NBA 2022 Pt 2 Off Season’s Big Winners and Losers

Sep 10, 2022

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OFF SEASON highlights – we have now, Part Deux of winners and losers. Again, taking into account the draft, trades and free-agent signings, here is a list of 2022 offseason winners and losers.

Part 2 of why Portland Trail Blazers are “sort of” Winners

Again, to say that the Blazers continue to use a lot of small lineups would be an understatement given their defensive shortcomings in the backcourt. If they want to even threaten to enter the contender debate by the back door, they really need one more move, and it needs to be a good one.

The issue is that nobody is actually aware of their other playable cards. Nobody can truly claim with certainty that Portland is anything more than it has ever been. Because of Lillard, Portland is always a puncher’s chance team that you can never completely count out. Additionally, they now have improved balance and a few elite defenders. Given the limitations they faced, it’s a victory. They gave it their best effort. But it’s not like they’ve jumped to a higher level of competition. Sincerity dictates that this squad may yet struggle to qualify for the playoffs at all.

Now onto more winners and losers.

Winner – Gary Payton II

Payton was a non-draftee, like Dort. He played on two-way contracts, moved around the G-League, and was dropped six different times from NBA squads. Last season, he finally discovered a significant position with the Warriors. By killing it, he His current contract with the Portland Trail Blazers is for $28 million. Dream-like circumstances. 

Winner – Devin Booker

$224 million in four years was secured. Not much else to add, once more. Whatever slim chance there may have been of his being included in a Kevin Durant trade has vanished because the dude is filthy rich. Booker is currently and will likely remain in the desert, as was almost certainly always the case.

Winners – Ja Morant, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine

Now these are real $$ winners. With Memphis, Morant agreed to a maximum rookie agreement worth $193 million in guaranteed payments over five years. Based on incentives, Morant could earn up to $231M over the course of this contract. Towns received a four-year, $224 million extension that will start in 2024, locking him up for the Wolves for the following six years. LaVine has signed a five-year, $215 million deal to remain with Chicago.

Winner – Philadelphia 76ers

The bargain agreement for James Harden benefits both Harden and the Sixers, who don’t have to sign him long-term after a shaky postseason performance but also don’t lose him for nothing after trading for him. Additionally, Harden’s acceptance of a lower annual contract allowed Philadelphia to sign P.J. Tucker will be a significant upgrade for the wings in terms of depth, defense, and 3-point shooting.

A significant win for us is Tucker. He will seriously lift Philly’s defense and slot perfectly as a corner shooter for Tyrese Maxey and Harden drive-and-kicks. The Sixers have had a great offseason if you include De’Anthony Melton, who they acquired from Memphis on draft night in exchange for the No. 23 selection, and Danny Green.

Loser (not YET) – LA Lakers

The revelation that the Nets won’t trade Kevin Durant, which suggests Kyrie Irving is probably staying put as well, brought the Lakers closer to being an offseason loser. However, Indiana’s Buddy Hield and Myles Turner remain two cards in the deck that might be used to their advantage.

This offseason will have been successful if the Lakers are able to pull off the wheel and sign both Hield and Turner while letting Russell Westbrook go. Hield and Turner, in my opinion, would improve the Lakers more than Irving ever could. 

But until then, Talen Horton-Tucker for Patrick Beverley has been the Lakers’ biggest move, and they still have the Westbrook anchor wrapped around their ankle.

The Lakers spent their MLE on Lonnie Walker during free agency, even if he isn’t as talented as Malik Monk, who they lost to Sacramento. Juan Toscano-Anderson is good; he will assist. Troy Brown Jr. isn’t doing anything to change the situation. Damian Jones is a good addition, but he doesn’t shift the needle.

There wasn’t much the Lakers could do. What matters is whether the Lakers can at the very least acquire some shooting and complete a Westbrook deal. Nobody will be interested in Lonnie Walker or Damian Jones if they don’t, and they enter the following season with Westbrook serving as their starting point guard and having no discernible shooting. The Lakers are currently heading into Loserville, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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