NBA Offseason Moves: 6 Riskiest and Most Rewarding Trades

Every game is a gamble. So they say.

Now that news of Dwight Howard signing with the Los Angeles Lakers (albeit the non-guaranteed contract) dawned on us. The next important question is: how will this change the 2019-20 NBA season? Howard was with the Lakers in 2012-13. Hopes and expectations were high then but left abruptly after the team’s first-round loss. 

This can be one of the most surprising returns throughout NBA history, especially after Howard telling the fans that he already put the Lakers behind him.

Sports analysts are also quick to note that the Howard re-sign is nothing compared with the Anthony Davis trade. The latter potentially changed the 2019-20 season by making Lakers a playoff contender now. Will Howard be an integral part of the strategic roster of LeBron James-Davis tandem? 

That’s one question we have yet to answer. The same applies to how the trades, signings, re-signs, draft picks would change the coming season.

In the meantime, here are some of the most intriguing NBA offseason moves.

Riskiest: Kemba Walker leaving Charlotte Hornets

Walker left the Hornets after low-balling him for Boston Celtics, who also lost Kyrie Irving. Walker was the only franchise player and losing him would mean the next season’s chaos of a team. 

Most Rewarding: Kawhi Leonard signing up with Los Angeles Clippers

Even long before the finals win for Toronto Raptors, Leonard has already eyed the Clippers. The addition of Leonard, who signed a four-year maximum deal with the players, and Paul George, among others, made the Clippers as an early favourite to win the title.

Riskiest: Hoping for Isaiah Thomas’s comeback season

The future of the Washington Wizards is bleak, with a roster of players that can be easily mistaken as a G League frontrunner. The only extenuating feature of the Wizards is Bradley Beal, its #9 first-round draft, Rui Hachimura, and the recently-signed Thomas.

Most Rewarding: Brooklyn Nets signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

Irving and Durant are the duo to watch out for—a tandem that was not expected until it happened with the Nets. These two alone makes the team one of the NBA elite. DeAndre Jordan, Garrett Temple, and Wilson Chandler make the defence all the more exciting.

Riskiest: Cleveland Cavaliers losing three players but did not sign new members

Kevin Love has a disappointing performance in the 2018-19 season, and the Cavaliers is ready to give him up. This makes sense as the team is trying to shift its focus on developing the young rosters of players. It drafted three new names such as Darius Garland, Dylan Windler, and Kevin Porter Jr. And unless these players perform, the Cavs will be one of the terrible NBA teams this upcoming season.

Most Rewarding: New Orleans Pelicans signing Zion Williamson

Williamson was this season’s first pick overall. A lot is expected from him, having shown his speed and leaping ability comparable to that of Charles Barkley. Playing together with seasoned players such as JJ Redick and Derrick Favors, this can be the Pelicans success formula for this season despite losing Davis to the Lakers.

 

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3 Best Performing NBA #1 Draft Picks of the Last 10 Seasons

The NBA Draft season culminated recently with Zion Williamson as the 2019 first overall pick. The New Orleans Pelicans selected Williamson.

Hopes and expectations. These are the words that describe the selection process. And whoever can prove that he is worthy of the spot gets drafted.

It’s time we look back some of the best NBA #1 overall draft picks in the last ten years. Note: not all NBA draft picks performed what was expected of them. But these three people delivered!

1) Kyrie Irving

NBA Draft: 2011

Picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving was one of the best players of the 2010-11 basketball season. He played with the Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball. Irving averaged 17.4 points in the first eight games, but an injury puts his performance to a halt.

It did not stop the NCAA to include Irving in the roster of the Freshman of the Year. He was the strongest contender then. On his last game with the Duke, Irving scored 28 points.

He forwent the last three seasons of his eligibility and went ahead with the NBA draft.

In 2012, he was chosen as part of the Rising Stars Challenge where he scored 34 points. His three-point shooting expertise showed with 8-of-8 baskets. Irving was given Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours.

Irving became the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year. He appeared on his first NBA finals in 2014-15 and first NBA championship in the next year. He played one more season with the Cavaliers before signing up with the Boston Celtics. 

In 2019, he became a free agent and signed with Brooklyn Nets.

2) Anthony Davis

NBA Draft: 2012

Davis was selected by New Orleans Hornets and stayed with the team for the next seven seasons until he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

His #1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was a basketball forecast of 2011. Davis was also predicted to be a college basketball Grand Slam awardee, winning National Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Freshman of the Year.

