2019 Central NBA Free Agency Primer: Division with greatest potential for growth

Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon #NBA Free Agency Primer Series (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon #NBA Free Agency Primer Series (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
1 of 6
NBA Free Agency
Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA Free Agency Series (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports) /

The Central Division enters the NBA Free Agency frenzy with numerous free agents but the greatest potential to take a leap upward in the East.

In the Eastern Conference, the Central Division is the one most likely to take the greatest steps. I’ll preface this fact by stating unless all the top tier Atlantic free agents bolt from their existing squads and others don’t land right back in the same division it’s unlikely they aren’t the cream of the East again.

Likewise, it’s also unlikely the teams in the Central Division will drop off to the level of being the weakest – the position the Southeast will continue to hold.

Still with the Bucks expected to run back a mostly similar roster they’ll remain among the best in the East if not the best NBA squad in back to back seasons.

Similarly, the Cavaliers aren’t likely to vault ahead of the teams in the Central as they rebuild and seek to re-define their franchise.

However, the big shifts should come from the other three squads bookmarked in the middle. The Pacers, for example, have a ton of work to do in order to retain any semblance of constancy. Regardless, Indiana’s culture is firmly in place and enough of their young core will return to keep them relevant, albeit not likely strong enough to usurp the top tier of the East.

The Pistons are poised to make enough moves that could put them back in the conversation and the Bulls have so much exciting young talent they could be this coming season’s version of the Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets or LA Clippers.

While the Atlantic Division houses the top tier free agents both the Bucks and Pacers have numerous next tier talents who’ll shape this offseason. Ultimately, the ability of Milwaukee and Indy to retain enough of those talents will be one of the greatest factors to shape the NBA this offseason.

With that, let’s look at each of the Central teams individually.