The offseason is a very important part of the season for any team hoping to make a jump to the next level and become a contender.
Sometimes you need to sign a free agent, sometimes you need to trade a player away, but mostly you need to take a risk. Those are the teams who are going to take the biggest jumps. We have seen some crazy stuff happen in the offseason. The Decision when LeBron decided to go to the Heat. When Shaq got traded to the Heat. The NBA draft where we see the future of the league coming in and this year has one of the best draft classes in a while. June 22nd will be a crazy night.
Every team needs to do something. If you are not trying to improve then you are allowing the other teams to catch up or even surpass you. Don't believe me? The Cleveland Cavilers finally won an NBA Championship last year. Since that time they have made 42 different transactions. That is a team who realizes that there is always room for improvement.
This will go through every NBA franchise and tell you what thing should be their number one priority. Agree or not, they are all crucial.
30 Atlanta Hawks: Trade Dwight Howard
The Hawks had the right idea when they brought Dwight Howard in. Bring Dwight back to his home, have him play a big role and take them to the next level. However, his role became very minimal in the post-season, as he was merely a spectator while the Hawks lost in six games. They gave Howard and Bazemore way too much money in the offseason. With Paul Millsap opting out of his contract the Hawks have a tough decision to make. If they want to blow it all up and try and rebuild some solid pieces, or if they want to rebuild around Millsap. Either way, they need to get rid of Dwight. He had problems with the coaching staff and a visual confrontation with Dennis Schroder on the court.
If the Hawks want to move forward with their franchise, they will trade away Dwight Howard.
29 Boston Celtics: Trade The First Pick
This is not a popular decision but it is one that needs to be made. Yes, you could say that Markelle Fultz is a tough prospect to pass on, but I am not sure that he is all that people have cracked him up to be. They can trade him away for a couple people in my mind, to help the Celtics with their front court issues. They could trade it to the pelicans for DeMarcus Cousins. As much fun as it seems that Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins could be a dynamic duo, but I think their games are too similar and they would clash more than anything. Or they could go with getting the third pick and Dario Saric for the first pick.
The best possible solution for the first round pick is to trade that pick for some front court help alongside Al Horford.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Trade Brook Lopez
The Nets are going nowhere and have no signs of improving. They are out this year and next year’s first round picks. Even worse than that they are unprotected picks. They should trade Brook and get a couple of picks. Try and rebuild through the draft, especially if they could get someone in what is considered to be one of the best draft classes in a long time. If they could steal a top-15 draft pick then they could be back in business. Nobody wants to go to Brooklyn in free agency right now anyway so signing a marquee player to help Brook is just not going to happen. Plus Brook is playing great basketball and he should not have to suffer from this poorly ran franchise.
The best decision they could possibly go with is to see what the trade market is out there for him.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Go After Steph Curry
Charlotte has been named to one of the places Steph might go to if he doesn’t resign with the Warriors. There isn’t much of a reason for Steph to even leave the Warriors, but if he even has an inkling of a hometown feeling, they have a chance. Steph grew up around the Hornets, it was his dad’s team. He would come out with his old man before a lot of the games and shoot with him out there. Most of the time when Steph plays in Charollete there is a lot of cheering for him so it already has that homecourt feeling for him. They could either more Kemba Walker to the 2 guard or ship him out for anything to go alongside Steph.
Plus, the NBA could use some real competition in the East.
26 Chicago Bulls: Trade Away Jimmy Butler
There is much debate on this topic. I think that Jimmy has just had too many run-ins with the front office and his teammates. He is not a bad guy and not a bad player, he just wants to win and I do not think he could do that on this current team. His faith might have been restored after the Bulls went up 2-0 on the Celtics with a healthy Rondo. I do not know what happened with the exit interview, but all-in-all, they should trade him and hope to improve as a franchise without Jimmy Butler. They would probably be able to land someone who was in the All-Star game this year. Maybe snag a Paul George or a DeMarcus Cousins. With the head coach most likely out the door, they could convince some talent that they are headed in the right direction finally.
