When we asked last week which Atlantic and Northwest teams have enjoyed the best offseasons of 2017, there were a handful of teams deserving of consideration. Several of the 10 teams from those divisions landed star players or deftly maneuvered the salary cap to upgrade their rosters in other ways.
In the Central division, the candidates are a little less impressive.
The Bulls and Pacers were on the other end of two of those trades that sent All-Star players to Northwest teams, with the clubs trading away Jimmy Butler and Paul George, respectively. In both cases, the return left something to be desired — Chicago received Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen, while the Pacers landed Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Indiana has at least has made some savvy moves in the weeks since the George trade, picking up Cory Joseph, Darren Collison, and Bojan Bogdanovic on affordable contracts, while the Bulls have only re-signed Cristiano Felicio and added Justin Holiday.
The defending Central – and Eastern – champions may join those two teams soon in having traded away an All-Star player, but for now Kyrie Irving remains with the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s offseason grade is probably incomplete until we see what the team does with Irving, but so far the Cavs’ summer moves have been somewhat underwhelming. The additions of players like Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Jose Calderon, and Cedi Osman were solid, but they were hardly the sort of transformative moves the clubs envisioned heading into the offseason.
The up-and-coming Bucks showed signs last season suggesting they could be an Eastern Conference force within the next year or two, but with Greg Monroe and Spencer Hawes opting into their respective contracts, Milwaukee’s flexibility to make additions has been limited. Outside of re-signing Tony Snell, the Bucks have essentially been quiet in free agency — the team’s most notable additions came in the draft, when D.J. Wilson and Sterling Brown joined the roster.
Of the five Central teams, the Pistons have perhaps been the most active in adding roster reinforcements, though your view of their offseason may hinge on how you feel about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Detroit let its top restricted free agent walk, opting to replace him by signing Langston Galloway and trading Marcus Morris for Avery Bradley. Other minor moves for the Pistons included re-signing Reggie Bullock and adding Anthony Tolliver.
What do you think? Which of the Central division teams had the best offseason? Did any of these teams take positive steps forward with their summer moves? Vote below in our poll and then jump into the comment section to share your thoughts.
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