The NBA’s offseason is winding down. There are just a few noteworthy free agents remaining, including Jamal Crawford and Dwyane Wade. Will Wade even play in the NBA again?
But most teams are done making moves.
Denver Nuggets A: The Nuggets locked up franchise centerpiece Nikola Jokic and Will Barton for the long term, while adding two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas on a one-year minimum deal and taking a calculated risk by drafting Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick. GM Tim Connelly also got the Nuggets under the luxury tax.
Golden State Warriors A: As if four All-Stars weren’t enough, the back-to-back champs landed a fifth in DeMarcus Cousins who should make a major impact when he recovers from his Achilles tendon tear (expected to return midseason). He comes on a one-year deal for approximately 1/7 of the cost of the NBA’s highest-paid player/new teammate Steph Curry. They also re-signed Kevin Durant, secured coach Steve Kerr’s future with an extension, drafted shooting guard Jacob Evans and added more shooting, signing Jonas Jerebko. Take (another) bow, GM Bob Myers.
Oklahoma City Thunder A: Paul George’s decision to stay on a four-year max deal was a major win for GM Sam Presti, who also added Nerlens Noel, re-signed young big man Jerami Grant and inked veteran Raymond Felton. The Thunder also landed 24-year-old Dennis Schroder in a trade with Atlanta.
Brooklyn Nets A-: The Nets acquired a future first-round pick, drafted Dzanan Musa with the 29th pick in the first round, shed Timofey Mozgov’s contract, bought out Dwight Howard and signed Ed Davis to a team friendly contract. GM Sean Marks continues to restock assets.
Los Angeles Lakers A-: Any front office that lands LeBron James when he’s still at an MVP level deserves a top-notch grade, but the subsequent additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee left heads spinning. Not only is there a lack of shooting, but combining some of the league’s most distinct personalities will be a fascinating chemistry experiment.
Orlando Magic A-: The Magic hired Steve Clifford as coach, drafted Mo Bamba with the No. 6 pick and re-signed 23-year-old Aaron Gordon to a four-year deal. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond are reshaping the team in their vision.
Toronto Raptors A-: The Raptors swung for the fences by acquiring Kawhi Leonard, which makes the 2017-18 No. 1 seed even better offensively and defensively. Who knows if Leonard stays, but it works now for Toronto. Danny Green is a nice addition, too.
Atlanta Hawks B+: The Hawks drafted Trae Young, took on two expiring contracts and traded Dennis Schroder for future first-round picks while maintaining future salary cap flexibility. They also hired Lloyd Pierce as their coach. Nice work by general manager Travis Schlenk.
Chicago Bulls B+: Re-signed Zach LaVine, signed Jabari Parker and drafted Wendell Carter Jr. as the Bulls try to expedite their rebuild.
Indiana Pacers B+: The Pacers drafted Aaron Holiday with the 23rd pick and signed Tyreke Evans, Doug McDermott and Kyle O’Quinn to a team that also took Cleveland seven games in the playoffs.
Utah Jazz B+: There was nothing splashy about Utah’s summer, but this up-and-coming squad retained depth by re-signing big Derrick Favors, Dante Exum and Raul Neto. The Jazz also added rookie Grayson Allen.
Boston Celtics B: Re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to bring back the core of a team that took Cleveland to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals. Don’t forget: Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving are expected to start the season healthy.
Los Angeles Clippers B: The stage is set for the summer of 2019 when the Clippers could have salary cap space for two max players. As for now? They traded for Marcin Gortat, signed Avery Bradley and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency and acquired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson in the draft. The Clippers also extended coach Doc Rivers.
Milwaukee Bucks B: The Bucks hired Mike Budenholzer as coach and signed Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez in free agency and drafted Donte DiVincenzo with the No. 17 overall pick for a team looking to move up in the East.
New York Knicks B: The Knicks hired David Fizdale as coach, drafted Kevin Knox at No. 9 and Mitchell Robinson at No. 36, signed Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh in free agency, and retained Enes Kanter, Ron Baker and Luke Kornet.
Dallas Mavericks B-: Not only did Dallas land one of the most impactful big men in DeAndre Jordan, but they re-signed legend Dirk Nowitzki for what could be his final season on another team friendly deal (one-year, $5 million). The Mavs also got European star Luka Doncic in the draft.
Houston Rockets B-: Re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela were the highlights for a team that came close to knocking off the Warriors in the West finals, not to mention the no-brainer to pick up the 2019-20 team option on coach Mike D’Antoni’s contract and the expected addition of 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony. But for a team that was sixth in defense, losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute was a step backward.
Phoenix Suns B-: By taking DeAndre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick and signing guard Devin Booker to a long-term extension, the Suns’ young core is in place. They also added a pricey but pivotal veteran in Trevor Ariza.
San Antonio Spurs B-: If the Spurs can get the best version of DeMar DeRozan after they landed him in the Kawhi Leonard trade with Toronto, they’ll be right back in the mix among the West’s elite. Re-signing Rudy Gay and adding Marco Belinelli were good moves, and the loss of Spurs legend Tony Parker in free agency is mitigated by the rise of Dejounte Murray.
Washington Wizards B-: The Wizards had a first-round draft pick (Troy Brown Jr.) for the first time since 2015 and acquired Austin Rivers in a trade. They also signed Dwight Howard and Jeff Green with limited salary cap flexibility.
Charlotte Hornets C+: The Hornets dumped Dwight Howard’s contract but needed to take on Timofey Mozgov’s deal to do it. They obtained Miles Bridges in the draft, signed Tony Parker in free agency and hired Mitch Kupchak as GM and James Borrego as coach.
Memphis Grizzlies C+: Selecting Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick was the Grizzlies’ best move, and the addition of Kyle Anderson should help, too.
New Orleans Pelicans C+: Worried about DeMarcus Cousins fully recovering from an Achilles injury, the Pelicans executed their back-up plan, adding Julius Randle on an affordable deal after his career season. Losing Rajon Rondo to the Lakers hurts, but GM Dell Demps saw the chance to add the younger Elfrid Payton as the smarter play.
Sacramento Kings C+: Add No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III to the Kings’ list of young players who need to shine this season — especially since they passed on the chance to draft Luka Doncic. Adding supporting pieces Yogi Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica in free agency should help them be more competitive.
Miami Heat C: The Heat didn’t have a draft pick and retained shooter Wayne Ellington in free agency under the constraints of a tight salary cap situation with not much money to spend.
Detroit Pistons C: The Pistons hired Dwane Casey as coach and drafted Bruce Brown Jr., but didn’t make a splash in free agency as they transition from the Stan Van Gundy era.
Philadelphia 76ers C: Bryan Colangelo’s Twitter debacle and eventual departure as president of basketball operations marred a portion of the Sixers’ offseason. They acquired Zhaire Smith in the draft, landed Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala via trades and retained J.J. Redick in free agency.
Portland Trail Blazers C: Any move that upsets franchise centerpiece Damian Lillard is a bad one, and such was the case with the departure of Ed Davis to Brooklyn. Retaining Jusuf Nurkic was a must, and adding shooters Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas should help shore up a weakness.
Minnesota Timberwolves C-: Despite a front office admission that they needed to be more aggressive than they had been at the February trade deadline, the T'wolves made minor moves (re-signing Derrick Rose, adding Anthony Tolliver).
Cleveland Cavaliers D+: The Cavs mitigated the crushing loss of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers by signing Kevin Love to a long-term extension and drafting Collin Sexton.
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