The NBA offseason has been outstanding, maybe even better than the playoffs were. The NFL is quiet until the end of July and the MLB is close to the All-Star break. Naturally, the NBA has stolen the national spotlight in the sports world. Let’s check out some of the biggest moves made.
Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Paul George are on the move…
Three of the league’s superstars will be playing elsewhere next season; Chris Paul was traded to Houston, Butler to Minnesota, and George to Oklahoma City.
Chris Paul will be sharing the backcourt with MVP-runner-up James Harden; they both love to control the basketball, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they make it work. Paul will obviously be the point guard, moving Harden back to the shooting guard position. The Rockets were close to advancing to the Western Conference Finals, so this is a really significant move. The West is stacked, so there’s no guarantee they’ll exceed the success they had this season. But it’s going to be fun to see how Harden and Paul can compliment each other and make things work.
Jimmy Butler was traded to Minnesota during the NBA Draft, and I think it was a great trade for the T-Wolves. They now poise a starting lineup that features Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony-Towns and the recently-added Jeff Teague at point guard. That’s a serious, young lineup that could be around for years. The Wolves may have had the best offseason of anyone by surrounding their two young studs with proven players who have been around for a while. Plus, Butler re-links with his former Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. The Wolves are going to be fun to watch for years.
Paul George was one of the most coveted free agents heading into the offseason, and it was a surprise he chose Oklahoma City. The Thunder were nothing but a one-man show with MVP Russell Westbrook. Now he’ll share the court with another all-star player in George. I’m not sure how long this group will stay together, but it certainly turns the Thunder into more of a contender after clearly misses the star power to match up with the other teams in the West this past season.
Gordon Hayward chose the Celtics after a long wait on the Fourth of July…
Hayward reportedly went “ghost” after early reports indicated he was leaving Utah for Boston, but the decision was made official after he came out with his article in the Players’ Tribune. I think it’s fair to assume those initial reports were accurate; maybe Hayward had a deal with the Tribune to release the decision via their website. Either way, the Celtics get a good player who also re-links with his former coach from Butler, Brad Stevens. I think Celtics fans should be more excited about what they have in young players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown; they’re likely the future of the franchise with higher ceilings than Hayward. But nonetheless, the Celtics are pretty stacked and should have no problem locking up the one or two seed in the East next season. It’s only a matter of time before LeBron leaves Cleveland, the Celtics’ young players develop, and the east is all theirs.
Carmelo Anthony remains a mystery. While Phil Jackson finally got the boot, it’s still unknown whether or not Melo will return to New York. Rumors are he can be teaming up with his pal Chris Paul in Houston, which would really shake things up; three guys who love to handle the ball on the same floor. I’m not sold on this idea because of Melo’s relationship with Rockets’ coach Mike D’Antoni. But it’s clear the Knicks are entering rebuild mode focusing around their young players like Kristaps Porzingis and draft pick Frank Ntilikina. I see Melo playing elsewhere next season, and it’s very possible it’s in Houston.