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The NBA offseason is basically behind us. Rosters are largely finished, despite the Los Angeles Lakers making a late push to rebuild their roster ahead of training camp.

Teams are mostly adding camp players and angling for Affiliate Player rights to get them to their G League teams. A few notable free agents remain unsigned, but the vast majority of potential rotation players have been signed.

Now, it’s time to start looking towards the start of the 2022-23 season. With training camps opening in approximately one month, let’s start by looking back at what changes the 2022 offseason brought.

The Southeast Division is a mix of contenders, middle-of-the-pack squads and rebuilding teams. The Miami Heat are annually in the mix to the make the NBA Finals, and this season shouldn’t be any different. The Atlanta Hawks are looking to rebound and make an Eastern Conference Finals run like they did in 2021. The Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards seem perpetually stuck around the Play-In picture. The Orlando Magic are the worst team in the division, but their future is arguably the brightest of any Southeast Division team.


Atlanta Hawks

Additions: A.J. Griffin (2022 NBA Draft), Maurice Harkless (trade), Aaron Holiday (free agency), Justin Holiday (trade), Frank Kaminsky (free agency), Tyrese Martin (2022 NBA Draft), Dejounte Murray (trade), Trent Forrest (Two-Way)

Subtractions: Sharife Cooper (waived), Gorgui Dieng (Spurs via free agency), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics after being waived by Spurs after trade), Kevin Huerter (Kings via trade), Kevin Knox (Pistons via free agency), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (unrestricted free agent), Skylar Mays (unrestricted free agent), Lou Williams (unrestricted free agent), Delon Wright (Wizards via free agency)

Remaining Acquisition Tools: $10.5 million Non-Taxpayer MLE, $4.1 million Bi-Annual Exception

Analysis:  The Hawks have retooled their rotation around mainstays Trae Young, John Collins and Clint Capela. Atlanta brought in what they hope will be more defense and shooting, as they attempt to get back into contention after a down season.

Dejounte Murray was by far and away the biggest addition the Hawks made this summer. It cost Atlanta Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks, but it should be worth it. The only reason it’s a “should” is because Murray’s fit alongside Young will take a little while to sort out. Murray is used to having the ball a lot, and he’s not great off-ball. Young is also a ball-dominant playmaker and scorer. Assuming they can mesh, the Hawks will have dual point-of-attack players that can score and create looks for others. And Murray is easily best defender on this roster already.

Beyond adding Murray, Atlanta swapped Kevin Huerter for Maurice Harkless and Justin Holiday. This move was driven by luxury tax concerns, but the Hawks did well to land Holiday. He’s a dependable shooter and should see plenty of minutes off the bench. Huerter’s shooting and scoring, as well as his passing and defense (both are better than you probably think), will be missed. But essentially, Murray is replacing Huerter, while Holiday replaces Gallinari. It’s a different look, and a smaller team, but it’s not likely to be any sort of downgrade.

None of the other changes, many as they were, screams huge upgrade or downgrade. The Hawks filled out the back of the bench with some veterans, which should help if there are injuries. The team still has their full MLE, but they are already pushing up against the tax line. That one may remain whole for a while, but could see a portion used during buyout season after the trade deadline.

To this point, despite many, many rumors to the contrary, Collins remains in Atlanta. That’s a good thing, as the Hawks didn’t really have a replacement ready in house for all Collins does for them. If De’Andre Hunter can stay healthy, and Bogdan Bogdanovic gets over offseason knee surgery quickly, Atlanta has the star power and depth to challenge for a top-6 spot in the East.


Charlotte Hornets

Additions: Mark Williams (2022 NBA Draft), Bryce McGowens (Two-Way)

Subtractions: Miles Bridges (restricted free agent), Montrezl Harrell (unrestricted free agent), Isaiah Thomas (unrestricted free agent), Arnoldas Kulboka (Greece via agency), Scottie Lewis (unrestricted free agent)

Remaining Acquisition Tools: $10.5 million Non-Taxpayer MLE, $4.1 million Bi-Annual Exception

Analysis: Charlotte’s offseason was fairly uneventful in terms of players coming and going, but that wasn’t really the Hornets fault. And it definitely wasn’t the team’s plan for this offseason.

Shortly before free agency opened, both Miles Bridges and Montrezl Harrell ran into legal issues. Those situations are currently ongoing and have impacted the free agency for both players. It’s impossible to know what the Hornets plans were, had Bridges or Harrell not run afoul of the law, so we’ll keep the focus to what the team actually did roster-wise.

