Winners and losers from NBA free agency: Pistons and 76ers on surprising sides

San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons
San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Winner: San Antonio Spurs 

The Spurs got their point guard of the future in Stephon Castle and a veteran mentor in Chris Paul, both of whom are going to help Victor Wembanyama right away. 

Not everyone was happy with the Spurs trading the 8th pick for future draft assets from Minnesota, but it gave them further ammunition to add stars over the next few seasons. 

They were also the sneaky winner of the DeMar DeRozan trade, as they got a good 3-and-D wing in Harrison Barnes plus banked a 2031 pick swap from the Kings, which could look very good just as Wembanyama is probably winning his 5th MVP. 

The Spurs are being smart and patient with Wembanyama, giving him the tools to develop without selling out the future. 

Loser: Chicago Bulls 

If there is any team that makes me feel better about the Troy Weaver era, it’s the Chicago Bulls, who have to be the worst managed team in the NBA. 

They decided to “go for it” last season in an asinine attempt to line Jerry Reinsdorf’s pockets with playoff money, then won 39 games and got throttled in the play-in. 

They had huge trade assets in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, who they gave up for one year of Josh Giddey, Chris Duarte and two second-round picks. How they weren't able to squeeze one lousy pick out of OKC, who has a million of them, is beyond me.

After being offered three picks for Andre Drummond at the deadline (all second rounders), the Bulls let him walk for nothing. 

They then gave Patrick Williams, who can’t stay healthy and hasn’t gotten any better in four years, a massive $90 million contract, bidding against themselves, as no other team was offering that. His contract makes Isaiah Stewart's look great.

They still have Zach LaVine, who they waited too long to trade, and now will have to attach assets to, just get rid of. 

They only made one other move in free agency, signing Jalen Smith, which was a nice value contract for Chicago. 

But overall, it’s been a disaster. The Bulls are now rebuilding anyway, but without all of the draft assets they could have had for DeRozan, Caruso and Drummond.  

Pistons fans: Be careful what you wish for when it comes to Tom Gores. The Pistons haven’t won anything under him, but at least he tries and at least he spends money. There are worse options out there and Jerry Reinsdorf is one of them.