That first round draft pick is always interesting.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: Get a Play-Maker Off The Bench
LeBron cried about this for most of the season for a reason. If LeBron or Kyrie are not on the floor, then they have no one to distribute the ball around. Deron Williams has been terrible in the finals. He just has not been anything they needed, missing every single shot that he has taken. These finals have shown the best of LeBron James, and how little help he really has on the team. If they could convince the likes of Dwayne Wade to take the veteran’s minimum and come off the bench, or even start, then they have a great chance at filling that hole. There are other lesser named players who the Cavs could swipe up, it is just a matter of convincing them to come and take less money than they could make elsewhere.
They also need a true rim protector off the bench.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Find a superstar
The Mavs are very close to being stuck in mediocrity. It is not easy to find one and I am not suggesting it is. But look at this team. They have a potential All-Star in Harrison Barnes, an amazing free agency plucking in Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry who is starting to find his shot, Dirk Nowitzki who can still be just as deadly when he turns it on, Nerlens Noel who is a great defensive player, and a true scorer in Wesley Matthews. They have a bunch of great stockpiled parts. Right now, most mock drafts have them taking Lauri Markkanen, a 7’0” power forward out of Finland and played for the University of Arizona. Maybe he can come behind Dirk and learn some from one of the best foreign players to ever come and play in the NBA. He could be their answer. However, a bunch of parts does not run a car, you need a lot more than that, and a superstar could be the final piece that they need to break through.
The Mavericks are right now a handful of really good role players who needs to bring a player along who can push them past mediocracy.
23 Denver Nuggets: Trade Emmanuel Mudiay and the 14th Pick
Here me out on this. If they can move up anywhere in the top-eight, they can find a point guard who can have a higher ceiling than Mudiay. After just missing out on the playoffs for a fourth nsecutive year, then need to make some moves. I do not believe Mudiay will play much better than he did this year, and he is not a great distributor or a defender. That’s what they need. A defender and a distributor. All four point guards going in the top-eight can do that. If they can make that trade with the Knicks and steal Dennis Smith then they will make the playoffs next year. They have plenty of potential but they need a point guard that lifts the ability to of every player on the team, Mudiay is not that guy.
I am all for the Nuggets trading Emmanuel Mudiay.
22 Detroit Pistons: Trade Reggie Jackson
Injury prone at his worst, sub-par at best. He is currently playing okay basketball. But it is the best basketball he as ever played. I believe he is going to start playing downhill from here. He cannot defend or attack with the great point guards in the east. They could get a decent amount of value back for him and they really need perimeter shooting. They could trade him and hopefully get a draft pick or two. Maybe get some perimeter shooting. There were talks of trading him when it came down to the trade deadline and I think it is time to make it come true. Send him out and move up as a franchise. Get back in the playoffs.
Reggie Jackson just needs to go.
21 Golden State Warriors: Stay Intact
Right now they are just sweeping through all their competition, including the Finals. They do not need to ship anyone out or bring anyone in. Some have said they sold out on the future and have invested in the now. Gave up the best bench in the NBA in order to sign an past MVP. Right now it is looking like that decision was gold. But if Durant decides he doesn’t want to stay, or Steph packs up because he does not like being looked over for Durant, then they would be in a little bit of trouble next year. I feel the same way about Iguadola. One of the best defenders on the team and veteran leader. Shaun Livingston who is such a large point that most teams have plenty of problems with him. If they Warriors lose either Livingston or Iggy than they are in a lot of trouble.
They don’t need too much this offseason besides keeping everything together.
20 Houston Rockets: Find Defensive and Mid-Range Jumpers
The Rockets got exposed against the Spurs. The Spurs were giving them that mid-range jumper and took away their three-points, layups, and dunks. If they could find a player who can consistently hit the mid-range shot, in a league moving further past the three-point line. That is their biggest offensive hole right now. It was part of the plan to focus specifically on that, but we see why it won't work in the offseason. And defensively, oh wait, what defense? Their apparent goal for a majority of the season just scored more than the other guy and if we get a stop, that’s awesome. Defense is the hallmark of every great team. The Warriors are the top defense in the league and look where they stand now. They need to find that defensive anchor out there and let him guard some of the all-stars in the west.
Find this guy or couple of guys D’Antoni.
