Are NBA teams getting smarter, or am I just a ridiculously generous grader?
That's what you'll have to decide after reading through these grades for every NBA team's offseason. Personally, I feel like it's the former even though 10 teams are earning an "A-" or better.
Throughout the summer, general managers have been making financially sound decisions. Whereas bad contracts have run rampant in the past, teams are taking longer and properly analyzing their choices. For the most part.
As is always the case, there have been plenty of franchises that have failed to do what's in their best interest. You better hope your favorite team doesn't fall into that category.
Especially given the largely positive grades, that's not where you want it to be.
If you're curious, the NBA as a whole earned a 3.01 GPA this offseason, using the University of Georgia's plus/minus grading scale.
Note: Key additions and losses are modified versions of what originally appeared in Dan Favale's record projections.
2012-13 Record: 57-25
Key Additions: Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson and Nate Robinson
Key Losses: Corey Brewer and Andre Iguodala
The Denver Nuggets had an absolutely miserable offseason.
First came the off-court moves, as head coach George Karl was inexplicably fired and the Toronto Raptors gained the services of general manager Masai Ujiri. Both of those may not affect the depth chart in the Mile High City, but they certainly impact the level of success both now and in the future.
Next came the players themselves.
While acquiring Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson and Nate Robinson are all quality finds—to varying degrees, of course—they aren't enough to make up for losing Corey Brewer and Andre Iguodala.
It's not like Denver is replacing one All-Star with another. Instead, the Nuggets are trying to fill in the holes left by an All-Star and an emerging defensive stud with a role-playing center, a great sixth man and another marginal role player.
Even the return of Danilo Gallinari won't be enough to push this team back into contention. The Nuggets may even struggle to make the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference.
2012-13 Record: 60-22
Key Additions: Steven Adams
Key Losses: Kevin Martin
The Oklahoma City Thunder were already above the salary cap before attempting to re-sign Kevin Martin, which made finding a replacement an impossibility once the sixth man signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As a result, the Thunder have to look internally. Either Reggie Jackson or Jeremy Lamb will have to step up and carry the scoring load for the second unit.
The only key addition is really more of a minor one. While Steven Adams could eventually become a big contributor, he's not exactly an NBA-ready prospect, and he'll basically function as an extremely limited big body during his rookie season.
The Thunder will get better than they were in the postseason once Russell Westbrook returns, but they didn't make any moves to secure their spot at the top of the Western Conference.
2012-13 Record: 38-44
Key Additions: Carlos Delfino, Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachulia and Luke Ridnour
Key Losses: Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick
The Milwaukee Bucks are doing a great job setting themselves up to have a miserable record and a solid shot at winning the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes.
However, they're doing an awful job of building a quality roster to surround Wiggins with if they even manage to win the lottery.
Swapping Brandon Jennings for Brandon Knight was an interesting move geared toward the future, but nothing else was too positive. O.J. Mayo and Carlos Delfino are both solid players, but neither will blow you away.
The Zaza Pachulia signing doesn't make sense either, as Larry Sanders, John Henson and Ekpe Udoh were already prepared to hold down the fort in the paint.
Milwaukee just doesn't seem to be operating with a plan.
2012-13 Record: 45-37
Key Additions: Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman, Ryan Kelly and Nick Young
Key Losses: Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace
The Los Angeles Lakers' offseason was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, the Purple and Gold heavily pursued Dwight Howard and failed to secure his services. He spurned the team for the Houston Rockets, and the Lakers were left up a creek without a paddle.
It would have been easy for general manager Mitch Kupchak to give up on the 2013-14 campaign and start preparing to tank. But he refused to do so, and that's where the second half of the offseason began.
During that portion, the Lake Show picked up value signings, highlighted by acquiring Chris Kaman and Nick Young for cheap contracts. Now the Lakers are poised to remain moderately competitive and at least have a shot at the postseason in a brutal Western Conference.
So, let's give the Lakers an "F" for the first half and an "A-" for the second. That means the overall grade is...
2012-13 Record: 34-48
Key Additions: Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams
Key Losses: Jrue Holiday, Dorell Wright and Nick Young
The Philadelphia 76ers did a great job preparing for the long-term future, but the present is going to be Ugly. Yes, that's "Ugly" with a capital "U."
