THE NBA offseason was flipped on its head once again this week. It’s only fitting, right? Ever since Kevin Durant and the Warriors held the Larry O’Brien trophy aloft rumour mills and Twitter feeds have been exploding with superstars changing teams and conferences. Throughout the whole process, the upper echelon has been doing what they can to try and catch Golden State. Melo and D-Wade were the latest two stars t move area codes after joining the OKC Thunder and Cleveland Cavs respectively. The question remains though, who helped move the needle the most.
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AS good as Oklahoma City was with the acquisition of Paul George there was no denying the fact that they still needed more to move up in the West. After trading Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott for Carmelo Anthony though, they have definitely closed the gap.
WITH another potent scorer to play alongside Westbrook and George many are wondering how there can be enough touches to go around. More times than not though, when superstars merge to join another team they work it out. Someone always has to sacrifice part of their game and regardless of who that is Carmelo Anthony and Paul George joining Westbrook means they are a legitimate threat to the Warriors out West.
PART of the reason OKC is dancing in the streets over the Melo trade is because behind the other two superstars there was very little talent on the roster. I hate to throw shade at Pattrick Patterson, Steven Adams, Raymond Felton and Andre Roberson, but if one of those guys is your third option you are going to struggle to make it out of round 2 in the West.
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CLEVELAND, on the other hand, was already deep behind LeBron James and the other big names on the roster. They have a former MVP and one of the greatest shooter of our generation coming off their bench for fuck sake!! That’s not to say that Dwyane Wade joining them won’t help their championship aspirations, but his clear weakness (his three-point shooting) will make it harder for them to slot him into their lineup.
WADE, however, can create his own shot and even if he is declining at a rapid rate after playing on over 1,000 games in his 14-year career. His ability to handle the ball and get to the rim can help give LeBron more rest and help run the offense as Isaiah Thomas continues to rehab from his hip injury. It still remains to be seen what role Wade will play, whether he will come off the bench or start in patches. Either way, there is no denying that being able to deploy a 12x All-Star in bursts is a dangerous addition to a team that was already deemed as the best in the East. Besides, LeBron gets his best buddy back so they can each make a run at their fourth title of their careers.
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THE rich get richer. In the top-heavy title race, we are destined for in 2017-18 every other team’s efforts may be futile if Golden State can stay healthy. Still, if the Thunder and Cavs can mesh their new stars into the lineup and get hot at the right time anything is possible. The already crowded West just got a whole lot more confusing, while Cleveland cemented themselves as prime favourites for a fourth straight trip to the Finals. With both Melo and Wade having to accept reduced roles if one can thrive in a lesser role it could flip the NBA title race on its head once again. It’s only fitting though, right?
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