A couple of days ago Part 1 of this short series about the off-season ended with the draft, so I’m going to pick up right where I left off.
I left one detail about June 30th out…. Paul George got traded to the Thunder for Oladipo and Sabonis in the summer’s first MEGA deal. Paul George had long been yearning to leaving Indiana, and he finally got his wish. He just wasn’t sent to the Lakers like he had wanted to. Instead he gets paired up with the reigning MVP in Oklahoma City.
Just six days after the draft, the Rockets and Clippers pulled off the second of many MEGA deals from this summer. The Rockets would send Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harris, Pat Beverly, Lou Williams, and a draft pick for All-Star Guard Chris Paul. The deal sent shockwaves around the league, prompting many to say that the Rockets new backcourt could challenge the Warriors.
To cap off the month of June, the Timberwolves sent Spaniard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz in exchange for OKC’s 2018 first round pick (lottery protected). The deal makes a lot of sense for both teams. Utah is receiving a talented point guard, in hopes of convincing Gordon Hayward to staying with the team, and the Wolves got a future pick while creating cap space for Butler.
Just before Free Agency officially began, the Celtics and Pistons swapped Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris. When this deal was made it appeared to be a deal positioning the Celtics to keep Isaiah Thomas in the long-term, while receiving some rebounding help.
In the first few days of free agency a lot of the smaller pieces moved around. Nick Young joined the Warriors, JJ Redick went to the 76ers, Felton and Patterson joined the Thunder, Teague went to Minnesota, but the Kings may have made the most noise. Following up a good draft where they got D’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, and Harry Giles, the Kings signed Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, and George Hill to provide the young team with veteran leadership.
Two big free agent signings would then occur. The Denver Nuggets signed Paul Millsap, making the team a potential 8-seed for the playoffs. Then after turning down the Jazz and Heat, Gordon Hayward decided to reunite with Brad Stevens in Boston. Just like that the Celtics had built a title contender around Thomas, Horford, and Hayward.
August was capped off with another MEGA deal. The top two teams in the East swapped stars. The Celtics sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and next year’s Brooklyn pick for Kyrie Irving. The deal helps both teams. The Celtics got younger and healthier at point guard, while the Cavaliers add depth and acquire assets for the future.
The Association had one last MEGA deal left in it. The Knicks agreed to send Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder for Kanter, McDermott, and a draft pick. Just like that, the Thunder had created the next ‘Super Team’ and the Knicks had finally rid themselves of the toxic Carmelo Anthony contract.
To cap the off-season off, the Cavaliers pulled of their biggest signing of the year. They added the recently waived Dwyane Wade on a one-year contract. The shooting guard is now reunited with his good friend LeBron James.
That wraps up what happened in the off-season. For Part 3, I’ll provide you with thoughts and insight about everything we just witnessed.
As always feel free to comment, share, or tweet me @TheRucasJohnson