Frick 2016, am I right??? Heard that’s the joke going around. Anyways, the NBA as a whole had a pretty incredible 2016, from the incredible Finals to the Jordan Belfort-like spending habits in free agency this summer. Not everyone did, though! The people on this list are going to be glad to see 2016 gone.
The Thunder were blowing 3-1 leads before it was cool, people forget that. Durant’s Thunder had a total collapse against the Warriors in the WCF, which was the first domino that lead to KD’s departure for those same Warriors that just embarrassed him. He got roasted all summer for the move, and rightfully so. But honestly, the internet memes weren’t the worst part, Kevin made it much much worse with how he responded to the criticism. He came off as really soft-skinned, which just gave the twitter warriors more ammo to work with.
It’s not all bad, though, far from it. Durant signed a massive contract with the most talented team in NBA history and is currently well on his way to getting his first ring. 2017 looks pretty bright for the Slim Reaper.
When it comes to criticizing the Cavs draft picks, Anthony Bennett usually takes the brunt of the criticism, but as the #4 overall pick in 2012, Dion Waiters has been pretty damn disappointing as well. Tell me the Cavs wouldn’t consider taking Austin Rivers over Dion, he’s been that bad.
Dion’s total lack of self-awareness and laughable shot selection combined to convince the Thunder to rescind his qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. You’d think that’s great, right? The NBA’s throwing money around like Stan Van Gundy at a Chick Fil-A! But I guess the NBA forgot about Dion, because no one gave him as much as a nibble for the first month of free agency. The Heat finally threw him a bone and offered a contract for 6mil over 2 years, chump change compared to the money that far less talented guys like Matthew Dellavedova and Tyler Richardson received.
Don’t get me wrong, Blake is one of my favorite guys in the league, and I’ve continually defended him against the idiots that still think he can only dunk, but 2016 was not kind to the Kia spokesman. His year began with a torn quad, and then Blake decided to fight his friend/trainer and break his hand. He didn’t have the same burst when he returned in the playoffs, and just when it everything looked good for Griffin this season, he had another knee surgery.
On the bright side, Blake has been part of a huge marketing campaign by Jordan to revitalize Space Jam, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Really hoping he can return at full strength to at least give the Warriors a run for their money this playoffs!
The days of Pat Riley being revered as the best talent recruiter in the league are long gone. He lost both Wade and Bosh this summer, and while Bosh was most certainly not his fault, he could have handled Wade’s situation much more effectively. The Heat are now stuck in no man’s land, with a lot of money committed to Whiteside and Dragic, two very good players that almost certainly cannot lead a title contender. This summer’s free agent class doesn’t look too promising, either, so it remains to be seen if Pat will stick with this current roster makeup.
Lakers Front Office
The Los Angeles Lakers are the marquee franchise in the NBA. They can get a meeting with literally any and every free agent their heart desires, but who did they come away with this summer? Timofey Mosgov and Luol Deng. Neither of these players are spring chickens, and $17M/yr seems like a hell of a lot for “veteran leadership”. With these signings, the Lakers also squashed their ability to bag 2 max guys next summer, so just a great job by Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family!!!!