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Knicks, Steve Mills, Scott Perry

5 biggest losers of NBA free agency

NBA free agency is basically in the bag, and the Los Angeles Clippers stole the show, signing Kawhi Leonard while also acquiring Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder on the same night.

The Brooklyn Nets also did incredibly well for themselves, and even if they took on a lot of risk, it was worth it in landing Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan.

So, we know who the biggest winners were.

But how about the biggest losers?

Here are five teams who didn’t exactly light it up during this free agency period:

5. Boston Celtics

Honestly, losing Kyrie Irving was not even that big of a deal, as the Celtics replaced him with Kemba Walker, and Boston made the Eastern Conference Finals without him two years ago anyway.

The biggest loss for the C’s was Al Horford, who was actually their best player. Not only did they lose him, but they lost him to the division-rival Philadelphia 76ers.

Al Horford, Celtics

In addition to Horford’s departure, the Celtics traded Aron Baynes and saw both Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier walk.

What made Boston so scary going into last season was its incredible depth. Now, it no longer has that. The Celtics are still a good team and they made some other nice moves this summer, like landing Enes Kanter on the cheap, but there is no doubt the losses outweighed the wins for Boston this summer.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder

In a way, this might be a good thing for the Thunder, as it will allow them to blow up something that was never going anywhere and start rebuilding, but man; this hurts for Oklahoma City.

The George trade came out of nowhere, as he was apparently unhappy with playing alongside of Russell Westbrook. Now, the Thunder may also have to deal Westbrook, their franchise linchpin who has been with the team through thick and thin.

Paul George

It seems obvious that OKC’s days of contending are over, and the biggest problem right now is that it won’t even get much value in return for Westbrook and his massive contract.

Steven Adams could fetch the Thunder something, but again, there is the issue of matching salaries, especially now that all of the other teams have already used their cap space.

This has been a rough NBA free agency period for Oklahoma City.

3. Phoenix Suns

What in the world is this team doing?

First, the Suns trade T.J. Warren for basically nothing. Then, they move down in the draft in order to pick up Dario Saric. They then traded Josh Jackson for peanuts (if that) just to clear room to re-sign Kelly Oubre next summer.


TJ Warren, Pacers

It’s obvious that James Jones is in over his head right now, and he has turned what was a promising young roster into an abject disaster.

You have to wonder how much longer it’s going to be before Devin Booker gets fed up and demands a trade, because this team is light years away from contending, and it doesn’t seem to have a front office capable of expediting the rebuild.

2. Toronto Raptors

They just won a championship, so even though they came up empty this offseason, the Raptors have something to fall back on.

Still, losing Leonard after just one year stings no matter how you slice it, and now, Toronto has gone from a championship squad to one that will have to fight to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, Raptors

You also have to wonder if the Raptors will explore trading guys like Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, all of whom have just one year remaining their deals and shouldn’t be too difficult to move as a result.

The good news is that Pascal Siakam seems ready to take another big step next season.

1. New York Knicks

They wanted Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and ended up with Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton.

To say that this offseason has been an unmitigated catastrophe for the Knicks would be an understatement, and the fact that they signed a bunch of mediocre players to multi-year deals shows that they entered panic mode the second Durant and Irving signed in Brooklyn.

Julius Randle, Knicks

Now, to be fair to the Knicks, they had to spend their money somehow, and one-year deals were not all that common this summer. So, they may have fully intended to do what the Lakers did last year but were not able to.

Regardless, this is just another horrific summer in what has been two decades full of them in New York. NBA Free Agency wasn’t just disappointing, it was a nightmare scenario for New York.