Certain off-season acquisitions work so well, you can’t believe it. How could anyone have passed on this guy? It’s a question we’ve all asked at some point. And then there are the players who fall so short of their grand expectations, it’s hard not to notice. So when this free agency period is long over and we look back at which moves we remember, we’ll think about the stars that came from nowhere and the busts that were so promising. But the reality is that those aren’t the moves that are the most important. It’s the little signings, the slight adjustments, that make teams contending squads. So here are the three best signings that might not appear important right now.
3. Brandon Bass – The starting power forward for the Celtics found his niche last year as a strong big man with a solid mid range game. He never let the moment scare him and played well in some essential moments last year. His 12.5 points a game were nice, but it was his 6.2 rebound average that makes him so important to a Boston team lacking size. With the loss of Ray Allen, resigning Bass was an essential move for Boston. His humble attitude and work ethic make him a great teammate and vital free agent signing for the Celtics.
2. Goran Dragic – This isn’t so much of a surprise signing as just a plain solid move. Dragic will return to the Suns where he’s played most of his career. Last year was a breakout year for the point guard. He only average 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, but his contributions to his team were immeasurable. He ran the team like a true point guard, something he might’ve picked up in his time backing Steve Nash up. It wasn’t cheap, but signing a point guard with star potential after losing Nash was an important step for Phoenix.
1. Ryan Anderson – This only happened today, but Anderson found a new home in New Orleans after a sign-and-trade with the Magic. Anderson wasn’t only a surprise shooter last year, but a consistent force that proved he could score when times got tough. He was more effective with a big man, which he’ll find in Anthony Davis if he can improve his game on the low post. Anderson averaged a career high 16.1 points last year to go along with 7.7 rebounds, breaking out of his shell while the Magic struggled to get through games. With such a young Hornets team around him, his shooting will be a cozy comfort zone when things get hectic. Anderson shot 39.3% from 3-point range last year, and with Austin Rivers at the point and Anthony Davis down low he’ll have the spacing he needs to be a threat.