My problem with the Sixers' offseason is that they traded away young, established talent for potential. It would be different if Jrue Holiday were 30 years old already, but he's still just 23 and won't turn 24 until after the 2013-14 campaign is over.
And he already made the All-Star squad!
For all the hoopla about Nerlens Noel and Andrew Wiggins—the ultimate target of this offseason for Philly—there's no guarantee that either will ever be as good as Holiday is right now. That's always the danger with an offseason like this one, and the Sixers left no out for themselves.
I could very well look back on this grade and seriously regret it two years from now. Quite frankly, I hope I do.
2012-13 Record: 31-51
Key Additions: Corey Brewer, Gorgui Dieng, Kevin Martin and Shabazz Muhammad
Key Losses: Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour
The Minnesota Timberwolves needed help on the wings, and that's exactly what they found.
Kevin Martin is a great addition, although he's limited by his defensive ability. His three-point shooting and size will both be welcome changes to the 2-guard spot for Minnesota. Shabazz Muhammad and Corey Brewer will also contribute to varying degrees.
Signing Gorgui Dieng also helps add some depth at center, and the defense won't take a step backward when Nikola Pekovic needs a rest. Well, that's assuming the stalemate eventually ends and Pek actually signs with the 'Wolves.
Until that happens, Minnesota can't really have a positive grade. At the moment, general manager Flip Saunders technically doesn't have a starting center to work with.
Once Pekovic is officially on the roster, the grade becomes a "B+."
2012-13 Record: 41-41
Key Additions: DeJuan Blair, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Monta Ellis and Devin Harris
Key Losses: Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo
The Dallas Mavericks had an...interesting offseason.
While the team did get a little bit better by upgrading at point guard, remaining fairly solid at shooting guard and maintaining depth at center, the current team pales in comparison to the expected one.
Chris Paul and Dwight Howard were the primary targets going into the offseason.
Did either of them work out for Mark Cuban's franchise?
Nope, as the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets just had to get in the way. The backup options didn't pan out so well either, and the Mavs only signed players after the rest of the NBA had acquired their desired pieces.
So now they're left with a marginally upgraded version of the team that barely missed the playoffs. Is that really what Dirk Nowitzki wants as he continues to head into the twilight of his career? Is it going to be enough to convince him to stay once his contract expires at the end of the year?
The lack of definitive answers to those two questions prevents this from being a successful offseason.
2012-13 Record: 45-37
Key Additions: Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell
Key Losses: Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton and Nate Robinson
The Chicago Bulls didn't do much to get better.
They lost a great deal of three-point shooting—already a weakness for this Eastern Conference contender—through the departures of Marco Belinelli, Rip Hamilton and Nate Robinson. Mike Dunleavy will help make up for some of it, but certainly not all.
Tony Snell may be a great player down the road, but he's not going to make immediate contributions either. Although he's a player who seems like a natural fit for a Tom Thibodeau system, he's just too raw to be counted on heavily by a squad hoping to dethrone the Miami Heat.
Particularly troubling is the lack of true shooting guards on the roster. Jimmy Butler is expected to start at the 2, but someone will have to play out of position to back him up. It may be either Dunleavy or Kirk Hinrich, but the Bulls will be hurt whenever Butler needs a rest.
Of course, none of this matters too much because Derrick Rose will be suiting up again in 2013-14.
2012-13 Record: 56-26
Key Additions: Kosta Koufos and Mike Miller
Key Losses: Darrell Arthur
The Memphis Grizzlies picked up some nice value by signing Kosta Koufos and then acquiring Mike Miller after the sharpshooter was amnestied by the Miami Heat.
Koufos will be a capable backup for Marc Gasol, while Miller is one of the few players on the roster actually capable of consistently hitting open looks from the perimeter. But are either of them enough to put the Grizzlies over the top?
Memphis needed to shake things up this offseason, even if it meant trading away Zach Randolph for some fresh players. The Grizzlies are close to being elite, but they aren't there yet, and none of these offseason moves changed things.
It's harsh, but value signings only matter for playoff teams when they're ready for those small pushes that get them over the top. Memphis isn't in that situation.
2012-13 Record: 28-54
Key Additions: Carl Landry, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ben McLemore and Greivis Vasquez
Key Losses: Tyreke Evans
The Sacramento Kings' additions look good on the surface level.
