Free agency: The winners and losers of 2016

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Golden State Warriors

Where else to start? The Warriors won the signature of the biggest free agent since 2010 as they fought off competition from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, and others, to secure Kevin Durant.

With Durant adding to the already dangerous trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Golden State are heavy favourites to avenge their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and claim their second title in three years.

They may have lost a number of players, but adding veterans Zaza Pachulia and David West for little to nothing is a huge boost for their rotation.

Mike Conley & Chandler Parsons

$153 million and $94 million. The Memphis Grizzlies duo are laughing all the way to the bank. Talk about making the most of your surroundings.

Heading into the offseason, everybody knew that players were set for big pay increases. All 30 franchises were offering crazy amounts of money for players who were nothing short of average - see Timofey Mozgov and the Lakers for example.

But no two players came out of the situation better than the Grizzlies pair. Conley, a player who was injured for the majority of last season and has never been an All-Star, signed the biggest contract in basketball history. While Parsons, another injury-prone player, raked in the cash.

Memphis can certainly be considered a loser in this situation.

Utah Jazz

Is this finally the year that the Utah Jazz finally break out?

They have been threatening to do so for years and fans have been watching in excited anticipation. With a young core of Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, and others, they narrowly missed out last season.

The front office has added the veteran experience of Boris Diaw, Joe Johnson and George Hill and 2016/17 should finally see Utah leave their mark on the Western Conference and make their way back to the playoffs.


Oklahoma City Thunder

They lost Kevin Durant, plain and simple.

Having a player of his calibre as an unrestricted free agent is always a risk, but nobody really expected the franchise to lose the man who has done so much for them since moving to Oklahoma.

How different it could have been had the Thunder saw out their series with the Warriors when they held a 3-1 lead. Losing to Golden State and missing out on the Finals yet again was the straw that broke the camel's back.

But they still believed and traded away Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo - amongst other things - in the hope of convincing KD to stay. Now they are left with a roster suited for Durant, without the centre piece. Oh, and there is also the threat of losing Russell Westbrook in the same scenario next summer.

Russell Westbrook

One half of OKC's former All-Star duo; the most devastating twosome in the league. But that is now over.

Last time Westbrook was put in sole charge of the Thunder they failed to reach the playoffs. They should do better this time; that is if the point guard stays.

There are reports the organisation are attempting a trade, but there is a serious lack of real contenders for his signature. Westbrook currently finds himself in a predicament where he no longer plays for a championship calibre team, but has very few options elsewhere.

Miami Heat

At first glance, the Miami Heat roster is considerably weaker than last season. They performed admirably to reach the playoffs but this offseason has been nothing short of a disaster for the franchise.

Yes, they resigned Hassan Whiteside - completing their primary objective - and losing Dwayne Wade may not be as big an issue as five years ago, but with Joe Johnson and Luol Deng also departing the Sunshine State, there is not much for Heat fans to cheer about.

James Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Luke Babbit are three of the players to come in. With Chris Bosh teetering on the edge of medical retirement, it could be a tough campaign for them.

Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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