and make an impact, and not one of them was on Portland's 2019-20 roster.
The Blazers let all of their depth walk in free agency last year and it appears they've learned from their mistake because they've reloaded this offseason.
Portland traded for one of the best 3-and-D talents in the league in Robert Covington, brought back Kanter, re-signed Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood, added a versatile wing in Derrick Jones Jr. and took a flier on Harry Giles, a player who was once the No. 1 ranked high school player in the country prior to devastating knee injuries.
Add that to the core of Lillard, McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, as well as key role players like Zach Collins and Gary Trent Jr. and you start to see the roster shaping up in a similar way of the team that went to the Conference Finals two seasons ago.
Of course, the Lakers have had a stellar offseason and the defending champions have certainly gotten better, but I like what the Blazers are doing in trying to become a contender in the West once again.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): There have been several teams making big upgrades this off-season, but I can't look past what the Atlanta Hawks have built.
Coming off a 20-win season, the Hawks bolstered their supporting cast around Trae Young, making win-now moves that should launch them back into the playoffs, or at least playoff contention after a three-year absence.
After making just 33.3% of their 3-pointers last season, GM Travis Schlenk brought in a ton of reinforcements in the shape of Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Tony Snell, And Soloman Hill.
Gallinari gives the Hawks one of the best stretch fours in the league, who boasts 38.0% from deep for his career and shot 40.5% last season. In Bogdanovic, the add another ball-handler, playmaker, and scorer, who is a career 37.4% from deep, while Snell and Hill will serve as reliable veterans who can knock down open shots.
Their defence still needs plenty of work after ranking 28th in the league last season, however, the addition of Onyeka Okongwu, a defensive-minded big man out of USC with the No. 6 pick in the draft, gives them a high-energy rim running big, who can play at power forward or as a small-ball five in place of Clint Capela.
Lastly, the Hawks offence ground to a halt with Young off the floor to the tune of 15.5 points, so bringing in Rajon Rondo as a free agent gives them an experienced leader who can keep things ticking over when Young sits, as well as the addition of Kris Dunn, who also boosts their backcourt defence.
Sure, the Hawks aren't going to be championship contenders, but the moves they made this off-season are a signal of intent. They're ready to start winning.
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