New Beginnings: A Look at 10 Players Who Switched Teams in the Offseason
Damian Lillard Shines for the Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks made a major offseason addition by acquiring Damian Lillard, and so far, he has lived up to expectations. Lillard has brought his supernova scoring ability to the team, and his clutch performances, famously known as “Dame Time,” have continued in Milwaukee.
However, Lillard’s defensive ratings have been a cause for concern. He has struggled on that end of the court, which has been further highlighted by the departure of Jrue Holiday. Despite this, Lillard has proven to be the Bucks’ most reliable outside shooter.
While his pick-and-roll chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo is a work in progress, Lillard’s impact on the team has been evident from the start.
Kristaps Porzingis Finds His Place with the Boston Celtics
After battling injuries, Kristaps Porzingis has finally found stability with the Boston Celtics. He has seamlessly fit in alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, making the Celtics a formidable force.
Porzingis has been a consistent scorer, averaging 20.9 points per game, while also providing valuable rim protection with 1.6 blocks per game. Despite missing a potential game-tying shot in a recent loss, coach Joe Mazulla has shown faith in Porzingis, recognizing his importance to the team.
Jrue Holiday Adjusts to New Role with the Boston Celtics
Jrue Holiday’s role with the Boston Celtics has changed significantly, resulting in lower scoring and assist numbers. However, his impact on the team goes beyond statistics. Holiday was brought in for his defensive prowess, and he has delivered, contributing to the Celtics’ strong defensive ranking.
While his current performance may not be remarkable, Holiday’s true value will be seen in the postseason. The Celtics acquired him with the playoffs in mind, knowing that his contributions in May and June will be crucial.
Jordan Poole’s Offensive Output Overshadowed by the Struggles of the Washington Wizards
Jordan Poole has been a bright spot for the struggling Washington Wizards, showcasing his offensive skills. However, his production has been overshadowed by the team’s overall performance. As the leading scorer on a losing team, Poole’s contributions have been minimized.
Furthermore, Poole’s inconsistency and questionable decision-making have been evident, leading to turnovers and head-scratching plays. While he may be happy with his scoring output, it hasn’t translated into success for the Wizards.
Marcus Smart Faces Challenges in Memphis
Marcus Smart finds himself in a challenging situation with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he is playing a supporting role until Ja Morant returns. Smart is not the main reason for the team’s poor start, as injuries and underperforming players have also contributed.
Smart’s true value will be determined when Morant comes back next month. His ability to adjust to playing alongside a ball-dominant guard will be crucial for his fit in Memphis. Additionally, Smart needs to reduce his turnovers to improve his overall performance.
Dennis Schroder Thrives with the Toronto Raptors
After being cast aside by the Lakers, Dennis Schroder has found a new home with the Toronto Raptors. His arrival has softened the blow of losing Fred VanVleet in free agency, as Schroder’s contributions have been equally impactful.
As one of Toronto’s top scorers, Schroder has provided stability with his scoring and playmaking abilities. He has become a valuable asset for the Raptors, and his consistent performances have stabilized the team. This marks Schroder’s fourth team in four years, and it seems he may have finally found a stable environment.
Chris Paul’s Productivity Shines with the Golden State Warriors
Chris Paul’s partnership with the Golden State Warriors has been fruitful thus far. He has seamlessly integrated into the team and has been a productive player, despite being in the twilight of his career.
Paul’s exceptional assists-to-turnover ratio is a testament to his efficiency and experience. He has also played a crucial role in elevating the performance of young players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Whether with the second unit or in tight games with the regulars, Paul has embraced his roles and focused on fitting in with the team.
Dillon Brooks Embraces His Role with the Houston Rockets
Dillon Brooks has become a lightning rod for the Houston Rockets, contributing both offensively and defensively. His shooting from deep has been impressive, a stark contrast from his performance in last season’s playoffs with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Brooks’ defensive prowess has been on full display, and his contributions have helped the Rockets secure four consecutive victories. While he may occasionally draw the ire of opponents like Stephen Curry, Brooks thrives in the role of a villain, which has benefited both him and the Rockets.
Deandre Ayton’s New Lease on Basketball Life with the Portland Trail Blazers
Deandre Ayton’s transition from the Phoenix Suns to the Portland Trail Blazers has brought about a new lease on his basketball life. Although he has yet to fully live up to his status as a former No. 1 overall pick, Ayton has shown glimpses of his potential.
While inconsistency has followed him to Portland, Ayton’s rebounding remains a strong suit. He recently grabbed 23 rebounds in a game against the Toronto Raptors, showcasing his prowess on the boards. However, his limited touches on a team focused on developing younger players may impact his performance and mindset.
Bruce Brown Provides Stability for the Indiana Pacers
Bruce Brown made a strong debut for the Indiana Pacers, scoring 24 points in just 27 minutes. Since then, he has settled into a rotational role, similar to his time with the Denver Nuggets.
Brown’s veteran presence in the locker room has been valuable, and he has had a positive influence on young backup Aaron Nesmith. Additionally, his energetic presence on defense has been a significant asset for the Pacers. The question remains whether Brown can help the Pacers climb out of the Eastern Conference cellar and return to the playoffs.
As the NBA season progresses, these players will continue to adapt to their new teams and roles. Their performances will shape the success of their respective franchises, and fans will eagerly watch their journeys unfold.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs, or Warner Bros. Discovery.