NBA Offseason Grades: Atlantic Division

Atlantic Division
Photo: Charles Krupa/AP Photo

See our grades for the Northwest Division, Southwest Division, Southeast DivisionCentral Division and Pacific Division. 

Lastly, we will be assessing the Atlantic Division which is composed of the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. This week’s participants are…

DJ Allen @djallen23

Alec Walt @alecwalt

Alfonso De Falco @fonzydefalco

William Boyer @wcboyer24

Boston Celtics: A

Analysis from Alec: The Celtics made the biggest improvements this offseason in the Atlantic Division. They replaced Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger with Al Horford and Jaylen Brown. Horford gives them a big who can score and Brown gives them energy and toughness off the bench. Now the Celtics have Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson and Al Horford to rotate in defensive units. Even though the Celtics didn’t add another scorer they’ll have one of the league’s top defenses. They have plenty of assets to find that scorer.
Highest grade: A (unanimous), from Alfonso – They did not get Kevin Durant after a strong pitch, but they were able to get one of the other top free agents in Al Horford. Horford gives them help on both ends of the floor and he’s a huge upgrade at the center spot. Even though they failed to reach any draft trade deals, their picks Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, and Ben Bentil will look to make an impact right away.
Atlantic Division
(Photo via

Brooklyn Nets: D

Analysis from DJ: Nothing about the Brooklyn Nets or their offseason excites me. They may be the worst team in basketball this year even behind my Lakers. I they didn’t do much during the offseason but sign Jeremy Lin who they’re praying can bring Linsanity back. “Its gonna be a no for me dog.”

Highest grade: C from Alfonso – The Nets began the offseason with a major disadvantage after trading away draft picks over the last few seasons. They made attempts to bring in restricted free agents but ultimately lost out on that. The signings of Jeremy Lin and Trevor Booker will help them out a little bit and Isaiah Whitehead is a player to watch for this team. I am also interested to see what Anthony Bennett, a former top pick in the draft, does in Brooklyn.

Atlantic Division
(Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/Newday)

New York Knicks: B+

Analysis from BJ: With the additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the Knicks are must-see TV this season. They’ll either captivate or frustrate the patrons of New York, and best believe I’ll be watching to see how it all unfolds. New York touts one of the more talented starting fives in the East on paper, but the conversation has been centered around how it will play out on the floor. Factor that in with their weak bench (Brandon Jennings and Sasha Vujacic are not the answers) and you can see why there may be some concerns regarding this team.

Highest grade: A- from DJ – Not many people are sold on this New York Knicks roster but I’m on this bandwagon. I like everything they did simply because they don’t have much to lose. Carmelo Anthony is entering the down years of his career so why not go out swinging. Health is going to be their main concern this year but if they can stay healthy I believe they will make the playoffs this season. People question the chemistry issues and the ball stoppage but people forget that we saw more of a passing side from Melo last year and I believe he’s changing his ways. Watch out for the Knicks.
Atlantic Division
(Photo: Kim Raff/AP)

Philadelphia 76ers: B+

Analysis from Alec: The Philadelphia 76ers improvements came through the draft over free agency. They drafted LSU phenom Ben Simmons with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Simmons gives the 76ers and identity and building block to form a future championship contending team. Simmons is the only big name to enter Philadelphia this offseason. Through free agency they made cheap acquisitions like Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson who bring leadership and three-point shooting. Trust the process, it’s working.

Highest grade: A- from Alfonso – Landing the number one pick and taking Ben Simmons was huge for this team. He will look to be the star of this team right away. The also signed Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless as two veterans that can help put their guard situation. Will see if management will trade one of their young bigs before the season starts. This team has a lot of young talent, a lot of money to spend and a bright future.

Atlantic Division
(Photo: Bernard Weil/Toronto Star)

Toronto Raptors: C+

Analysis from DJ: The Raptors didn’t do much during this offseason. They lost Bismack Biyombo who was huge for them during the playoffs last season, so that will be someone they miss on the defensive end. They will probably be around a 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they didn’t do enough to take it to the next level.

Highest grade: B+ from Alec – The Toronto Raptors saved their offseason by re-signing DeMar DeRozan. It required losing Bismack Biyombo, but they have depth to fill his void. The Raptors signed Jared Sullinger and drafted Jakob Poeltl. Sullinger gives the Raptors a versatile big and Poeltl gives them another offensive big behind Jonas Valanciunas. With Biyombo leaving the Raptors didn’t address defense. Adding defense would’ve given them an A- offseason.


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