The Jazz took home the Northwest division crown in 2016/17, finishing with a 51-31 record despite having several key players miss time due to injuries. However, with Gordon Hayward heading from Utah to Boston this summer, and several other Northwest teams making impact moves, things look a little more wide open in the division as the 2017/18 season nears.
The Timberwolves struck first, acquiring Jimmy Butler in a blockbuster draft-day trade that sent Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and a draft pick to Chicago. Having traded for Butler, the Wolves continued to stock up on veterans in free agency, adding Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford to a young core that already features Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
With one All-Star Eastern forward headed to Minnesota, the Thunder worked quickly to snag another, reaching a deal with the Pacers that saw Paul George land in Oklahoma City. It was an impressive move by Sam Presti, who didn’t appear to have the assets necessary to make the winning bid for George. The team’s strong offseason continued in free agency, as OKC secured Patrick Patterson on a very affordable contract and re-signed standout defender Andre Roberson.
A third All-Star made the move from the Eastern Conference to the Northwest division when the Nuggets locked up Paul Millsap to a three-year contract in free agency. Denver lost longtime forward Danilo Gallinari, but the addition of Millsap creates a formidable frontcourt duo, as the former Hawk will be paired with Nikola Jokic.
The Trail Blazers have had a quiet offseason, but did make a few moves of note, drafting big men Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan in June and then slicing their projected tax bill in a massive way by trading Allen Crabbe to the Nets.
Meanwhile, the defending division champs recovered nicely from losing Hayward and George Hill. The Jazz re-signed Joe Ingles, and Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefolosha, Donovan Mitchell, Jonas Jerebko, and Ekpe Udoh are among the new additions who will contribute to the 2017/18 squad.
What do you think? Which Northwest team had the best offseason? Weigh in below with your vote and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts.
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