Greivis Vasquez is a great, underrated point guard who distributes the ball as well as anyone. Ben McLemore is one of the top prospects in this rookie class, as he has drawn many legitimate comparisons to Ray Allen. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is one of the best wing defenders around, and Carl Landry is a valuable bench contributor at power forward.
However, the Kings lost their second-best player and have successfully created logjams at just about every position.
Having a lot of depth is good when you're a contender, but it can be problematic when there aren't enough stars to push a team into the playoffs. Right now, DeMarcus Cousins is the only star.
Sacramento is another team that seems to be making moves for the sake of doing so, not because there's a long-term plan to follow.
2012-13 Record: 34-48
Key Additions: D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and Tyler Hansbrough
Key Losses: Andrea Bargnani
The Toronto Raptors made their big splash last season when they traded for Rudy Gay. The effects will certainly carry over to this season and keep the team in postseason contention for a long time.
But that doesn't count here, so the most prominent move involved sending Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks.
In return, general manager Masai Ujiri managed to land some draft picks and a valuable sharpshooter to use off the bench. It's certainly a nice haul for the former No. 1 pick, given his extreme lack of per-inch defensive and rebounding abilities.
D.J. Augustin and Tyler Hansbrough will both give the Raptors some depth, but neither will truly serve as a difference-maker. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Augustin lost his backup role to Dwight Buycks rather early on in the proceedings.
2012-13 Record: 21-61
Key Additions: Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson
Key Losses: None
From a talent perspective, the Charlotte Bobcats did a great job upgrading the lineup.
Al Jefferson has the potential to be the best player in franchise history, and he'll be a terrific cornerstone for the next few years as the young players continue to develop.
And speaking of young players, how about Cody Zeller?
He's already starting to look like a solid pick at No. 4, even if the pick was largely greeted with criticism at the time. I'll admit that I'm guilty as charged in that respect.
Zeller thrived in summer league, and he's showing exactly why his game was always more suited for the NBA than NCAA. The expanded three-point line and uptempo style will both serve him well.
Charlotte may no longer be one of the absolute worst teams in the NBA, and that's the only problem here. The Bobcats simply picked the wrong year to take a step forward, as it would have been far more beneficial to maximize the value of their first-round draft pick during a year that promises a stacked class of incoming rookies.
2012-13 Record: 58-24
Key Additions: Marco Belinelli and Deshaun Thomas
Key Losses: Gary Neal
The key moves for the San Antonio Spurs weren't additions or losses. Instead, they involved re-signing crucial players (Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter).
General manager R.C. Buford didn't have too much money to spend after that, so he couldn't do more than acquire Marco Belinelli, which is such a San Antonio move. Mark my words, we'll be looking at Belinelli as a steal. He fits in perfectly with the Spurs by playing system defense and draining corner three-pointers.
Other than that, San Antonio's offseason was rather nondescript. Deshaun Thomas could be a good scorer, but he's a limited, one-dimensional player who doesn't seem to be the type of guy willing to buy into the offense-by-committee method.
My biggest problem with San Antonio's moves was that they were simply too safe. I'd rather have seen the Spurs take a chance and target someone like Josh Smith or Monta Ellis, counting on head coach Gregg Popovich to help maximize their preponderance of potential instead of promoting their periodic proclivity for poor performances.
The phrase "nothing ventured, nothing gained" could soon apply during what is likely Tim Duncan's swan song.
2012-13 Record: 29-53
Key Additions: Chauncey Billups, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith
Key Losses: Jose Calderon and Brandon Knight
The Detroit Pistons are the front-runners for the most confusing offseason.
On one hand, they managed to massively upgrade the level of talent on the roster. But then again, none of it appears likely to fit together.
Josh Smith is an incredible talent, even if he's an infuriating player with no conscience to prevent him from taking ill-advised shot attempts. The same can be said about Brandon Jennings, whom the Pistons acquired in a sign-and-trade that sent Brandon Knight to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Together, the two have the potential to shoot the Pistons into or out of any game.
Plus, the acquisition of Smith means that Detroit is planning on either playing him at the 3 (a terrible idea) or forcing Andre Drummond to the bench (a similarly terrible idea).
You have to commend president Joe Dumars for spending money to improve the Pistons, but let's temper the expectations.
