Winners and Losers of 2021 NBA Free Agency

By Shawn Dennis

The start of the 2021 NBA Free Agency had lived up to expectations as people who follow transactions, trades, and signings knew that this was going to be a busy offseason. Although it hasn’t exactly come to a close yet, most of the big name free agents have come off the board and have signed to their desired locations. 

With that being said, let’s get right into it. 

Here are the three winners, three losers, and some honorable mentions of the NBA Free Agency thus far, starting with the losers.

Loser: Portland Trail Blazers

It’s not because of what the Blazers decided to do this offseason, but instead, what they didn’t do. 

The rumors around CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard playing elsewhere next year were swirling into the Ben Simmons dilemma in Philadelphia. The Portland Trail Blazers have done nothing to increase their chances of winning, nor of helping Dame have a stronger frontcourt to distribute the ball and play defense. 

By losing Carmelo Anthony and Zach Collins, while acquiring Cody Zeller and Tony Snell to make up for their absences, it’s as if they went down a complete letter grade. Portland isn’t much of a desired destination for free agents, but if they’re seeking to improve with or without Dame Lillard in the process, they need to either make trades that include picks for a rebuild or give Lillard the help he’s been needing for the past decade. 

Loser: Philadelphia 76ers

Similar to that of the situation over in Portland, the Philadelphia 76ers have to make moves this offseason if they hope to be the top-seed in the East again. 

Sure, the Sixers managed to keep a hold of Danny Green while bringing on Andre Drummond to make up for losing Dwight Howard, but is that going to get them past a team like the Atlanta Hawks, who upset them badly last year? Probably not. 

What’s super frustrating about this situation is that the fans of Philadelphia, likely the head coach Doc Rivers, and the face of the franchise Joel Embiid, don’t want to see Ben Simmons play for the 76ers ever again. Likewise, Simmons himself doesn’t seem like he wants to play with the media blasting him for not responding to anyone in the organization or training in the 76ers facility. 

Daryl Morey can’t be greedy or too patient in waiting for the perfect deal to come, because it’s more than likely not going to happen. Trade Simmons for a true point guard, make the die-hard fans of Philly happy, and have a restart from the last few seasons of disappointment while your franchise guy is still healthy. 

Loser: Toronto Raptors

Perhaps the most confusing team to try to figure out, aside from the Detroit Pistons, is the Toronto Raptors, solely because they are in between being a playoff team or finishing towards the bottom of the standings. 

Instead of packaging Kyle Lowry in a trade last season, they waited until he was a free agent to make a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat, which resulted in the return of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa. It had to have been obvious that Lowry wasn’t going to finish out his career on a team that is confused on what their future is. Especially knowing that he did all he could for that franchise to win them their first title. Lowry will retire being known as a Raptor, but Toronto should’ve made earlier moves to better their future instead of keeping their hopes up that their future Hall of Famer would stick around.

If I was the GM of Toronto, I would try to trade Pascal Siakam to clear cap space, acquire picks, and prepare for the future knowing that teams like the 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and other teams that will be solid for the next 4-5 seasons are dwindling down. 

Honorable Mentions for Losers: New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings

Winner: Los Angeles Lakers

Let’s make this one short and sweet…

The Lakers brought on one of the best point guards in the league, Russell Westbrook, to try to create a “big three” that can put up a fight with the Brooklyn Nets. LeBron James also brought on his long-time friend, Carmelo Anthony, who’s still looking for his first-ever championship. Lastly, and what I think is actually most important, is the signing of two young guards in Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn. 

The fact that both Nunn and Monk were willing to take pay cuts to try to help LeBron win another championship in LA is crucial. LeBron desperately needed help in the backcourt and knowing that the majority of this roster is filled by veterans who need rest throughout the long season is relieving to see that Westbrook will get the help he needed for averaging a triple-double again this season. 

