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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM

NBA Offseason Grades/Win Total Leans

The Westgate Vegas Superbook released projected win totals on the first Sunday in August. With the majority of offseason activity now in the books, determinations can safely be made. The following are my over/under leans and grades on roster tweaks from both the draft and free agency for all 30 teams.

Atlanta Hawks
Projected win total/Recommendation: 23.5 UNDER
In: Trae Young (R), Jeremy Lin, Alex Len, Justin Anderson, Vince Carter, Kevin Huerter (R), Omari Spellman (R), Jaylen Adams
Out: Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala, Malcolm Delaney, Isaiah Taylor, Tyler Cavanaugh, Antonius Cleveland, Jaylen Morris, Damion Lee

The Hawks are hoping that Young will develop into the next Steph Curry and will give him every opportunity to be successful since they're going up-tempo and are handing him the reins. They even got their lottery pick a mentor and sparring partner in Lin, who could have a big season if healthy. It's likely to be a rocky first year for new head coach Lloyd Pierce, but a lot of that is by design since another Top-5 pick would best serve the franchise's fortunes. Grade: C


Boston Celtics
Projected win total/Recommendation: 57.5 OVER
In: Robert Williams (R), Brad Wanamaker (R), Walt Lemon, Jr.
Out: Abdel Nader, Kadeem Allen

Not prevailing in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes meant it was a quiet offseason for the 2018-19 Eastern Conference favorite, which gets a huge boost with Gordon Hayward expected to return no worse for the wear following multiple surgeries after breaking his left leg in last year's season opener. Kyrie Irving enters a huge contract year, Williams was a fantastic value pick in the draft and Wanamaker has been excellent overseas. Danny Ainge hasn't had many bad offseasons and should see an improvement on last season's 55-win output after another strong one in 2018. Grade: B


Brooklyn Nets
Projected win total/Recommendation: 32.5 UNDER
In: Ed Davis, Kenneth Faried, Shabazz Napier, Dzanan Musa (R), Jared Dudley, Treveon Graham, Rodions Kurucs (R)
Out: Jeremy Lin, Timofey Mozgov, Isaiah Whitehead, Dante Cunningham, Jahlil Okafor, Quincy Acy, Nik Stauskas

GM Sean Marks turned briefly taking on Dwight Howard into additional cap room for next summer and re-signed Joe Harris, whose efficiency last season opened some eyes. Although he's talked openly about competing for a playoff berth, Marks' team remains another year away. Getting D'Angelo Russell to grow up and capitalize on his huge potential joins developing center Jarrett Allen into a huge asset in his second season as franchise priorities. I don't see them avoiding 50 losses. Grade: C


Charlotte Hornets
Projected win total/Recommendation: 35.5 OVER
In: Miles Bridges (R), Tony Parker, Bismack Biyombo, Devonte' Graham (R)
Out: Dwight Howard, Michael Carter-Williams, Treveon Graham, Julyan Stone

Although Howard played well last season, new president/GM Mitch Kupchak traded his presence for Tony Parker's influence and picked up Biyombo from division rival Orlando to help Cody Zeller handle the rim protector role. We'll likely see more of Frank Kaminsky and Willy Hernangomez if James Borrego opts to play more small ball. A run at the playoffs hinges on Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist being healthy and more efficient on offense than they've shown to date. The fact Kemba Walker may be moved since he's in the final year of an expiring deal makes it difficult to pull the trigger on the recommendation above since they could wind up blowing things up. If the Hornets make it through the season with the roster they enter the season with, they'll make a run at .500. Grade: C-


Chicago Bulls
Projected win total/Recommendation: 27.5 OVER
In: Jabari Parker, Wendell Carter (R), Chandler Hutchison (R), Rawle Alkins (R), Antonius Cleveland
Out: Jerian Grant, Noah Vonleh, David Nwaba, Paul Zipser, Sean Kilpatrick

The big splash was getting Parker to return to his hometown after a disappointing run in Milwaukee spoiled by two ACL tears. The Bulls are rolling the dice on him getting into great shape and staying healthy, making him their highest-paid player this season after offering a two-year/$40 million offer sheet that the Bucks opted not to match. With Zach LaVine healthy, Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis looking like productive frontcourt options and Carter coming on board as a post threat, the Bulls should be much improved. At 100-to-1 to win the Central, that's worth a gamble given LeBron James' departure from Cleveland. Great value there. Grade: A


