While most NBA teams got better or at least broke even during free agency, an unlucky few had more talent outgoing than incoming.
In the NBA, it only takes one team for your best-laid free-agent plans to go awry.
Whether a team hopes to re-sign an incumbent player or snag a free agent from elsewhere, the league’s salary cap and luxury-tax threshold crimp how much it can spend. If another team helicopters in with a richer offer, that’s often all she wrote.
The following five teams — with one glaring exception — all experienced some version of that heartbreak during 2020 free agency.
Three of these teams lost key players and had no easy way to replace them. One deliberately tore down its roster, which has it poised to plummet out of the playoff race. And one improved its short-term outlook at the expense of its long-term future.
Let’s start with that squad and work our way up the list of teams that are worse off now than they were before free agency began a few weeks ago.