How are key NBA offseason additions faring in their new homes?

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24: Victor Oladipo /

Because trades and free agency drive more interest in the league than anything else these days, there is always a whole lot of analysis focused on new faces in new places throughout the NBA offseason. Much of that analysis, naturally, focuses on the big-name players and the contending teams they’ll aid in a championship push, and so some of the smaller scale acquisitions get pushed to the side — or even forgotten entirely. Not here.

In the space below, we’ll check in on some of the under-the-radar offseason acquisitions. Some of these players are shining in their new homes and some are falling short of expectations, but their performance at the quarter-pole of the 2017-18 season merits examination either way.

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

Oladipo shot out of the gates to the best start of his career, averaging 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game through the first 10 games of the year. He hasn’t slowed down, checking in with 22.2 points, 5.8 boards, and 3.8 dimes a night over the most recent 10 games.

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Operating as the clear offensive focal point for the first time in his career, Oladipo is slashing through the paint like crazy (9.9 drives per game, per Second Spectrum data on and shooting the heck out of the ball from deep (46.2 percent on 5.2 attempts per game). In addition to his excellent chemistry with Domantas Sabonis, he’s shined next to whichever point guard the Pacers have paired him with in the backcourt.

Overall, he’s carrying a career-high usage rate and a career-high true shooting percentage, and he’s putting up the best rebounding numbers of his career as well. The Pacers have been 9.4 points per 100 possessions better with Oladipo on the floor than off, with their defense in particular suffering greatly whenever he leaves the game.

Patrick Patterson, Oklahoma City Thunder

Oof. A lot of this is due to his lingering knee injury (he had surgery during the offseason), but Patterson has not come close to living up to expectations after the Thunder made one of the best value signings of the offseason when they snagged him on a three-year deal at the taxpayer’s mid-level exception.

Pat-Pat is playing only 14 minutes a night. He’s shooting just 35 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep. His rebounding numbers have fallen so far off the map that they don’t even register. (His 6.1 total rebound percentage would be bad for a two-guard.) His defense has slipped as well, making him borderline unusable as the fifth guy alongside Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams — a role he should have easily won over Andre Roberson and Raymond Felton, given his two-way contributions in Toronto.

Luc Mbah a Moute, Houston Rockets

One of the most pleasant developments of the season is Mbah a Moute showing increased verve with the ball in his hands.

He was basically a standstill “shooter” in Los Angeles over the last couple seasons, asked to station himself in the corner while Chris Paul or Blake Griffin or whoever else ran the show and created nearly every single look he got. If he ever dribbled the ball, I must have missed it.

This season, he’s still making his smart cuts and knocking down the occasional jumper, but he’s also he’s beating closeouts off the dribble. He’s drawing the defense and firing off passes to big men under the rim or shooters on the perimeter. In short, he’s a live threat in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. And that’s in addition to everything he brings defensively. He’s been one of the best offseason acquisitions in the NBA, full stop.

Justin Holiday, Chicago Bulls

Another presumed value signing this offseason that has gone awry. Holiday showed last season in New York that he belongs in the NBA, but he has been beyond miscast as a high-usage offensive option on the wing for Chicago.

Holiday should never be asked to create his own looks off the bounce like this:

As if to prove it’s the creating that’s the problem, Holiday is still knocking down over 36 percent of his triples when holding the ball for less than two seconds before shooting, per If the Bulls were asking him to merely be a 3-and-D role player, he’d probably be doing just fine.

Taj Gibson, Minnesota Timberwolves

If you’re looking for a guy that has lived up to exactly what was expected of him this season, look no further. The Wolves signed Gibson to play professional basketball-quality defense, grab rebounds, and do the dirty work offensively. Gibson has done exactly that.

The 32-going-on-132-year-old is pretty much the only Wolf playing anything resembling professional defense, so it’s no surprise that the T-Pups have gotten an incredible 12 points per 100 possessions worse on that end when he leaves the floor. (His stellar rebounding has been a big key there, in addition to his usual activity and communication.) He’s also done surprisingly good work on the other end of the court, however, shooting a career-high 54 percent from the field while hammering the offensive glass in a way he hasn’t since his breakup with Tom Thibodeau a couple years back.

Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat

It’s hard to tell which basket to place Olynyk in. On the one hand, he’s shooting better than at any point in his career, especially over the last 10 games as the Heat have climbed out of their early-season hole — 54 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3. The Heat have been over 9 points better per 100 possessions offensively with him on the floor, and his defensive rebounding numbers have shot through the roof as he’s played the majority of his minutes at center.

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On the other hand, he’s a $50 million backup center playing only 20 minutes a night.He theoretically makes for a good fit as a stretch-4 given his spacing capabilities on both ends, but Erik Spoelstra has elected not to go that route thus far. Olynyk has played only 10 minutes next to Hassan Whiteside all season, and on a team that counts Whiteside as its focal point, it’s not a great sign that Olynyk seemingly can’t be on the floor with him.

Anthony Tolliver, Detroit Pistons

Tolliver missed a couple games early on and got off to a slow start shooting the ball, but he’s come on over the last dozen games or so for a Pistons team that is shooting up the Eastern Conference standings. In the most recent 12 games, Tolliver has connected on 46 percent of his shots from the field and 40 percent of his 3s. He’s defending both forward spots with great aplomb and actually ranks sixth at his position in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus through the early part of the season. He’s essentially playing the Ryan Anderson role from Stan Van Gundy’s old Magic teams, but with lower volume better defense.