The biggest winners and losers of a wild NBA off-season

The NBA does the off-season better than perhaps any other major sports league.

From the draft to free agency, June and July set up wild months where teams gamble in the draft, make trades to improve their teams, and chase the biggest free agents.

This summer delivered with some teams hitting home runs in free agency, while others had their hearts broken as they were spurned.

Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers of the off-season.

WINNER: Los Angeles Clippers

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have a new, deep supporting cast.

Players added: Josh Smith, Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Cole Aldrich

Players lost: Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes

One thing to know: Defence and cohesiveness might be problems, but the Clippers bolstered their depth and their offence should be elite again. GM Doc Rivers has redeemed himself.

WINNER: San Antonio Spurs

Gregg Popovich has some new weapons to play with.

Players added: LaMarcus Aldridge, David West

Players lost: Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes

One thing to know: The Spurs sacrificed some depth to add LaMarcus Aldridge, the biggest free agent of the summer. Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard's maximum contracts will be bargains when the cap jumps, saying nothing of the bargain contracts they got in Danny Green, Tim Duncan, and David West to sign. The Spurs are ridiculous.

WINNER: Pat Riley

Pat Riley is one of the NBA's most underrated GMs.

One thing to know: The Miami Heat GM saw Justise Winslow, a top-seven prospect, fall to the Heat at No. 10 in the draft. He re-signed point guard Goran Dragic to a contract less than what he wanted, and gave Dwyane Wade a one-year, $US20 million contract as a gift, allowing the Heat to negotiate a pay cut for Wade next summer when they hope to add Kevin Durant. He also got a meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, simply because he's Pat Riley.

WINNER: LeBron James

LeBron gets what he wants in Cleveland.

One thing to know: LeBron signed a two-year deal, just like he wanted, that will earn him tons more money down the road. He also has forced the Cavs to launch into the luxury tax to re-sign Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert, while adding Mo Williams. They will eventually bring back Tristan Thompson, too.

WINNER: Milwaukee Bucks

Greg Monroe choosing the Milwaukee Bucks was a huge win for small-market teams.

Players added: Greg Monroe, Greivis Vasquez

Players lost: Zaza Pachulia, Jared Dudley

One thing to know: The Bucks re-signed Khris Middleton to a five-year, $US70 million contract, keeping their young core together. They also added Greg Monroe, a talented scorer down low who helps them now and makes them a legitimate free agent contender in the future.

WINNERS: Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are contenders if Kevin Durant comes back healthy.

Players added: Cameron Payne

Players lost: Perry Jones III

One thing to know: The Thunder ponied up to build a contender before Kevin Durant hits free agency. Assuming the Thunder aren't ravaged by injuries again, they will have their deepest team of the Kevin Durant era and should be back in the championship contender conversation.

WINNER: Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter got a raise this off-season.

One thing to know: The 23-year-old center lingered in restricted free agency for a while until the Portland Trail Blazers offered him a four-year, $US70 million contract. The Thunder were basically forced to match, earning Kanter a payday he probably wouldn't have gotten if he were an unrestricted free agent.

WINNER: DeMarre Carroll

DeMarre Carroll capitalised one a career year.

One thing to know: Carroll became a gem the last two seasons in Atlanta, earning a combined $US5 million while becoming one of the league's premier '3 & D' players (good 3-point shooter and good defender). His services are in such high demand that the Toronto Raptors rewarded him with a four-year, $US60 million deal this summer.

WINNER: New York Knicks

Phil Jackson generally earned praise for his smart, patient moves in his second summer as Knicks president.

Players added: Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O'Quinn, Derrick Williams, Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant

Players lost: Tim Hardaway Jr., Cole Aldrich, Shane Larkin

One thing to know: The Knicks missed out on their biggest free agent targets, and it ended up being a good thing. They took a long view for the future in the draft and used their free agency money to get solid, defensive, if unspectacular players. They may still struggle to make the playoffs, but it was a refreshingly patient approach to a rebuild.

WINNER: Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns helps form an intriguing young core on the Wolves.

Players added: Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones,

Players lost: Gary Neal

One thing to know: The Wolves got Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 pick and traded for Duke point guard Tyus Jones. Combining them with Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett, and Grogui Dieng, the Wolves now have the most intriguing young core in the NBA.

