NBA Western Conference Off-Season recap

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CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

It has been a busy off-season, especially in the western conference. The Golden State Warriors added a three-time all-star to their already all-star laden roster. LeBron James, the best player in the world, joined the Western Conference. Paul George opted to stay in Oklahoma City and continue to play with Russell Westbrook. The Rockets lose some key contributors without adding a lot to offset their losses. Now that most of the moving pieces are settled, we can take a look at the key moves from all the teams in the west.

NBA Western Conference Off-Season Recap

Houston Rockets

2017-18 record 65-17

The Rockets were a hamstring injury away from possibly beating Golden State in the Western Conference Finals. However, some key contributors left this off-season. Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, two important pieces to the Rockets defensive scheme, left via free agency. Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Gerald Green are all coming back, along with free agents Michael Carter-Williams and Carmelo Anthony. As a result of all these moves, it seems like Houston has downgraded their roster a bit.

Golden State Warriors

2017-18 record 58-24

The defending champs brought back Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney. They also signed three-time all-star DeMarcus Cousins and Jonas Jerebko, which offsets the loss of Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee. The important thing was to bring Durant back, which Golden State did. All other moves are not that important and bringing in Cousins just makes it seem more unlikely that Golden State gets dethroned.

Portland Trail Blazers

2017-18 record 49-33

The Trail Blazers were good, but not great last year. They let Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier leave. They replaced them with Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas. Jusuf Nurkic is coming back on a four-year deal. In closing, they have not improved or worsened in any significant way and they are stuck in the deep Western Conference.

Oklahoma City Thunder

2017-18 record 48-34

George surprised a lot of people and decided to stay in OKC. Nerlens Noel was signed to a two-year deal, which is a good low-risk move. Dennis Schroder and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot were acquired via trade. Most importantly, OKC found a way to get rid of Carmelo Anthony. With not a lot of cap room available, Sam Presti did a nice job this off-season.

Utah Jazz

2017-18 record 48-34

Utah was one of the hottest teams in basketball in the second half of last year. They re-signed all of the important free agents and drafted Grayson Allen to bolster their bench.

New Orleans Pelicans

2017-18 record 48-34

The Pelicans lost Cousins last year to injury and decided not to re-sign him. They also let Rajon Rondo go. New Orleans’ vision is to have a younger roster, so Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton come aboard to fill the void. This can be a successful off-season if Randle expands his game and learns to pass the ball more.

San Antonio Spurs

2017-18 record 47-35

The Spurs were in a sticky situation, but have made out pretty well in getting DeMar DeRozan aboard. They also drafted a talented rookie in Lonnie Walker and signed Marco Belinelli. Tony Parker leaving creates a hole in terms of veteran presence, but Gregg Popovich is one of the best coaches in the league and can cover the hole Parker left. This Spurs team is better than last years team.

Minnesota Timberwolves

2017-18 record 47-35

The Timberwolves bring back pretty much the same roster as last year.

Denver Nuggets

2017-18 record 46-36

Nikola Jokic and Will Barton are coming back to Denver, while Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler got traded in salary dumps. Isaiah Thomas was signed to provide a scoring punch off the bench. Lastly, anything they get from Michael Porter Jr. is a plus. The Nuggets are a good team that got a little bit better.

Los Angeles Clippers

2017-18 record 42-40

The Clippers are in the middle of a semi-rebuild. DeAndre Jordan signed with the Mavericks, so the Clippers sent Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gortat. Mbah a Moute was bought aboard along with Mike Scott. The biggest reason for optimism is rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Gilgeous-Alexander along with fellow rookie Jerome Robinson will determine whether this off-season is considered a successful one or not.

Los Angeles Lakers

2017-18 record 35-47

The biggest move here is obviously signing James. Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and McGee were also added to the roster, creating an interesting mix of players. To accommodate all the new players coming in a few players will not return. Brook Lopez, Randle, Thomas and Channing Frye all left via free agency. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was retained on a one year deal.

Sacramento Kings

2017-18 record 27-55

With the second pick in the draft, the Kings passed over Luka Doncic and drafted Marvin Bagley III. They signed Yogi Ferrell and traded for their former lottery pick Ben McLemore. It was not a productive off-season.

Dallas Mavericks

2017-18 record 24-58

The Mavericks finally get Jordan to play center for them. This being the case, they let Noel leave via free agency. Ferrell, Curry and Doug McDermott will also be playing for new teams next year. Most noteworthy is the trade that netted Doncic. The Mavericks hope he is the new face of the franchise. Another notable addition is rookie Jalen Brunson, who can shoot and pass really well.

Memphis Grizzlies

2017-18 record 22-60

Memphis added a few good veteran players in Omri Casspi, Kyle Anderson and Garrett Temple. They also drafted Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick. The biggest loss they will have to overcome is that of Tyreke Evans going to the Pacers.

Phoenix Suns

2017-18 record 21-61

Phoenix added some potentially big pieces this summer. They signed Ariza, a veteran wing. Plus, they added two highly touted rookies in Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges.

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