The Best Moves of the NBA Offseason

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With trade speculation around Kevin Durant putting NBA free agency on hold for several weeks, this has been anything but a typical offseason for fans and players. Although Durant’s status is still up in the air, most teams have already made moves to shore up their rosters for the upcoming season. As always, some teams have fared better than others during the league’s free agency period, with some overhauling their lineups and others making tweaks here and there. We won’t know for sure if any of the changes have made a difference until the season is underway. Until then, let’s take a look at some of the best moves by NBA teams during the offseason.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks made a surprising run in the playoffs, beating the Western Conference Champions, the Phoenix Suns, in convincing style. Few anticipated the Mavericks’ upset victory over the Suns, with most fans and sports betting websites predicting Phoenix would make a deeper run in the playoffs. Dallas’ performance proved that Luka Doncic had what it took to lead his team. 

However, weaknesses in the Mavericks’ lineup became apparent during the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. In an effort to shore up the team’s shortcomings, their management made some moves over the summer, acquiring Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets. Time will tell if this addition helps Dallas in the upcoming season.

The New York Knicks

While many NBA fans spent the offseason anticipating the release of NBA 2K23, the New York Knicks were hard at work trying to build a Championship-worthy team. The Knicks saw an opportunity when the Dallas Mavericks refused to extend Jalen Brunson’s contract for four additional years at $55.5 million. They jumped at it, signing the talented point guard to a four-year deal worth $104 million. Many expect the Mavericks’ decision to come back to haunt them. In the meantime, the Knicks couldn’t be happier with their acquisition. 

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Brunson has a proven track record and was instrumental in Dallas’ win over the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs. His numbers during the playoffs speak for themselves, averaging 21.6 points over 18 playoff games. He’s not only an elite shooter but also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and only 1.1 turnovers during Dallas’ impressive playoff run. Brunson will run the offense in New York, lessening the burden on RJ Barrett and balancing the team. Acquiring Brunson will pay dividends for the Knicks well into the future. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Besides Kevin Durant requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, the Minnesota Timberwolves acquiring Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz was this offseason’s biggest headline. While it may seem like the Jazz were the losers in this deal, the team picked up five players and multiple first-round draft picks in exchange for Gobert. With Gobert on their roster, the Timberwolves are poised to give the top teams in the Western Conference a run for their money. 

If Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns play well together, the Timberwolves may be championship contenders next year. They also acquired Kyle Anderson during the offseason, which was overshadowed by the Gobert hype. The small forward is a threat beyond the arc and an effective defender at multiple positions. Only time will tell if the Timberwolves’ significant moves this offseason will pay off. 

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t won a title since 2014, and their coach George Popovich is hoping the moves they’ve made in the offseason will put them back in championship contention. While the Mavericks sent Jalen Brunson packing, the Spurs decided to hang onto small forward Keldon Johnson, signing him to a four-year, $474 million extension. 

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Johnson has proved his worth since entering the NBA as the 29th overall pick in 2019. He averaged 17 points on 46.6% shooting and pulled down 6.1 rebounds during the regular season. Johnson’s output should increase in the upcoming season as the Spurs look to him to fill the gap left by the Dejounte Murray trade.