A quarter into the season, is it too early to judge last summer's offseason moves? Perhaps! But there's enough data to point to some trends and come to some conclusions. It seems, for example, that the team that won 73 games last year did not make a mistake by adding another top-3 player in free agency. Here's the good, bad and ugly of what we've seen so far, as well of a few examples of situations where we shouldn't make any judgments just yet:
KEVIN DURANT, Golden State Warriors: The superstar has never been more efficient or well-rounded. Everybody thought he'd have an easier time in the Warriors' system, but some thought it would take a bit of time and nobody could have predicted he'd have a 68 percent true shooting percentage through 21 games. Golden State has the best offense the league has ever seen, and Durant is battling a couple of his former teammates for MVP.
LUKE WALTON, Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers have new life thanks to a chill bro who is letting them run, gun and have fun. The defense is a problem, but who cares? The future of this franchise is clearly much brighter than it looked when Byron Scott was around. Under Walton's watch, they started out 7-5 before D'Angelo Russell's knee injury. Now 10-12, they are still on the periphery of the playoffs, which is still an enormous improvement.
GEORGE HILL, Utah Jazz: The unbelievable numbers -- 20 points, 4.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 53.4 percent shooting, 45.6 percent from 3-point range -- might not be sustainable, but his steadying influence on the Jazz is here to stay. When he's been on the court, Utah has looked like an elite team, outscoring its opponents by 14.3 points per 100 possessions. Hill is exactly what this team needed; he just needs to stay healthy.
RYAN ANDERSON/MIKE D'ANTONI, Houston Rockets: It's not some sort of fluke that Anderson's career-best 42.9 percent mark from 3-point range has coincided with him joining forces with the mustachioed master of the spread pick-and-roll offense. With James Harden running D'Antoni's show, Anderson has never looked more comfortable, and the 13-7 Rockets have a chance to be a serious threat in the playoffs. If their 27th-ranked defense improves, that is.
JEREMY LIN/KENNY ATKINSON, Brooklyn Nets: If not for the hiring of Atkinson, an assistant coach with the New York Knicks during Linsanity, the point guard would not have signed up for a lengthy rebuilding project in Brooklyn. In five preseason games and five regular-season games, Lin looked happy to have the ball in his hands as a primary playmaker again. Since Lin hurt his hamstring, Atkinson has kept the Nets competitive and watchable, thanks to his fast-, 3-pointer-heavy system.
AL HORFORD, Boston Celtics: Maybe I'm being generous by putting this in the "good" category -- the Celtics haven't lived up to preseason expectations because their defense has fallen off. That's hardly Horford's fault, though. Boston is outscoring opponents by 9.6 points per 100 possessions when he's been on the court, and he has fit perfectly into its offensive system. The problem is that he hasn't magically transformed into an awesome rebounder, so the Celtics still need help in that area -- and their defense-first ways.
DWYANE WADE, Chicago Bulls: His 3-point shooting has cooled off since his scorching start, but the future Hall of Famer is still scoring efficiently and thriving as Jimmy Butler's sidekick as Chicago outperforms preseason projections. When Wade and Butler have shared the floor without Rajon Rondo, the Bulls have outscored opponents by 23.8 points per 100 possessions. More on Rondo in a bit.
JOAKIM NOAH, New York Knicks: It hurts to put Noah in this category because he's an all-time favorite, but he has not been healthy and his presence moves the Knicks' two best players -- Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis -- away from the positions where they are most effective. Noah has plenty of time to salvage his season, but the 31-year-old's four-year, $72 million contract doesn't look great right now.
DWIGHT HOWARD, Atlanta Hawks: After a strong start, the Hawks have fallen to 10-12, losers of seven games in a row and 10 of their last 11. The positives -- Howard has helped their rebounding move from terrible to average, and they're still ranked second in the league in defensive rating -- have not outweighed the big, alarming negative: Atlanta is ranked 27th on offense, and it turns the ball over more often than any team other than the Philadelphia 76ers. When Howard and Paul Millsap have shared the court, Atlanta has scored only 94.4 points per 100 possessions, a number scary enough to make one ponder how much longer Millsap will be there.
SERGE IBAKA/BISMACK BIYOMBO, Orlando Magic: This isn't really their fault -- Ibaka's individual numbers are solid and Biyombo is still an excellent defender and rebounder. The Magic, though, remain a hodgepodge of similarly skilled players, and there isn't enough shooting or role definition to make this work. Coach Frank Vogel has tried moving a bunch of pieces around in the starting lineup -- Ibaka and Evan Fournier are the only two players to start every game -- but it's obvious that they need a trade or two after a weird offseason.
JEFF TEAGUE, Indiana Pacers: Teague's production is pretty similar to last season, with a higher free throw rate almost making up for awful 3-point shooting, but it's hard to paint his start in Indiana as anything other than a disappointment. After playing hurt last season, Teague was supposed to return to his 2014-15 peak, but that hasn't happened -- and the Pacers seriously miss George Hill's defense.
