Catching Up on the 2016-17 NBA Offseason: The Pacific Division

Between the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Suns, and Kings, who got better this offseason? Spoiler: the Warriors.

Last week, we began recapping the whirlwind NBA offseason by division, starting with the Atlantic Division and then the Northwest Division. Yesterday, we covered the Central Division, and today we're heading back out west for the Pacific Division.

In this series, we are hoping to provide you with a one-stop spot to catch up on all the player movement that took place in the NBA this summer, analyzing the changes within each division along the way and finishing it all off with an all-encompassing summary at the end.

For the sake of our analysis, we'll be using our propietary nERD metric as a point of comparison, focusing on nERD in and nERD out for each team.

If you're not familiar with nERD, it combines several offensive, defensive, and usage factors to produce one number that is meant to project a player's overall value to his team. That final number is an estimate of how many games above or below .500 a league-average team would win over an 82-game season with the player in question as one of its starters. It's comparable to Win Shares, but is meant to be predictive (projecting an 82-game season) as opposed to descriptive (how many wins the player has contributed to his team in the past). For the sake of this study, we'll use last season's nERD scores and leave out rookies and overseas imports (since they're such unknown commodities).

All discussions regarding player movement in the Pacific Division this summer start and end with Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. This space could be used to discuss the Lakers adding Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, or the Sacramento Kings doing ... whatever it is that the Kings do ... but let's be honest: Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for Oakland is the only story here.

Let's get right to that.

Golden State Warriors

Players In How? nERD Players Out How? nERD
Kevin Durant FA 19.7 Andrew Bogut Trade 4.6
David West FA 5.3 Festus Ezeli FA 2.3
Zaza Pachulia FA 3.4 Harrison Barnes FA 2.2
Marreese Speights FA 0.0
Leandro Barbosa FA -0.2
Brandon Rush FA -0.3

nERD in:
nERD out: 8.6
Net nERD: 19.8

The Warriors' 8.6 outgoing nERD would be detrimental to most teams in the league, but don't worry, they'll be fine. They may have lost some nERDy players in Harrison Barnes (2.2 nERD), Andrew Bogut (4.6 nERD), and Festus Ezeli (2.3 nERD), but Kevin Durant and his 19.7 nERD is essentially worth more wins than all of those guys combined. Even the total incoming nERD of 8.7 between two bargain-bin additions in Zaza Pachulia (3.4 nERD) and David West (5.3 nERD) trumps the 8.6 the Dubs lost this offseason in six players.

Those two savvy pickups and Kevin Durant give a team that won an NBA-record 73 games last year a Net nERD of 19.8 this offseason, which would break most projection equations. Their chances of going 82-0 may be slim by our numbers, but they are built like a team that could actually make it seem possible. The Warriors may have lost the 2016 NBA Finals after being up 3-1, but they are unequivocally the champions of this summer.

Los Angeles Clippers

Players In How? nERD Players Out How? nERD
Brandon Bass FA 2.7 Cole Aldrich FA 3.7
Marreese Speights FA 0.0 C.J. Wilcox Trade 0.0
Alan Anderson FA -0.1 Branden Dawson Waived 0.0
Raymond Felton FA -3.5 Pablo Prigioni FA -0.5
Jeff Green FA -3.5

nERD in:
nERD out: -0.3
Net nERD: -0.6

The Los Angeles Clippers will be rolling out their core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan for another go around. They re-signed rotation staples like Jamal Crawford and The Coach's Son this summer -- more or less keeping the band together -- but swapped out the end of their bench (and Jeff Green) for some other guys. The Net nERD of -0.6 is nearly negligible, meaning they should be right back in their rightful place among the contenders who can't actually hang with the Warriors.

Los Angeles Lakers

Players In How? nERD Players Out How? nERD
Luol Deng FA 3.4 Brandon Bass FA 2.7
Timofey Mozgov FA 2.3 Robert Sacre FA -0.8
Jose Calderon Trade -0.1 Roy Hibbert FA -3.3
Kobe Bryant Retired -10.1

nERD in:
nERD out: -11.5
Net nERD: 17.1

Simply by shedding Kobe Bryant's -10.1 nERD, the Los Angeles Lakers had one of the best offseasons in the league. Meanwhile, they netted another top-tier lottery pick and potential franchise player in Brandon Ingram in the draft while upgrading Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass, and Robert Sacre into Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, and Jose Calderon. The Lakers are now an intriguing mix of young, promising talent and quality veteran leadership. It's weird to say this after so many bad years, but the Lakers actually had a pretty solid summer. Go figure.

Phoenix Suns

Players In How? nERD Players Out How? nERD
Jared Dudley FA 1.0 Mirza Teletovic FA 1.3
Leandro Barbosa FA -0.2 Jon Leuer FA 0.3
Ronnie Price FA -2.1

nERD in:
nERD out: -0.5
Net nERD: 1.3

The Phoenix Suns let a couple power forwards (Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer) walk, since they grabbed a couple new ones (Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss) in the draft. Other than that, they got some members of the late-aught, run-and-gun, Steve Nash-led Suns back for a victory lap by signing Leandro Barbosa and Jared Dudley. Those guys should provide some veteran leadership for Phoenix's young core while still being plenty able to contribute on the floor, as well. The Suns get a passing grade for their somewhat understated offseason.

Sacramento Kings

Players In How? nERD Players Out How? nERD
Anthony Tolliver FA 0.4 Quincy Acy FA 1.7
Lamar Patterson Waiver -1.2 Seth Curry FA 0.0
Garrett Temple FA -2.6 Caron Butler Waived -0.2
Ty Lawson FA -4.0 Rajon Rondo FA -1.5
Matt Barnes FA -4.5 Marco Belinelli Trade -6.0
Arron Afflalo FA -4.6

nERD in:
nERD out: -6.0
Net nERD: -10.5

The Kings had yet another offseason that could probably be best-described using a shrug emoji. They managed to shed -6.0 worth of nERD off their roster, but they brought in a whopping -16.5, including three of the least nERDy players in the NBA in Ty Lawson (-4.0), Matt Barnes (-4.5), and Arron Afflalo (-4.6). Rudy Gay may or may not want to be traded, and franchise cornerstone DeMarcus Cousins seemed pretty upset when his center-filled team for which he plays center added even more centers through the draft. Good luck with all that, Dave Joerger.


Team nERD In nERD Out Net nERD
Golden State Warriors 28.4 8.6 19.8
Los Angeles Clippers -0.9 -0.3 -0.6
Los Angeles Lakers 5.6 -11.5 17.1
Phoenix Suns 0.8 -0.5 1.3
Sacramento Kings -16.5 -6.0 -10.5

The Warriors signed Kevin Durant. The other teams did not (especially not the Kings). We did the math, but you know darn well who won the offseason in the Pacific Division -- nay, the NBA -- even without our numbers. It literally goes without saying.