19 Indiana Pacers: Trade Paul George
He has one season left on contract and doesn’t qualify for a super-max contract from you next season. He has already declared interest signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. He made it clear he wants to play for a winning franchise and the Pacers do not have that in his eyes. He wants to do a lot and does not see that potential in Indiana. As for the Pacers, they are going to lose him and get nothing back for him. The worst thing that they can do is throw in the towel and get nothing in return for him, hoping he just decides to stay. Trade him and get literally anything back for him so you don’t just lose him.
Don’t take the risk of him choosing to lose or stay, trade him while you still can.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: Blow It Up
It’s time to just throw in the cards. You aren’t going to do much better in the West. You have had multiple opportunities. Unless they offer Chris Paul the max, which is going to be a mistake, then he is gone. Blake Griffin is also heading out, he has no reason to stay with the Clippers anymore. J.J. Reddick is going to become a great shooter for a team most likely off the bench. With those 3 players most likely on their way out, just blow it up. Trade DeAndre Jordan and that fat contract away, start fresh, try to move way up in the draft. Get some young talent. Move away from being mediocre. Even when they were at their best, it still was never good enough. They need to understand that and move away from where they are.
Blowing it up is their best option.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: Trade For Paul George
Call them up and tell them they can have anyone they want as long as you can keep that pick. Get an All-Star on your team so that you can have an All-Star player in the game next year that your hosting. He wants to be there anyway and he has made that more than known. Make the right moves, get him there. Then sign him to an extension. Get Paul George while it’s still hot that he wants to be there. The Pacers are in panic mode because they can’t even come close to beating LeBron James after a clean sweep against him. Take advantage of the panic, take advantage of all that. It is about time that they Lakers get back into being the best and feared team in the league. It has been a long time since they have been there.
Make this trade happen!
16 Memphis Grizzles: Collect Shooters
They greatly improved this season in their shooting ability but they still have a lot more growing to do. Marc Gasol did a lot to help out with this with an out of nowhere jump to 38.8% with 3.6 attempts per game and Mice Conley also made great stride from 2.5 attempts to 6.1 attempts. Mike also finished the season shooting 40.7% from three. They still have so much more room to grow especially in the Western Conference. The best part is they do not have to chase someone like Curry or Durant. There are plenty of mid-market talent for this need which include; Kyle Korver, Ersan Ilyasova, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Joe Ingles. All these players are great wing shooters that could substantially help with their 3-point needs.
Chase down the perimeter Memphis, catch up to the rest of the NBA.
15 Miami Heat: Trade For Paul George
Now there is a race for Paul George, but the Heat could be in serious contention of they could add Paul George without losing too much. The Heat could away trade Josh Richardson and Justice Winslow. These guys are great young players who could turn out to be excellent franchise players, so why would Pat Riley give them up? To invest in the now, really attack the East. It would not be the first time he gave up a couple good players for a great player, in Shaq. He gave up Lamar Odom, for one of the best players in the league, this is a similar situation. Giving up a couple good players to get Paul George. Then they would not be just outside of the playoffs anymore, but probably a three-seed in the East.
That’s the difference Paul George could have on this team.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Find A Playmaker
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only player on the player on the team with the ability to distribute the ball. He is the future, but they need to start investing in the now. So who would be a possible target? I have George Hill or Kyle Lowry in mind here. They do not have much to spend so getting a player like him would be a clear upgrade on an overpaid Matthew Dellavedova, who they should try and trade away. When Giannis is not on the floor they don’t have a great playmaker out there, and George Hill made plays left and right for the Jazz this season. Another target this offseason could be J.J. Redick, who can create off the bounce. He is also a knockdown, red-hot shooter at times. He would bring a very much need shooting presence to this team.
Find the right guy to help and they could at least make the second round next year.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Trade Ricky Rubio
I have said this for the last three years. They need to dump him while he still has a semi-high stock. Even though Kris Dunn did not blow away the competition, he just needs the playing time to develop into a great player. They could try and trade him to the Kings for a small role player, and their tenth pick, just as an example. Then they have two top-10 picks in this loaded draft. They have given enough time to him and it is time to cut it lose. They could also trade him for a very good role player and maybe some serious shooting off the bench. After getting rid of his large contract, they could bring in Derrick Rose, who won his MVP trophy playing for their Tom Thibodeau.
