The Bucks have locked up their #2 to The Greek Freak on a 5-year/$178 million deal to return to the Bucks. Middleton averaged 18 ppg last season and was nearly 40% from 3
There is no way Golden State can replace Kevin Durant, however D’Angelo came on strong last season with Brooklyn averaging over 21 ppg and adding 7 assists per game. When Klay returns, their backcourt will consist of D’Angelo Russell, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Conley has been somewhat a forgotten man while withering away with the Grizzlies, but the guys still averaged 21.1 ppg and 6.5 assists last season. Him in the backcourt with Donavan Mitchell is instantly one of the best backcourts in the league.
The Sixers made it clear they valued Harris’s upside and youth over the proven services of Jimmy Butler. Harris signed a 5-year/$180 million to keep the young core of Ben Simmons (22), Joel Embiid (25) and Harris (26) together.
This is a sign-and-trade that has the Celtics getting Kemba and sending Terry Rozier to the Hornets. The Celtics locked up Walker to a 4-year/$141 million deal. This will be the 3rd Point Guard for the C’s in the last 4 years (Kyrie Irving and Isiah Thomas). Brad Stevens has shown he can win with a score first Point Guard- hopefull for Celtics fans Kemba fits in the locker room better than the last PG did.
This is a great move on so many levels. Horford has proven to be the best person in the league at guarding Embiid, the leader of the Celtics is now gone, and the young corps of the 76ers has a true professional who can help the team advance past the 2nd round of the playoffs. The stats might not bare out to be the 5th best off season move in the league, but this is going to help the 76ers by bringing in a guy who will do the dirty work.
The Miami Heat have been a nice team for the last couple of seasons- 83-81 over the last 2 seasons with one post season appearance. A big problem for the team was scoring in the 4th quarter when the defensive intensity was raised. They now have a guy who can take the ball and get a bucket when the team needs to score. Butler will also have a huge impact on the defensive end for Miami.
Kyrie got a bad rap this past season because, and some of it might be fair, but to put the disaster that was the 2018/19 Boston Celtics squarely on the shoulders of Kyrie is wrong. The fact is Kyrie is one of the 3 best Point Guards in the league, and adding that to Brooklyn, along with one of the best young rosters in the league, has elevated the Brooklyn Nets into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Kevin Durant will most likely not play in the 2019/20 season, and that is the only reason this is not #1 on the list. KD was never going to get credit for winning back-to-back title with Golden State, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the best player on the best team over the past 3 seasons. When KD returns and paired with Kyrie, the Nets will be favorites to win the East in 2020/21.
This is sure to be where the most people will have issues with this list. The Lakers gave up a ton to acquire AD, but as of now they have LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Davis and the salary cap space to go out and sign Kawhi Leonard. Even if the Lakers don’t get Kawhi, they have the cap room to fill out their roster and compete for the NBA Title. Anthony Davis is 26, so we are yet to see him at his prime. This was a great move by Rob Pelinka and the Lakers brass.