Free Agency Winners: Who Got Better?
This year’s summer was one of the bigger ones in NBA history. There have been a lot of surprises that shocked the basketball world. A lot of unexpected signings and trades occurred and it was exciting. Each and every one of us is surely excited for the upcoming season and as 2019 NBA Free Agency winds down, almost all the key free agents are signed. There were some big winners in free agency this year – teams who are set to come out of July better than they entered it.
The Winners of the 2019 NBA Free Agency
New Orleans Pelicans
First is the New Orleans Pelicans. This team is set to make a fresh start next season as they traded away their long-time franchise player Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. They traded Davis for a bunch of young Lakers players. However, those bunch of young players are full of potential.
I’m talking about Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Those three have high ceilings and joining the Pelicans might give them more opportunity. With less pressure to succeed alongside LeBron James, they can develop and grow to their full potential.
Not only that, they were able to win the NBA Draft lottery, resulting in the selection of the first overall pick, Zion Williamson. Williamson is extremely talented at his age. He’s a monster and he could dominate the league in his first year according to multiple basketball analysts.
As well, the under the radar additions of J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors were a huge boost. This could be a pretty scary team who can sneak up in the playoffs. Who knows? Let’s see if the Pelicans can exceed expectations.
Los Angeles Lakers
Of course, the Lakers are one of the biggest winners of the summer. The acquisition of Anthony Davis is their biggest gain. That alone is a win despite letting their young core go. Davis is arguably the best big man in the league today and that was a great move by the Lakers.
Then, they managed to sign another elite center in DeMarcus Cousins for a cheap contract. Retaining veteran guard Rajon Rondo together with their starting center JaVale McGee from last season was big. Finally, the Lakers brought back one of their better shooters in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
And as an addition to their depth, they were able to bring Danny Green, a veteran shooter, Quinn Cook, a decent role player, Jared Dudley, and Troy Daniels. This is a pretty deep roster that can compete for a championship. This should prove to be an exciting 2019-2020 season for Lakers fans.
No doubt, the Nets are winners in this year’s free agency. Getting two of the most sought-after superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is huge. Even though Durant suffered a major injury that will sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season, this is still a great move.
They will just have to wait one more season to see the duo of Irving and Durant go to work. For a player like KD, every team would surely take a risk in signing him. Another addition is the signing of DeAndre Jordan to a discounted contract. The Jordan and Jarrett Allen frontcourt duo could be one of the best defensive presences inside the paint.
The Nets will have to rely on Kyrie Irving for now until Durant heals. They have a strong core which D’Angelo Russell brought to the playoffs last season. Irving might even be able to take them deeper than last year’s run.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are now the favorites to win the NBA championship next season after Kawhi Leonard decided to choose the Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Raptors. Also, acquiring superstar forward Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder was a massive move.
George and Leonard are two of the best two-way players in the league today. The Clippers also have a solid bench, led by reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams. The defence that that Clippers starting lineup will play has the potential to be scary. Here’s why:
Remember that the Clippers made the playoffs last season and even beat the Golden State Warriors twice in the first round. All in all, the Clippers are the real winners of the 2019 NBA Free agency.
Getting Leonard and George, retaining Ivica Zubac and Patrick Beverley, and signing three-and-D player Maurice Harkless easily makes them championship favorites with the roster they have. This Clippers team with a brilliant coach in Doc Rivers is now all set to dominate the league next season.