Mark Williams was added at the draft. Williams looks like a good value pick in the middle of the first round, as well as filling an immediate need on the roster. Like a lot of young bigs, it’s going to take him a little while to adjust to the NBA game, but once Williams does, he should be good. The Duke product is a solid finisher around the rim, and the Hornets are filled with good passers to set him up. Eventually, Williams should also fill the role of rim protector and rebounder that this team desperately needs.

The only other addition of note was bringing back Steve Clifford as the team’s head coach. But even that process was fraught, as the Hornets thought they had Kenny Atkinson in the fold, before Atkinson changed his mind and chose to stay with the Golden State Warriors. That pushed the team back to Clifford for a second run in the Queen City.

Clifford has a history of cleaning things up with his teams and getting them to play as a more organized and cohesive group. Charlotte has been a good team the last couple of years, but sloppy play, combined with injuries, has seen them capped as a Play-In team.

The Hornets were able to re-sign Cody Martin on a nice value contract. He’ll play a big role as the team’s primary backup wing. That’s a key spot, considering Gordon Hayward’s continued troubles staying on the court.

Charlotte does have their full MLE remaining, but the free agent pool is pretty shallow at this point. Considering the team is sitting $22.5 million under the tax line, and the Bridges situation seems likely to remain unresolved for quite some time, it feels like the team missed a chance to add an impact player there.

Overall, this offseason seems really “meh” for the Hornets. The legal issues hung over everything and have left this roster feeling very unfinished. Unfortunately, that’s likely to continue well into the season at this point.


Miami Heat 

Additions: Nikola Jovic (2022 NBA Draft), Darius Days (Two-Way), Marcus Garrett (Two-Way)

Subtractions: Markieff Morris (unrestricted free agent), P.J. Tucker (76ers via free agency), Mychal Mulder (waived), Ja’Vonte Smart (waived)

Remaining Acquisition Tools: $4 million of Non-Taxpayer MLE, $4.1 million Bi-Annual Exception

Analysis: Miami’s offseason was focused on retaining their own free agents, despite one key player getting away. Yet, the Heat will still be good. The question now becomes: How good?

P.J. Tucker left Miami for Philadelphia and the full Non-Taxpayer MLE. Miami could have given the same deal to Tucker, but it would have caused constraints elsewhere with the roster. It’s a big loss for the Heat, as they haven’t replaced Tucker in any sort of meaningful way.

Of all the teams that can be considered Finals contenders, Miami arguably has the biggest hole of anyone. They don’t really have a power forward on the roster, but they don’t seem overly concerned about it either. The Heat believe they can get by with smaller lineups that feature more offensive versatility.

Of the team’s offseason additions, Nikola Jovic is the biggest one, but he’s unlikely to have much of an impact this season. The young forward will log time in the G League, but he’s got a ton of potential to be a contributor down the line.

Miami was able to bring back all of Victor Oladipo, Caleb Martin and Dewayne Dedmon. Oladipo looked good in the playoffs last year, and should give Miami some scoring punch, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

Martin blossomed into a legitimate rotation player last season. He’ll start this year as one of Miami’s better 3&D options. Dedmon is back to provide frontcourt depth, but don’t be surprised if he’s surpassed by Omer Yurtseven in the rotation this season.

The major outstanding item for the Heat is an extension for Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro. The question there seems to be: How much can you pay a bench player? Of course, Herro has the potential to be much more than a bench player, but that’s his role for now. Projecting his impact as a full-time starter will drive how much Miami is willing to offer in a new deal.

The Heat have poked around trades for superstars like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell, but nothing has come to fruition… yet. Some of that has to do with a lack of big, tradable contracts for Miami, as well as lacking some draft assets moving forward.

It feels like there’s another move or two to come for the Heat. This is especially true with adding more size to the frontcourt. But don’t count out Miami. They’ll play hard and they’ll find a way to get what they need by the trade deadline. They always do.


Orlando Magic 

Additions: Paolo Banchero (2022 NBA Draft), Caleb Houstan (2022 NBA Draft), Kevon Harris (Two-Way)

Subtractions: Ignas Brazdeikis (Lithuania via free agency), Robin Lopez (Cavaliers via free agency), 

Remaining Acquisition Tools: $8.5 million of Non-Taxpayer MLE, $4.1 million Bi-Annual Exception

Analysis: The Magic kept it simple this summer. They selected Paolo Banchero first overall at the 2022 NBA Draft. Then Orlando re-signed some of their own free agents. The team is committed to the rebuilding process and isn’t looking for shortcuts with their roster.