Please Timberwolves, get rid of Ricky Rubio.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: Trade Away One Of The All-Stars
Either DeMarcus Cousins or Anthony Davis need to go. They are not going to play well together. Their games are just too similar. As much fun as the twin towers sounds, I do not think it has the ability to work out. It sounds good to have Anthony Davis as the Defensive anchor and DeMarcus as an offensive force, but Anthony Davis is better at offensive than Cousins is. As a matter of fact, AD is just way better than DeMarcus Cousins. That’s why Anthony Davis was listed to the All-NBA First Team and DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t named to one at all. Plus, DeMarcus's ego is going to get him in way too much trouble in New Orleans, and he will probably leave when is his contract is up anyway. So I would suggest the trade DeMarcus Cousins away for an early draft pick and a solid role player, then draft a great point gaurd.
Either way, one of these two have to go.
11 New York Knicks: Fire Phil Jackson.
Please, James Dolan, do one thing right and just fire Phil Jackson. It was a cute idea to bring him in, and it has not worked out. I know you just accepted his contract extension but it was a horrible decision. The best way for them to start to turn this franchise around back into the limelight that they once were in. The only right decision that he made was bringing in Kristaps Porzingis. He has been a detriment to the team out side of that. Publically outcasting a future Hall of Famer in Carmelo Anthony. The circus of coaches he has brought in and not one of them a great coach. The apparent spy-gate situation that happened with one of the assistant coaches that absolutely destroyed the trust between the players and management. Kristaps even Skipped the exit interview because he is so upset about the way the team is being managed.
Just get this man out of New York.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: Sign Blake Griffin
They have the cap space and they need a star to play alongside Russell Westbrook. Blake could be the perfect fit. Westbrook could have a star who would take some of the load off of his back because he carried that team into the playoffs. I am surprised he doesn’t need back surgery after carrying the team like that. But Blake Griffin could possibly be a guy to take some of that load for him and be a helping hand. He has shown in his play that he has the ability to be one of the best forwards in the game. some may fear the Griffin is past his prime and would just be another weight on the Thunder. Plus, Blake should really try and get away from the mediocracy that is the Clippers. He has been stuck on that team that hasn't even made it out of the second round of the playoffs. Westbrook at least made it to the finals before losing to LeBron and the Heat.
Blake to the Thunder makes a lot of sense to me.
9 Orlando Magic: Draft Well
The Magic have already made a great offseason move by getting rid of Rob Hennigan who basically traded away Victor Oladipo and a lottery pick for Terrance Ross and a second round draft pick. There is no value in that trade. The next thing that they need to do is draft well, which they haven't done for the last five years. The new management will need to do much better. In the last five years, they have missed out on, Sabonis (traded him away), Myles Turner, Devin Booker, Julius Randle, Zach LaVine, Dario Saric (via trade), Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, Nerlens Noel, C.J. McCollum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jae Crowder, and Draymond Green. So first they need to make the right decision for once. And then not trade him away so they can start to move back towards the Finals.
Please make the right choices in the draft this year.
8 Philadelphia 76ers: Sign J.J. Redick
Hear me out here. They have the third pick, they have Ben Simmons who will be the primary ball handler, Joel Embiid who showed he has what it takes to be a real center in the league given he can stay healthy. They have Dario Saric who is most likely winning the Rookie of the Year award, and hopefully, a traded Jahlil Okafor (yeah he just needs to go and get whatever they can for him). So what are they missing? A perimeter threat. They need someone who can knock down that shot because they do not have a great shooter on this team. J.J. Reddick has always been a threat when shooting. That is exactly the player they need in order to be serious contenders and out of the draft lottery.
J.J. Redick makes perfect sense for the 76ers.
7 Phoenix Suns: Trade for Kristaps Porzingis
He wants out and Phil Jackson is probably willing to trade him. The Suns need to acquire a star to put next to Devin Booker. Now to get Porzingis the Suns would need to give up a lot, and they have a lot they should be willing to give up. The most probable trade I could think of is the Suns get Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah, while the Knicks give up Brandon Knight, Tyler Ulis, Marquese Chriss, and a top-five proctected 2018 pick. The Knicks get a Brandon Knight who needs a new team, an underpaid point guard in Ulis, a lot of potential in Marquese Chriss, a first round pick, and most importantly they dump Noah’s awful contract. The Suns get the star they need with Booker, and their fourth pick this year where they can probably sneak Jayson Taytum or Josh Jackson.