Winner: Chicago Bulls

Looking at the starting roster for the Chicago Bulls this upcoming season in comparison to last is like night and day. The backcourt of Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine is going to be a show. How the Bulls managed to bring on a wing in DeMar DeRozan is also super impressive. Plus, you can’t forget that the Bulls brought on Laker legend Alex Caruso to come off the bench and keep the intensity up for when Ball is off the floor.

I don’t think this team is anywhere near being contenders for a championship, but they pulled off a myriad of signings that will definitely improve their spot in the standings for next season. 

Winner: Miami Heat

GM Pat Riley made money moves this offseason to better his Miami Heat team towards going on another championship run. Head coach Eric Spoelstra has to be feeling better about his odds now that he has Kyle Lowry, a healthy Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker, and Markieff Morris now on the roster. 

It seemed all too likely that the Heat were going to have to get rid of Duncan Robinson or create a package for the Kyle Lowry signing to happen, but only had to give up a high salary player in Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, as previously discussed. 

This team is high caliber on all aspects of the floor and although it’s unlikely that they would surpass the Nets or Bucks if they meet in the playoffs, there’s always the chance that they could stay healthy and other teams could be riddled with injuries, like what happened last season. 

I’m excited to see Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry play together, as they are two dogs that are willing to sacrifice themselves on the floor for every loose ball and do whatever it takes to win a game. 