Cleveland Cavaliers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 30.5 OVER
In: Collin Sexton (R), Channing Frye, Sam Dekker, Billy Preston (R)
Out: LeBron James, Jeff Green, Jose Calderon, Kendrick Perkins, London Perrantes, Okaro White

Locking up Kevin Love was the only move GM Koby Altman could make since you hold on to your best assets whenever possible, but $120 million over four years won't make him easy to deal if the need arises. With LeBron leaving, the Cavs are going to rebuild around Love and rely almost exclusively on a supporting cast that just failed miserably around the league's best player in June's Finals. The new blood comes via Sexton, who will have to beat out Jordan Clarkson and George Hill for the keys but is a nice Rookie of the Year option if he's successful. His selection is the highlight of a dark but inevitable offseason and will probably help this group avoid a 50-loss season.Grade: D


Dallas Mavericks
Projected win total/Recommendation: 34.5 OVER
In: DeAndre Jordan, Luka Doncic (R), Devin Harris, Jalen Brunson (R), Chinanu Onuaku, Ray Spalding (R), Yanyuhang Ding (R)
Out: Yogi Ferrell, Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, Doug McDermott, Aaron Harrison

It will be important to see how Doncic and last year's top pick, Dennis Smith, Jr., co-exist, but the Mavs have the horses to be much improved, potentially flirting with .500 despite a loaded Western Conference. Between Rick Carlisle's coaching and the potential for Jordan's ability to significant upgrade the defense, making Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea more useful, the Mavs have improved depth. Harrison Barnes and Wes Matthews will have less pressure on them with Doncic on board. Grade: A


Denver Nuggets
Projected win total/Recommendation: 47.5 OVER
In: Isaiah Thomas, Michael Porter, Jr. (R), Jarred Vanderbilt (R)
Out: Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Devin Harris, Darrell Arthur, Richard Jefferson

The Nuggets signed star center Nikola Jokic to an extension, shed salary to escape a huge luxury tax penalty without sacrificing significant depth and took fliers in the draft (Porter - likely to sit year out) and by bringing in Thomas. Brilliant work from Tim Connolly and Arturas Karnisovas. The Nuggets should top last year's win total of 46, which fell one shy of a playoff berth. Grade: A+


Detroit Pistons
Projected win total/Recommendation: 37.5 OVER
In: Khyri Thomas (R), Zaza Pachulia, Glenn Robinson III, Jose Calderon, Bruce Brown (R)
Out: James Ennis III, Anthony Tolliver, Eric Moreland, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Buycks

The biggest move this past offseason saw Stan Van Gundy let go, ultimately replaced by reigning Coach of the Year Dwane Casey. He's got an advantage in having Blake Griffin around for a full season, including training camp. If Reggie Jackson stays healthy and Stanley Johnson, Luke Kennard and Reggie Bullock take steps forward, they've got a shot at .500. Keep an eye on Thomas, a second-round pick, as a potential x-factor. Can Casey have an immediate impact? I expect him to. Grade: B-


Golden State Warriors
Projected win total/Recommendation: 62.5 UNDER
In: DeMarcus Cousins, Jonas Jerebko, Jacob Evans (R), Damion Lee
Out: David West, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Chris Boucher

Picking up Cousins for what will probably amount to 30-plus regular-season games was my favorite move of the offseason, falling into the Warriors' lap due to extenuating circumstances. If he's healthy in May and June, it should help yield another title for the Dubs in their final season at Oracle before moving to San Francisco in 14 months. Even if West doesn't return, re-signing Durant and landing Boogie has made for a tremendous few weeks following a second straight title. As far as this regular-season win total is concerned, it's hard to trust that a group chasing their third title will care enough about the first 82 games not to drop at least 20.Grade: A+


Houston Rockets
Projected win total/Recommendation: 54.5 OVER
In: Carmelo Anthony, Michael Carter-Williams, James Ennis III, Isaiah Hartenstein (R), De'Anthony Melton (R)
Out: Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, Chinanu Onuaku, Aaron Jackson

Even though Melo's addition has been nearly universal panned, there is a chance that this ends up a better fit for him than he enjoyed in OKC since there will be less wear and tear on him down the stretch. Losing Ariza and Mbah a Moute puts more pressure on P.J. Tucker and has GM Daryl Morey shopping for better two-way options, dangling Ryan Anderson. Melton looks like a steal and the other new blood could be an asset to guard against complacency. Dropping double-digit wins from the 65 they managed last season would leave Anthony in a scapegoat's role whether it's his fault or not, but I don't see that happening barring injuries to James Harden and Chris Paul, who will both likely also play less minutes. Grade: C+



