NBA Picks: Examining and Grading the Best Offseason Moves

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 6:03 PM GMT

The NBA season begins in earnest next month, but before we turn our eyes to the NBA odds and which teams to include in our NBA futures, let's take a look at which clubs have made the best moves.

Best Moves of the Offseason 

 

Miami Heat (+2000)
The Heat's string of good fortune began when Duke forward Justise Winslow landed in their laps as the No.10 pick in the draft. The NBA gods continued to smile when Luol Deng triggered his player option while Dwyane Wade re-signed with the only team he's ever known for a cool $20-million one year pact. The good times kept rolling when the Heat locked up Goran Dragic for five years and $85 million. Add in veterans Gerald Green and Amar'e Stoudamire and Miami is poised for postseason glory.

 

San Antonio Spurs (+300) 
The San Antonio Spurs are a disciplined, smart ball club and they got better during the offseason when they wooed four-time All-Star LeMarcus Aldridge from Portland to San Antonio. It is an enormous coup for a team that will have to contend with the inevitable departure of future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (+850)
It's not often that you rank a team as having one of the best off-seasons simply because a player returns from injury. However, Kevin Durant is not your average player but one of the most prolific and dynamic scorers in the entire league. Durant is in a contract year and he will be out to prove that he is still among the very best and will demand that he needs to be paid like it at season's end. It also didn't hurt that the Thunder used their 14th pick in the draft to select a dynamic playmaker in Cameron Payne of unheralded Murray State.

 

Houston Rockets (+1600)
The Rockets ranked 28th in turnovers last season which placed them at the bottom of the well. Despite their propensity to cough up the rock Houston still managed to win 57 games and ascended all the way to the Western Conference Finals where they fell to the eventual World Champion Golden State Warriors.

During the offseason they locked on to a team looking to distance themselves from a talented but troubled player and that franchise sold low much to the delight of the Rockets. Houston was able to send Nick Johnson, Joey Dorsey, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni and a lottery-protected 2016 first-round pick to the Denver Nuggets for backcourt quarterback Ty Lawson and Denver's 2017 second round pick. If Lawson can get his personal life together and focus squarely on basketball then you can be certain that James Harden and the Rockets will prosper well into the postseason and should be part of your NBA picks for this season.

 

Chicago Bulls (+2000)
The Bulls realized the most important player to get was already in their locker room. Chicago gave Jimmy Butler $95 million reasons to love the Windy City knowing that he will be plying his trade in Chicago for the next five years. The Bulls' brass also made an astute pick in the draft by tabbing SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis with their 22nd pick.

 

Boston Celtics (+7500)
The Shamrocks had, and continue to have, a plethora of draft picks stockpiled courtesy of GM Danny Ainge's wheeling and dealing. The C's used some of those picks to get deep in their backcourt when they selected Terry Rozier who was one of the most electrifying transition guards in all of college basketball last season. Boston also tapped shooting guard RJ Hunter with their 28th pick and then got strong with power forward Jordan Mickey of LSU. The Green is green to be sure but to take a page out of John Cougar Mellencamp's book, the Celtics are young and they are improvin'.