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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Winner: Victor Wembanyama

Victor Wembanyama was already a winner, literally and figuratively. He’s the single-best prospect the NBA has ever seen, he’s in the most sagacious organization in sports, coached by one of, if not the greatest head coach in league history, and now, he’ll be playing with a floor general who can help him and the team immediately next season.

The Chris Paul move might come with some dismissal from those who hyperfixate on his age, but the Spurs really needed just one, can’t-sag-off point guard to man the point last season. Wembanyama (and Devin Vassell) had to conjure an entire offense for long stretches, and San Antonio, despite a somehow well-engineered offensive ethos as an assists maniac, badly needed order and structure.

Paul is structure personalized, and his presence will absolutely unlock Wembanyama, especially on a cerebral level. Even if he sits out a considerable number of games, his influence on Stephon Castle, Tre Jones, and Jeremy Sochan will be superb, which is also tied down to their synergy around and next to the French phenom.