The NBA offseason is always a good theater and this year has been no exception. With LeBron James, DeAndre Jordan, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love headlining the biggest stories, several acquisitions flew under the radar that are sure to make huge differences for teams fighting to get to the next level. Here are ten of the most underrated signings so far this offseason.
10. Tiago Splitter – Atlanta Hawks
Splitter was a valuable piece in the Spurs’ championship runs of late and his skill set will fit in well with the team-first Atlanta offense. His familiarity with Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will be valuable as well as his ability to play center and let Al Horford man the four spot.
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9. Mo Williams – Cleveland Cavaliers
Until Matthew Dellavedova took center stage in the playoffs, the Cavs had major questions about the backup point guard position. Williams answers several of those questions, bringing along some reliable scoring and floor leadership off the bench as the Cavs pursue a championship.
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8. Monta Ellis – Indiana Pacers
Ellis opted out of the final year of his contract in Dallas and ended up in what turned out to be a much more promising situation. He should fit in well with Paul George and George Hill on the perimeter for the Pacers. If the rumor of Paul George moving to the power forward spot is true, Ellis may be given the green light on the perimeter to attack off the dribble, which he does very well.
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7. Greg Monroe – Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are the young upstarts of the Eastern Conference and Monroe gives them an offensive post presence that they lacked last year. If Jason Kidd can get his team to play off of Monroe in the low- and high-posts, they will be a vastly improved offensive team. Their defense is also good enough to hide Monroe whenever necessary.
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5. Paul Pierce – Los Angeles Clippers
The Truth proved last year that he can still close out big games in the playoffs. He provides depth and scoring for the Clippers who struggled, at times, on the offensive side of the ball. He will be more of a catch-and-shoot player at this stage of his career which conveniently fills a void for the Clips.
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4. Josh Smith – Los Angeles Clippers
Smith seemed to be a good fit in Houston’s free-wheeling offense so it is going to be interesting to see how Smith adapts to a more structured setting. His defense and presence off the glass will provide much needed depth to the Clippers, who may have found something special when they increased their tempo in the playoffs.
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3. Ty Lawson – Houston Rockets
Alex Sabri ·
Rexwell Villas ·
As long as Lawson can straighten out his personal life after his third DUI arrest, he will make a huge difference playing in the backcourt alongside James Harden. Lawson and Harden are nearly impossible to keep out of the paint, and with their willingness to shoot threes in bunches, this backcourt duo could be very dangerous.
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2. Enes Kanter – Oklahoma City Thunder
Kanter is a very skilled offensive player whom few people knew about until he left Utah in a trade to the Thunder. His value in this signing is partially based on his skill, and partially based on the team’s need to display a willingness to spend in order to keep Kevin Durant contented.
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1. Brandan Wright – Memphis
The frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are physical and skilled but they are not athletic in any way and that’s where Wright enters. He is a consistent finisher above the rim, making him one of the league leaders in field goal percentage. He will be a solid backup to either Gasol or Randolph and should play just as well alongside either of them.