With the Cavaliers going from owning the No. 1 pick of the draft this past June to being the number one pick to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy next June, it’s safe to say they’re the overwhelming choice as the team that enjoyed the NBA’s best offseason. But who finished second? Believe it or not, there were other transactions that occurred this offseason that didn’t involve LeBron James or Kevin Love. Here’s a rundown of which non-Cavs team fared the best this summer:
- Bulls: Despite losing out on the big-ticket free agents, the Bulls signed Pau Gasol, brought Nikola Mirotic over from Europe and wound up with NBA-ready Doug McDermott in the NBA Draft. These are additions to a team already good enough to tally 48 wins last season. Their most positive offseason development, however, has been the health of Derrick Rose, who is currently participating in the Basketball World Cup.
- Hornets: Charlotte built on their first playoff appearance in four years by signing ultra-talented Lance Stephenson along with Marvin Williams and Brian Roberts, all to deals that look reasonable compared to some of the monster numbers thrown around this summer. The Hornets also got what looks like great value in Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston in the draft.
- Mavericks: Where to start? The Mavs stole Chandler Parsons from a division rival, signed veteran point guard Jameer Nelson and reunited with Tyson Chandler. And don’t forget, this was the team that gave eventual champ San Antonio their toughest test in the playoffs. Dallas also retained star Dirk Nowitzki on a very team-friendly deal.
- Timberwolves: Bear with me here. If you consider the loss of Love a foregone conclusion going into the offseason, it can be argued that Minnesota did pretty well for itself, as Hoops Rumors readers displayed in a recent poll. If Andrew Wiggins is a star and Anthony Bennett progresses, the Wolves may have dodged a total rebuild. Adding Thaddeus Young in the Love deal and the high-ceiling of Zach LaVine in the draft certainly doesn’t hurt either.
- Wizards: Adding Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair while subtracting Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker may not seem like a giant net improvement on paper. However, considering the weakness of the East and the youth and potential on Washington’s roster, you can argue the Wiz positioned themselves as the best of the second tier teams in the conference. Retaining Marcin Gortat was also an important move for Washington.
- Someone else: Feel free to offer your opinion in the comments section if none of these five squads would be atop your list as the winner of the offseason’s silver medal. Maybe you think it’s the Spurs for maintaining most of their championship roster, the Knicks for convincing Carmelo Anthony to stay or even the Sixers for trying something just crazy enough to work. Regardless, we want to hear it.