By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on August 14, 2014
The 2014 NBA offseason has certainly been one to remember. There was tons of movement from trades to free agency signings, and the entire landscape of the league has drastically shifted. While many teams improved, numerous teams completely struck out as a few even regressed. One thing is for sure, though; we should be in for an exciting and interesting 2014-15 NBA season.
When Carlos Boozer fell victim to the amnesty clause this offseason he became a candidate for this list. However, when he was picked up by the frontcourt-loaded Los Angeles Lakers, he secured a spot. Even though Boozer will still be receiving his full near $ 17 million, moving from a championship contending Chicago Bulls team to the mediocre Lakers where he will likely lose playing time to a rookie is just awful.
For obvious reasons, the Miami Heat were pretty big losers this offseason when LeBron James left for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was clearly the motor that led Miami to four straight NBA Finals appearances, but the team did bounce back pretty well. Of course losing James is devastating, but the acquisitions of Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger should help this franchise remain competitive.
It never ceases to blow my mind when the Oklahoma City Thunder management refuses to bring in reinforcements to alleviate some stress off their star players. Since trading James Harden, the Thunder have been reluctant to spend which has in turn killed their chances of ever competing. Oklahoma City's big acquisition this offseason was Anthony Morrow, who is definitely not going to be the reason they win a championship.
Realistically, the Los Angeles Lakers were not expecting any of the premier talents to join the team this offseason. Mitch Kupchak was just doing his due diligence meeting with Carmelo Anthony and then LeBron James' representation. However, when Anthony was extremely impressed with Los Angeles' presentation and the feeling of him playing alongside Kobe Bryant became real, it was a huge letdown when he re-signed with the New York Knicks.
Developmentally, Andrew Wiggins is a winner this offseason as he will now receive much more opportunity to evolve as a player with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Where he becomes a big loser, though, is that he will not have the opportunity to learn from the best player in the league today, LeBron James. Instead, Wiggins will be forced to basically learn on his own as Minnesota is an extremely young team.
I'm absolutely dumbfounded that Eric Bledsoe has yet to sign a new contract almost a month and a half removed from the start of free agency. He was supposed to be one of the hottest commodities, but the restricted free agent title has made other franchises hesitant to even get involved. At this point it's looking like Bledsoe may just accept the $ 3.7 million qualifying offer, making himself unrestricted in 2015.
The only reason why Greg Monroe is a bigger loser than Bledsoe this offseason is because he will have to suffer through one more season playing with Josh Smith. Monroe accepted the rather low $ 5.5 million qualifying offer to prevent the Detroit Pistons from matching a long-term deal. As long as Smith is in Detroit, Monroe will want out and rightfully so.
Previously, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has made a name for himself by stealing players away from their former teams. Morey did this with Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Thomas Robinson via trade a few years ago. Karma has come back to bite Morey this offseason as he lost Chandler Parsons in free agency and traded away Asik and Lin before Chris Bosh decided to pass up on Houston's offer. Now that's what you call serious regression.
Aside from losing their star player Paul George to injury, the Indiana Pacers failed to improve their roster at all this offseason. Lance Stephenson bailed with no replacement and now George will miss the entire 2014-15 campaign. Nobody knows which Roy Hibbert is going to show up, possibly making this team lottery bound next season. Larry Bird certainly is going to have his work cut out for him.
There's simply no getting around the fact that Paul George is by far the biggest loser of this offseason. While enjoying himself in a Team USA exhibition game, George suffered a gruesome leg injury that will cause him to miss an entire season if not more. For a player who is just about to enter his prime, suffering a career changing injury is simply devastating. Luckily, he signed his contract extension already or this could've been even worse.
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