The teams that are in the Northwest Division are the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers, and finally the Denver Nuggets. I’ll be grading each team’s offseason signings and rate how they did this offseason including which players they lost, who they signed, who they drafted, and also they may have traded for. All these things will be evaluated for their grade.
Jazz fans most definitely didn’t have the best offseason that’d they hope for but given that their star player walked away. At most though I’ll give Dennis Lindsey a lot of credit though for still pulling through. Drafting Donovan Mitchell at the 13th pick proved to be excellent for the Jazz as he proved critics wrong AND sincerely has a chance at the ROTY award.
Then we can move along at a brilliant trade for the Jazz. They managed to get Ricky Rubio for nothing. Rubio is an excellent pass-first point guard and Jazz fans can get very excited for a Rubio-Gobert pick-roll that can destroy defenses.
Lindsey then went on a shopping spree resigning Joe Ingles on a four-year deal which will also prove deadly since he’s not only a great defender but also a high three-point percentage shooter with an astonishing 41%. He also signed Jonas Jerebko who’s always been a bench player but can always explode scoring 15 points a night. Expect him to either start or become a key player on the second unit.
He also signed Thabo Sefolosha which is another veteran who can also score. Finally, he also signed rim protector Ekpe Udoh who got his career restarted in the EuroLeague. He’s a great add especially to Gobert since he can mentor him since they are very similar. Both are great defensively and both average nearly the same amount of points.
Overall the Jazz are not rebuilding and most definitely not tanking.
This team practically transformed from being a low-seeded playoff team at best to “a force to be reckon with” in the West overnight. Started on draft night when Minnesota traded for Jimmy Butler for Zach Lavine and Kris Dunn which proved to be “not the hype.”
Now, alone having already great young players in Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins plus Jimmy as their veteran leader was enough BUT no! They continued their spree signing Jeff Teague as a great passer and also scoring point-guard. Then they stole Taj Gibson to reunite with Jimmy from their old Bulls days. And then finally they signed Jamal Crawford who may be 37 years old BUT shouldn’t fool you since he still scores 12.7 PPG last year. All these signings will prove to be critical to their success ESPECIALLY in the playoffs if they plan on making it DEEP into the playoffs.
Oklahoma City Thunder:
After suffering from last offseason losing star Kevin Durant to the Warriors and then watching Russell Westbrook LITERALLY carry OKC to the playoffs, fans were most definitely disappointed. Then days into free agency with rumors rumoring about Paul George to the Cleveland Cavaliers or to the Los Angles Lakers, OKC fans must’ve been confused on why the hell were they were pulling nobody. But then on June 30th Sam Presti worked his magic and traded Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis for Paul George.
Then Sam Presti continued by trying to sign Rudy Gay but then that didn’t work out so they signed Patrick Patterson to a three-year deal which will help OKC by stretching the floor and playing above average defense. They then resigned Andre Roberson their main defensive threat who’s can tackle anyone who with the addition of Paul George shouldn’t be relied on to score that much. They also got their much needed backup point-guard in Raymond Felton who will hopefully lead the second unit. Finally OKC has signed some small names such as Dakari Johnson a forward who just last year averaged 18 PPG and 8 RPG just last year in the G-League. Of course Nick Collinson was also resigned on a 1-year deal to retire his career respectively.
Probably the most disappointing team out of all these teams during this offseason would be the Blazers. To be truthful the highlight for them would be either the Carmelo Anthony rumors or the Summer League championship loss to the Lakers lead by Kuzma.
Though competing with Donovan Mitchell, Caleb Swannigan could potentially be the steal of the draft. And also Zach Collins who for the most of the Summer League didn’t even play.
Another thing that the Blazers haven’t managed to do is offer an extension to Jusuf Nurkic who just had the greatest point in his career with the Blazers after being traded averaging a double-double.
Overall the Blazers haven’t done anything major and remain with slightly the exact same team as last year.
Denver definitely had a surprising offseason. They managed to get Paul Millsap and depending who’s starts, the Nuggets will still manage to have a great front court with Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic, or Paul Millsap.
Besides that they signed Torrey Craig who impressed all averaging 13 PPG in this year’s Summer League.
Denver has a lot of potential and they made a big hit move which we’ll see if it’s worth it. Denver has all the assets to be successful and hopefully make the playoffs.