The NBA offseason has gone much better for some teams than others. Which moves have done the most damage to their chances against the basketball odds in 2015-16?
It's been a wild and woolly summer in the NBA. The league has changed considerably since the Golden State Warriors (!) won the championship back in June. Key players have switched teams through trades and free agency, more young talent has arrived via the draft, and the NBA is even on the verge of fixing its broken playoff format.
As always, some of these moves will help teams get to where they want to be, and others will make things worse. Let's take a moment to consider the latter category. Which transactions have done the most to screw up a club's chances against the NBA odds next season? Naturally, we start with our Biggest Loser from the offseason, the Brooklyn Nets.
As much grief as we've given Brooklyn for signing Andrea Bargnani (16.6 PER, –3.7 BPM), Shane Larkin (10.9 PER, –2.4 BPM), Wayne Ellington (11.6 PER, –3.0 BPM) and Donald Sloan (13.1 PER, –1.4 BPM), it's difficult to single out any one of these moves as the worst. The Nets wanted to cut payroll, and none of these four gentlemen is getting paid much. But trading Plumlee (18.0 PER, +0.8 BPM) to the Portland Trail Blazers to get No. 23 overall pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson? Really? The mind boggles.
Of course we couldn't pass up nailing the Kings again for signing Rajon Rondo (13.5 PER, –0.5 BPM). It's only a one-year deal, but it'll cost Sacramento $10 million, and Rondo is a downgrade from incumbent starting PG Darren Collison (17.5 PER, +1.5 BPM). Having said that, when you put aside the basketball odds for a moment, we're even more baffled at Sacto's decision to package a first-round pick with Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson in that salary-dump trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. That's going to bite the Kings in the toches down the road.
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
Remember back in late 2013, when New York Knicks owner James Dolan blocked the trade that would have sent Hardaway to the Toronto Raptors in a package deal for Kyle Lowry? Miracle of miracles, the Knicks managed to finagle a first-round pick out of the Atlanta Hawks this June as part of a 3-team trade, even after Hardaway (12.1 PER, –4.1 BPM) regressed during his sophomore campaign. He could end up playing big minutes off Atlanta's suddenly-thin bench next season.
This looks like a relatively minor sin on paper: The Milwaukee Bucks sent a protected 2017 first-rounder and a 2015 second-rounder to the Raptors for Vasquez (12.6 PER, –1.1 BPM), who has some offensive gifts to complement Michael Carter-Williams in Milwaukee's backcourt. But Vasquez is a defensive liability coming off a disappointing season up north, and that second-rounder turned out to be Norman Powell, who absolutely killed it in Summer League. Masai Ujiri strikes again.