The offseason is where many NBA teams make or break themselves for the season ahead. Whether it is adding a key rookie to their roster, signing a big-name free agent, or making a blockbuster trade we have seen it year after year that the eventual NBA champion made their championship move in the offseason.
Last offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers put together a trade package to acquire one of the best big men in the entire league, Anthony Davis, ultimately leading to them winning the 2020 NBA Finals. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, the Toronto Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard, who ultimately led them to their franchise’s first NBA title. Ahead of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors signed one of the best scorers the NBA has ever seen in Kevin Durant, ultimately leading to back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018.
When all is said and done this upcoming NBA season, chances are that we will be able to look back on one of the moves this offseason and claim that so-and-so won the title because of “this” move. While this year’s free agency was unlike past years, as spending was way down from what it usually was as a result of the loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 shutdown and NBA restart with no fans, there were plenty of big signings made that will have a major effect on the 2020-21 season.
Some teams also made some trades to acquire All-Star level players that could push them over the edge and make the NBA playoffs, as in the case of the Phoenix Suns. In a year that will see each team play up to 72 regular-season games and in a season that could see things change quickly due to health and player safety restrictions, nobody knows what the future holds, but we do know there is going to be some great, competitive basketball being played.
While some teams faltered in the offseason and may have made some decisions that will set them back moving forward, other teams made statement moves not only solidifying their playoff position, but turning them into championship contenders for the 2020-21 NBA season.
Let’s take a look at five teams who were the biggest winners of the NBA offseason.