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NBA Free Agency Grades: Ranking Every Team’s Free Agency So Far

The NBA Free Agency period could be the path to becoming an NBA Championship team or a devastating path to rebuilding for some teams. Nonetheless, the NBA Free Agency period is a very important time, and here is how we grade every NBA team so far.
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NBA Free Agency Grades: Ranking Every Team’s Free Agency So Far

The NBA Free Agency period could be the path to becoming an NBA Championship team or a devastating path to rebuilding for some teams. Nonetheless, the NBA Free Agency period is a very important time for a franchise.

For the most part, this offseason has slowed down (cue a 5-team Kevin Durant trade), so let’s grade each team’s free agency thus far.

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2022 NBA Free Agency Grades

Atlanta Hawks: A-

Without giving up any of their solid, young core, they acquired Dejounte Murray to be a running mate to Trae Young and John Collins. He’ll help offload the pressure around Trae Young on offense, which should open up the game for everyone. 

Boston Celtics: B+

The Celtics have built a consistent contender that had yet to make the Finals until last year. They showed that they weren’t content with a Finals loss, and they made some solid moves to make it back to the Finals. Derrick White was a great acquisition to help offload the playmaking pressures from Marcus Smart. 

Brooklyn Nets: C

This free agency has been a whirlwind for the Nets, with minimal moves being made due to their uncertainty with Kevin Durant’s future as a Net. It’s unclear where KD will play next season, but if he remains a Net, they won’t have done much to improve their underwhelming, first-round exit squad. 

Charlotte Hornets: D

The Hornets have unintentionally shot themselves in the foot. They have players in trouble with the law, and that’s restricted them from making solid moves to move forward as a potential playoff team. Outside of the drama, not much has been done for them.

Chicago Bulls: C+

Nothing crazy for the Bulls, but retaining Zach LaVine was a win, and they added more depth. Getting healthy and ready for another playoff run should be their main focus going forward to consider this offseason a success. 

Cleveland Cavaliers: C-

If the Cavaliers find some value for Collin Sexton in a sign-and-trade, then their offseason will look a little bit better, but other than that, they didn’t make any crazy noise that’ll push them to the next level next season.

Dallas Mavericks: C

The Mavericks are coming off a very successful Western Conference Finals run but lost Luka Doncic’s running mate Jalen Brunson to the Knicks. They acquired Christian Wood, which would’ve given them a B or even B+ had they retained Brunson.

Denver Nuggets: B+

Signing Bruce Brown and trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were both solid moves for the Nuggets to provide some depth to an injury-prone team. They also acquired DeAndre Jordan, which was interesting, but they got better this offseason. 

Detroit Pistons: C

It was a great draft for the Pistons, just a mediocre Free Agency. They offloaded Jerami Grant, who’s now in a position to win, so they could further develop their young talent. They didn’t need to do much as they just needed to develop what they have for the future. 

Golden State Warriors: C+

The Warriors lost some of their key role players to free agency, but that should open up some room for their young talent to step in and make an impact. They also re-signed Kevon Looney and signed Donte Divincenzo. Things could have been way worse in the Bay. 

Houston Rockets: C

As for any other young, rebuilding team, free agency just isn’t a point of emphasis, nor is trading away any players as they are set to continue to develop their young talent and build through the draft. 

Indiana Pacers: B-

The Pacers are in a rebuild, and that’s no secret. They went into Free Agency with an aggressive approach and got DeAndre Ayton paid. While they didn’t land Ayton, they showed a willingness to offer the max contract to help Tyrese Haliburton. 

Los Angeles Clippers: B+

The bulk of the Clippers roster construction for this season was done during last season. They built a team to complement Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and while the two were hurt, the squad still looked solid. They then added John Wall this offseason, which is a cheap gamble. As a third option, Wall will likely complement the two stars very well.

Los Angeles Lakers: B+

Did the Lakers get better on paper this offseason? I’m not sure. I also don’t know if they’ll have a better record next season. While working with very, very limited cap space and assets, they got younger while building decent depth. Their offseason might not be done, but so far, I like the idea of getting a young team around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. That way, they’re almost guaranteed effort. 

Memphis Grizzlies: C+

The Grizzlies were quiet this offseason, and that’s more than okay. They’re building a very, very solid team with both star power and crazy good depth, and it’s a matter of time for them. They’re young and coming off a second-seeded season in a tough conference. Time will only help them in this case, and there’s no need to make any crazy changes when you’re a young contending team.

