clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Offseason Roundup

With the season just around the corner, we take a look at what happened around the NBA since we last watched

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA preseason has already begun. The 2021-22 season is upon us.

If you’re just now realizing that you don’t remember much about what changed around the league since the playoffs ended, you’re in luck! I spend far too much of my time researching just that. Are you curious to know which team thought it would be a good idea to trade for Russell Westbrook this year? Want to keep tabs on former Jazz players around the league? It’s all right here, starting from the top of the regular season standings with our very own Utah Jazz.


Utah Jazz

2021 NBA Playoffs - Utah Jazz v LA Clippers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 52-20

Key additions: Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside, Jared Butler

Key losses: Derrick Favors, Georges Niang

Other news: Dennis Lindsey stepped down as Executive VP of Basketball Operations. Re-signed Mike Conley.

The Utah Jazz retooled their bench, essentially swapping Niang and Favors for Gay and Whiteside. The addition of Jared Butler to the bench also adds some depth at the guard position, and some potential for the future.

Outside of those moves, this is essentially the same team, running it back to try to succeed where they failed last year. All of the Jazz core players; Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Bojan Bogdanovic; are signed long-term. Their contending window is now, and they’re ready to win a championship.

Phoenix Suns

2021 NBA Finals - Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 51-21

Key additions: Javale McGee, Landry Shamet

Key losses: Torrey Craig

Other news: Re-signed Chris Paul, Cameron Payne

The Suns are another contending team looking to keep its core intact. They gave Chris Paul yet another big payday, and why shouldn’t they? In his first season with the team, he led them to the NBA Finals. With some more internal improvement from DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and others, this team will be dangerous again.

Former Jazz players: Jae Crowder

Philadelphia 76ers

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 49-23

Key additions: Andre Drummond, Georges Niang

Key losses: Ben Simmons*, Dwight Howard, George Hill

Other news: Extended Joel Embiid’s contract, re-signed Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz.

Ben Simmons is listed as a key loss without having left the team because he has let everyone know that he won’t be playing for Philadephia again. The team has stated that they want to keep him, so we’ll have to wait and see who gives in first. If/when a trade is made, the 76ers will look significantly different, but with the core they have, they’ll be a very good team regardless.

Former Jazz players: Georges Niang

Brooklyn Nets

2021 NBA Playoffs - Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks

2020-21 season record: 48-24

Key additions: Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jevon Carter

Key losses: Landry Shamet, DeAndre Jordan, Mike James

Other news: Extended Kevin Durant’s contract, re-signed Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown

The Nets are considered the heavy favorites to win the NBA Finals this season. With two MVPs in their late primes, along with another superstar and a roster full of veteran role players, it’s hard to disagree. They were able to add even more talent this offseason with Mills, Millsap, and Aldridge. They may be old for NBA standards, but they can still play. The recent news, however, revolves around Kyrie Irving’s reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Local restrictions will make him unable to play any home games or attend any home practices if he does not get vaccinated. Team officials have stated that they won’t allow Irving to participate part-time. His decision here will affect his team in many ways.

Former Jazz players: Paul Millsap

Denver Nuggets

Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets - Game Three Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 47-25

Key additions: Jeff Green

Key losses: Paul Millsap

Other news: Re-signed Will Barton, JaMychal Green, Austin Rivers.

Denver’s big splash came during last season in the form of a trade for Aaron Gordon. Now they’re trying to see what they have with this team. They’ll have to wait on Jamal Murray’s recovery before they can see their full potential, but in the meantime, they’ll continue to be a top-tier team led by an MVP. When Murray comes back, they’ll be serious contenders.