2012-13 Record: 20-62
Key Additions: Jason Maxiell and Victor Oladipo
Key Losses: None
The Orlando Magic are going to surprise a lot of people in 2013-14.
Not only will they have a full season of Tobias Harris on the roster, but they also won't be tanking as heavily and get to add Victor Oladipo to the backcourt rotation. The former Hoosier is my pick for Rookie of the Year, especially after he showed off an impressive jumper throughout summer league.
General manager Rob Hennigan didn't need to make any major splashes in free agency. He doesn't want to upgrade this team too much before the stacked 2014 NBA draft takes place.
Everything about this offseason was carefully calculated, and the math looks like it's going to be working out down the road.
2012-13 Record: 29-53
Key Additions: Eric Maynor and Otto Porter
Key Losses: None
The Washington Wizards just needed to keep their key players and add a new small forward.
And that's exactly what they did.
After Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor decided to hang around in D.C. for a shot at the playoffs, the Wizards retained Martell Webster. By doing so, they preserved the three-point shooting prowess of the squad and kept a great locker-room presence to mentor the young guns.
Washington also drafted Otto Porter, an NBA-ready small forward whose versatility on both ends of the court will be quite valuable to the postseason push.
The key for Washington is health, though. And that's exactly why the Wizards didn't need to make any big moves.
As long as Bradley Beal and John Wall remain healthy, the Wiz kids are in great shape for the 2013-14 campaign.
2012-13 Record: 41-40
Key Additions: MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk and Gerald Wallace
The Boston Celtics seemed to have found a nice draft-day steal.
Kelly Olynyk dominated the competition during summer league, and it seems as though he'll be a heck of an offensive player. Defense and rebounding aren't so promising, but it's not like the C's expected a perfect prospect so late in a weak draft.
Of course, the big news in Beantown revolves around a few superstars named Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
The Celtics accepted that they needed to start rebuilding, and they did exactly that. Between the draft picks they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets, the quality role players and a high-potential shooting guard (MarShon Brooks), the return haul was fairly nice. Nothing outstanding, but pretty nice.
Add in the hiring of a promising young coach, Brad Stevens, and this offseason emerges as a positive one for a former contender.
Just not an extremely positive one.
2012-13 Record: 25-57
Key Additions: Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, Archie Goodwin, Gerald Green, Alex Len and Miles Plumlee
Key Losses: Jared Dudley and Luis Scola
The Phoenix Suns had an impressive offseason, one that should start them on the path out of the Western Conference basement.
Phoenix's summer movement was highlighted by two trades.
First, the Suns essentially swapped Jared Dudley for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler, giving them a potential franchise point guard who can immediately be paired with Goran Dragic in the desert. They also traded Luis Scola to the Indiana Pacers for Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green, adding young depth in both the backcourt and frontcourt.
Add in Archie Goodwin, a steal of a draft pick based on his summer league performance, and Alex Len, who should at least be a solid big man, and Phoenix did a nice job.
The grade is only tempered by the lack of guarantees.
Phoenix is still playing around with ceilings, and while the roof was raised, the Suns are still a long way from getting to it.
2012-13 Record: 33-49
Key Additions: Robin Lopez, C.J. McCollum, Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright
Key Losses: J.J. Hickson
The Portland Trail Blazers went into the offseason with two main priorities.
First, they needed to upgrade at center after J.J. Hickson hit the market as an unrestricted free agent.
No problems there, as they went in on the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade and wound up with Robin Lopez at center. The long-haired Stanford product might not be the most glamorous player, but he's one of the premier pick-and-roll defenders in the league, and he plays efficient offensive basketball.
Secondly, Rip City needed to upgrade the league's worst bench. They did just that by adding C.J. McCollum, Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright. None of them are going to be standouts in 2013-14, but they're all solid players who helped Portland achieve its goal.
The Blazers had a successful offseason, but I have to grade them as I would a student who just skated by. Sure, the student may have met the criteria I'm looking for, but only barely, and sometimes just for the sake of doing so.
2012-13 Record: 54-28
Key Additions: Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace
Key Losses: Chris Copeland and Steve Novak
The New York Knicks did a great job adding and retaining talent, but now we get to see how well everything fits together.
I have my questions about how well Carmelo Anthony can play small forward after he spent a season dominating at the 4, but Andrea Bargnani's ability to spread the court at power forward will keep some semblance of spacing present in Madison Square Garden.
