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NBA Free Agency: The Early Losers

Earlier, we examined the winners of the NBA free agency period, and it included the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. This time, let us take a look at the losers of free agency.

As always, teams that made an NBA Finals run got hurt with players leaving for more money, and that’s exactly the case with the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets

Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Nuggets didn’t have much time to enjoy their NBA title before free agency began. When it did, Bruce Brown left as expected, with Jeff Green also heading out of town. The Nuggets’ cap situation doesn’t look very good, and losing Brown is a massive blow for the team.

Can they find a cheap veteran or two to come on board? It’s likely, especially once the market dries up and those ring-hungry players search for a trip to the NBA Finals.

Miami Heat

Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Max Strus left for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Gabe Vincent leaving was the biggest blow of them all. Pat Riley tried his best to convince Vincent to stay, but a three-year, $33 million deal from the Lakers – and the chance to play with LeBron James – was too enticing for Vincent.

On the other hand, none of that matters if the Heat are able to land Damian Lillard, although there have been no clear signs of any momentum on a potential trade for the Blazers star.

Sacramento Kings

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings were involved in rumors with Draymond Green and a few others, but nothing materialized. They did sign Harrison Barnes and Domantas Sabonis to extensions. But, other than that, they haven’t made any noteworthy moves just yet.

For a team that lost in the first round to the Golden State Warriors, they needed to make an improvement, and so far they haven’t.

Milwaukee Bucks

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is a tough one, but this is the reality for now. The Bucks did sign Khris Middleton to a new deal and added Robin Lopez while retaining Brook as well. Other than that, they didn’t make any needle-worthy moves.

Malik Beasley signed a deal after an impressive season, including a short stint with the Lakers. But, will the Beasley and Robin Lopez additions be enough to sustain a difficult Eastern Conference? New head coach Adrian Griffin is in for a tough first season.

Portland Trail Blazers

Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Jerami Grant got a massive bag of cash and Scoot Henderson is going to be fun to watch. But, Lillard officially asking to be traded is no surprise, and it will be shocking if he ends up lasting more than half a season in Portland. With him wanting to go to Miami, and apparently Miami only, it doesn’t help Portland one bit in a potential trade.

On the other hand, the Blazers don’t need to trade him away for pennies on the dollar like the Washington Wizards did with Bradley Beal. Theoretically, they could sit back and wait and see what happens, but it doesn’t look promising. Sadly, the Dame era in Portland has an expiration date, and it could come any day.


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  1. Pingback:NBA Free Agency: The Early Winners

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