WINNER: Deron Williams

Deron Williams got paid $28 million to get a fresh start.

One thing to know: Williams agreed to a $US27.5 million buyout with the Brooklyn Nets and then signed a two-year, $US10 million deal with his hometown Dallas Mavericks. Though he doesn't get the full $US43 million from his contract, he still got paid, left the Nets, where he struggled, and gets to start fresh for Dallas.

WINNER: Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson took a bet on himself and won.

One thing to know: It sounded ludicrous in January when Reggie Jackson turned down $US48 million from the Thunder. As a restricted free agent, the Detroit Pistons outbid nobody and gave Jackson a five-year, $US80 million contract to be their starting point guard. Jackson won the bet on himself.

LOSER: Dallas Mavericks

It was a rough free agency period for Mark Cuban.

Players added: Wesley Matthews, Deron Williams, Zaza Pachulia

Players lost: Tyson Chandler, Monta Ellis, Rajon Rondo

One thing to know: The Mavericks had DeAndre Jordan stolen out from underneath them. As a result, they overpaid for Wes Matthews, lost Tyson Chandler for nothing, and missed out on the rest of the top free agents.

LOSER: Indiana Pacers

Paul George will have to carry the Pacers this season.

Players added: Monta Ellis, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Myles Turner

Players lost: Roy Hibbert, David West, Luis Scola

One thing to know: The Pacers have some depth on the wing and in the back-court, but nothing up front. They missed the playoffs last year in a weak Eastern Conference -- they will find out the value of Paul George this season.

LOSER: Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers are Damian Lillard's team now.

Players added: Gerald Henderson, Mason Plumlee, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, Maurice Harkless

Players lost: LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum, Robin Lopez, Steve Blake

One thing to know: The Blazers did a swift enough job trying to recover from losing 80% of last year's starting lineup, but they took a big hit this off-season. They gave Damian Lillard $US120 million to be the face of this rebuilding project, which currently features a lot of young, long-limbed 'tweeners.

LOSER: Luke Ridnour

Hopefully Luke Ridnour didn't go apartment hunting in any of his five stops this summer.

One thing to know: Poor Luke Ridnour was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Memphis Grizzlies to the Charlotte Hornets to the Oklahoma City Thunder... in 25 hours! He was then traded again to the Toronto Raptors, where he was waived and became a free agent. Poor Luke Ridnour.

LOSER: Boston Celtics

Celtics president Danny Ainge hasn't landed a star yet.

Players added: David Lee, Amir Johnson, Perry Jones III, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter

Players lost: Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace

One thing to know: Sitting on cap space and hoards of assets, the Celtics reached for Terry Rozier at No. 16 in the draft, then continued to sign mid-level players that seemingly don't take them to the next level. They're stuck in the middle phase of a rebuild, waiting for a star to become available.

LOSER: Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan valued one draft pick over six.

One thing to know: Jordan got the man he wanted in the draft: Frank Kaminsky. In doing so, he reportedly turned down a mega-offer for the No. 9 pick from the Celtics -- six draft picks, four of them first-rounders! Danny Ainge himself said it was 'out of control.' Jordan must think Kaminsky will be really, really good.

LOSER: Chandler Parsons

One thing to know: Parsons was the Mavericks' lead recruiter for DeAndre Jordan. In an extensive backstory of the Mavs' free agent recruiting, ESPN's Tim MacMahon and Ramona Shelburne make it sound like Parsons travelled and wine-and-dined exhaustively to get Jordan, only to lose him to the Clippers. Parsons was quite offended by Jordan's decision.

LOSER: Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins has a history of not getting along with coaches.

Players added: Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos, Marco Belinelli

Players lost: Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas

One thing to know: DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl are feuding, and both seemingly want the other out. The Kings were spurned by Monta Ellis, Wes Matthews, and Josh Smith, but recovered decently by signing Rondo, Koufos, and Belinelli. Their roster is competent, but probably not good enough to compete for a playoff spot.

LOSER: Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has yet to play a minute in the NBA.

One thing to know: Embiid's NBA debut will have to wait, as he will likely miss the entire 2015-16 season with foot surgery. The 76ers, meanwhile, seem to have drafted Jahlil Okafor with the idea that Embiid isn't in the long-term plans.

Now, see what happened to one of the greatest sports teams of the 2000s...

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