NATE MCMILLAN, Indiana Pacers: After all the talk about running and playing a more exciting style, Indiana has gone from 10th in pace under Vogel to ... ninth in pace under McMillan. He does not have an easy job here, but until this season the team at least had an identity. Now that the defense has dropped off, it does not. The two recent wins against the Clippers were nice, though.
EVAN TURNER, Portland Trail Blazers: The swingman was brought to the Blazers to lighten the load on Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who had to do the lion's share of their playmaking last season. In theory, this could be valuable as the year goes on, but right now he is a plus-minus nightmare. Portland has serious defensive issues, and Turner has been a part of that.
LUOL DENG, Los Angeles Lakers: He has started all 23 games, but has been playing out of position the entire time next to Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov. There's nothing wrong with his work as a defender and ball mover, but when you're averaging 6.8 points, shooting 34.1 percent and making 28.3 percent of your 3-pointers, you can't avoid criticism. It makes sense that the Lakers wanted his leadership, but there's not a good role for him here. At this stage of his career, it looks like he has to be a stretch 4.
AL JEFFERSON, Indiana Pacers: The idea was simple: Promote Myles Turner to the starting lineup, then let Jefferson feast on reserve big men. The reality, though, has not been pretty. Indiana has been outscored by 10.3 points per 100 possessions when he's been on the court, and his post skills have not been enough to make him an efficient scorer -- outside of nine feet, he has shot 12-for-51.
JEFF GREEN, Orlando Magic: This was perhaps the most puzzling signing of the offseason because the Magic already had a front court logjam before signing him. Green is having the least efficient season of his career, shooting 36.6 percent and making just 27.7 percent of his 3-pointers, and his minutes are getting in the way of Aaron Gordon's development.
BORIS DIAW, Utah Jazz: It doesn't feel good to have one of the smartest players in the NBA on this list, but the 34-year-old Diaw has struggled outside of the Spurs' offensive system. His defensive versatility helps the Jazz, but they were expecting him to be a bigger threat as a ballhandler and floor spacer. So far, he's shooting 41.5 percent and 25 percent from deep, similar to the end of his tenure in Charlotte.
Jury is out
RAJON RONDO, Chicago Bulls: While Butler and Wade have worked together, it would be a stretch to say the "three alphas" experiment has been a smashing success. Chicago has been far better defensively with Rondo on the bench, and he just got suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. It's unclear whether his ability to generate good looks for his teammates outweighs his harmful effect on spacing and selective defensive effort.
HARRISON BARNES, Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs are thrilled with Barnes, who is averaging 20.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in 37.5 minutes, pressed into a bigger role than they had even envisioned because of injuries up and down the roster. Barnes has performed admirably in an adverse situation, but Dallas has lost 15 of its 19 games. Those who said the front office paid superstar money for a role player have not quite been proven wrong.
CHANDLER PARSONS, Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis made a big bet on Parsons with a four-year max deal, knowing full well that it was a risk because of knee trouble. Parsons wants healthy knees for Christmas, and Memphis needs nothing more than a 6-foot-10 guy who can make plays, hit 3s and play multiple positions. He has only played six games, but it's far too early to declare this move a miss.
PAU GASOL, San Antonio Spurs: In fairness to Gasol, it's not easy replacing Tim Duncan. Much of the Spurs' slippage on defense, though, has to be attributed to him -- they have outscored opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench, and by 0.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. It's fun watching him operate in their system, though, and it's smart that he has become more comfortable and proficient behind the 3-point line. Let's see if the on/off numbers change in the next few months.
DERRICK ROSE, New York Knicks: On the surface, everything is great -- the Knicks are 11-9, Rose is averaging 17 points and he has hit a bunch of clutch shots and acrobatic layups. As ESPN's Micah Adams, explained, though, the more he tries to do, the worse it is for New York's offense. As much as Rose talks about having an attacking mentality, his success with the Knicks will be determined by how much he trusts his teammates and creates open shots for them.
SCOTT BROOKS, Washington Wizards: The Wizards were confusing under Randy Wittman, and they are no less so under Brooks. The starting lineup is solid on paper, but the front office did not give him a lot to work with when it comes to the bench. Forget John Wall and Bradley Beal's individual numbers -- Brooks' impact on this team will be measured in the defensive improvement -- or lack thereof -- that we see between now and the end of the year. What made him effective in Oklahoma City was the fact that he established a defensive identity. At 7-12 with a 19th-ranked defensive rating, this has not happened yet in Washington.
TOM THIBODEAU, Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves haven't immediately become an elite defensive team, and on offense they have been as inconsistent as any team in the league. This bothers Thibodeau immensely, and if they don't put some wins together soon, their goal of making the playoffs is going to seem like a pipe dream. Still, this team won 29 games last year. There were some bad habits to break, and that can take time. Let's not panic.