- Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors didn’t really make any big additions to their roster in free agency. However, the Warriors did have an impressive free agency period just based on they were able to keep their championship roster from this past season the same heading into next season. Stephen Curry was re-signed to a 5-year/$201 million max contract which wasn’t a shock at all. Also, the team the re-signed Kevin Durant to a team-friendly 2-year/$53 million contract which is a really steep pay cut for Durant considering that he is one of the top players in the NBA. However, that pay cut allowed the Warriors to bring back key role players Andre Iguadola, Shaun Livingston, and David West. It appeared that at least one of those guys was going to leave in free agency, but instead everyone stayed and it makes the Warriors the favorites to win the NBA title once again this season. If that wasn’t enough success, Golden State also added Omri Casspi and Nick Young on cheap deals in free agency and that makes the team even deeper. There isn’t a real weakness on the Warriors anymore as they probably have the best overall roster in the NBA.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City just wasn’t quite the same last season after Kevin Durant left and it put more pressure on NBA MVP Russell Westbrook to have to carry the team to the playoffs. Now, the Thunder are once again a legitimate contender in the western conference after acquiring superstar small forward Paul George in a trade with the Pacers. It is even more remarkable that the Thunder didn’t have to give up much to get him as they only traded away Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. George will take a lot of the pressure off of Westbrook for next season and that duo should be able to compete with any other team in the west. Also, Oklahoma City was able to re-sign quality starting guard/forward Andre Roberson to a cheap 3-year/$30 million deal. The team did lose Taj Gibson in free agency, but they replaced him with former Raptors power forward Patrick Patterson on a 3-year deal. Oklahoma City is ready to be a serious contender at least for next season with the addition of Paul George and it would be even better if they could come to terms on an extension with him before he hits free agency after next year.
3. Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets aren’t the type of team that usually pulls off big signings in free agency, but they certainly landed a big free agent this year by signing former Hawks power forward to a 3-year/$90 million contract. Millsap is the consistent veteran player that the young Nuggets team needs and he is still a very productive power forward even at 32 years old. Sure, Denver lost Danilo Gallinari in free agency, but Millsap is actually an upgrade over what Gallinari was during his time in Denver. The Nuggets now have one of the best frontocurt duos in the NBA with Millsap and star young center Nikola Jokic and this appears to be a team that is ready to make a major playoff push immediately.