Former Jazz Players: Jeff Green

L.A. Clippers

2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v LA Clippers Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 47-25

Key additions: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow

Key losses: Patrick Beverly, Rajan Rondo

Other news: Re-signed Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Reggie Jackson

After a Western Conference Finals run last season, the Clippers are looking to push their way to the title. Making the trade for Eric Bledsoe strengthens their starting lineup, and continues their trend of targeting players who are known for defense. The issue for the Clippers, however, is Kawhi Leonard’s injury. After a surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in July, he will be out indefinitely. His loss significantly effects the Clippers’ title chances.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks Victory Parade & Rally Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 46-26

Key additions: George Hill, Semi Ojeleye, Rodney Hood, Grayson Allen

Key losses: P.J. Tucker, Bryn Forbes, Sam Merrill

Other news: Re-signed Bobby Portis, Thanasis Antetokounmpo

The biggest addition for the Bucks was the Larry O’Brien trophy. They’ve had a long slow climb to the top, but they’ve made it. I don’t think they’re done being up there though. The Bucks may have let PJ Tucker walk, but outside of that, they’ve done all they can to keep this team together, and they’ll remain a strong contender. Giannis Antetokounmpo has an argument for the best player in the league, and he’s flanked by All-Star caliber players in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, along with a strong supporting cast.

Former Jazz Players: George Hill, Rodney Hood, Grayson Allen

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 42-30

Key additions: Reggie Bullock, Frank Ntilikina

Key losses: JJ Redick, James Johnson

Other news: Hired Jason Kidd as head coach in the place of Rick Carlisle, extended Luka Dončić’s contract, re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr and Boban Marjanović

The Mavs nearly took care of the Clippers in the first round last season, but ultimately fell short. Luka Dončić is looking more and more like an MVP candidate every game though, and he likely still has a ways to go before reaching his peak. Dallas’ task then, is to build around Dončić. They were rumored to have been highly interested in Kyle Lowry this offseason, but he chose the Heat. So Dallas has an almost identical roster to last year. They’ll be hoping for internal improvement, especially from Kristaps Porziņģis.

Former Jazz Players: Trey Burke

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 42-30

Key additions: Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Rajan Rondo, DeAndre Jordan

Key losses: Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond

Other news: Re-signed Talen Horton-Tucker

The Lakers took a big swing by trading for Russell Westbrook. They become his fourth team in four years. Will they be the fourth in a row to trade him after the season? The Lakers obviously have incredibly top-end talent, and they have a whole army of vets as a supporting cast. Will it all fit together? Nobody knows, but one thing is for sure, if healthy, they’ll be a challenge to anybody.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Portland Trailblazers

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 42-30

Key additions: Larry Nance Jr, Cody Zeller, Tony Snell, Ben McLemore

Key losses: Derrick Jones Jr, Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter, Rodney Hood

Other news: Hired Chauncy Billups as Head Coach in the place of Terry Stotts, re-signed Norman Powell

The Blazers are always a solid team. Damian Lillard’s heroics can always be counted on, and Portland has slowly but surely built up his supporting cast. Norman Powell and Robert Covington were big additions last season, and Larry Nance Jr. should help the defense as well. They seem to have filled the holes in their roster construction, so maybe this is the year they break through to bigger and better things? If not, serious changes may have to be made.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 41-31

Key additions: Jalen Johnson, Delon Wright, Gorgei Dieng

Key losses: Kris Dunn

Other news: Nate McMillan named Head Coach after serving as Interim, extended Trae Young and Clint Capela, re-signed John Collins, Lou Williams, and Solomon Hill

The Hawks made a surprise push to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, beating the Knicks and the 76ers on their way. Trae Young proved himself in a big way in the playoffs. They are still a very young team and full of upside. This year they get to answer the big question. Was last year a fluke, or are they a new powerhouse in the East?

