Major moves in NBA offseason by: Deon Joyce
In a thrilling finish to this summer’s incredible offseason, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN Senior NBA insider, Dwyane Wade cleared waivers and signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to reunite with LeBron James.
This offseason of the National Basketball Association, NBA, has drawn major headlines all summer, from Paul George being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lonzo Ball getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, to Kyrie Irving requesting a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There have been many All Star players signing to teams that have NBA fans going crazy. But the bigger question remains, will these all star teams be enough to beat the reigning 2017 NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors. Due to the many moves this offseason however, there are a few teams who will have a fighting chance.
Starting with the Western Conference, All-Star Shooting Guard Jimmy Butler, joins a young talented Minnesota Timberwolves squad. Minnesota has emerging young stars in Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and along with the signing of a decent point guard in Jeff Teague, this team can become title contending team
But it will take time for them to get to that level, two or three seasons at most to become true contenders. Towns and Wiggins haven’t touched the ceiling of their full potential yet, and this will take time. However with the addition of Butler, he can provide mentorship , as well as leadership for a young team.
Another team that may give the Warriors a fight is the Houston Rockets. They already have a superstar guard in James Harden who was second in the Most Valuable Player, MVP, voting for the 2016-2017 season. During the offseason, the Rockets signed veteran All-Star Point Guard Chris Paul.
The signing of Paul takes some of the of the pressure off Harden’s shoulders, he will not have to be the primary ball handler and can go back to his natural position at shooting guard. Even though this was a great addition for the Rockets, the question still remains, is this enough firepower to compete with the Warriors? The Warriors have two superstars and four All-Stars on their team, how the Rockets can match up will be a major concern for them entering into their season.
The team with probably the biggest offseason is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder received two major players in superstar small forward Paul George and a veteran All-Star small forward in Carmelo Anthony to accompany the reigning MVP, point guard Russell Westbrook. These additions open up more opportunities for Westbrook who is usually double teamed throughout the season. George and Anthony are reliable scorers so Westbrook doesn’t have to do it on his own this season.
The only issue with this team is that Westbrook, George, and Anthony usually have the ball in their hands most of the game, but now they’re all on the same team. They must learn how to have fluid ball movement, and fully trust one another and only then can they for sure compete with the Warriors.
Whatever team has LeBron James on the roster will always be a championship contender. LeBron James is arguably the best player in the league and working on his eighth straight finals appearance. When All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving demanded a trade, many thought the Cavaliers wouldn’t have the firepower to be a contender, but, the team ended up getting better. Cleveland received an all-star point guard in Isaiah Thomas, a shutdown defender in Jae Crowder, a very skilled point guard in Derrick Rose, and an all-star veteran in Dwayne Wade, a four for one special.
Now that the Cavaliers have a great starting five and a great back up five for this seasons campaign, their only problem is that they have to learn how to play together to be a contender. And if they can learn how to gel, and play together as a unit, they will give the Warriors all they can handle.
The regular NBA season comes with a lot of surprises as well as injuries, trades, attitudes, break-out players and suspensions. This season will be one that you don’t want to miss.