Indiana Pacers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 47.5 OVER
In: Tyreke Evans, Aaron Holiday (R), Kyle O'Quinn, Doug McDermott, Alize Johnson (R)
Out: Lance Stephenson, Al Jefferson, Trevor Booker, Joe Young, Glenn Robinson III, Alex Poythress

Thaddeus Young opted back in, preferring to push free agency off to next summer, so GM Kevin Pritchard got a nice surprise regarding one of his biggest decisions. Evans was the big get, especially if he can build off a resurgent season in Memphis. O'Quinn and McDermott were solid signings, rounding out the frontcourt with a pair of competitive veterans. Stephenson's loss will be felt, but Evans is an upgrade and both rookies are the types to fit in and make everybody better. Grade: A


Los Angeles Clippers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 35.5 UNDER
In: Marcin Gortat, Luc Mbah a Moute, Mike Scott, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (R), Jerome Robinson (R)
Out: DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, Sam Dekker, C.J. Williams

Losing Jordan officially put an end to the "Lob City" era, although Doc Rivers is hanging around to mold this new version. Gortat may start in the middle, but this team will likely play more small ball given the assembled personnel. Although the Clips had an excellent draft and have plenty of guard depth, the fact key figures like Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley will likely be available before the deadline means they could be tanking when the final few weeks roll around. Grade: C


Los Angeles Lakers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 48.5 OVER
In: LeBron Jarmes, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Mo Wagner (R), Svi Mykhailuk (R), Isaac Bonga (R)
Out: Julius Randle, Isaiah Thomas, Brook Lopez, Channing Frye, Tyler Ennis, Thomas Bryant

Magic Johnson got his man, but James' supporting cast raised more than a few eyebrows. Still, what the group lacks in perimeter accuracy, they make up for in competitiveness. Rondo will be one of the smartest players LeBron has ever played alongside. With the re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope set to do dirty work and young talent like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Jason Hart sure to blossom next to LeBron, the Lakers will make the playoffs. This roster wins 50 games if James plays over 75. Grade: A


Memphis Grizzlies
Projected win total/Recommendation: 34.5 UNDER
In: Jaren Jackson (R), Kyle Anderson, Omri Casspi, Garrett Temple, Jevon Carter, Dakari Johnson
Out: Tyreke Evans, Ben McLemore, Deyonta Davis, Mario Chalmers, Jarell Martin

Mike Conley missing 70 games went about as well as you would've expected for the Griz but Jackson's presence could pay off that strife since he's talented and won't turn 19 until mid-September. There appears to be more depth and Conley expects to be ready for training camp, so 35 wins would be possible if he looks like he'll be able to recover his previous form. If it takes him a while, the franchise could prioritize extending the careers of Conley and Marc Gasol for when the team is better equipped to compete for a playoff berth. The threat of tanking down the stretch makes going over on this win total a tough sell. Grade: B-


Miami Heat
Projected win total/Recommendation: 41.5 OVER
In: Duncan Robinson (R), Yante Maten (R)
Out: Jordan Mickey, Derrick Walton

Although they didn't have a pick in this past draft, the Heat liked Robinson and Maten enough to make them their two-way players this season. One of last year's two-ways, Derrick Jones, Jr., made strides and was a Summer League standout. Miami will seek a resolution to whether team legends Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem will return around mid-month. The hope is that Hassan Whiteside will have a better attitude and Bam Adebayo can push him and continue improving so the team can have an athletic shot-blocker and inside presence at all times. Last season's team lacked the magic of the '16-'17 group, but there's enough talent here to finish above .500. Grade: C-


Milwaukee Bucks
Projected win total/Recommendation: 46.5 OVER
In: Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo (R), Trevon Duval (R)
Out: Jabari Parker, Brandon Jennings, Shabazz Muhammad

Mike Budenholzer taking over as head coach ended up being the highlight of the offseason and losing Parker was unexpected, but the Bucks added some nice pieces to compensate. Lopez, Ilyasova and Connaughton can knock down the 3-pointer, which should help better spread the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe to attack the paint. DiVincenczo is a winner. If Greek Freak's jumper improves, they'll win the Central (-110). Grade: B-