Former Jazz Players: N/A

New York Knicks

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 41-31

Key additions: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Dwayne Bacon, Quentin Grimes, Jericho Sims, Miles McBride

Key losses: Reggie Bullock, Elfrid Payton

Other news: Extended Julius Randle, re-signed Alec Burks, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel

The Knicks spent serious money during this offseason just on retaining their players. After a successful regular season which saw them qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2013, it makes a lot of sense. They also took a swing in trading for Evan Fournier. Many were confused at the move, paying a lot of money for a non-star. It made a lot more sense when they were able to snatch up Kemba Walker for cheap. Although Walker has had a couple of disappointing years recently, it wasn’t long ago that he was starting in the All-Star game. Adding him and Fournier to an already decent playoff team may be just what they need.

Former Jazz Players: Alec Burks, Derrick Rose

Miami Heat

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 40-32

Key additions: Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, PJ Tucker, Caleb Martin

Key losses: Goran Dragić, Precious Achiuwa, Andre Iguadala, Nemanja Bjelica

Other news: Extended Jimmy Butler, re-signed Duncan Robinson, Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon

The Heat cashed in on the biggest free agent move this season in veteran point guard Kyle Lowry. After a disappointing season for Miami, they went all-in on Jimmy Butler’s timeline. Lowry, Butler, and Bam Adebayo make a formidable trio on both ends of the court. Surrounded by other shooters and defenders, this team is set up to compete.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Golden State Warriors

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors - Play-In Tournament Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 39-33

Key additions: Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Andre Iguadala, Avery Bradley

Key losses: Kelly Oubre, Eric Paschall, Kent Bazemore

Other news: Extended Stephen Curry

The Warriors barely missed out on the playoffs last season, losing in the play-in tournament to both the Lakers and the Grizzlies. They’ve re-tooled a bit since then, grabbing Bjelica and Porter Jr. on bargain deals, and building assets of young players. Many expected Golden State to use it’s enviable draft picks to trade for a win-now player or two, but they chose to go ahead and draft Kuminga and Moody. They may still choose to trade some of their young talent, including James Wiseman, if a big-time trade comes available. After missing two straight seasons to a knee injury, Klay Thompson is expected to return to the court this year. Shams Charania of the Athletic said, “I’m told Klay Thompson will be cleared for full practice over the next month or so... there will be a ramp-up period. I would look somewhere in the December-January range for his return, but the Warriors will be cautious.” If Thompson is able to fully be himself, the trio of Curry, Green, and Thompson could reign terror on the league once again.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Memphis Grizzlies

Milwaukee Bucks v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 38-34

Key additions: Steven Adams, Ziaire Williams, Sam Merrill, Jarrett Culver

Key losses: Jonas Valančiūnas, Grayson Allen, Justise Winslow, Gorgui Dieng

Other news: Extended Jaren Jackson Jr.

After a three-year rebuild, the Grizz snuck back into the playoffs last season. They won a game against the Utah Jazz, and learned a lot in the process. They’ve been getting better every season, and the front office is counting on that to continue. The biggest move they made this offseason was a trade that involved sending Jonas Valančiūnas to the Pelicans and receiving Steven Adams in return. Valančiūnas has been incredibly consistent and always good for Memphis, and while Adams is a solid player, he’s probably a downgrade overall. The move may have been a way to clear more minutes and scoring opportunities for Jaren Jackson Jr. If he can improve to the level that the Grizzlies believe he can, the team will be that much closer to reaching their ceiling. Watch for Ja Morant to continue to impress and maybe even contend for an All-Star spot.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Boston Celtics

Toronto Raptors v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 36-36

Key additions: Al Horford, Dennis Schröder, Josh Richardson, Enes Kanter, Juancho Hernangómez, Kris Dunn

Key losses: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye

Other news: Hired Ime Udoka as head coach, extended Marcus Smart and Robert Williams

The Celtics had a disappointing season, only managing to stay afloat at 36-36. They’ve now decided to revamp the roster, totally building around the two young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. They filled their center spot with former-Celtic Al Horford, and subbed Dennis Schröder in for Kemba Walker. This can be a pivotal season for Boston. The East is getting better every year, and they will need to catch up.

