Ranking the top 20 acquisitions of the NBA offseason
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Basketball royalty went Hollywood, a former Finals Most Valuable Player was sent north of the border, and one of the game's top-tier bigs joined a team coming off a second-straight title.

Here are the top 20 acquisitions of one of the most momentous NBA offseasons in recent memory:

20. Elfrid Payton, Pelicans

Think Rajon Rondo minus the leadership intangibles.

Payton is a Louisiana native who should be embraced by the community. He's also eight years younger than the man he's replacing and can contribute eerily similar statistics. Payton's poor shooting and proneness to turnovers have always haunted him, but if those numbers improve, the 24-year-old could carve out a long-term role with his hometown Pelicans beyond his one-year contract. - Walder

19. Ed Davis, Nets

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum's respective tweets upon learning of Davis' departure were representative of just how important No. 17 was to Rip City.

Davis was a beast on the glass, ranking seventh overall in rebounds per-36 minutes (minimum 1,000 minutes) with 14.1 per game. He's old school and tough to the core, filling a need for a Nets team lacking an interior presence. - Walder

18. Dennis Schroder, Thunder

Getting out from underneath Carmelo Anthony's contract was a colossal win for Oklahoma City, but to add a piece in the process like Schroder, who can spell minutes for Russell Westbrook, is icing on the cake.

Schroder wanted out of a rebuilding situation in Atlanta and now finds himself on a playoff team. He's the finest backup the Thunder have had since Reggie Jackson, and can thrive in both isolation and the pick-and-roll. - Walder

17. Wilson Chandler, 76ers

Philly was loaded with cap space and somehow failed to sign a superstar. However, trading for Chandler gives the team added defensive versatility and a top option off the bench. The Sixers' starting lineup was among the best in the NBA last season; Chandler could be a piece that quietly helps Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons join the East's elite. - Saghir

16. Trevor Ariza, Suns

It was a strange signing but Ariza is still an effective 3-and-D talent. His loss may hurt the Rockets more than it benefits the Suns. Regardless, he adds a much-needed veteran presence on the wing for Phoenix. Consider the $15 million spent on Ariza an investment in the development of sophomore Josh Jackson. - Saghir

15. Danny Green, Raptors

The anti-DeRozan.

Green doesn’t need the ball to be effective, adds tenacious defense to a versatile Raptors core, and shoots a high percentage from three. Kawhi Leonard may be getting all the attention, but Green is the ideal starting two-guard for a Toronto team that must win now. - Saghir

14. Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies

The man called "Slo-Mo" was an elite defender in San Antonio last season, making the Spurs' decision to let the restricted free agent walk a head-scratcher.

Anderson should flourish on this gritty Grizzlies roster. He won't stand out on the box score, but his well-rounded talent will make for a good fit in Memphis beside Marc Gasol and a healthy Mike Conley. - Saghir

13. Rajon Rondo, Lakers

This pickup is the kick in the backside Lonzo Ball needs. The second overall selection in 2017 isn't guaranteed to start with Rondo lurking.

The Lakers need to strike while the iron is hot now that they have LeBron, and while Rondo isn't any better at shooting than Ball, he's a battle-tested veteran with a high IQ who can put Los Angeles in a better position to win now. - Walder

12. Jabari Parker, Bulls

Time will tell if Chicago made a wise investment in Parker, who's undergone multiple ACL surgeries and doesn't sound eager to work on his crummy defense.

The Bulls are seemingly fascinated with building around young guns who can score a ton but can't defend. Parker, who fits that bill to a tee, should at least have some drawing power as a Windy City native. - Walder

11. Brook Lopez, Bucks

Lopez quietly fills a giant need for a Bucks squad that has yet to give Giannis Antetokounmpo an effective man in the middle.

