The NBA beats all sports when it comes to the offseason. Free agency is what sets them apart from all other sports, the most jaw-dropping free agency moments have happened in the NBA. Kevin Durant to the Warriors, “The Decision”, MJ signing with the Wizards, superteams are formed, superteams fall apart. Free agency in baseball and football just isn’t that interesting, once in a blue moon a team will make a shocking move. Like when Brett Favre was traded to the Jets, or when the Yankees acquired A-rod in 2004.
2021 has been no different from previous years in the NBA, the Lakers have signed so many veterans they can legally open a retirement home, the Knicks are actually doing a good job, the Bulls have made some interesting moves, and the Suns and Bucks are trying to “run it back.” In this article, I will be ranking (mainly judging) what some NBA teams have done in free agency (so far).
I want to start off with a team nobody thought would be making major moves, the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have been making a lot of interesting moves to bulk up their roster. They’ve signed Lonzo Ball to improve their defense, they somehow convinced DeMar DeRozan to sign with them and signed Alex Caruso which I’m not sure was a good signing but it was a signing nonetheless. All of this is so Zach LaVine won’t leave them when he becomes a free agent, the Bulls are making a last-ditch attempt to keep the one player that has kept them relevant these past few years.
I think that signing Lonzo Ball was an excellent move. He’s gone from the next Magic to the next…. well Lonzo. He’s a terrific playmaker and a good defender, which is great for the Bulls because they need a playmaker and some help on defense. With Lonzo Ball on their team now the Bulls have to decide on what to do with Coby White. The obvious answer is to make him their backup point guard, but what will that do to his confidence? He was a star at North Carolina and won’t be used to not playing a lot of minutes. This was supposed to be the year he takes over as starting point guard, but now they have Lonzo. White might only see 20-25 minutes a game now, I doubt that will be good for him. I rate the Lonzo signing 8.5/10.
DeMar DeRozan had his bags packed and his ticket to L.A. before the Lakers went out and traded for Russell Westbrook. Derozan has been ready for a reunion with his home state since he was traded to the pits of hell, I mean San Antonio. After Westbrook was acquired DeRozan had to make a decision, did he: A) want to take a pay cut for a chance to get a ring, or B) make a lot of money on a team that won’t be a contender. He chose B.
I don’t blame him though, he wouldn’t have the ball in his hands a lot if he signed with the Lakers. He would’ve been the fourth scoring option behind LeBron, AD, and Russ. He also wouldn’t be making a lot of money which would probably hurt his ego especially since the three other stars are all making a shit load of money. He chose the Windy City over his hometown team, I don’t know how he feels about that but probably not very good. I guarantee if the Bulls face the Lakers next season he will try his best to destroy them and show Rob Pelinka he made a mistake choosing Westbrook over him. I’m sad that DeRozan chose the Bulls over my Knicks, but I’m used to the Knicks not acquiring good players in free agency. I rate the DeRozan signing 9/10.
Now it’s time to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have signed so many old players the PA announcer is going to have to call out their plays so they can hear it. LeBron has said for years that Melo is underappreciated and it was idiotic for a team to not have him back when he was a free agent before his stint in Portland. I always thought that if LeBron is saying it’s dumb for no team to have him and he’s such a great asset then why hasn’t he made the front office sign him. LeBron has the authority to sign and trade players and he also has the authority to get coaches fired (Luke Walton). But he has finally shut me up and got Melo signed in a last-ditch attempt to win a ring.
Melo will be a great asset for them on the bench because of his ability to score and his veteran presence. He already has great chemistry with LeBron so there will be no adjustment period, and the absence of a ring on his resumé will motivate him. I rate the Melo signing an 8/10.
The Lakers also went out and signed Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Nunn, and Kent Bazemore. I won’t discuss all of those signings so I’ll just give you my ratings for each one: Howard-7/10, Monk-7/10, Ariza-5/10, Nunn- 8/10, Bazemore- who cares.
Moving on from the Lakers, and now onto the Miami Heat. The Heat have made some interesting moves to try and keep themselves relevant in the East. They signed Kyle Lowry, extended Butler’s contract as well as Duncan Robinson’s, signed veteran P.J. Tucker, and re-signed Oladipo for 1 year.
Kyle Lowry is starting to get old and has a lot of mileage on him, but like a Ford truck, he keeps ongoing. Lowry can still score points when you need him to, is very selfless, and most importantly is a great locker room guy. I guarantee Butler and Lowry will make a great duo in South Beach. I rate the Lowry signing a 9/10.
The Heat smartly extended Butler’s contract to keep him happy and gave Robinson a reason to try every night. The signing of P.J. Tucker is a little confusing to me, mainly because he’s old and sucks. Everyone talks about what a great defender he is against KD, but Durant averaged like 45 points against the Bucks that series, sooooo I don’t know what they’re talking about. Fatigue wrecked Durant, not Tucker. Oladipo will probably be used as a trade chip during the trade deadline if he’s healthy, so I won’t rate his signing either.
Quickly I’ll talk about the Suns and Bucks before I get to my Knicks. The Bucks re-signed Bobby Portis which is good for team morale so I’ll give that signing an 8/10. The Suns re-signed CP3 and Cam Payne, they also signed Javale McGee for some reason. Neither team will make it back to the Finals next year so unless they make a major move I will not discuss them further.
The Knicks baby! The Knicks! They’re signing Kemba Walker which is great for their offense, they re-signed team leader Derrick Rose, they signed Evan Fournier another great boost for their offense and re-signed Alec Burks who is a great guy for their bench. The Knicks front office always tease fans by saying they will sign a huge star but never do. They will either lowball the star or spend all their cap space on washed-up players. Not this year, this year they are determined to improve their offense and did. They kept team morale high by re-signing Rose and haven’t alienated Tibby yet. This might be the Knicks best summer ever! Freeze-frame me jumping in the air with joy that the Knicks haven’t effed everything up.
There have been some other interesting moves, but none quite like the ones I mentioned above. Free agency isn’t over yet, and there are still stars on the market like Kawhi Leonard. Will he re-sign with the Clippers or will he join the Knicks? He’ll probably re-sign with the Clippers but I’m trying to start a rumor that he’s joining the Knicks and maybe he’ll succumb to peer pressure and do it. To be continued…………..