NBA Atlantic Division Off-season Grades

NBA

The 2022 NBA off-season is quietly coming to an end. While NBA teams still won’t report to training camp for about a little more than a month, I thought I would start looking at how each team did this offseason. I took a look at the NBA Pacific division last week and will examine the Atlantic division this week.

Boston Celtics Offseason Grade A+

Additions: Danilo Gallinari (free agent), Sam Hauser (re-signed), Luke Kornet (re-signed), Malcolm Brogdon (trade), Mfiondu Kabengele (2-way), and JD Davison (2-way).

Analysis: I love the Celtics’ two most significant NBA offseason moves as they traded for Malcolm Brogdon and signed Danilo Gallinari. Both Brogdon and Gallinari are expected to come off the bench, where they will be given considerable freedom with the ball, as the Celtics’ main issue last year was depth and scoring off the bench. Dennis Schroeder, who finished the season in Houston, and Grant Williams, who produced 6.6 points a game as a reserve, were the squad’s top scorers off the bench.

Overall, Boston reserves saw 16.3 minutes (27th) a game and ranked 26th in scoring at 30.2 points. The Celtics’ reserves shot the ball decently well as they combined to make 43.9% (17th) of their shots from the field and drained 4.6 3-pointers (11th) at a 37.4% clip (3rd). Williams, Payton Pritchard, Josh Richardson, and Schroeder were the team’s top 3-point threats at 1.4 treys a contest.

While Brogdon has started much of his career, he spent his first two NBA campaigns coming off the bench. The 29-year-old guard, who will likely get at least 25 minutes a game off the bench this year, has career averages of 10.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 caroms, along with a shooting slash line of .455/.396/.852 as a reserve.

Gallinari, on the other hand, may be the eighth or ninth player off the bench behind Brogdon as well as possibly Derrick White and Grant Williams. Whatever the 34-year-old forward’s eventual role turns out to be, he will add shooting and scoring along with a bit of rebounding. Gallinari has career averages of 10.1 points and 3.7 caroms with a slash line of .410/.383/.893 off the bench.

Boston still has three open roster spots as training camp is a little over a month away. Justin Jackson, Bruno Caboclo, Denzel Valentine, and Noah Vonleh will likely compete for two of those spots. The Celtics are likely to open the season with one open roster spot.

Philadelphia 76ers Offseason Grade A

Additions: James Harden (re-signed), PJ Tucker (free agent), Daniel House Jr (free agent), Trevelin Queen (free agent), Julian Champaignie (2-way), and De’Anthony Melton (trade).

Analysis: I also really like what the 76ers did, especially with Harden taking a significant pay cut. With the extra money, Philadelphia was able to sign Tucker and House. Getting Melton from Memphis for 2022 first-rounder David Roddy and Danny Green was a terrific move by Daryl Morrey.

All three newcomers are likely to provide significant minutes off the bench. However, Tucker could start at power forward with Tobias Harris moving to the 3.

Regardless, House, Tucker, and Melton will stretch the defense with their shooting. The Sixers ranked in the bottom third of the league in both 3-point makes and 3-point attempts. Melton and Tucker will also aid the 76ers defensively – the Sixers finished 12th in the defensive ranking.

Toronto Raptors Offseason Grade B-

Additions: Ron Harper Jr. (2-way), Juancho Hermangomez (signed), Justin Chanpaignie (signed), Jeff Dowtin (2-way), DJ Wilson (re-signed), Chris Boucher (re-signed), Otto Porter Jr.(signed), and Thaddeus Young (re-signed).

Analysis: The Raptors didn’t make any splashy moves, but the signing of Porter was vital for a team that finished fifth in the Eastern Conference at 48-34. Porter will likely be the first player off the bench as he is versatile and won’t hurt the team defensively. However, shooting, defensive rebounding, and leadership is what the 29-year-old brings to the floor.

While retaining Boucher and Young won’t draw many headlines, keeping those two keeps the Raptors’ NBA frontcourt depth and leadership intact. Young and Boucher were also two of the team’s better rebounders. Young also was excellent defensively, while Boucher excelled at swatting away shots a year ago.

New York Knicks Offseason Grade B+

Addition: Jalen Brunson (free agent), Mitchell Robinson (re-signed), Isaiah Hartenstein (free agent), Trevor Keels (2-way), Jericho Sims (re-signed),

Analysis: The Knicks signing Brunson was one of the splashier free agent moves of the offseason. While the Knicks might have overpaid ($104 million over four years) for Brunson, the 25-year-old showed he can carry a team when Luka Doncic missed time during the regular and postseason last year. Plus, the Knicks have been desperate for a young playmaker for years.

Re-signing Robinson and Sims and bringing in Hartenstein gives the Knicks three young, long, and physical post players. All three players can score around the rim, are excellent on the offensive glass, and are fantastic low-post defenders.

Brooklyn Nets Offseason Grade A

Additions: Patty Mills (Re-signed), Edmund Sumner (free agent), Nicolas Claxton (re-signed), T.J. Warren (free agent), Kessler Edwards (re-signed), Alondes Williams (2-way), Royce O’Neal (trade)

Analysis: At first look, you might be taken aback by the Nets‘ NBA off-season grade. This is probably particularly true if you look at the Nets’ transactions. But I am not crazy; well, some may disagree!

Anyways, the grade is more a reflection of what Brooklyn didn’t do. That, of course, is breaking up the band by trading Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. We will see if that was indeed a great move as time goes on, but let’s like the idea for now.

I like the signing of T.J. Warren as it gives the Nets a scorer off the bench. Yes, Bruce Brown did that for the team last year, but he is in Denver. However, Warren is more explosive and consistent if he can stay healthy — the 6-8 NBA forward did not play last and only appeared in four games in 2020-21.

Re-signing Claxton is enormous as he may start at center. Claxton gives the Nets high-energy and much-needed athleticism, rebounding, and length in the frontcourt.

Brooklyn also gets credit for re-signing Mills. Mills is getting long in the tooth, but the 34-year-old can still shoot it — connecting on a career-high 2.8 treys a game at a 40% clip in 2021-22. The addition of O’Neale provides depth upfront if the injury bug strikes again.

 


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