Former Jazz Players: Enes Kanter

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards v Houston Rockets Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 34-38

Key additions: Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Holiday, Cory Kispert, Isaiah Todd

Key losses: Russell Westbrook, Robin Lopez, Ish Smith

Other news: Hired Wes Unseld Jr as head coach, re-signed Raul Neto

After a one-year experiment with Russell Westbrook, the Wizards cashed in by trading him for a plethora of role players from the Lakers. They also were able to pick up Spencer Dinwiddie in free agency, who is very productive whenever healthy. This team is much better built around Bradley Beal than any of his past teams have been, so they may be able to fight for a play-in spot.

Former Jazz Players: Raul Neto

Indiana Pacers

Memphis Grizzlies v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 34-38

Key additions: Torrey Craig, Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, Brad Wanamaker

Key losses: Doug McDermott, Aaron Holiday

Other news: Fired Nate Bjorkgren, hired Rick Carlisle, extended Malcolm Brogdon

The Pacers have a lot of good players. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon are All-Star level players. Myles Turner, TJ Warren, Jeremy Lamb, and Caris LeVert are really solid. Chris Duarte looks to be a really promising rookie. This team has talent. They’ve also had a lot of injuries, and a lot of coaching changes. Now that they’ve hired the highly respected Rick Carlisle, they’ll be hoping he can help this team reach its peak.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

San Antonio Spurs

Minnesota Timberwolves v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 33-39

Key additions: Doug McDermott, Zach Collins, Thaddeus Young, Bryn Forbes, Joshua Primo, Joe Wieskamp

Key losses: DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, Gorgui Dieng, Trey Lyles

Other news: Re-signed Keita Bates-Diop

It’s finally happening. The Spurs are rebuilding. After slowly dropping down in the standings as DeRozan and Aldridge got older, they finally decided to let go and build around their young talent, and they really do have young talent. The Spurs likely aren’t planning on a playoff berth this season, but they have a strong future.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Charlotte Hornets

Dallas Mavericks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 33-39

Key additions: Kelly Oubre, Mason Plumlee, Ish Smith, James Bouknight, Kai Jones,

Key losses: Devonte’ Graham, Malik Monk, Bizmack Biyombo, Caleb Martin

Other news: Extended Terry Rozier

Last year was promising for the Charlotte rebuild. Lamelo Ball looks to be every bit of the talent he was advertised to be. Gordon Hayward seemed to be back to his All-Star self when he was healthy. Terry Rozier made huge strides in his game. Overall, the Hornets were just more fun to watch than many expected. This can be a big year for them. They’ll be aiming to fight for a playoff spot, and if they are healthy, they may get there.

Former Jazz Players: Gordon Hayward

New Orleans Pelicans

Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 31-41

Key additions: Jonas Valančiūnas, Devonte’ Graham, Tomáš Satoranský, Garrett Temple, Trey Murphy III, Herbert Jones

Key losses: Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick

Other news: Fired Stan Van Gundy, hired Willie Green as head coach

The Pels changed things up this summer. Devonte’ Graham comes in for Eric Bledsoe to provide some more shooting, and Jonas Valančiūnas joins the squad to provide more interior scoring. They will likely miss the defense provided by Ball, Bledsoe, and Adams, but these changes seem to be trying to fit Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram together better. New Orleans will be fighting an uphill battle to make the playoffs, especially knowing that Williamson will be out to start the season.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls 2021-22 Media Day Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 31-41

Key additions: DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr, Ayo Dosunmu

Key losses: Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr, Tomáš Satoranský, Thaddeus Young, Daniel Theis, Garrett Temple

Other news: N/A

During last season, the Bulls swung for the fences by trading for Nikola Vučević. But they weren’t done. They got busy this summer revamping their roster. By bringing in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević, Zach LaVine no longer has to shoulder all of the scoring load. Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso will help with defense and playmaking. This is a team looking to break into the playoffs and make their mark.

