This NBA offseason was probably the most bizarre we’ve ever seen. The NBA draft took place November 18th, and Free Agency began on November 20th — just over a month before the actual season starts. Teams had to swiftly to fill out their rosters in preparation for training camps and the regular season. Here are the five teams who had the best offseason going into the 2020-2021 season.
The Atlanta Hawks finished 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 20-47 record before the NBA season was suspended. With budding stars Trae Young and young pieces Cam Reddish, Devin Hunter, and John Collins, the Hawks already set their foundation in place for the long haul. During the off-season they signed F Danilo Gallinari, PG Rajon Rondo, G Kris Dunn, G Bogdan Bogdonavic, and drafted F Onyeka Onkongwu with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 Draft. The Hawks added valuable and established veterans to build around Trae Young, with these additions you can expect the Hawks to make a big leap in the conference standings and possibly make a playoff push.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 championship with dominant play from Anthony Davis and 2020 Finals MVP LeBron James. The Lakers also had the least amount of days between the NBA Finals and the start of the season, with only 71 days. Although the Lakers lost vital role players in Dwight Howard, Javale Mcgee, Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo, they did add Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Dennis Schroder. However, their most significant signing was resigning Anthony Davis to a five-year max extension and re-signing LeBron James to a two-year extension. They secured the near future with two of the best players in the NBA and the next five years afterward.
The Philadelphia 76ers did a less than optimal job last offseason surrounding Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with players that fit their playstyles. Despite this season’s constant trade talk for Houston Rockets’ G James Harden, the 76ers maximized there two stars supporting cast the best they could by signing shooters Danny Green and Seth Curry along with big-man Dwight Howard, but most importantly, they traded Al Horford clearing his ______ contract. Even if this roster doesn’t work, they still are the #1 trade candidate for James Harden. Philadelphia also added NBA Champion and future Hall Of Famer head coach Doc Rivers to the mix along with one of the pioneers of basketball analytics Darryl Morey.
Phoenix made one of the biggest splashes this offseason by trading for All-Star PG Chris Paul to play alongside Devin Booker. Phoenix also signed E’Twaun Moore, Damian Jones, and Jae Crowder, who played a pivotal role in the Miami Heat NBA Finals run last season. The Suns drafted versatile F Jalen Smith with the #10 overall pick in this year’s draft. The presence of Chris Paul on last year’s Oklahoma City Thunder roster was clear, and if he can replicate that same impact with DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, Phoenix could find themselves in the playoffs this season.
New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder’s front offices did excellent jobs this offseason. Even though they both lost vital players (Chris Paul from OKC and Jrue Holiday from New Orleans), they brightened their future with New Orleans resigning Brandon Ingram to a max contract and acquiring defensive savant Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams to go along with Zion Williamson. OKC recognizes their star of the future as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and seems to be going into a small rebuild to put the proper pieces around him. They also acquired savvy veterans in Al Horford, Trevor Ariza, George Hill, and others.