THE past few months have been quite unbelievable. Usually, once the NBA Finals finish, there are a few headliner moments in the offseason. A few things that matter and a big name or two that signs a big contract. Since June though the NBA has stolen headlines from other sports around the globe with superstars of the game involved in free agency moves or trades that altered the landscape of the NBA once again.
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June 19th – TRADE
Boston send – 2017 1st round pick (#1)
Philadelphia send – 2017 1st round pick (#3), 2018 Lakers 1st round pick (lottery protected)
IT seems like an eternity ago that this was a story. The Celtics decided to move back two spots in the draft and allow the 76ers to move up and take Markelle Fultz first overall. They still added Jayson Tatum and a future asset in the Lakers protected pick. Boston GM Danny Ainge said that they would have taken Tatum 1st overall if they kept the pick, so win-win I guess.
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June 22nd (draft night) – TRADE
Chicago send – Jimmy Butler, 2017 1st round pick (#16)
Timberwolves send – Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, 2017 1st round pick (#7)
JIMMY Butler’s tenure in Chicago seemed destined to end at some point in 2017. The Bulls All-Star was mentioned in trade rumours all of the last year and finally, the Timberwolves were the team that pulled the trigger. They parted with a pair of young prospects to bring Butler into the mix that already includes star youngsters Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns. As a result, the T-Wolves seem destined for a playoff appearance for the first time since the Kevin Garnett days back in 03-04.
June 28th – TRADE
Clippers send – Chris Paul
Rockets send – 84.7% of their team….Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrez Harrell, Louis Williams, DeAndre Liggins, 2018 1st round pick
SOMEWHAT surprisingly the Rockets made the move to bring another franchise talent to pair up with James Harden. While scepticism remains over whether the two ball dominant dudes can share the touches enough to be a winning team, I think that two players as talented and driven to win as Paul and Harden will work it out.
July 6th – TRADE
Pacers send – Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis
Thunder send – Paul George
THIS was when things got out of hand. With OKC making the move to get Paul George they moved up the pecking order as a potential championship team in the West. It seemed like that move alone might not be enough to see the Thunder beat Golden State, but it at least gave them a better chance.
July 13th – SIGNING
Paul Millsap signs with the Denver Nuggets for 3 years and $90 million
LOST amongst all the ‘sexier’ names was Paul Millsap’s decision to sign with Denver. At 32, the 4x All-Star still has plenty in the tank and was a great signing for a Nuggets team that needed another star to make that playoff push. Millsap will help be a veteran leader for the likes of Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic and even at $90 mil he’s a bargain.
July 14th – SIGNING
Gordon Hayward signs with the Boston Celtics for 4 years and $128 million
GORDON Hayward’s decision to sign in Boston gave the Celtics a great promising roster and at the same time a team that could potentially take out the Cavs in an East Finals. He shaped up as the perfect final piece to the puzzle for Boston giving them flexibility and versatility amongst the roster.
July 19th – SIGNING
Blake Griffin resigns with the Los Angeles Clippers for 5 years and $173 million
WHILE it might not be the biggest move of the offseason, the CLippers going all in on Blake Griffin still means a lot. After Chris Paul deflection, LA did what they had to to keep their other star in a Clippers uniform. His extension will see him earn the 5th most money in season 2017 and he is clearly now the face of the franchise.
July 25th – SIGNING
Steph Curry (5yrs/$201mil), Kevin Durant (2yrs/$51.25mil) and Andre Iguodala (3yrs/$48mil) resign with the Golden State Warriors
THE Warriors did what they had to do to bring the band back together. Regardless of the price resigning their stars and key role players always seemed destined to happen. They gave Steph Curry the money he deserves making him one of the highest paid players in the league now and they brought back six of their championship players to go round again.
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August 30th – TRADE
Celtics send – Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, 2018 Nets 1st round pick, 2020 Heat 2nd round pick.
Cavaliers send – Kyrie Irving
AFTER his trade request, Kyrie Irving finally got his wish. However, with the Cavaliers trading him to their biggest conference foe the dynamics of the East shifted again. Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury meant that the Celtics had to give up a lot more than they probably would have liked to nab Kyrie, but once again it gave Boston a young talented roster littered with potential. The Cavs on the other hand were able to stay in the championship hunt and may have even bettered their team.
September 25th – TRADE
Thunder send – Enez Kanter, Doug McDermott, 2018 Bulls 2nd round pick
Knicks send – Carmelo Anthony
MUCH like his other superstar peers, Melo’s name had been lofted around in trade rumours for AGES. Finally, he got dealt this week, but it wasn’t to where most people thought. The Knicks decided enough was enough and dealt Anthony to Oklahoma City giving him perhaps his best chance at a title run. Again there are concerns and questions about how the new ‘superteam’ will work out chemistry wise in OKC, but I have faith in the stars ability to make it work and make the Thunder a threat to the Warriors crown.
September 27th – SIGNING
Dwyane Wade signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers for 1 year and $2.3 million
AND just when you thought that the top of the East couldn’t separate themselves from the pack anymore they went out and stole D-Wade from the rest of the league. Sure he is declining at a fast rate and he hasn’t exactly got the outside shot to challenge for the 3-point title, but he gives Cleveland another weapon to combat teams with come playoff time, making them extremely dangerous.
Image from photos.cleveland.com
IN perfect 2017 fashion as I’m writing this article Russell Westbrook is getting on the offseason fun. The Thunder star and reigning MVP resigned with OKC for an additional five years and $201 million dollars today. So SURELY, there are no more moves out there that can shock us right? Surely after Paul George, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Paul Millsap, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Gordon Hayward and Isaiah Thomas all switched teams the maddness is over. Right?
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