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2018 NBA Free Agency: Updated Winners and Losers

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Besides for one major, surprising signing, not much has changed since the start of free agency. Most notable UFA’s like LeBron James and Kevin Durant made their decisions quite quickly, as did all the other upper/mid-level players. NBA insiders like Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania were quick to release all the breaking signings. Woj’s “Woj bombs” are well known, even though Charania was first to report maybe the most surprising signing of the free agency period thus far.

Winners

DeMarcus Cousins/Golden State Warriors

After suffering an achilles tear on January 26th, versus the Houston Rockets, Cousins season was over. A year in which the big man was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, these numbers had him in MVP discussions alongside teammate Anthony Davis. Strangely Cousins received no offers, due to concerns about his injury, then the Warriors came calling. With the Warriors already having four All-Stars in their starting lineup, they just added a fifth. Cousins and the Warriors agreed to a one year, $5.3 million dollar deal. This signing increases their chances to make it back to the Finals even higher, which could land Cousins a long term deal should he want to stay.

Tyreke Evans/Indiana Pacers

After coming off a career year with the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, in which Evans averaged 19.4 points (45% FG) and 5.2 assists, he found himself signing with the Indiana Pacers. Acquiring Evans helps replace Lance Stephenson, who provided depth for the young Pacers. Alongside Oladipo, Evans could be a nice one-two punch offensively. This pickup by the Pacers was exactly what the they needed to make that leap into contention in the East.

Losers

Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s obvious that their biggest loss was superstar LeBron James, but they also lost two veteran role players in Jeff Green and Jose Calderon. James dragged a team of role players to another finals run, which resulted in a sweep by the Warriors. Unfortunately for Gilbert and the Cavs, there’s no more remaining free agents that can replace James. On top of that, with rumors swirling around that the Cavs are shopping George Hill, Kyle Korver and now Kevin Love, they may be looking to dissect this roster once again. The Cavs are looking at another several years of struggles, will the king return to end his luxurious career?

New Orleans Pelicans

Losing floor general Rajon Rondo was already a major blow, but finding out all star center DeMarcus Cousins was on his to the Golden State Warriors? That was the cherry on top. Two of the Pelicans’ most essential pieces are now gone, now how do they move on from this? Adding Lakers FA Julius Randle was a good start. Randle will add versatility and scoring alongside Anthony Davis. Yes this is a downgrade from Cousins, but it’s most certainly acceptable due to Randle’s potential. It’ll be interesting to see where the Pelicans finish in the Wild West.

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About Conor Flynn

Conor is a Sports Management Major at Niagara University. Living in Buffalo, New York, Conor hopes to pursue a career in Media Relations in the near future.

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