If you followed the NBA this past summer, you’d know how crazy this offseason really was. So many of the league’s best players moved on to different teams, starting and ending dynasties in the NBA. Here’s a look at some of the biggest moves this offseason, and how the teams involved stand now.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden reunite in Houston:
If you remember the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2011, you probably remember three guys: Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Why were they significant? They’d all become future MVPs. Imagine what could’ve been in OKC. But, Daryl Morey (the GM of the Houston Rockets) makes a great move and captures Westbrook. Although Morey has to give up a lot of first round draft picks, he gives up Chris Paul too, which is a big win for Houston. Paul is getting old and overpaid, and reports of dysfunction with Harden definitely contributed to the trade. Now, Houston is in a prime spot to contend to win the Western Conference, while OKC is also in a good spot to rebuild, with a lot of first round draft picks from this trade, as well as the Paul George trade (we’ll discuss later).
Paul George & Kawhi Leonard team up in L.A. – just not with the team everyone expected:
This is probably the biggest move of them all this offseason, as the Clippers went from a team that barely made the playoffs, to a team that will definitely contend to win the West.
Let’s start with Kawhi Leonard. The quiet superstar small forward kept his decision quiet for the longest time, leaving those in the media to guess. Everyone knew it was down to three options: return to Toronto (where he won the title this past season), go to the L.A. Lakers and play with LeBron and Anthony Davis, or go to the Clippers and play alone (or so we thought…). Then, while we were all asleep, news broke that Kawhi was going to the Clippers, and not just him, but Paul George was also being traded there from the OKC Thunder (for at least 5 first round draft picks). It was a crazy trade that will definitely result in some fun Staples Center games (including on Christmas Day), and an L.A. rivalry that we haven’t experienced before.
By Nic Braico