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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Loser: Wait, are the Bucks actually doomed?

While the Celtics, 76ers, and Knicks are comfortably seated atop the East right now, at least on paper, the Bucks have done nothing to make anyone confident to hoist them into that deck, not that they can do anything, anyway.

Milwaukee arguably still has a championship-caliber core with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Khris Middleton, but the latter two have now become oft-injured stars with increasing mileages. They don’t have a deep roster at all, and puzzlingly took on a couple of project pieces in the draft when they should have drafted more win-now commodities.

The Bucks are also restricted from having any semblance of mobility in the market. That’s why they are now rumored to be shopping Brook Lopez for chump change, hoping to free up some money that would allow them to re-tool the roster. That’s one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, by the way, and guess where the team struggled last season? Defense.