New York still needs to add more depth given the injury-prone nature of many rotation players, but it's hard to find fault with what it did. The Knicks didn't have much money to work with, but they still maintained their status as a playoff lock in the weaker Eastern Conference.
Now it's time to shift the focus and do everything possible to appease 'Melo.
2012-13 Record: 44-38
Key Additions: Elton Brand, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroeder
Key Losses: Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith
It's easy to understand why some people think the Atlanta Hawks got worse during the offseason. That's what happens when you lose a player of Josh Smith's caliber.
However, it's a shortsighted analysis, one that doesn't look at the fact that general manager Danny Ferry brought in intriguing pieces for the future and subtly allowed the roster to improve.
Paul Millsap and Elton Brand can make up for Smoove and Zaza Pachulia's production, and Millsap will be much more consistent than Smith ever was. Dennis Schroeder gives the backcourt even more depth, and every other key piece returned.
Plus, Lou Williams will be healthy. Don't forget just how impactful he was before tearing his ACL, even if he has been out of the news for a while now.
Atlanta didn't make a single bad move during the offseason. While the Hawks may not have taken any steps toward immediate title contention, they did preserve their spot in the playoffs while making the future significantly brighter.
2012-13 Record: 27-55
Key Additions: Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Greg Stiemsma
Key Losses: Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez
The New Orleans Pelicans did a fantastic job gaining more talent.
After trading away the rights to Nerlens Noel for an established All-Star point guard (Jrue Holiday), the front office completed a sign-and-trade that sent Greivis Vasquez away and brought in Tyreke Evans.
All of a sudden, the Pelicans boasted a fantastic set of guards. A newly happy Eric Gordon—both because of playing with former AAU friends and actually being surrounded by talent—paired with Evans and Holiday makes for one of the premier trios in the NBA.
The Pelicans had money to spend, and they spent it economically, figuring out a way to remain moderately competitive without paying a tax. This team is only going to continue getting better.
2012-13 Record: 66-16
Key Additions: Greg Oden
Key Losses: Mike Miller
The Miami Heat didn't need to do anything this offseason. They're coming off back-to-back championships, and all the major pieces are still in place.
I wouldn't call James Ennis a key addition quite yet, but he could be a valuable "three-and-D" guy down the road, and I was already calling him a potential draft steal before he landed with a team that's perfectly suited to his talents.
The big move was signing Greg Oden. It's a low-risk, high-reward signing.
Worst case, Oden gets injured again, and the Heat are left with just as little frontcourt depth as they had before signing the Ohio State product. But best case, they get a limited—but still dominant—defensive center who thrives on the boards and has the size necessary to match up with the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.
It's hard to complain about that.
2012-13 Record: 49-33
Key Additions: Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, Mason Plumlee and Jason Terry
Key Losses: MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace
How do you not love what owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the Brooklyn Nets did during the offseason?
Well, the answer is simple: You could be a fan of a rival team.
But that's the only explanation, because the Nets did a remarkable job upgrading the lineup throughout the offseason.
From making a nice value pick (Mason Plumlee) to acquiring two former superstars (Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce) to adding depth across the board, Brooklyn fired away and hit each and every target. This team immediately became a true contender, even if the luxury-tax bill is higher than every one in NBA history.
There's only one reason the Nets can't earn an "A+."
While Jason Kidd may develop into a quality bench boss down the road, it's not a good idea to have a first-year head coach steering an elderly and largely new roster toward a championship. We have no clue how effective he'll be on the sidelines, and that's a risk Brooklyn shouldn't have been taking with a wide-open title window that may slam shut in the near future.
2012-13 Record: 45-37
Key Additions: Marcus Camby and Dwight Howard
Key Losses: Carlos Delfino
The Houston Rockets appeared to be just one piece away from becoming true contenders when they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Well, it looks like they may have found it.
Dwight Howard is a massive piece for any organization, much less one that already boasts the services of James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik. He can push this team over the top, especially if the Rockets can turn Asik into a great power forward either via a trade or internal development.
That was really the only goal of the offseason, and the Rockets met it.
2012-13 Record: 49-32
Key Additions: Chris Copeland, Solomon Hill, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson
Key Losses: Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin
The Indiana Pacers had one of the worst second units in basketball, but that's no longer true.
