NBA offseason grades: Northwest Division
The Northwest Division didn't see the same radical changes that the Atlantic or Pacific did this summer, but the balance of power may be shifting.
Here's how each team in the questionably named division (Minnesota and Oklahoma City aren't geographically in the northwest) fared this offseason.
Note: All contract terms are reported numbers
Re-signed: C Jusuf Nurkic (4-year, $48-million contract)
While the loss of backup point guard Napier is offset by the addition of Curry, seeing Davis leave for nothing certainly hurts - and not just because of his steady consistency on the floor. Franchise centerpieces Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were reportedly unhappy with the Blazers for allowing Davis to walk after he expressed his desire to return.
A lack of financial wiggle room has proved problematic for the Blazers this summer. They're into the luxury tax thanks to irresponsible spending in 2016 - the end result of which will compensate Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard, and Maurice Harkless a combined $35 million this coming season. Portland ultimately paid to retain Nurkic in July, but the jury's still out about whether the center can ever take things to the next level.
Re-signed: PG Derrick Rose (1-year, $2.4-million contract)
Amid reports that Jimmy Butler is unhappy with his teammates and possibly plotting a free-agent exit next summer, the Timberwolves have had an underwhelming offseason. While Crawford was a bad fit in the Twin Cities, he and Bjelica were rotation players, and Tolliver is the only proven NBA contributor they've added. The Wolves did, however, re-sign Rose - and his 11.5 PER last season - to the veteran's minimum.
Draft picks: G Grayson Allen (No. 21)
Re-signed: PF Derrick Favors (2-year, $37.6-million contract), PG Raul Neto (2-year, $4.4-million contract), G Dante Exum (3-year, $33-million contract), PF Georges Niang (partially guaranteed 3-year contract), SG Naz Mitrou-Long (2-way contract)
Utah's offseason was ultimately about maintaining and retaining key components like Favors and Neto on team-friendly two-year contracts. Extending Exum may be a question mark for some, but the Jazz still have hope the No. 5 pick in the 2014 draft will blossom despite missing 166 games over the last three seasons.
Acquired: PG Isaiah Thomas (1-year, $2-million contract)
Departed: F Wilson Chandler (traded to 76ers), PF Kenneth Faried (traded to Nets), PF Darrell Arthur (traded to Nets), SF Richard Jefferson (free agency), PG Isaiah Whitehead (acquired from Nets, waived), PG Devin Harris (signed with Mavericks)
Re-signed: C Nikola Jokic (5-year, $148-million contract), SG Will Barton (4-year, $53-million contract), F Torrey Craig (partially guaranteed 3-year contract), PG Monte Morris (partially guaranteed 3-year contract)
The Nuggets had a nice little offseason, locking up Jokic and Barton while getting Thomas at the veteran's minimum. Drafting Porter could prove to be a slam dunk down the road, after injury concerns scared off 13 other teams.
It's still going to be tough for the Nuggets to reach the playoffs in a loaded West this season, and the addition of Thomas doesn't help an already sieve-like defense. But at the very least, they'll be fun to watch.
Acquired: PG Dennis Schroder, SF Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (traded from Hawks and 76ers, respectively, in 3-team deal), C Nerlens Noel (2-year, $3.8-million contract), F Abdel Nader (acquired from Celtics)
Departed: F Carmelo Anthony (traded to Hawks), PF Nick Collison (retired), SF Corey Brewer (free agency), PF Josh Huestis (free agency), G Daniel Hamilton (signed with Hawks), G PJ Dozier (signed with Celtics), C Dakari Johnson (traded to Magic), SG Rodney Purvis (acquired from Magic, traded to Celtics)
The Thunder get top marks for re-signing George alone after few believed they'd be able to. He, Russell Westbrook, and Steven Adams remain a force to be reckoned with, and the departure of the stubborn Anthony could turn out to be a case of addition by subtraction.
However, OKC's failure to address spacing this summer is a concern, and some are questioning how Schroder will integrate into a backup role behind Westbrook.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)