Former Jazz Players: Tony Bradley, Matt Thomas

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 31-41

Key additions: Davion Mitchell, Tristan Thompson, Alex Len

Key losses: Delon Wright, Hassan Whiteside

Other news: Re-signed Richaun Holmes, Maurice Harkless, Terence Davis, signed Neemias Queta to a two-way contract

The Kings stayed mostly quiet this offseason. The biggest move they made came in the form of a draft pick. Davion Mitchell has the makings of a star, and he joins a backcourt already full of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield. Trade rumors abound with Buddy Hield, as they always do, but for now, he’s still there. Luke Walton is expected by many to be on the hot seat if Sacramento continues to underperform.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 27-45

Key additions: Goran Dragić, Precious Achiuwa, Scottie Barnes

Key losses: Kyle Lowry

Other news: Re-signed Gary Trent Jr.

2020-21 was a really hard and disappointing season for the Raptors. They’re now ready to bounce back around their young core. While they did lose Kyle Lowry, they should still have a team that can challenge anybody on any given night. They should have a bounce-back season and could be fighting for a play-in spot.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Minnesota Timberwolves

2020-21 season record: 23-49

Key additions: Taurean Prince, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro

Key losses: Jarrett Culver, Juancho Hernangómez

Other news: Re-signed Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin

Another year, another lottery team. The Wolves have a lot of young talent, they just need to fit it together correctly. Rumors have them interested in trading for Ben Simmons, but Philadelphia has been stingy with their asking price. Could big moves be made this year?

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 22-50

Key additions: Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Ricky Rubio, Denzel Valentine

Key losses: Larry Nance Jr, Javale McGee

Other news: Re-signed Jarrett Allen

The Cavaliers have built a young core of small, shifty guards, and incredibly tall, skinny bigs. Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen are the latest to join the ranks of Cavaliers seven-footers. This will be another developmental year in Cleveland, highlighted by the performance of third overall pick, Mobley.

Former Jazz Players: Ricky Rubio

Oklahoma City Thunder

2021-22 Oklahoma City Thunder Media Day

2020-21 season record: 22-50

Key additions: Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Derrick Favors, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Key losses: Al Horford, Kemba Walker

Other news: Extended Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, re-signed Mike Muscala

The Thunder are in full-on tank mode, trading everything they can for picks. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is looking like an absolute star, and rookie Josh Giddey shows promise, but this roster is very young, and should not be expecting to compete for anything other than lottery odds.

Former Jazz Players: Derrick Favors

Orlando Magic

San Antonio Spurs v Orlando Magic Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 21-51

Key additions: Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Robin Lopez, E’Twaun Moore

Key losses:

Other news: Hired Jamahl Mosley as head coach, extended Wendell Carter Jr

The Magic are in the talent-acquisition phase of a rebuild. After trading away their veterans for young players last season, they’ve followed that up by drafting Jalen Suggs fourth overall. This will be a season of learning for Orlando and it’s young core.

Former Jazz Players: N/A

Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Open Practice Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 20-52

Key additions: Cade Cunningham, Luka Garza, Kelly Olynyk

Key losses: Sekou Doumbouya, Mason Plumlee

Other news: Re-signed Frank Jackson, Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo

Detroit scored big time by getting the first overall pick and drafting Cade Cunningham. They’ll continue to build around him and their other young prospects, Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, and Isaiah Stewart.

Former Jazz Players: Trey Lyles

Houston Rockets

Miami Heat v Houston Rockets Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

2020-21 season record: 17-55

Key additions: Jalen Green, Alperen Şengün, Josh Christopher, Usman Garuba, Daniel Theis

Key losses: Ben McLemore, Dante Exum

Other news: N/A

Houston loaded up on young talent over the summer, and they plan to keep doing just that. The next couple of years will be developmental years for their young players.

Former Jazz Players: N/A