Miami better be quivering right now, because C.J. Watson is an upgrade over D.J. Augustin (even though C comes before D in the alphabet) and Luis Scola is an improvement over Tyler Hansbrough.
Add in an exciting rookie (Solomon Hill) and a capable backup small forward (Chris Copeland), and everything is looking great for Indiana.
Remember, the Pacers get Danny Granger back from injury as well, which gives them one of the better benches in the NBA.
How's that for a drastic turnaround?
2012-13 Record: 43-39
Key Additions: Trey Burke, John Lucas III and Brandon Rush
Key Losses: Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap
The Utah Jazz did exactly what any non-contending team should do: fully commit to the rebuilding process.
Instead of using their financial flexibility to add free agents who wouldn't help do anything but keep them from earning top lottery odds, the Jazz instead made things happen for the Golden State Warriors by eating the expensive contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson.
By doing so, they also gained the services of Brandon Rush, whom most NBA fans have seemingly forgotten about after he missed the bulk of 2012-13 with a torn ACL.
The Jazz also committed to the young players on the roster, including this year's first-round pick, Trey Burke. He, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter will now all have a chance to learn on the job.
Teams can be bad and still earn great grades. Immediate success and smart front-office management are not always connected.
2012-13 Record: 24-58
Key Additions: Anthony Bennett, Andrew Bynum, Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev
Key Losses: Marreese Speights
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a strange choice at No. 1 when they selected Anthony Bennett and surprised the NBA world. Surprised might be an understatement, as I legitimately can't remember a single prominent mock draft that had the UNLV standout in the top spot.
However, every other move has been an incredibly positive one.
Earl Clark and Sergey Karasev by themselves won't make much noise at small forward. But combined, they present a viable option at the 3 for this wing-deficient team. Karasev isn't the typical international rookie who needs time to develop, as his offensive game is ready to immediately translate.
At point guard, the Cavs made one of the most underrated signings of the offseason. Somehow, acquiring Jarrett Jack flew under the radar, even though it's a key move. Jack provides Cleveland with a veteran presence and a solid insurance policy if Kyrie Irving gets injured.
Finally, there was the signing of Andrew Bynum, which was basically a masterclass in risk management. With only $6 million guaranteed, Bynum is either going to be a key contributor to the Cavs' playoff hopes or a rather inexpensive mistake.
2012-13 Record: 47-35
Key Additions: Toney Douglas, Andre Iguodala, Jermaine O'Neal and Marreese Speights
Key Losses: Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry
The Golden State Warriors may have lost two key bench players from the 2012-13 campaign, but that didn't prevent them from making the leap into the realm of true contenders.
Acquiring a player like Andre Iguodala without giving up anything but expiring contracts and draft picks tends to do that. Although Iggy presumably pushes Harrison Barnes into a sixth-man role, his ball-handling skills and perimeter defense make the Dubs significantly more dangerous.
The Warriors also added a lot more depth by signing Toney Douglas, Jermaine O'Neal and Marreese Speights. All three of those players are surprisingly effective, especially O'Neal, whose career appears to be rejuvenated after playing under the Phoenix Suns' magical training staff.
Golden State now features one of the most dangerous starting fives in the NBA: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut. Even scarier is the fact that the second unit—Douglas, summer league standout Kent Bazemore, Barnes, Speights and O'Neal—doesn't appear half bad either.
2012-13 Record: 56-26
Key Additions: Reggie Bullock, Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Byron Mullens and J.J. Redick
Key Losses: Chauncey Billups, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler
Don't sleep on the Los Angeles Clippers as candidates for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Priority No. 1 was re-signing Chris Paul, and the Clippers did that right after hiring Doc Rivers as the new head coach. That's a great example of killing two birds with one stone.
But the Clippers weren't done yet. They traded Eric Bledsoe for Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick, drafted Reggie Bullock and signed both Darren Collison and Byron Mullens.
All of those are key moves, both for spacing the court and providing depth. Expect each of them—even Mullens—to make sizable impacts during the 2013-14 season, especially the two established shooters. L.A. was a good three-point shooting team, but it certainly wasn't a great one.
That changes now, and the shift opens things up for CP3's drives and Blake Griffin's expanding post game.
If you're looking for the biggest winners of the offseason, you've found them.