Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The 3 Best Signings of the 2014 NBA Offseason

This NBA offseason has been a lot of fun, and that's not only because I am actually happy with what the Bulls were able to do. Just about every team has something to be excited about. I mean, just look at the Heat; they may have lost the finals, but they were able to outbid the Hornets for Josh McRoberts. Still, that move doesn't quite make my list of the best signings. Other signings that will not count are guys that took discounts to stay with their teams, so although Dirk may be the best value in the league, everybody understands that this was a great deal for the Mavs, so there is not much I can add on that one. Let's go to three moves that I really liked this offseason that deserve special praise.

Lance Stephenson
Lance got downgraded by the media, because he was supposed to get overpaid, but then he didn't actually get overpaid. He is barely making half of the annual salary that Gordon Hayward is, and Hayward got an extra year on top of that. Is Hayward twice the player that Stephenson is? No, definitely not. Is he even a better player than Stephenson? That seems like a debate to me, and I would probably side with Stephenson.

If you are worried about him being a head case, let's compare him to another player that had a career year after causing problems many different times, Kyle Lowry. Lowry got $12 million a year and an extra year on his deal. He's about five years older than Stephenson as well. Can you really say that he will outproduce Lance Stephenson? I can't, and that's why I really like the Stephenson deal.

There is definitely risk with Stephenson, but he may just be a goofball who works his ass off when it comes to basketball. Dennis Rodman was far worse than Stephenson on and especially off the court, but when his team needed him, he came through in the clutch and put together a Hall of Fame NBA career. Not bad for a head case.

Pau Gasol
Everybody thinks he was terrible last year, but he actually put up good numbers on a bad team. The versatility that the Bulls gained by putting him in the frontcourt makes them incredibly dangerous this year. Also, he got about the same annual salary as Boris Diaw, and Diaw even got an extra year on his contract. If you can find a person who believes that Boris Diaw is better than Pau Gasol, please introduce them to me, so I can slap some sense into them.

Isaiah Thomas
A little weird since this was a sign and trade, but the trade assets were minimal, and the deal is well worth it. Thomas can tear around the court and create shots. He has questionable defense, but he'll be able to keep up with the Suns style of play. Yes, the Suns already have Goran Dragic and (likely) Eric Bledsoe coming back, but since those guys start together, they can easily find 25 minutes for Thomas to mix and match lineups depending on who they are going up against. Also, Bledsoe hasn't signed a contract yet as a restricted free agent, and Dragic only has one more year left on his contract. Four years and $27 million is great value, especially considering that he is only 25 years old.

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