Many NBA teams made a splash in the offseason thus far. Whether it be in the draft or free agency, teams made moves to either strengthen the team, or finally contend. Below are the teams that really upgraded before the 2020-21 season.
The Atlanta Hawks have been looking for a spike in productivity and it finally might be here. They have been out of playoff contention since their last appearance in 2017 and have been looking at a rebuild ever since. They have two solid young guys in Trae Young and John Collins (both averaged over 20 points last year), and brought in solid talent in the offseason. Atlanta brought in a reigning champion point guard in Rondo who can help guide Trae as the season unfolds. They added USC’s Okongwu who was easily one of the better center’s in this year’s draft and an excellent pick. They added two excellent scorers in Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari, who both are looking to show why they deserved the money they signed for. The Hawks also brought in Kris Dunn who is a solid defender and a high-upside addition. If the vets and young guys build chemistry, the Hawks could be solid.
Phoenix is in an excellent position to pick up off their red hot bubble. They upgraded the positions that they needed the most by adding a vet point guard and a hungry rookie power-forward. Adding Chris Paul gave Phoenix a much needed boost in offense and basketball IQ in general. Paul was easily the hottest name in free agency after an amazing season in OKC. He joins Booker and Ayton as the Suns look to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Another solid addition was 10th overall pick Jalen Smith. The former Maryland Terrapin averaged over 15 points and 2 blocks and brings the Suns a much needed defender. Although Phoenix lost depth getting CP3, they have a great coach and a ton of hype after their 8-0 bubble run. They can easily fight their way to an 8th seed if they add one more solid free agent.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
New Orleans not only added players, they brought in an experienced coach as well. Signing Stan Van Gundy not only adds a wise coach for the Pelicans, it gives them someone who believes in their young guys. Losing Holiday hurt but keeping Brandon Ingram leaves their leading scorer in New Orleans for a while. Trading for Adams gives them a defensive presence in the paint and a solid pick-and-roll player to help newly acquired Eric Bledsoe as well. Zion is the ticket seller and the marketing hotspot in the league so the Pelicans are really solid across the board. They just missed the playoffs last season and with a healthy Zion and excellent depth, they should be good to scrap any team.
LA decided to play mean and add the Sixth Man of the Year, and the runner-up as well. The Lakers bring in Denis Schroder who was easily one of the better catch-and-shoot guards last year. LA also added Montrezl Harrell who brings a tenacious defense and grit from across the locker room from the Clippers. They added another shooting threat when they acquired Wesley Matthews to help the loss of Danny Green. The Champs also added length and defense to their interior when they signed Marc Gasol who looks to regain his 2019 form. They lost key players like Rondo and Avery Bradley, but the Lakers are still very much the team to beat in the West. If last year was a fluke, this year is scary.