Banchero was the right selection for Orlando at the top of the draft. He’s got the highest floor of the top prospects, while also having a high ceiling. Banchero’s ability to shoot, score and pass will be an immediate boon to a Magic offense that struggles to create easy offense. And Banchero moves well enough on defense that he’ll hold his own on a team that has a lot of solid defenders already.

In the second round, the Magic snagged Caleb Houstan in part because his rep as a shooter. Orlando struggled at times to convert open jumpers, so having someone who can help open up the floor for the bigs and drivers is a key. Houstan will get his chances to fill that role.

In free agency, the Magic re-signed Mo Bamba, Gary Harris and Bol Bol. All three got fully non-guaranteed second seasons. That’s a key, because it makes them very attractive trade chips up to the trade deadline, should Orlando choose to go in that direction.

Bamba had a breakout season last year. He was better around the rim, but the big improvement came with Bamba consistently knocking down three-pointers. He was also better as a rim protector and rebounder, finally making good on some of that potential he had flashed as an interior defender.

Harris had a bounce-back season for the Magic. Many missed it, as Harris toiled in relative obscurity in Orlando, but he averaged 11.1 points on better shooting than he had shown in the last few years. Harris’ no-nonsense approach also fits in well with the team’s really young backcourt.

Markelle Fultz is fully recovered from a torn ACL after returning late last season. Jonathan Isaac should finally be back on the floor as well. He’s missed two-plus seasons with a variety of knee and leg injuries. And Jalen Suggs is healthy after an injury-plagued rookie season.

Having those players back, along with Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter and Cole Anthony, should give the team plenty of opportunities to see how this group fits together on the court. This year is about developing the kids, while figuring out how all of these players fit together. That’s the focus for now. Wins will come, but that’s at least a year away in Orlando.


Washington Wizards 

Additions: Will Barton (trade), Johnny Davis (2022 NBA Draft), Taj Gibson (free agency), Monte Morris (trade), Delon Wright (free agency)

Subtractions: Thomas Bryant (Lakers via free agency), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Nuggets via trade), Raul Neto (Cavaliers via free agency), Tomas Satoransky (Spain via free agency), Ish Smith (Nuggets via trade) Cassius Winston (Germany via free agency)

Remaining Acquisition Tools: $2.7 million of Non-Taxpayer MLE, $4.1 million of Bi-Annual Exception

Analysis: The Wizards big move was re-signing Bradley Beal. That was priority one and it was accomplished about as soon as free agency opened. But Washington made other moves that should make a big impact on the team’s success this season.

Let’s start with Beal. Did the Wizards give him everything they possible could? They sure did. He got a no-trade clause, a trade bonus, a player option and one of the largest contracts in NBA history. Did Washington have to give Beal all of that? That’s a bit more complicated.

Beal is the Wizards franchise player. He wants to be in Washington. Those are important things that often get overlooked. He’s also really good…when he’s healthy. And that last part is the challenge. There’s a good chance that Beal’s deal looks bad by the fifth season, when the veteran guard will be 33 years old. And that’s when the no-trade clause might come into play.

But those are all things to worry about later for Washington. For this season, they have their guy back and that’s going to be huge for the Wizards.

Helping Beal will be reinforcements at point guard and on the wing. Washington traded Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to get Monte Morris and Will Barton. Morris will step in and give the team the solid point guard play they lacked for most of last season. He did well when filling in for Jamal Murray as a starter the last two seasons in Denver, and he looks poised for an even bigger role in Washington.

Backing up Morris will be Delon Wright. Wright has bounced around some the last few seasons, but remains a good backup point guard. He’s also got enough size to play alongside Morris in some lineups, if necessary.

Barton will replace Caldwell-Pope as a different look on the wing. Barton is a slashing scorer, whereas Caldwell-Pope was the archetypical 3&D wing. On those nights when the jumpers aren’t falling, Barton is a guy who can go get you a bucket.

Washington is looking forward to a full season with Kristaps Porzingis, as well as development from a host of young players including Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert. Kyle Kuzma is also back after turning his best all-around season in the NBA.

The Wizards need everything to fit right, as well as injury-prone players to stay healthy. If that happens, this team will challenge for a playoff spot. If the fits are off, or injuries strike again, it’ll be back to the lottery for Washington.