Grades for all 30 NBA teams on free agency moves and trades in 2022 offseason
It’s the time to put together NBA free agency grades for every team in 2022. We are covering all NBA free agent signings from veteran minimum pacts to contracts that immediately looked like an overpay.
It’s natural to look for NBA free agency scores once the majority of deals have been concluded. We have been analyzing each trade and signing of this fascinating offseason. This time we are taking a different angle, looking at all NBA free agency moves and giving each team a mark for their work rather than reacting to individual deals.
NBA free agency grades for every team 2022
This is where the best front offices make their money. It’s where others will come under pressure. There is more to the NBA than roster building, yet a poor offseason can take years to recover from, particularly for small-market franchises.
All NBA free agency moves come with an element of risk, and deserve time before they are properly judged, but it’s still worth casting an eye over this offseason’s trades and signings before our attention turns to Summer League and preseason.
So, let’s dive into our NBA free agency grades so far, starting out with the Atlantic Division and last season’s Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.
Celtics – C
An unspectacular offseason was expected and that’s just what the Celtics have delivered thus far. Links to Kevin Durant are no more than that at this point. More shooting and contributors off the bench would be nice, but simply avoiding reckless decisions is a good sign for Boston.
Nets – F
An early rating before we know how the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving situations play out, but this has obviously been a disaster for Brooklyn. They don’t control their draft capital for the coming years, and they even gave up a first-round pick to trade for Royce O’Neale.
It doesn’t get much bleaker than this. Naturally, NBA free agency ratings for the Nets could improve markedly depending on their return for Durant and Irving.
Knicks – C-
The Knicks moved off Nerlens Noel, Kemba Walker and Alec Burks to open up the space for Jalen Brunson. Isaiah Hartenstein was acquired to backup Mitchell Robinson. New York achieved most of what they wanted to, and even have some extra first-round picks to show for it.
There are still legitimate doubts about where this actually takes them. Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle isn’t a core that’s going anywhere special – they are probably only a Play-In team without other major moves.
Sixers – A-
James Harden did the Sixers a massive favor by cutting down his annual salary to free up the midlevel and bi-annual exceptions. Old friends P.J. Tucker and Danuel House filled those spots, providing Philly with more defense and three-point shooting.
Daryl Morey also flipped their 2022 first to acquire De’Anthony Melton, checking the same boxes. There could be more to come with Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris among the top trade candidates, but this has clearly been a stellar offseason for the Sixers so far.
Raptors – C-
Toronto has re-upped Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young, and a contract extension for Fred VanVleet seems to be in the pipeline. Lots of options to provide scoring/shooting off the bench have gone elsewhere.
Still primed for a trade of some sort, there’s work to do on this Raptors roster if they are to rival the Bucks and Celtics in 2023.
Bulls – B-
Chicago has been associated with multiple offseason trade candidates, yet it’s been a quiet summer to date. Perhaps that’s okay. The Bulls can put some blame on injuries for their demise last season, and they have limited flexibility.
Cavaliers – C
Cleveland missed out on Ousmane Dieng in the draft, instead settling for Ochai Agbaji. Collin Sexton’s name has barely appeared in the rumor mill, maybe suggesting he could return as a restricted free agent.
Like Chicago, injuries disrupted the Cavs’ season. Running it back is the best option, so a quiet free agency period might be for the best.
Pistons – A
It was fortune rather than genius to land Jaden Ivey in the draft, but it’s the end result that matters. Detroit also used their pick from the Jerami Grant trade to get back into the lottery and select Jalen Duren.
Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel have been taken off the Knicks for further draft capital, while Marvin Bagley’s deal has been extended after a decent stay in Motor City last season. Kevin Knox is a worthwhile low-cost deal.
There’s a lot to like about what the Pistons have done. The future is bright around Cade Cunningham.
Pacers – C
This is very much a waiting game before we can draw any real conclusions. Buddy Hield could also be available for the right price.
Bucks – B
Milwaukee isn’t positioned to do anything grand, nor should they be considering it. They may well have won the title if Khris Middleton was healthy, and they are set to be the East’s favorites against in 2022-23.
Hawks – A-
Clint Capela and John Collins are still on the team (for now). Danilo Gallinari is not, and Atlanta is three first-round picks lighter after swinging the biggest NBA offseason move to date in the Dejounte Murray trade.
Murray and Trae Young is a fun, if potentially imperfect, fit. This deal brings important perimeter defense, and some useful playmaking. Watch for the Hawks to be active over the next few days.
Hornets – C
Charlotte traded one of its first-round picks, opting to draft Mark Williams at 15. Miles Bridges’ arrest has left the front office in limbo.
Gordon Hayward’s salary could yet be used in a big trade, potentially helping to match salary for Durant or Irving to go elsewhere.
Heat – C-
Maybe this is harsh. The Heat kept Victor Oladipo after a strong playoff showing and paid Dewayne Dedmon to back up Bam Adebayo. I’m not convinced by the Dedmon deal considering the other centers that are available.
For all the bluster about chasing stars, though, Miami has waved goodbye to P.J. Tucker and could have difficult constructing a desirable package around Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson for any available All Stars.
Magic – B-
Following weeks of misdirection, Orlando ultimately took Paolo Banchero first overall. Time will tell if that was the right pick over Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith Jr.
Surprisingly, the Magic then made the choice to run it back with Gary Harris and Mo Bamba. Both deals are curious in isolation, but they are good value contracts for two players who can easily be flipped at the deadline or next offseason as Orlando continues to hoard assets.
Wizards – D
Will Barton, Johnny Davis, Delon Wright and Monte Morris is quite a backcourt overhaul. Bradley Beal has penned his supermax, and the Wizards are looking to put something around him.
Whether that will be enough to be a top 10 team in the Eastern Conference is another question. Washington has been active, and got two decent players for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but I can’t help but wonder where this is heading. This is still a franchise in need of a rebuild.
NBA Free Agency grades for every team 2022 will be updated as the offseason progresses in the coming days…
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the Dallas Mavericks in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports It’s the time to put together NBA free agency grades for every team in 2022. We are…
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