NBA Free Agents 2013: Grading Best and Worst Moves of the Offseason
The NBA’s moratorium on transactions will finally end on Wednesday, opening the floodgates for the multitude of signings and trades that were previously agreed upon to go through.
With so many deals happening and new contracts being doled out, it is inevitable that some are much fairer than others.
We're here to sort through it all and highlight the best—and worst—moves of the offseason so far. Keep reading to find out which transactions made the cut and how they grade out.
Best: Nets Acquire Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from Celtics
The Brooklyn Nets have gone all-in on winning a championship this summer, agreeing to flip three first-round picks, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph and Keith Bogans to the Boston Celtics for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.
The blockbuster move changes the landscape of power in the Eastern Conference, as the Nets—on paper—appear to be the top challengers to the back-to-back champion Miami Heat.
Pierce, KG and Terry all bring plenty of experience and veteran know-how to the table, especially against LeBron James and Co.
The “Big Three”-era C’s dismantled King James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and valiantly fought against his Heat in the 2012 playoffs.
JET was instrumental to the Dallas Mavericks’ 2011 championship run, in which they knocked out Miami in an epic Finals showdown.
Now the trio joins Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez in Brooklyn, forming one of the most balanced and powerful rosters in the league.
Expect the Nets to challenge for the best record next season and make a serious push to win a championship.
Runner-Up: Clippers Sign Darren Collison to Two-Year, $3.8 Million Contract
The Los Angeles Clippers also tapped into the Celtics pool of talent to improve their team this offseason, trading for 2008 championship-winning coach Doc Rivers.
It was a bold move but enabled them to get a long-term commitment from superstar point guard Chris Paul. However, the club needed to jettison backup Eric Bledsoe, as the prolific reserve was owed a big contract next season.
Which deal was better?
In addition to bringing in Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick to bolster the rotation, the Clips managed to find enough space to ink Collison to a two-year contract at a great price.
While the point guard is coming off a rough few seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers, he thrived as CP3’s teammate and understudy during their time with the New Orleans Hornets.
If Collison can return to form in L.A., he will be a big part of their quest to win the West.
Worst: Bucks Sign Zaza Pachulia to Three-Year, $15.6 Million Contract
The Milwaukee Bucks should have been gutting their roster and preparing for a full-scale rebuilding/tanking effort in 2013-14, which makes the relatively pricey acquisition of Pachulia downright foolish.
With starting shooting guard Monta Ellis likely to depart as an unrestricted free agent and trade deadline pickup J.J Redick moving to L.A. as part of the aforementioned Bledsoe deal—in exchange for second-round picks—two of the main pieces from last year’s squad will be gone.
Milwaukee scored a decent talent in O.J. Mayo and gave him a three-year, $24 million deal, which isn’t a bad value for a quality starter. Mayo could also be part of the team’s long-term future, making it a somewhat understandable transaction.
The franchise went too far with Pachulia’s offer, as the veteran center is getting paid a starter’s salary to play backup minutes on what appears to be non-playoff team.
While he’s a great addition to a quality squad, he just isn’t a fit with the Bucks at this juncture.
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