Biggest Losers of the Offseason

The 2021 NBA offseason isn’t over, but a majority of the available Free Agents have either re-signed or found a new home by now. It’s ok to claim who won and who lost this offseason with their moves, lack of moves, or failure to “secure the bag” they wanted. Let’s look at players/teams I think have come out as the biggest losers of this 2021 offseason.

Dennis Schroder

It was reported that Schroder declined an extension offer from the LA Lakers in March, worth over $80M over 4 years. He reportedly expected to get offers worth over $20M a year, just a bit higher than what LA was offering to bring him back. However, after a shaky playoff run, Schroder has yet to find a new home and likely won’t be receiving any offers better than what LA offered him back in March. That’s a big-time L for a PG who felt undervalued for a few years and was ready to cash in on his previous great play with OKC and Atlanta. He’ll more than likely get picked up before the end of Summer League, but Schroder will have to accept his mistake and take a lesser deal.

Kevin Love

Are we really going to see ANOTHER season with Kevin Love wilting away on the Cleveland Cavaliers? He has been floating around in trade rumors for what seems like forever now (3 years, to be exact), yet he’s still in Cleveland, missing games and playing for the Lottery. And now that Cleveland has added a young piece to their frontcourt in Evan Mobley, Love’s minutes will be even more restricted than before. Hopefully, we finally get to see him get moved as he now has 2 years left on his massive extension, which should make teams a little less wary of investing in him. If not, we’ll probably see Love’s career averages go down drastically, once again.

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond called a fan ‘drunk’ for asking him to sign a minimum extension to remain with the Lakers. Rollover into Free Agency and he’s accepted a vet minimum deal to play behind Joel Embiid in Philly. Maybe Drummond just didn’t want to be in LA anymore, but seeing a big man, who was once averaging 18 and 14 during the season, sign to be a backup while playing on a minimum deal is rough. It’s unclear if the two bigs can share the court together, so we’ll see if Drummond will get enough playing time to reverse how the league views him. He’s gone from a promising, All-Time great rebounder, to an “empty stats” board crasher. This just might be a make-or-break season for his future in the league.

Victor Oladipo

Just 2 years ago, Oladipo was an All-Star playing as the #1 option on a perennial playoff team. It’s a shame that injuries have tarnished the career of a phenomenal two-way guard. He’s now settled on accepting the vet minimum to remain with Miami, in hopes that he can stay healthy and remind everyone how great he is. He’s only 29 years old but has only played 85 total games within the last 3 seasons. That’s an average of 28 games per season. Sad to see considering he was becoming an All-NBA worthy player and fan-favorite.

Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard made it pretty clear that he wants Portland to make some changes if they expect his loyalty to last. How did Portland respond? They swapped Enes Kanter and Zach Collins for Cody Zeller, Tony Snell, and rookie Greg Brown. How exciting?! Maybe Portland still has something in the works, or maybe they’ve come to grips with their failures surrounding Dame and are ready to move him and restart. Either way, it’s a disappointing outlook for a team with a top-10 NBA talent.

Honorable Mentions

Sacramento Kings – After adding another young guard and a few veteran forwards, what are Sacramento’s goals for next season? 2 years removed from being the 9th seed, Sacramento’s future looks bleak, even with a backcourt trio of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell.

Lauri Markkanen – Markkanen will likely find a home within the next few weeks, but what contract can he expect at this point? He was the #7 overall pick just 4 years ago and now he’s an unsigned, restricted FA. His numbers scream semi-efficient SF but he’s a PF who offers inconsistent rebounding and 3-point shooting with minimal defense.

Unsigned FA veterans – There are a few “big-name” vets who have yet to find their teams for 2021-2022. Still on the market are names like J.J. Redick, Paul Millsap, and DeMarcus Cousins. There are also a few decent role-playing vets out there as well, who may not find a home for next season: Elfrid Payton, Wesley Matthews, etc..