Plenty of teams in the Eastern Conference see quality NBA offseason grades due to successful summers. With this being said, plenty is still up in the air in the East, mostly due to the Brooklyn Nets and the futures of stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Plenty of Eastern Conference teams have been rumored to be in the mix for the players, as well as others competing for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
With that being said, check out the top grades to date.
Top Five Eastern Conference NBA Offseason Grades
5. New York Knicks: B-
The Knicks finally solved their point guard woes by bringing in Jalen Brunson from the Dallas Mavericks. It was an expensive deal, but one that can certainly pay off. One thing to keep an eye on, however, is how well Brunson performs in a true ball-handling role. He was second-fiddle to Luka Doncic in Dallas and only really exploded in the playoffs.
There’s no doubt that the Knicks have improved. They’re not title contenders just yet, but they could very well become a playoff team once again. There’s room for more too as they’ve been mentioned in the Mitchell sweepstakes.
4. Atlanta Hawks: B
The Hawks’ biggest move was acquiring Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs. He was an All-Star last year and will slide right alongside star Trae Young. There may be questions on the fit, but it certainly is a lot more positive than negative. Murray will help a fiery offense, but his best contributions will likely come on the defensive end.
Atlanta did have to lose Kevin Huerter but brought in halfway decent rotational pieces. Their core, for the most part, has remained intact. AJ Griffin also has the potential to be very promising but will need time to develop after being selected in this year’s draft.
John Collins remains on the roster, for now at least. It may be in Atlanta’s favor to bring the best out of the high-flying forward, but perhaps it’s a relationship that has soured. If Collins wants to stay, however, Atlanta should be a force.
3. Detroit Pistons: B
Detroit isn’t ready to compete for the playoffs this coming season but have positioned themselves to be very successful down the line.
Drafting Jaden Ivey was huge as he has seemingly limitless potential as an explosive guard. He’s a near-ideal fit next to franchise cornerstone Cade Cunningham. Jalen Duren was also brought in during draft night and he has sky-high potential. Detroit decided to develop him instead of breaking the bank for a player like Deandre Ayton. That will prove to be a positive.
Questionable decisions came from Detroit keeping Marvin Bagley with a relatively large deal and bringing in Kevin Knox. These aren’t detrimental deals, however, as Detroit has time to develop players.
Overall the Pistons will be better now and have a bright future ahead.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: B+
Joel Embiid will have another great shot at winning an NBA championship.
James Harden came back on a more team-friendly deal. Although he struggled at times last season, he’s still a superstar. PJ Tucker also joins with his extensive basketball IQ and abilities. He’s an ideal veteran and “three-and-d” star to add to the team and will fill the void left by Danny Green. Tucker, of course, is an NBA champion and has multiple playoff runs under his name. Danuel House also joins to bring in more reliable wing depth.
De’Anthony Melton was another fantastic addition on draft night. He helps shore up the backcourt depth.
Philadelphia did nearly everything right in order to compete for next season’s championship. What they didn’t do, however, is add reliable depth behind Embiid at the center position.
1. Boston Celtics: A
Boston fell to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals and took that to heart. They could’ve been quiet and been seen as a championship contender once again. Instead, they retained all important pieces and added even more.
Acquiring Malcolm Brogdon was a steal, especially considering the fact that Boston gave up next to nothing for him. Last season he averaged about 19 points, five boards, and six assists per game. Brogdon is a terrific shooter, steady defender, and reliable ball handler. Boston didn’t quite have a true point guard on their roster but now they do. He forms a terrific backcourt alongside Marcus Smart.
Boston then went even further and added Danilo Gallinari. His best years are behind him, but he’s still a very solid rotational piece. Gallinari averaged about 12 points and five rebounds per game last season. He’s an offensive weapon and a stellar shooter.
The Celtics are going to be very deep and compete for the championship once again. With that being said, they may have soured their relationship with Jaylen Brown after he was involved in Durant rumors.