Miami Heat: C-

PJ Tucker signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, which sucks for the Heat, but they’ll find a rotational player to assume his role. Other than that, the Heat are in a waiting and negotiating game with Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trades on the horizon. They’re essentially victims of Kevin Durant pausing free agency. 

Milwaukee Bucks: B-

The Bucks got over their biggest hurdle of the offseason, which was retaining their contending squad. They did that while bringing Joe Ingles, who will be a seamless fit in Milwaukee. Overall a decent offseason for the Bucks. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: B+

This may be a hot take, but I’m all for the Timberwolves going all-in on a big-time trade for Rudy Gobert. Yes, it was insanely expensive. They could have kept a slow build going, but KAT will be nearing his prime before too incredibly long, and Anthony Edwards is an incredible young talent. There’s a scenario where this lineup doesn’t work, and they have to move a piece or two, but they’ll still have Kermit, I mean... Anthony Edwards.

New Orleans Pelicans: B-

I’m a huge fan of what the Pelicans are building in New Orleans right now. They’re coming off a thrilling season without their best player. Now add Zion Williamson to the mix. They’ll be fun. But health was a priority this offseason, not making any blockbuster moves, so the Pelicans succeeded this offseason. 

New York Knicks: A

I may be in the minority with my opinion on the Knicks’ Free Agency, but to keep it simple, I love the Brunson move. So what if Brunson was overpaid and doesn’t work out? They know how to free up cap space for the next big free agent, and they’ll do whatever it takes to sign said free agent. They proved that by freeing up cap space to get Brunson, who was one of the top targets in this Free Agency class. 

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Oklahoma City Thunder: C+

I’m an Oklahoma City guy, and I love what the Thunder did in the draft, obviously, but the Free Agency moves were good too. Mike Muscala and Lu Dort have been retained, and that alone makes for a successful Free Agency for the young squad.

Orlando Magic: C+

After pulling a sneaky in the draft and taking Paolo Banchero, the Magic didn’t need to do much more to make it a successful offseason. Another young team that didn’t do too much in Free Agency but still will come out of the offseason as winners. Kudos to them for bringing back Mo Bamba, though. 

Philadelphia 76ers: A+

Sure, they might’ve tampered, but I love what Philly did in Free Agency. First off, big shoutout to James Harden for shedding nearly $15 million off what he could’ve made had he opted into his contract. Also, PJ Tucker and Danuel House will benefit the 76ers and their depth greatly. Easily my favorite moves of Free Agency.

Phoenix Suns: B-

They deserve a B- simply because they didn’t lose DeAndre Ayton for nothing, but even more so because they didn’t lose him at all. They lost Javale McGee, which is a bummer, but having DeAndre Ayton back much makes up for that. 

Portland Trail Blazers: A-

While the Trail Blazers seem to be stuck in no-man's-land, they acquired both Jerami Grant and Gary Payton II, which are two great additions. They found some help for Damian Lillard when it felt like that may not be possible. Not to mention, they won the Summer League championship. 

Sacramento Kings: B

Great additions of Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter carry the load of their offseason, as the rest was done in the draft. The two additions are sneakily solid additions as the team tries to make their first playoff run in 16 years. 

San Antonio Spurs: B

The Spurs entered the race for the top pick in the next year’s draft, and they started off by getting great return value for trading Dejounte Murray. All in all, a great start to a long road of a rebuild ahead of them. 

Toronto Raptors: B

The Raptors have been able to remain a solid team in the post-Kawhi era, and that won’t stop now. They’re building off a playoff season with new role players, even one with recent championship experience in Otto Porter Jr. 

Utah Jazz: B+

The inevitable is coming to Utah. The cycle of a small market remains the same, and it’s time for the Jazz to rebuild. They got absurd value back from trading Rudy Gobert and even some young talent. It’s been a solid start to stripping the roster, and now we await a Donovan Mitchell trade. 

Washington Wizards: D

The worst place to be stuck as a basketball team is right where the Wizards will remain. Not a top-5 pick team, nor a top-10 contending team. Mediocrity is where they’ll find themselves after a Free Agency to match that with some solid depth and help coming for Bradley Beal.

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Kade has spent his last 3 years writing about the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has also been following the NBA for the past 11 years. Just recently, Kade began co-hosting the Boomtown Hoops Podcast.


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