Milwaukee acquired a former All-Star who scored 20-plus points per game just two seasons ago, and brings leadership to the team, on a one-year, $3.4-million deal. It helps that he's added the 3-ball to his game; he's shot 34.6 percent on 4.8 attempts over the past two years. - Saghir

10. Carmelo Anthony, Rockets

Anthony is once again billed as a third option following a season in Oklahoma City where he struggled in a similar role.

He's an isolation player entering an isolation-heavy offense revolving around James Harden and Chris Paul. Anthony needs to conform and get his percentages up while putting points on the board. He's certainly capable. - Walder

9. Dwight Howard, Wizards

Howard's been considered a locker room cancer for every team he's played for, which could pose trouble for a Wizards squad that experienced so much dysfunction last season.

However, the 7-footer has averaged a double-double in all 14 seasons of his career, and he can still be an effective cog in the middle on both ends of the floor. He's a major upgrade from Marcin Gortat, who couldn't seem to get along with star guard John Wall last season. - Saghir

8. Isaiah Thomas, Nuggets

The 5-foot-9 Thomas has a giant chip on his shoulder after the Brinks truck didn't back up.

With far less of a spotlight and little pressure coming off the bench in the Mile High City, all Thomas needs to concern himself with is scoring with great efficiency to show his naysayers he hasn't fallen off. There's tremendous potential for a Sixth Man of the Year nomination here. - Walder

7. Julius Randle, Pelicans

It may sound crazy, but Randle should more comfortably fit next to Anthony Davis than DeMarcus Cousins ever could. After Boogie went down due to injury, the Pelicans became the fastest team in the NBA, finishing with 104.5 possessions per game in the team's final 34 contests.

Randle won't slow things down, as he played terrific transition basketball in L.A. last season. It helps that he can defend five positions and won't take touches away from his superstar teammate. - Saghir

6. Tyreke Evans, Pacers

Evans was one of eight players in 2017-18, and the lone non-All-Star, to average at least 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game, all the while converting a career-high 39.9 percent from 3-point range.

Indiana didn't have a consistent No. 2 scorer behind Victor Oladipo last season. In Evans, the Pacers get a reliable right-hand man and playmaker in the backcourt who can add a new wrinkle to last season's 12th-ranked offense. - Walder

5. DeAndre Jordan, Mavericks

Don't worry, Dallas fans. He actually signed this time.

Jordan gives the Mavericks a physical presence in the middle that'll happily catch lobs from rookie Luka Doncic while protecting the rim on the other end. He's the type of player Carlisle has desired since losing Tyson Chandler in 2015. - Saghir

4. DeMar DeRozan, Spurs

The Spurs came out of the Kawhi drama with a four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA talent. DeRozan has his shortcomings, but the former Raptor gives Pop's squad the go-to perimeter scorer that they missed for most of last season.

It'll be interesting to see how the Spurs' system will cover for DeRozan's defensive issues. - Saghir

3. DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors

The reigning two-time NBA champions didn't need Boogie, but he fell into the Warriors' lap on the cheap to make an already stacked roster that much more dangerous. A five-man lineup comprised entirely of All-Stars could be the most unstoppable force we've ever seen, just as long as Cousins can fully recover from his Achilles injury.

The rich got richer, and a three-peat in the Bay Area feels inevitable. - Walder

2. Kawhi Leonard, Raptors

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the league has definitely missed the prowess of arguably its best two-way talent in Leonard.

Even if it's just for one season, the Raptors have put themselves in an enviable position in the LeBron-less East. If committed, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year could lift Toronto to heights it's never reached before. - Walder

1. LeBron James, Lakers

It couldn't be anyone else. James remains the best basketball player on earth as he enters his 16th season. The four-time MVP makes the Lakers relevant again, and his four-year deal should make for a long and happy marriage for both parties.

Hopefully those bitter Lakers fans that refuse to welcome the King will come around. - Saghir

(Photos Courtesy: Getty Images)

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Ranking the top 20 acquisitions of the NBA offseason
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