So far the NBA offseason has been action packed, as many blockbuster trades and free agency signings have already shaken up the league.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder shocked the league when they initiated a big trade with the Indiana Pacers for All-Star SF Paul George, one of the most coveted players in the league. Last year the Thunder fell short because of a lack of shooters outside star PG Russel Westbrook, but with the addition of Paul George, the Thunder put themselves in a contender spot. If the Thunder can add a few more pieces during the rest of this off-season, they will become a very serious threat in the stacked western conference.
The Los Angeles Clippers
Although it may seem like losing their franchise PG Chris Paul and veteran shooter JJ Redick, the Clippers are in good shape after their trade with the Rockets, as they acquired depth and young, promising players to replace an injury prone CP3. The Clippers specifically got Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, a protected first-round pick next year and cash considerations in return for veteran Chris Paul. In addition to this, the Clippers were also able to resign Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan, two players who have been in the Clippers system for a while and can coach these new players.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
It is no surprise that the Timberwolves are trying to become strong contenders in the West given their off-season moves. During the off-season, they have acquired two stars already, in Jeff Teague from the Pacers and Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. One weakness that the Timberwolves will face this season is their bench, as they haven’t made any acquisitions to strengthen in yet, but they are sure to add some depth as the offseason goes on.
The Philadelphia 76ers.
Although the core of their team is young and unproven, the 76ers are coming out of the off-season in great shape. They have the number one pick in Markelle Fultz, last year’s number one pick in Ben Simmons a young, powerful 2nd-year player and #3 pick in Joel Embiid, and a promising young player in Dario Saric. They have also picked up shooter JJ Redick from the Clippers and strong forward Amir Johnson from the Celtics. If they can stay healthy, this power team will be a menace in the East.
The Chicago Bulls
The Bulls gave up their star player, Jimmy Butler, for not much in return as they got Zach Lavine from the Timberwolves. Also with Rondo gone, all the Bulls have left is veteran Dwayne Wade and Zach Lavine, two players that won’t be enough to overcome competition in the East alone.
The Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers gave up their two most important assets this off-season in Jeff Teague and Paul Geroge, without much return. The return; Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo from the Thunder, two players that have shown themselves to be inconsistent. Sure, they may yet prove to be key players, but you’d hope for more assets when giving up your franchise player.
The Houston Rockets
On the surface, it may seem like acquiring CP3 was a great step for the Rockets. However, the rockets sacrificed a strong defensive player in Patrick Beverly, and some young, promising bench players. D’Antoni will also have to figure out how to manage a backcourt of Harden and CP3. Harden arguably had his best season last year, which can be credited to his shift to the one spot, and becoming the playmaker of the team. Now, the Rockets add one of the best playmakers in the league behind Harden. They may be contenders in the short term but this will hurt the franchise in the long run.
Although the off-season is not nearly over and teams will still be making moves, most of the major moves have been made, and there is a good idea of how successful these teams will be next season. Some teams also have yet to make moves, such as the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers, teams that have shown that they need some additions to top the Golden Stats Warriors. It will be interesting to see how these teams and the rest of the league handle the dominant Warriors next season.