The Suns should do their best to nab Porzingis while this terrible management is in place.
6 Portland Trailblazers: Clear Cap Space
The Trailblazers don’t need to do much. That’s hard to swallow considering their first round exit. But it’s true. Once they brought in Jursuf Nurkic and how he blossomed in that little time, they just need to clear some cap space. They are estimated to bring the largest payroll next year around $142 million. That came by signing Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless, and Even Turner four year contracts. They have plenty of options that they can trade away and Nurkic will be great next year. Just needs to work a little on his defense to become an All-Star. Trading away those fat contracts for some young talent, and save some money, then they can really compete next year.
Just clear some cap space.
5 Sacramento Kings: Trade Up To The Number One Pick
This is definitely possible. Where do they Celtics have the most need? It’s their front court. Amir Johnson has not lived up to half of his contract. So the Kings could trade Willie Cauley-Stein and their 10th pick, for the number one pick. This way they could snatch up their future point guard in either Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz and still get a great player at five. Maybe Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum falling down a little or taking Jonathan Isaac a little early. Then either potential starting lineup up would look like; first pick Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, fifth pick, and Skal Labiessiere. That is a very solid lineup for a team who through in the towel last year.
The Kings might have won that DeMarcus trade, after all, let’s see if they can continue their trading success.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Sign Chris Paul and Trade LaMarcus Aldridge
I know, I am saying two things here. But they really both should be done. First off Kawhi needs some help. Chris Paul can be that in his 13th season in the league. He has fought and tried to get past the second round in the playoffs and just cannot do it. Plus with the possibility that Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili could be gone this offseason, it just makes sense. With the help of Greg Popovich and the should be MVP in Kawhi Leonard he could finally reach that mountain top of getting the championship. Trading away Aldridge has to do with how little effect he had on the year and in the playoffs. When Kawhi went down, Aldridge had a chance to step up and show why he was signed, and he just didn’t come through. He isn’t what they paid for.
Signing CP3 and trading Aldridge would definitely take the Spurs to another level in the second post-Duncan era.
3 Toronto Raptors: Re-Sign Kyle Lowry
If there has ever been a time in their franchise that they need to bring a player back it’s right now. He made the All-star team last two years. He is the leader of the team. He has been there and he has played very well while he was there. He averaged 22.4 points and 7.0 assists this season. They have been competing in the East the last two years and with the addition of Ibaka, who they are going to retain, they can definitely compete next year as well. The Raptors can offer him a five-year max deal worth over $200 million while other teams can only offer him 4-year and $150 million dollars. Is he really willing to give up $50 million dollars? That's a question only he can answer, but he has said that he want to join a winning franchise so they might have already mentally lost him, $50 million or not.
Kyle Lowry should be their number one concern.
2 Utah Jazz: Re-Sign Gordon Hayward
Do I really need to say much more? He should be their priority by far. He got an All-Star selection this year. He was able to average 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and shot 40% from three this season. He just barely missed the All-NBA selection which means he missed out on a lot of money, but all in all, they need to make sure to bring him back. He is their leader and one of the Top-20 players to lace it up this season. There is no reason to believe that he is going to believe that he will face any sort of slump next year or in the coming years, he can only get better. If the Jazz wants any sort of chance to be any kind of contender, they need Goron to come back.
Gordon Hayward is the obvious concern and priority for the Jazz.
1 Washington Wizards: Fix that Bench
They have one of the worst benches in the NBA. Don’t believe me? Washington has an average of plus-two for the Boston series. The starting lineup was plus-64. That’s amazing. All the other lineups were minus-64. That was up to Game 6. In Game 7, the bench scored five points. Not an average. Not each. The entire bench scored five points. People ask why Scott Brooks left in John Wall and Bradley Beal the entire second half. Who else was he going to put in? The bench is just terrible. Brandon Jennings was an interesting add and Bojan Bogdanovic was a great trade, but it was not enough. Their bench needs some serious juice if they have any chance of pushing through that mediocre wall and putting up a serious fight in a LeBron dominated Eastern Conference.
If they want to do better next season, they need to fix their bench big-time.