It may not seem like it, but we're nearly a quarter of the way through the 2020-21 NBA schedule. Postponements and thinning rosters due to health and safety protocols have made it difficult to judge the early returns for many teams, but we're starting to get a sense of how the pieces fit in most situations.
After the flurry of offseason moves, this is a good time to check in with players who have changed teams to see how they're fitting into their new surroundings. Any time a player relocates, particularly a high-usage player, there's going to be an inevitable period of adjustment, both from the player and from his teammates. Some, as you'll see, are making that transition more smoothly than others.
Here's a look at how 13 key NBA offseason acquisitions are faring thus far on their new teams.
If acquiring Westbrook was supposed to help keep Bradley Beal from demanding a trade or eventually leaving in free agency, things aren't off to a great start. Sure, he's nearly averaging a triple-double, but Westbrook's lack of offensive efficiency is alarming -- his 0.718 points per possession rank in the 10th percentile in the NBA, according to Synergy Sports Technology. Also of concern for the Wizards is Westbrook's inability to finish around the rim so far this season, as both his transition and half-court numbers are way down in the paint.
Westbrook has missed 10 shots at the rim in seven games this season according to Synergy ... and he's gotten blocked on seven of them.
This could just be an early-season anomaly, or it could be an indication that, at age 32, Westbrook's athleticism may be slipping to the point where it affects his finishing ability. And if Westbrook isn't scoring consistently at the rim, chances are he's hurting your offense.
CP3 has gotten off to a slow start in Phoenix, to say the least. His .483 effective field goal percentage is nearly 70 points lower than last season's, and his scoring average has dropped four points. He's such a great passer and playmaker, however, that even with the shooting struggles he's in the 94th percentile in halfcourt offense with 1.468 points per possession when you include assists, according to Synergy.
Paul's most noticeable drop-off has come in the pick-and-roll, where he was in the 90th percentile at 1.104 points per possession including passes last season, according to Synergy. That's fallen to the 42nd percentile, 0.922 points per possession, so far this season. Even his pet 17-foot pull-ups, a virtually automatic shot for Paul his entire career, haven't been falling as often.