2022 NBA offseason grades for all 30 teams: Celtics put on masterclass; Lakers underwhelm; 76ers earn ‘A’

The 2022 NBA offseason has been like a furious game of “Red Light, Green Light,” with only slightly less dire consequences than “Squid Game” (hey, remember Squid Game?). It began with a flurry of moves in the first couple days of free agency, then a long cool-off period during which we were promised a holding pattern while the Brooklyn Nets contemplated what to do about Kevin Durant’s trade request.

Then, boom, suddenly the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks are reportedly discussing a Donovan Mitchell trade. After that, Deandre Ayton signs a max offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers only to have it matched within minutes by the Phoenix Suns. Man, time for a deep breath.

A good way to take a step back is to look at every team’s offseason in its entirety. Including the draft, trades and free agency, who’s in and who’s out on all 30 NBA teams? It’s not easy to keep straight, but thanks to the folks over at NBA.com for their handy list. It also took some extra research to add all the deals that have reportedly been agreed upon but aren’t yet official.

And just because we can, we decided to throw in some offseason grades — with the obvious caveat that no evaluation is set in stone with so many free agent signings and potentially gargantuan trades still on the horizon. Hopefully this gets published before the light turns green again.

Who’s in:

Who’s out:

Just a year after a surprising run to the conference finals that catapulted the Hawks into young contender status, they mortgaged their future by

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NBA Power Rankings: Suns keep dominating; Anthony Davis’ return gives Lakers hope; Cavs taking league by storm


1


Suns

Ho hum, another week, another four wins for the Suns, who have now rattled off eight in a row. The win over the surging Mavs was impressive, and Phoenix played all week without big man Deandre Ayton, as Bismack Biyombo, JaVale McGee and Jalen Smith filled in the center minutes. This team really does seem to be plug and play, and with Devin Booker and Chris Paul at the peak of their powers, they are incredibly difficult to beat. — 41-9
2


Cavaliers

Holy moly, Cleveland just keeps on rolling. Lauri Markkanen went down with an ankle injury and Jarrett Allen missed a game this week — pfft, so what? Three more victories for the Cavs, including a statement win over the Bucks on Wednesday. Kevin Love stepped up with Markkanen and Allen out, putting up 22.5 points and 10 rebounds on 11-for-21 3-point shooting over the last two games. Darius Garland averaged 18.3 points and 10.3 assists in three games, while Evan Mobley added 15.3 points and 12 rebounds. The Cavs are a game and a half out of FIRST PLACE in the Eastern Conference. Let that sink in. 4 31-20
3


Heat

Jimmy Butler inexplicably missed an alley-oop layup in the final 20 seconds and then clanked a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the Heat’s loss to the Hawks to start the week, but they bounced back to beat the Lakers and Knicks. Miami played all week without Kyle Lowry, who’s out for personal reasons, which allowed Gabe Vincent to step in and average 11 points and 6.7 assists per game on 41 percent 3-point shooting. Speaking of 3-point shooting, Duncan Robinson caught fire this week, going 18 for 32 from long distance en route to 23 points per game. 1 32-20
4


Warriors

After beginning the
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Lakers blown out by Trail Blazers as Anthony Davis leaves with non-COVID illness, Russell Westbrook struggles

The past week has not been kind to the Los Angeles Lakers. On Thursday, they learned LeBron James would be out for at least a week with an abdominal strain, and later that night they blew a 19-point lead to the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder. Unfortunately for them, the bad times continued on Saturday. 

Traveling to Portland without LeBron to play a Trail Blazers team that had won four in a row at home was never going to be easy. It was a winnable game, though, and exactly the type of situation for which they had acquired Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook — two younger stars to take some of the burden off LeBron. Instead, they were never even competitive, trailed by as much as 34 and eventually lost 105-90.

Right from the off, things went poorly. The Blazers had a double-digit lead by the middle of the first quarter, and with 4:51 left in the opening frame the Lakers had to take Davis out because he wasn’t feeling well. Any sort of illness is a cause for concern these days, especially with multiple players entering the health and safety protocols in the past week. 

“He woke up this afternoon with a bit of a stomach bug,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Came back in and said his thumb felt pretty good, good enough to play, then he went and threw up in the back. Still wanted to give it a go, but by the time tip-off came around he had already thrown up four times. He wanted to see if getting out on the floor would change it, but wasn’t able to go.”

Thankfully, the Lakers said Davis is suffering from a stomach bug that is not COVID-related. When he’s able to return to the lineup remains to

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