This past spring, the Bulls, Wizards, Magic, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, and 76ers all failed to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, finishing in the lottery. All seven of those teams have been very active so far this offseason, signing free agents and adding players to their roster via trades and/or the draft.
The Bulls and Knicks have perhaps been the most visible of the Eastern lottery teams in recent weeks, beginning with the five-player trade they completed that sent Derrick Rose to New York and Robin Lopez to Chicago. Since then, the Bulls have added Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in free agency, while the Knicks have signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings, among others.
The two lottery teams from the Southeast – the Wizards and Magic – have also undergone some roster upheaval this summer. Washington re-upped restricted free agent Bradley Beal and made changes elsewhere, bringing in Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, and Jason Smith, while letting go of Nene, Jared Dudley, and Ramon Sessions. Orlando was even more active, re-signing Evan Fournier, trading for Serge Ibaka, and adding D.J. Augustin, Jeff Green, and Bismack Biyombo.
The Bucks have been a little quieter, but they secured a pair of solid role players in free agency, signing Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. They also drafted Thon Maker, adding another athletic prospect with upside to a promising young core.
Like Milwaukee, the Sixers didn’t make a huge splash, but with Gerald Henderson, Jerryd Bayless, and Sergio Rodriguez entering the mix, the rebuilding franchise has more of a veteran presence. And if Dario Saric finalizes a deal with Philadelphia, the club feels it has three players – Saric, Joel Embiid, and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons – capable of competing for the Rookie of the Year award.
Finally, the Nets missed out on two RFA targets, when their offer sheets for Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe were matched. Their other free agent signings, including Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez, Trevor Booker, Luis Scola, and Justin Hamilton – have been modest.
Today’s discussion question focuses on these seven teams, and their offseason transactions. Which team do you think improved the most? Which series of moves do you like best? Which of these non-playoff teams do you think is most likely to end up qualifying for the postseason next spring?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the Bulls, Wizards, Magic, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, and Sixers. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.