Honorable Mention for Winners: New York Knicks

Leave a Reply


Recent posts


2020 2020-21 Season Aaron Rodgers Adam Eaton AJ Preller AJ Styles Alabama Aleksander Barkov Alexis Lefreniere Alex Ovechkin Alex Pietrangelo Alex Smith Alex Verdugo Allen Robinson Andre Drummond Andrei Vasilevskiy Andrew Benentendi Andy Dalton Anthony DeAngelo Anthony Rizzo Anze Kopitar Artemi Panarin Art Ross Trophy Asuka Atlanta Braves Atlanta Hawks Austin Auston Matthews Awards Baltimore Baseball baseball betting Basketball Ben Simmons bestbets Betting Big E Bill Belichick Blake Griffin Blake Snell Blowout Boston Boston Bruins Boston Celtics Boston Red Sox Bowen Byram Bradley Beal Brad Marchand Brad Stevens Brandon Moreno Bray Wyatt Brian Hoyer Brighton Brooklyn Nets Bubble Buddy Hield Buffalo Bills Calder Trophy Cale Makar Cam Newton Carey Price Caris LeVert Carlos Rodon Carmelo Anthony Carolina Hurricanes Carson Wentz Carter Hart Charlie McAvoy Charlotte Hornets Chauncey Billups Chelsea Chicago Bulls Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Chris Godwin Chris Paul Christian Wood Christmas Cincinnati Clemson Cleveland Cavaliers Cleveland Indians College Football Playoff College Sports Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Combat Sports Conference Championships Connor Hellebuyck Connor McDavid Contenders Corey Kispert COVID-19 Cowboys Crystal Palace Dallas Mavericks Dana White Danny Ainge David Pastrnak Dax Prescott DeAndre Jordan Deiveson Figueiredo DeMar DeRozan Derrick Henry Derrick Rose DeShaun Watson Detroit Pistons Detroit Tigers Diana Taurasi Doc Rivers Dominick Reyes Donovan Mitchell Don Sweeney Dougie Hamilton Draft Draft kings Drew McIntyre Duncan Robinson Dwayne Johnson Dylan Cozens Eddie Rosario England Eric Bledsoe Expansion FanDuel Fan duel Fernando Tatis Jr. Fighting Fines Florida Football Francisco Lindor Frank Lampard Frank Selke Free Agency Free Agents Fulham Futbol gambling gamblingguinea Game 1 General Manager George Springer Gerrit Cole Giannis Antokounmpo Goals Goldberg Golden State Warriors Gregg Popovich Hall of Fame Hart Memorial Head Coach Hockey Houston Rockets Houston Texans Hunter Renfroe Hurt Business Ice Shaker Igor Shesterkin Ilya Sorokin Indiana Pacers Isaiah Thomas J.T. Realmuto Jackie Bradley Jr. Jacob DeGrom Jacoby Brissett Jakub Zboril Jameis Winston James Harden James Norris Japan Jarrett Allen Jarrett Stidham Jason Kidd Jason Robertson Javier Baez Jaylen Brown Jaylon Brown Jayson Tatum jdf sport JDFSports JDF Sports Jed Hoyer Jimmy Garoppolo Joanna Jedrzejczyk Joe Flacco Joel Embiid John Gibson JohnnyVTV Jonathan Huberdeau Jon Jones Jordan Clarkson Jose Aldo Josh Norris Jrue Holiday Julius Randle Jurickson Profar Justin Gaehtje Kansas City Kansas City Chiefs Kawhi Leonard Kemba Walker Kenny Golladay Kevin Durant Kevin Owens Kirill Kaprizov Kris Bryant Kyle Lowry Kyrie Irving LaMarcus Aldridge LaMelo Ball Lana Lance Lynn Larry Nance Jr. Las Vegas Lavar Ball Lawsuit Leadership Legal Leon Draisaitl Lions Liverpool Lonzo Ball Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers LSU Luka Doncic Mackenzie Blackwood Malcolm Brogdon Marcell Ozuna Marcus Mariota Mark Stone Matt Murray Matt Ryan Matt Stafford Max Scherzer Memories Memphis Grizzlies Miami Dolphins Miami Heat Michael Jordan Mika Zibanejad Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Wild Miro Heiskanen Mitch Trubisky MLB MMA Moments Money Montreal Canadiens MVP Myles Turner Nashville Predators Nathan McKinnon Naughty NBA NBA Draft NCAA New Day New England Patriots New Orleans Pelicans New York Jets New York Mets New York Rangers New York Yankees NFC East NFL NHL Nia Jax Nice Nikola Jokic Nikola Vucevic Notre Dame Oakland Athletics Offseason Ohio St. Ohio State Oklahoma Oklahoma City Thunder Olympics Orlando Magic Outfield Patrice Bergeron Patrick Mahomes Paul George Payton Pritchard Petr Yan PGA Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Phillies Phillip Danault Phoenix Suns PickingWinners Pittsburgh Penguins Playoffs playsoftheday Portland Trail Blazers Predictions Premier League Presidents Trophy Rafael Stone Randy Orton Ravens Relegations Revenge Robbie Ray Robin Lehner Rocket Richard Roman Josi Roman Reigns Rookies Russell Westbrook Russell Wilson Ryan Fitzpatrick Ryan Kesler Ryan O'Reilly Sacramento Kings Safety Sam Cassell Sam Darnold Sammy Watkins San Antonio Spurs San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Sean Couturier Sebastian Aho Semi Ojeleye Shane Bieber Shayna Baszler Sheffield United Shohei Ohtani Sidney Crosby Slam Diego Soccer Sports sports betting sportsbetting Stanley Cup Stan Van Gundy Steal Steelers Stephen Curry Steven Adams Steven Stamkos strikeout totals Sue Bird Super Bowl LV Suspensions Sweep Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays Chicago White Sox Vlad Guerrero Jr Tamyra Mensah-Stock Taurean Prince Texans Texas A&M Texas Rangers Thanksgiving The Rock Tim Stutzle TLC Tokyo Tom Brady Tom Wilson Tony Ferguson Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Raptors Tottenham trade Trade Deadline Trades Trevor Bauer Trevor Lawrence Trevor Zegras Tuukka Rask Tyler Glasnow Ty Lue Tyrod Taylor Ty Smith UFC UFC 266 Underrated USA Vancouver Canucks Vegas Golden Knights Vezina Trophy Victor Hedman Victor Oladipo vladdy jr Wagers Washington Washington Capitals Washington Football Team Washington Nationals Washington Wizards WeeklyTaste West Brom Wild Card William Karlsson William M. Jennings Winnipeg Jets World Series WrestleMania WWE Yu Darvish Zach Werenski Zhang Weili