Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about Five Teams with the Best Offseason, so now it is time to rank the Five Teams with the Worst Offseason!
(Click here to read about which five teams had the best offseason)
Everything that happened since the end of last year’s season was included to help decide the top 5 teams, including the NBA Draft, and prior trades. Every trade, signings, keeping or losing current players are all included into the rankings based on my opinion.
At the bottom of the post, comment which teams you thought had the worst offseason. Feel free to agree or disagree with any of the teams I chose. Let’s check out which teams had the worst offseason:
5. New York Knicks
Can someone please inform me in what the Knicks have been trying to do in this offseason? In the NBA Draft, the Knicks passed up on Dennis Smith Jr., a rookie that was selected by his peers in the 2017 Class to win the Rookie of the Year Award, and instead chose Frank Ntilikina, an unknown international player that we have yet seen to play in an NBA atmosphere.
In free agency, they made two signings: Ramon Sessions, and Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks should be trying to rebuild their roster and bring in young players for good deals, but overpaying Tim Hardaway Jr. is something not to do. Even though Hardaway is only 25 years of age, this signing is pretty bad due to the amount of money he is earning. They acquired him for 4 years and $71 million, which adds him to the collection of all the terrible contracts the Knicks have handed out over the past few years. And, not to mention, the Knicks also traded him two years ago, which makes this move even more strange.
They did fire the man that partly got them into this mess, Phil Jackson, but it does not seem like that is stopping them from handing out ridiculous contracts to players. As a team that should be rebuilding, this is a poor job done by the Knicks.
4. Utah Jazz
After finishing 5th in a competitive West during the regular season, and advancing from the 1st round, the Jazz lost their star franchise player in free agency. Gordon Hayward decided to take his talents across the country to Boston, where he signed a 4 yr/$128 million contract. It is not technically their fault that he left, but they still lost a very valuable piece to build a team around.
Other than losing Hayward, the Jazz had an “ok” offseason. With the 13th pick, they selected one of the biggest steals in this draft, Donovan Mitchell. He showed a lot of potential in the Summer League, especially when he scored 37 points, the most in one game by any player in this summer.
During free agency, they were not able to bring two of their point guards, George Hill, and Shelvin Mack, and waived veteran Boris Diaw. This allows them to give Dante Exum a chance at running the point guard slot after two years coming off the bench. However, the Jazz tried to build a team around Hayward during free agency, but after abandoning them, they were stuck with unwanted players that had large contracts. They resigned 29-year-old, Joe Ingles to a 4 yr/$52 million deal, and acquired Ricky Rubio from a trade with the Timberwolves. They also added Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko, and Epke Udoh who can help the Jazz from coming off the bench or playing as a starter.
With or without Hayward, the Jazz can make the postseason. They have a young big men who has shown a lot of potential on the defensive end, Rudy Gobert, and built a team with veterans that can produce without star players and still win games. Losing a star player is still a major step back, and since Utah is not a place where many free agents are interested to go, it will be difficult for them to land any big names in the market anytime soon.
3. Chicago Bulls
There is just one move that they made during the NBA Draft that got them on this list. And that was trading Jimmy Butler.
Butler proven himself to be one of the best two-way wings in the league after single-handedly leading a team with no chemistry to the 8th seed in the past season, but what makes this trade worse is the package they received from the Timberwolves. For the 3 time All-Star, the Bulls got Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and swapped first round picks. They are obviously not getting the anywhere near the same in return, as Kris Dunn had a disappointing rookie year on the offensive end, and Zach Lavine is still recovering from suffering a torn ACL. For a player that is arguably top 15 in the league, the Bulls should have gotten much more.
Also, they still have Dwyane Wade on the roster as he opted into the final year of his contract before this trade. Since the Bulls are trying to rebuild after trading their star player, they should not need to have or pay a 35 year old for 23.8 million.
The Bulls need to get rid of Wade as soon as possible, and start tanking for young players for the next few years.
2. Detroit Pistons
Coach-president Stan Van Gundy found a way to ruin the Pistons’ offseason. As always.
First, they signed Langston Galloway to a 3 yr/$21 million deal in the beginning of free agency which limited their cap space, and with already having Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith, this signing does not really make sense.
Then, they decided to help the Celtics officially sign Gordon Hayward by swapping Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley. This caused the Pistons to choose between Bradley, or Caldwell-Pope, who wanted a contract for 5 years over $80 million. However, they chose Bradley, which caused Caldwell-Pope to sign with the Lakers where he got the money he wanted. Technically, they lost both Morris and Caldwell-Pope for Bradley, who they might also lose if they cannot match the money he will demand as a free agent next year.
Unless Stanley Johnson starts playing amazingly all of a sudden, or Caldwell-Pope struggles in the Lakers, than this offseason would not be as terrible for the Pistons. Luckily, the Pistons still can make the playoffs in the East, despite having a terrible offseason.
1. Indiana Pacers
There is obviously no question why the Pacers had the worst offseason out of all the teams in the NBA. They traded their franchise player, Paul George, a top 15 player in the league, for only Victor Oladipo, and Domantas Sabonis. What is going on in the Pacers’ front office?
Yes, before the trade happened, Paul George was rumored to have interest in joining the Lakers in 2018, but his trade value did not go decrease for players like Oladipo, or Sabonis. According to Mike Wise from The Undefeated, the Pacers denied a three-team trade with the Cavs and Nuggets where they would recieve Gary Harris, who is much more cheaper than Oladipo, and has some sort of potential. Now, the Pacers must pay Oladipo’s $81 million contract for four years, and reserve a spot for Sabonis on the bench.
During free agency, they increased the talent in the backcourt, by adding Cory Joseph in a trade, and signing Bojan Bogdanović and Darren Collison to two years deals for around $10 million per year. However, that does not nearly make up for the loss of Paul George.
Other than George, the Pacers also lost Jeff Teague C.J. Miles, and waived Monta Ellis, which most likely sparked the start of rebuilding. With Myles Turner, a young big men that has shown potential, they at least gives have a player to build a team around for the near future.