Minnesota Timberwolves
Projected win total/Recommendation: 44.5 UNDER
In: Anthony Tolliver, Josh Okogie (R), Keita Bates-Diop (R)
Out: Nemanja Bjelica, Cole Aldrich, Amile Jefferson

It's been a terrible offseason for the Wolves. It's come to light that Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns haven't gotten along. Andrew Wiggins has looked lost, the front office reached for Okogie with the No. 20 pick and a group that went just 24-21 over their final 45 regular-season games and were wiped out in five in the playoffs may already need drastic changes to avoid being swallowed whole by the collective strength of the Western Conference.Grade: D-

New Orleans Pelicans
Projected win total/Recommendation: 44.5 UNDER
In: Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, Trevon Bluiett (R)
Out: DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Charles Cooke

Although the Pelicans extended Cousins a qualifying offer, they were never truly serious about signing him long-term after Nikola Mirotic arrived and the team thrived by pushing tempo. Losing Rondo hurts since their two-point guard system was a force and Payton isn't the same caliber of creator, but he does have a high motor and should be a capable backup. Landing Randle to ease Boogie's departure was a big deal, but the Pelicans could still regress due to their lack of firepower on the wing. Solomon Hill and E'Twaun Moore are the likely starters. If Davis can't play at least 75 games for the third straight season, reaching the playoffs will be a challenge. Grade: B-


New York Knicks
Projected win total/Recommendation: 29.5 UNDER
In: Kevin Knox (R), Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, Mitchell Robinson (R), Kadeem Allen
Out: Michael Beasley, Kyle O'Quinn, Jarrett Jack, Troy Williams

The David Fizdale era begins and the Knicks will be better for it -- just probably not this season. The franchise is likely best served giving Kristaps Porzingis most of the season off as he returns from a torn ACL, which would afford Knox a great opportunity to get more touches early, aiding his development. Passing on Missouri's Porter, Jr. was booed on draft night but looks like the right move since Knox shined in Vegas. Hezonja and Vonleh have taken their lumps early with other teams but may be ready to contribute and could respond, aiding the NYK rebuild. Grade: B-


Oklahoma City Thunder
Projected win total/Recommendation: 50.5 OVER
In: Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Abdel Nader, Hamidou Diallo (R)
Out: Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer, Nick Collison, Josh Huestis, Dakari Johnson

Keeping Paul George from leaving for L.A. was GM Sam Presti's biggest win this offseason, but he also landed a few underrated pieces and unloaded Carmelo Anthony while getting a much-needed sixth man in Schroder, who will take some pressure off Russell Westbrook. With defensive stopper Andre Roberson returning, OKC is loaded enough to expect a top-four Western Conference finish, complete with a Northwest Division title if Westbrook, George and Steven Adams stay healthy. Grade: A+


Orlando Magic
Projected win total/Recommendation: 31.5 UNDER
In: Mo Bamba (R), Jerian Grant, Timofey Mozgov, Jarell Martin, Isaiah Briscoe (R), Melvin Frazier (R), Amile Jefferson
Out: Bismack Biyombo, Mario Hezonja, Arron Afflalo, Mo Speights, Shelvin Mack, Rodney Purvis, Jamel Artis

The team with the league's worst point guard situation looks to be tanking one more time for a top pick, though we'll see if Grant can capitalize on this opportunity by filling the stat sheet and shooting it well enough to justify getting extended minutes. Bamba was a home run pick at No. 6 and should see plenty of action, while last year's No. 5 selection, Jonathan Issac, will hopefully stay healthy enough to gain the experience he missed out on as a rookie. Dealing Nikola Vucevic at some point is a must. Grade: C+


Philadelphia 76ers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 54.5 UNDER
In: Wilson Chandler, Zhaire Smith (R), Mike Muscala, Jonah Bolden, Landry Shamet (R)
Out: Ersan Ilyasova, Marco Belinelli, Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

The Sixers lost two of their best shooters and could very well be the third-best team in their own division again. Although the expectation is that they'll get more from Markelle Fultz, this roster doesn't look as deep. If Joel Embiid misses any significant time, expecting this team to win 55 games would be ludicrous. Ben Simmons must prove he can shoot it better too. The whole group must also deal with a target on their chest after enjoying the element of surprise last season. Grade: C


