The 2021 NBA offseason was one of the best offseason we had in a while. Even though not many superstar players move around, many role players made major moves. Last year’s playoff showed that many teams are in much need of core players that can provide support outside of the starting lineup. In today’s modern basketball, the superstar of the team isn’t enough to win a game. Players can drop 40 plus points in a game but yet still lose. That is why deep bench teams usually wins the championship. Teams such as the Lebron era Miami Heat, the Warriors from 2015-2019, and the 2020 Lakers. Each team had a deep bench that had important role players. That is why these team usually remain competitive for many years. Teams are now trying to stray away from superstar names and focus on supplying their already established team with much needed support. Let’s see what kind of moves some teams made.
Los Angeles Lakers (aka 2022 Champions)
As many people know, the Lakers traded away Harrell, Kuzma, and K.C.P for Russell Westbrook. They also lost Alex Caruso, who signed with the Chicago Bulls. With Dennis Schroder’s future with the Lakers is unclear, this means the Lakers lost 5 core players in the offseason. But the Lakers signed many veteran players this offseason, making the Lakers one of the oldest team, by average age, in the league today. The Lakers signed Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, and Dwight Howard. all 5 of these players are above the age of 30! The Lakers also got Kendrick Nunn from the Miami Heat and Malik Monk from the Charlotte Hornets. Both Nunn and Monk are great scoring guards, but both guards has been loosing minutes to their rising teammates such as Duncan Robinson and Lamelo Ball. This could mean a fresh start with the Lakers. The starting 5 could look like: Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol. The bench unit could be: Kendrick Nunn/Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington/Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. With so many people on the roster, it is likely some of these players such as Nunn, Monk, Tucker, Ellington and Bazemore minutes could be cut. The regular season will be a testing trial for the Lakers to see what fits best. Also knowing coach Vogel, he will play players best suited to play against their opponents.
Chicago Bulls (personal favorite)
The Bulls struggled for some time after losing Jimmy Butler. Since than, they weren’t considered serious contenders, even with the acquisition of Zach Lavine. Lavine is a great player, and he showed it last year by making it to the All-Star and averaged 27.4 points, on 50% shooting from the field and 41.9% from three. Lavine is a growing offensive mon-star! Last year, they traded for Magic’s star center Nikola Vucevic to help support Lavine. Now, the Chicago Bulls signed Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Demar DeRozan. Though these are great pieces to add to the team, with the other teams in the eastern conference, I’m not sure the Bulls will be a top contender. Though I do believe the Bulls will make the playoffs this year. The starting lineup is most likely going to be: Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, Demar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, and Nikola Vucevic, with Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Tomas Satoransky off the bench.
Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets
Both teams are the top dogs of the eastern conference, though the Heat did lose in the first round in last year’s playoffs. Miami signed Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris. This will most likely beef up the Heat’s lineup since they do have to compete against bigger teams in the east such the the 76ers, Nets, and Bucks. All three players will provide much needed defense for the team. The starting lineup will most likely consist of Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Markieff Morris and Bam Adebayo, with Tyler Herro, P.J. Tucker and hopfeully Victor Oladipo off the bench.
The Nets team did not change much since the team basically only consist of Kevin Durant and James Harden, with an occasional visit by Kyrie Irving. The Nets signed Patty Mills from the Spurs and James Johnson from the Pelicans (as Durant’s bodyguard). The lineup for the Nets will not change much except for these 2 coming off the bench. I don’t know what to expect from the Nets since all three superstars rarely play together at full strength. The team will most likely be heavily reliant on Harden’s playoff performance and Irving’s mood.
Many players signed an extension or re-signed this season. Curry made an historic re-sign with the Warriors, who signed their old pal Andre Iguodala back. Kawhi Leonard stayed with the Clippers to witness Playoff-P. This season should be an interesting one! I have the Lakers coming out as the champion this year and the Bucks coming back to the Finals. But I am personally rooting for the Chicago Bulls!
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Signing off, JT