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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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