Phoenix Suns
Projected win total/Recommendation: 28.5 UNDER
In: Deandre Ayton (R), Trevor Ariza, Mikal Bridges (R), Darrell Arthur, Richaun Holmes, Elie Okobo (R)
Out: Tyler Ulis, Elfrid Payton, Alex Len, Jared Dudley, Alan Williams, Danuel House

A 21-win season helped the Suns secure the No. 1 overall pick, which they smartly used on Ayton. In picking up Ariza, they've got an anchor on the wing to ease the burden of last year's No. 4 pick, Josh Jackson. There's much better depth on this team and a talented new head coach in Igor Kokoskov, but expecting them to reach even 29 wins will hinge on whether Brandon Knight can return from a torn ACL to take the reins ahead of a number of less experienced options. Grade: A


Portland Trail Blazers
Projected win total/Recommendation: 41.5 UNDER
In: Nik Stauskas, Seth Curry, Wade Baldwin IV, Anfernee Simons (R), Gary Trent, Jr. (R)
Out: Ed Davis, Pat Connaughton, Shabazz Napier, C.J. Wilcox, Georgios Papagiannis

The Blazers won a division title and then were immediately humbled by New Orleans in the first round, so Terry Stotts will have to help his team leave that demoralizing sweep in the past. Last year's lottery pick, Zach Collins, will be the x-factor, but the guards behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will be extremely young and inexperienced. Someone has to freefall in the West. This is the top candidate to do so. Grade: C


Sacramento Kings
Projected win total/Recommendation: 25.5 OVER
In: Marvin Bagley III (R), Nemanja Bjelica, Ben McLemore, Yogi Ferrell, Deyonta Davis, Wenyen Gabriel (R)
Out: Garrett Temple, Vince Carter, Bruno Caboclo, Nigel Hayes

Improved depth should help yield significant improvement in California's capital city, where competition for minutes should yield better results. Bagley will get most of the headlines -- and credit -- for a resurgence, but a lot of serviceable pieces came in who should upgrade the team's level of play. Grade: A-


San Antonio Spurs
Projected win total/Recommendation: 43.5 OVER
In: DeMar DeRozan, Marco Belinelli, Jakob Poltl, Lonnie Walker IV (R), Dante Cunningham, Chimezie Metu (R)
Out: Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson, Brandon Paul, Joffrey Lauvergne

The Spurs turned over 40 percent of the roster, highlighted by pulling the trigger on a blockboster trade that moved Leonard for DeRozan. There are going to be issues due to a lack of accuracy from beyond the arc and some slow-footed bigs who could be taken advantage of, but coaching and talent should keep this group in the playoff hunt.Grade: C+


Toronto Raptors
Projected win total/Recommendation: 54.5 UNDER
In: Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Greg Monroe, Chris Boucher
Out: DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poltl, Lukas Nogueira

There are too many variables to call for 55 wins here, from Nick Nurse taking over in the head chair for Casey to Leonard getting acclimated to a new system while coming off an injury. He won't be dogging it in a contract year but will likely err on the side of caution, especially early and in back-to-backs. The Raptors have fantastic depth and won the trade over the Spurs since they held on to OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Delon Wright, so they've earned high marks for thier offseason work. I just don't see them being cohesive enough to win the Atlantic again, so look for a dip. However, if Leonard is on board and humming come April, Toronto will be a threat to reach the Finals.Grade: A


Utah Jazz
Projected win total/Recommendation: 48.5 OVER
In: Grayson Allen (R)
Out: Jonas Jerebko

With Donovan Mitchell exploding on to the scene, the Jazz fell a win in the regular-season finale short of at least a share of the Northwest title. Although they lost Kokoskov, the top assistant to Quin Snyder, the team returns virtually intact, losing only Jerebko while adding the talented Allen, whose toughness should be an asset and fits in well with this team's attitude. Look for this group to win 50 games, serving as OKC's top challenger in the division. Grade: C


Washington Wizards
Projected win total/Recommendation: 44.5 OVER
In: Dwight Howard, Jeff Green, Austin Rivers, Troy Brown (R), Thomas Bryant
Out: Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott, Ty Lawson, Ramon Sessions, Tim Frazier, Chris McCullough

It seems like it's now or never for this Wizards group, which has already been altered with Gortat moved. Howard is the major tweak, but Green, Rivers and top pick Brown upgrade the team's depth and should factor in heavily in Scott Brooks' rotation. After finishing 43-39 last season in a major disappointment, Washington should surpass its projected win total and has rightfully been favored to win the Southeast (5-to-7). Grade: B


Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA

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