Now that the MLB season is coming to a close and the NFL regular season is about halfway done, it is finally time for the long awaited return of the NBA. It has been a long offseason and some teams have been able to take advantage of some of the big names in free agency and also in the draft. There were plenty of winners in the offseason, but I’m going to narrow it down to four.

The first winner is hands down the biggest winner of the offseason and free agency: the San Antonio Spurs. The fact that they were able to retain Kawhi Leonard, obtain David West for a much below market price and add the biggest free agent of the off-season in Lamarcus Aldridge is quite amazing. This definitely makes the San Antonio Spurs in my mind the hands down favorite to win the NBA title this season.

The next winner of the off-season was the Cleveland Cavaliers. Don’t worry Cleveland, LeBron James is going to be in town for at least another two years and you will be keeping Kevin Love for even longer than that. The Cavaliers were able to sign LeBron to a two-year, $47 million dollar deal and Love to a five-year max deal worth $110 million. It is fair to say that the Cavs will be the ones to be representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this season. When it comes to the defending champions, they seem to be the same team that they were last year. Their core still includes MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Look for them to have another good season.

The next winner on my list is the Los Angeles Clippers. They made some very important deals this offseason including the acquisitions of Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson to go along with the fact that they brought back DeAndre Jordan after he was about a couple of hours away from sitting down at a table with Mark Cuban and signing a contract with the Mavs. This veteran depth is going to give the Clippers the boost that they need to compete with the Spurs and defending champion Warriors.

My last winner of the offseason is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even though they did not have any major free agent signings except for keeping Kevin Garnett over the offseason, they had the time to regain health and they also had the first overall pick in the draft. Karl Anthony Towns was the first overall pick for the T-Wolves and he has looked very impressive in the preseason and the summer league. At the beginning of this season, Ricky Rubio will be returning back as their ball-handler after an ankle injury, and rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins looks to follow up his impressive first season with an even better supporting cast.

Now, I move on to my three losers of the offseason. The first loser on my list is the Portland Trail Blazers. They lost Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez to free agency and it seems that all they have left from their run to the playoffs last year is Damian Lillard. Look for them to be closer to the bottom of the Western Conference this year.

My second loser is the Dallas Mavericks. They went all in at the beginning of the offseason when it came to the DeAndre Jordan sweepstakes and they were so close to signing him; but after taking a single phone call from the Clippers front office, the Mavs watched him go right back to the west coast. The last loser definitely had to be the New York Knicks. The best moves that Phil Jackson was able to make over the offseason was signing Robin Lopez, Derrick Williams and drafting Kristaps Porzingis. There is a lot of risk with all of those moves and I certainly do not see it making any immediate impact.

 

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