The 2015 NBA free agency has been one filled with surprises for some teams while others gained huge additions to bolster their roster in the upcoming season. With less than 48 hours before players can officially sign with teams, there could be more interesting moves to be made. Until then, RDR’s sports contributors weigh in on the biggest winners of this year’s NBA free agency thus far.
Andrew Porter, Dallas Mavericks: With the additions of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, the Dallas Mavericks are one of the more interesting teams in the Western Conference. Matthews is a nice addition, as he is a two-way player who can create his own shot and spot up behind the three-point line. Meanwhile, Jordan comes to the team looking to improve on his numbers from last year where he averaged nearly 12 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks per game. The current projected starting lineup for the Mavericks is very formidable—DeAndre Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Wesley Matthews, Raymond Felton and Devin Harris—but the Mavs still need to figure out what they are going to do about their point guard situation to solidify the lineup.
Julius Kizzee, San Antonio Spurs: It’s time to put the Spurs on the same echelon as the New York Yankees and the New England Patriots. Things just always seem to end up going their way. Let’s ignore the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge just for a moment. The Spurs managed to keep Tim Duncan for another season. He is coming off of a career-year, playing only 29 minutes per game. Danny Green is an absolute steal, seeing as the cap will be shooting up by next year. Green earned a four-year contract at $45 million. Kawhi Leonard should be an All-Star in no more than three years. Not to mention, Pop is still the coach. Aldridge just puts the cherry on top. The only question is, who lines up at the Center spot? This remains to be seen.
Perry Robinson, San Antonio Spurs: Just when you thought that this was the end of the road for a team and staff of future hall of famers, the Spurs quickly revitalized themselves as the team to beat. They will be a favorite to make a run for a championship next season. They landed the most coveted prize of free agency with the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge, providing them with a go-to scoring option and a versatile big to carry the torch for years to come. This has been a staple in the core of the Spurs’ success since the arrival of David Robinson in 1989 and Tim Duncan in 1997. With the return of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili, the resigning of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, and the addition of David West, next season looks really bright for the Spurs. A projected lineup of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge is a lineup worthy of competing for a NBA championship.
Wilton Jackson, Golden State Warriors: Some might argue to say differently but the Warriors are a free agency winner for two reasons. Like any team that wins a championship, in the offseason, other teams begin their pursuit to split up a championship team, offering huge contracts to lure players to other teams. Other than a brief scare from Draymond Green at first but who has agreed to a five-year deal worth $85 million, the Warriors managed to keep all of their pieces of their championship team together, well almost. With the departure of David Lee in a trade with the Boston Celtics for Gerald Wallace, this was an even greater pickup for them. Lee, who lost his starting job to Draymond Green due to a hamstring injury, averaged 18 points per game in the 2013-14 season with the Warriors and before this season, he averaged 15 points per game for his career. Thus, the former All-Star will definitely benefit Boston in terms of consistent production. As for Golden State, Wallace can stretch the floor, play defense; score, get rebounds and is an all-around player. While his best seasons were in Charlotte in my opinion, he will never produce those numbers consistently again. However, he brings veteran leadership and toughness to a team that already has a strong knack for winning, a mix of veteran players and youth and the toughness to get through any challenges on the court.