The NBA offseason has completely changed the landscape of the league as we head into next season. Everyone expected the Golden State Warriors to dominate the NBA for the foreseeable future after their NBA Championship victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a historic 16-1 playoff run. That still may be true, but teams are not lying down for them. There were many huge moves from free agency, along with trades and the NBA Draft over the past few months.
We witnessed more big trades than ever before with a few more still rumored to be going through discussions. It was one of the best drafts in recent memory as well with a handful of talents having a great deal of hype behind them. The young talent should make an instant impact in improving teams next season. Free agency was hype as usual with major names being offered big money.
This list will take a look at the future when it comes to the players arriving in new places this upcoming season. Some will deliver great results to improve their careers and their new teams. Others will struggle and disappoint. These are eight NBA players that will succeed on their new teams and seven that will fail.
15 Succeed: Paul Millsap - Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets just missed the postseason last year after having a surprisingly decent season. They made a big step forward into attempting to play playoff basketball this time by signing free agent Paul Millsap. Not many casual fans respect Millsap for the talent he is, but the power forward has been an All-Star over the past four years for the Atlanta Hawks.
14 Fail: Chris Paul - Houston Rockets
Chris Paul did not want to continue playing for the Los Angeles Clippers and wanted a change. The legendary point guard requested a trade to the Houston Rockets after opting in to the final year of his contract. Paul will play one season with James Harden as they attempt to lead the Rockets to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
13 Succeed: Markelle Fultz - Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers made a huge move trading up two spots in the draft to get the overall top pick and select Markelle Fultz. Philadelphia is ready to take the big step forward in hopefully contending in the near future. Fultz has tremendous potential to become one of the top tier point guards in the lead if he can put it together at the NBA level.
12 Fail: Kelly Olynyk - Miami Heat
Pat Riley is usually known for making some of the best possible moves in setting up a great roster. One move that has Miami Heat fans scratching their heads is Kelly Olynyk joining the team for four seasons at $50 million. Olynyk has been a role player coming off the bench for the Boston Celtics over the past few years.
11 Succeed: Derrick Rose - Cleveland Cavaliers
The recent news of Derrick Rose signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers for just $2.1 million is a calculated risk for his career. Rose is no longer the MVP Award winner we remember from his Chicago Bulls glory years. The stock of Rose is at an all-time low despite being relatively healthy all year and averaging 18 points per game during his season with the New York Knicks.
10 Fail: Danilo Gallinari - Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari is actually the player that left the Denver Nuggets to open up a spot for Paul Millsap. The Los Angeles Clippers had money to spend after losing out on Chris Paul. Gallinari is an underrated three-point shooter that can open up that aspect of the game for the Clippers as they move forward. Unfortunately, the lack of a strong point guard or facilitator will hurt everyone on the team but Blake Griffin.
9 Succeed: Rudy Gay - San Antonio Spurs
One of the most talented players to take a pay cut to join a contender was Rudy Gay. An injury saw him lose all of his value on the free agent market and he had zero interest in opting in to remain with the train wreck Sacramento Kings. Gay is a great scorer and quite athletic, but he has failed to be the “top gun” on a credible team.
8 Fail: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers went all in on acquiring talents under contract for just one season. They badly want to sign top tier All-Stars next season and care more about cap space. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of the new pieces after signing a one year contract rather than going for stability with a long-term deal elsewhere.
7 Succeed: D'Angelo Russell - Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets made a huge splash in taking advantage of the Los Angeles Lakers desire to get cap space. Brooklyn sent Brook Lopez’s expiring contract for D'Angelo Russell and the salary dump of Timofey Mozgov’s contract. It was all worth it on the Nets end to get the services of soon to be third year point guard Russell.
6 Fail: Jeff Teague - Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves made a splash acquiring Jimmy Butler to add to their young core of top talent featuring Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Another under the radar move they made was trading away Ricky Rubio and signing Jeff Teague as the new point guard. Teague is a solid point guard but the level of play at the position is greater than ever.
5 Succeed: Lonzo Ball - Los Angeles Lakers
The most intriguing rookie entering the season is Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball. Magic Johnson believed in Lonzo’s talent enough to trade away D’Angelo Russell for an expiring contract to clear salary cap space. Ball badly wanted to join the Lakers and his wish came true with the second overall pick in the draft.
4 Fail: Tim Hardaway Jr. - New York Knicks
The New York Knicks made a shocking move by offering a ridiculous contract to Tim Hardaway Jr. Knicks fans are not happy about the team offering $71 million over four seasons to someone that has only had one solid season in the NBA. To make matters worse, Hardaway was actually drafted by the Knicks who traded him away for basically nothing a couple of years ago.
3 Succeed: Gordon Hayward - Boston Celtics
Everyone expected the Boston Celtics to make a big trade given the amount of young assets and lottery picks they own. Boston instead decided to keep the majority of their pieces and still acquired an All-Star. Gordon Hayward made the decision to leave the Utah Jazz and reunite with his college coach Brad Stevens on the Celtics.
2 Fail: Paul George - Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder made a shrewd move coming out of nowhere to acquire Paul George in a trade from the Indiana Pacers. Oklahoma City only gave up the bad contract of Victor Oladipo and young prospect Domantas Sabonis. George adds a second Superstar behind Russell Westbrook as the Thunder look to compete in the Western Conference this upcoming season.
1 Succeed: Jimmy Butler - Minnesota Timberwolves
The best move in the offseason was the Minnesota Timberwolves trading for Jimmy Butler. Minnesota did not have to send much more to the Chicago Bulls aside from Zach LaVine. Butler is one of the best wing players in the league and is a huge difference maker. The Timberwolves acquired someone that is already great and has the potential to get even better considering he’s just 27 years old.
Butler is ecstatic about the new opportunity and will force a big three with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. With enough experience and time together, this core could challenge the Golden State Warriors in a few years. Butler’s brilliance is not only on the offensive side as he’s a superb defender. Minnesota should be playoff bound and has arguably the brightest future in the NBA after adding Butler.
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