Even with Kawhi Leonard and Boogie Cousins still on the open market, the 2019 NBA offseason has gotten most of the big deals out of the way. With team rosters mostly set, the amount of sneaky good deals that could lead a team to a championship and horrible ones that will handicap them for years to come is almost split right down the middle at 50/50. These six moves stand out as puzzling.
6. The Sixers Extending Ben Simmons
This ranking is contingent upon Simmons once again refusing to develop ANY kind of jump shot. With Embiid and Al Horford down low, Simmons needs to develop some kind of offensive game that isn't related to driving to the hole. At $170 million, Simmons is now too expensive to simply be someone who drives to the hole.
5. Portland Adds Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside is a double-double machine, but does he really fit with Portland's roster right now? While Jusuf Nurkic is still working his way back form injury, the two of them are virtually the same player, and they styles playing together won't mesh with the Damian Lillard-CJ McCollum that guides these Blazers teams. This is a case of Portland playing franchise mode in NBA 2K19 rather than paying attention to team fit.
4. The Suns Giving Up On Josh Jackson
After being hesitant to give up Josh Jackson in a trade for Kyrie Irving when he was still in Cleveland, it took two years for the Phoenix Suns to flip him to Memphis in order to buy out Kyle Korver. Jackson has had his struggled over the last two years, but it seems awfully early to bail on a No. 4 overall pick who was mired in a bad situation and stuck with three head coaches in two years. As long as Robert Sarver owns this team, stuff like this is going to continue.
3. Orlando Keeping Most of Their 2018 Team Together
"Run it back" is supposed to be for championship contenders, not teams who just barely snuck into the playoffs. With their massive deal for Nikola Vucevic preventing Mo Bamba from seeing regular playing time and the Terrence Ross deal seeming like an overpay at first glance, Steve Clifford and the Magic are essentially saying 'this is our team' for the next few seasons. Giving Al-Farouq Aminu $29 million is so bad it isn't worth dignifying it with a response or analysis.
2. Knicks, What Are You Doing?
Glossing over the indescribable disappointment of missing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the cross-town rival Nets, what most GMs would do with that cap space on a rebuilding team is take on bad contracts and acquire draft picks, much like the Nets did. The Knicks, however, splurged on Julius Randle, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis, all of whom play the same position. Pair that with the RJ Barrett-Kevin Knox-Dennis Smith Jr core that all needs shots, and the Knicks will need to figure out how to keep eight or nine mouths fed with just one ball.
1. Giving Terry Rozier $58 Million
In a textbook case of the nickname being better than the actual player--see also: Harold 'Baby Jordan' Miner--'Scary' Terry Rozier is a player who averaged nine points-per-game on 39 percent shooting last season that is a career 38 percent shooter. After lowballing the best player the franchise has seen since Larry Johnson in Kemba Walker and losing him to the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan saw it fit to replace him with an inefficient career backup. 2019 figures to be a rough ride for Hornets fans.