Many teams throughout the league have acquired new talent in the offseason and earlier this season via free agency or through trades. Not all players who have found a new home this year have been meaningful for their new teams. In this article, we’ll look at 3 teams who have added new players which proved to be valuable and smart decisions.
Phoenix Suns: One team whose newest acquisition has made an impact on the team is the Phoenix Suns with the addition of Chris Paul. The duo of Booker and Paul has been one of the most dynamic duos so far this season. Together they have averaged about 41.6 ppg, 12.6 apg, and 8.4 rpg. Needless to say, this duo definitely helps energize the team’s overall game. After a game, Booker commented on his relationship with CP3, “Iron sharpens iron. We hold each other accountable. We both have that similar approach where we want to win at all costs…I’m learning from him every day”. Booker was already one of the best shooters in the game, it’s amazing how Paul is helping him unlock even more of his potential. Last year CP3 was able to transform a relatively young OKC team into one of the best clutch scoring teams in the country and led them to an entertaining playoff run that ended in a game 7 loss to the Rockets in the western conference semi-finals. Now he has transformed this young Suns team ,who just last year narrowly missed the playoffs, into one of the top five teams in the NBA ,with a record of 17-10. Overall, it can be said that Chris Paul is definitely one of the top floor generals in the country and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this Suns team go on a similar playoff run like the Thunder did last year, maybe even further.
Brooklyn Nets: A team that used to be rarely mentioned during the season has now become one of the most talked about teams in the country, thanks to the new power three that was created including Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. All three of them are currently averaging over 26 ppg, and 7.0 rpg, while Irving and Durant are also currently averaging over 5.0 apg and Harden is averaging more than twice that with 11.8 apg. Needless to say, they are definitely one of the most dominant power threes in the NBA today. It has been assumed that part of this success is thanks to Harden moving to the point guard position, while Irving rests at the shooting guard position. With Harden being more of an assist focused player and Irving being more of a scoring-based player, it made sense for them to switch positions and based on their stats, it looks like it not only benefitted them, but the team as well. In fact, the Nets are currently 10-1 against teams with an above .500 record, which is the best record in the NBA. Meanwhile, the defending champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, are 4-7 in those games. Last year, the Nets were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Toronto Raptors. It is hard to argue against that if the Nets can continue this type of success, they can do better this year and have the successful post-season run that Nets fans have been wanting to see since they acquired Kyrie and Durant last season.
Los Angeles Clippers: Once again the Clippers took advantage of free agency and acquired two talented free agents in one-time NBA champ Serge Ibaka and veteran guard-forward Nicolas Batum. Ibaka not only provides a decent stat line of 11.8 ppg and 6.7 rpg, but he also helps Kawhi feel more comfortable on the team considering they have history being teammates. They were both part of the 2019 Toronto Raptors championship team, thus adding him to the team helps make the team stronger because he can help the young players understand what it means to be a part of a championship team. In regard to Batum, he provides the team with another three-point shooter with a decent three-point percentage at 45% and he also adds veteran experience, so he may have a few lessons that he could teach the young players to improve parts of their game. Once again, the Clippers are ranking high in the western conference with a record of 21-9. Last year, the Clippers ended their season with an ending Clippers fans are unfortunately familiar with as they blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the western conference semi-finals. However. it appears that after one season of being together, the players are starting to figure out their roles on the team and building the team chemistry that all championship teams need. Overall, it is not hard to believe that this Clippers team could make another playoff run and potentially achieve the NBA finals appearance Clippers fans have been wanting to see for a long time.