Roundtable: Worst Move This Offseason
We ask: what was the worst move this offseason?
The easy answer here would be the New York Knicks signing Tim Hardaway Jr. but I actually think the worst move of the offseason was the Detroit Pistons hardcapping themselves by signing Langston Galloway to a deal worth $21 million. Galloway is a fine player in a nutshell. His signing, however, led to a chain of events that saw the team lose Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for nothing. Teams had legitimate interest in KCP at the beginning of the offseason and the Pistons decided to let him go for nothing while giving a role player who hasn't excelled in a few seasons a sizable deal. Worst yet, Galloway will likely cede minutes to Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley, Ish Smith and Luke Kennard, making him a $7 million reserve. Detroit's direction is unclear and the team may contend for a playoff spot or bottom out. It's troubling when a team makes moves like this one with no clear plan ahead of them.
Matt Shear/ @matthewjshear:
JTrading Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder
This one doesn’t make any sense. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert echoed many of our sentiments when he said the Pacers “could have done better than they did.” Indiana sent PG-13 to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Oladipo has been a decent player in his young NBA career, but he is owed $84 million over the next four years. Sabonis showed some promise in his rookie year, but it doesn’t look like he will pan out as an NBA star. The deal looks even worse when you start to compare it with some of the offers that Indiana reportedly received; including three first round picks from the Portland Trail Blazers or Gary Harris and a first-round pick in a three-way deal with the Nuggets and Cavaliers. On the surface it seems like the Pacers made the deal personal, which won’t help the team rebuild for the future.
The worst move of the summer was completed by the San Antonio Spurs when they re-signed Pau Gasol. Gasol's new contract runs through the next three years and is worth $48 million. This would be a great move if it was 2010, but Gasol is 37 years old now. And in an atmosphere in which the best chance a team has to beat the Golden State Warriors is to run-and-gun, Gasol's age and weary legs don't give the Spurs any more of a chance. In fact, most of the Spurs' projected starting five next year features veterans and weary legs, as its average age is 32.5. The Spurs haven’t gotten much younger this offseason, and they’ve just committed one sixth of their salary for the next three years to someone until he turns 40. While we know that Popovich can make any lineup work and get the most out of it, the Spurs have to know that a solid veteran like Gasol will eventually break down. Signing Gasol wouldn’t have been a problem had his contract been worth much less, but the Spurs are committing so much to him. Considering that another younger big man who can stretch the floor in Marreese Speights just signed with Orlando for the veteran’s minimum, the amount that the Spurs are giving Gasol is jarring. The Spurs need to get younger and faster, and they’ve done the opposite with Gasol’s contract.
It’s fitting that a solid, but unspectacular, player in Danilo Gallinari is moving on to a solid, but unspectacular team in the Los Angeles Clippers. Don’t get me wrong, you could do a lot worse at small forward than Gallinari, but he also does little to offset the loss of shipping Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets this offseason. Not to mention, the Clips spent 65 million dollars on a serviceable player while they owe 172 million in a brand-new contract to Blake Griffin and are still on the hook for roughly 46 million owed to DeAndre Jordan in order to just be the fifth seed in the West next year at best.
Gallinari is a capable scorer and led the Denver Nuggets last season in the category, but he isn’t so dynamic as he has failed to surpass the 20-point per game mark in each of his past five seasons with the Nuggets, nor was he able to play in all 82 games during that same time frame. Even though this was the offseason where several NBA franchises gave out contracts like they were playing with Monopoly money, Los Angeles threw a lot of coin at a player who has trouble staying healthy, doesn’t play defense and is prone to griping if he doesn’t get his touches or minutes like we saw last season in Denver.
Brett Carroll/ @Neva_4Brett_ME:
I’m not going to go on another Brook Lopez rant, I promise. Instead, I’m am going to go with the obvious “what were the Chicago Bulls thinking?” route. Here’s the thing: no, I wasn’t expecting the Bulls to get fair value for Jimmy Butler. Here’s another thing: I commend them (and the Pacers) for giving Danny Ainge the middle finger, and taking a worse deal to send their stars to the other conference, especially if they believed that the Celtics were trying to bully them into taking their “third best” offer, instead of their best one. However, there’s no way ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH that you trade YOUR BEST PLAYER for lesser parts AND STILL GIVE UP YOUR FIRST ROUND PICK!
That was part of my issue with the Lopez trade (without going into full rant mode again), you just don’t give up your best asset, for an unattractive get back (in the Nets case, Mozgov’s contract) AND give up a first round pick in the process. Had the Bulls not given up their pick, this award would have went to the Pacers (again, with credit for flipping off Danny boy). Instead, the Bulls have to get the Donkey of the Offseason, for giving up two valuable assets, while not getting nearly enough in return.
Side note: the Cavs should be getting this award, but I want to see how this Kyrie Irving saga plays out before I decide to give them the Donkey. For now, Chicago is the biggest loser.