Davis led the Kentucky Wildcats’ eighth NCAA championship.

On the same year, he became a part of the Team USA and competed at the 2012 Olympics. He was the first American player who played at the Olympics without prior NBA experience.

Davis was declared for the draft and the rest of the champion team’s starting five. He signed a three-year contract with the Hornets valued at $16 million. 

He appeared at the First All-Star in 2013-14 and had his first playoff the following season. In 2016-17, he recorded 50 points in a season opener game. He holds the second-highest scoring next to Michael Jordan who scored a whopping 54 points in 1989.

3) Ben Simmons

NBA Draft: 2016

The Philadelphia 76ers chose Simmons, and he stayed with the team until now. 

He played for the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers. Simmons was named first-team All-American as well as the National Freshman of the Year. LSU Tigers did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Simmons moved forward by entering the NBA Draft. And he became the third Australian who became #1 overall pick. (Irving was one of these three players).

Simmons was the first player to become #1 pick without prior NCAA Tournament experience.

He wasn’t able to play on his first year with the 76ers because of an injury. In 2018-19, however, he proved the media analysts (and those who doubt his shooting capabilities by becoming the Rookie of the Year. He was also included in the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

In 2019, Simmons was named to the NBA All-Star.

 

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The 6 Most Shocking NBA Trades and Signings in the Last 10 Years

True to any basketball game, the NBA has full of surprises. Changes that leave die-hard fans scratching their head for pure disbelief or jump out of their seats.

While trading and free agency signings are nothing new, the news of who changes what are still the biggest bombs the fans and basketball spectators need to contend with. 

These are some of the most surprising moves in the NBA world over the last ten years.

1) LeBron James Left Cleveland Cavaliers to Join Miami Heat (2010 NBA Season)

James started it all when he ‘decided’ to join Miami Heat. His goal was to bring a championship to Cleveland, creating superteams with Chris Bosch and Dwayne Wade with them. Granted.

However, the drama involved was too much for the fans to take in when he was only heating up with Cleveland Cavaliers. James said it was a free agent decision, but was actually a trade he initiated.

2) Carmelo Anthony traded from Denver Nuggets to New York Knicks (2011 NBA Season)

A blockbuster trade that had the experts rolling, Anthony wanted to be with the Nuggets. However, talks about possible extensions failed. He was traded to the Knicks. 

Anthony upped his game with three-point shooting MVP-like efforts, but to no avail. Indiana Pacers robbed them as early as the second round. Still, New York Knicks appeared in three playoffs with Melo on the lead. Melo, along with Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, made up the “Big 3.”

3) Dwight Howard left Orlando Magic for Los Angeles Lakers (2012 NBA Season)

Howard is one of the big men in the NBA. He was expected to go somewhere (with speculations brewing as early as 12 months back), likely the Lakers whose men beat his team up in the finals leading to the trade. Howard’s other choices then were Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks.

It was his wish to be traded from Magic, which was in the process of rebuilding the franchise but without the NBA’s best centre at the time. 

4) James Harden left Oklahoma City Thunder to join Houston Rockets (2013 NBA Season)

In 2012, Oklahoma City Thunder was poised to become the next NBA champion with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook. Still, Harden was traded off despite being the 6th Man of the Year. His valuable scoring was overshadowed by the high luxury tax to resign him. An extension was discussed but did not materialise. 

Houston Rockets benefited from the trade, experiencing its first Finals, thanks to Harden and the rest of the team. Harden became a restricted free agent in the 2014 season. 

5) Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State Warriors (2016 NBA Season)

Keen on an NBA championship that never came his way, Durant moved to the Golden State Warriors.

The 2017 NBA Finals proved to be a fruitful trade. Durant never came close to the finals despite winning four scoring titles and being the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) once. With the Warriors, his talent and potential could be appreciated more, than with the Thunder.

6) Kawhi Leonard left San Antonio Spurs to join Toronto Raptors (2018 NBA Season)

Another dramatic trade, Leonard, plagued with injuries in the previous season, requested for the said trade. Toronto Raptors took a risk and signed him in.

Both teams have been talking about the trade for months before its conclusion, noting that Leonard was a ‘very tough sell’ because he is. He was the previous seasons Finals MVP winner aside from being a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Leonard became a free agent in 2019.

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