Biggest winners and losers in free agency: 76ers now surging as rivals fall off

Here are the biggest winners and losers from free agency, headlined by the Philadelphia 76ers and their fast rise in the East as their rivals fall off.
76ers, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey
76ers, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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With the 2024 NBA free agency having already coursed through its early wave, it’s probably the right time to make valid prognoses about how each team has fared so far. The Philadelphia 76ers, expected to be the team to watch out for in the offseason, certainly dropped some jaws lately, while other teams are struggling to keep up with other fast risers.

There’s still a lot of time to make more moves and a sizable cast of free agents waiting to get plucked, but at this point, which or who are the biggest winners and losers in free agency?

Winner: The 76ers act fast amid brewing bloodbath in the East

After Boston won the championship and New York added a quasi-flagship, fringe All-Star in Mikal Bridges, the jury was swift to point out about Philadelphia potentially being a punchline next season. As counter, the 76ers went on to land the biggest fish in free agency, firmly putting themselves on par with the best that the East has to offer.

Paul George joining Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey could just be a prelude to a historic 76ers season. When it comes to raw talent, you’d be hard-pressed to find another troika who can match Philly’s. And we haven’t even gleamed at the slew of savvy, under-the-radar moves that Daryl Morey and co. pulled off that should all come in handy when the push comes to shove.

Aside from those three teams, the likes of Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indiana, Orlando, and Miami could also be in an arm’s race for homecourt advantage. Thankfully, the 76ers quickly climbed out of that tier, and at the team’s peak, their only real enemy next season could be the Celtics and themselves, barring injuries.