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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10 of the Best 3-Point Shooters in NBA History

Only a handful of basketball players can dominate the perimeter. And when they do, it would be an unstoppable three-point shooting blast.

Below are some of the best three-point shooters to grace the NBA–the forces to reckon with from downtown.

10. Jason Terry

Terry was playing since 1999, and throughout his 14 years in the NBA, he was the fifth player with the most three-point field goals made. Before Stephen Curry had his 2,483 points, Terry dominated the position from 2014 to 2018.

9. Peja Stojakovic

Allen and Miller, his contemporaries, can easily overshadow Stojakovic. But his three-point shooting prowess is nothing to sneeze at. Stojakovic won the three-point shooting contests of 2002 and 2003. He was the league’s leader in the 2003-04 season with his 43.3% shooting percentage.

8. Kyle Korver

Korver’s 15 years of being an NBA player had been fruitful. He was one of the most reliable three-point shooters in association’s history. In 2009-10 season, he shot 53.6% of his three-point range shooting. From 2012 to 2014, he scored a trey in 127 straight games as well.

7. Steve Nash

Nash has a 42.8% three-point shooting percentage. He was a point guard, so this may come as a surprise since passing the ball to a teammate was second nature to him. Nash became famous for his big shots during big moments.

6. Larry Bird

Bird dominated the NBA era when three-pointers were not as common as they are today, at a time when it was not even considered as part of the offence. He won the first two beyond-the-arc shooting contests. He was once the career record holder from 1985 to 1988. 

5. Klay Thompson

Thompson has over 40% shooting percentage from the three-point line. He also has two ball games where he scored 11 treys, one of which was during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals of 2016 when the Golden State Warriors won against Oklahoma City Thunder.  He and Curry formed the three-point-shooter duo.

4. Reggie Miller

Miller holds the second career-high record with 2,560 points. He spent his eighteen years of being a professional basketball player with Indiana Pacers where he scored all the points. He was mostly known for his eights points in 8.9 seconds, two of which are three-point shots.

3. Steve Kerr

Kerr has an impeccable three-point shooting style. He was the all-time leader when it comes to three-point percentage with 45.4%. He even reached beyond 50% of his three-pointers in four different seasons. Kerr now coaches Curry and Thompson.

2. Ray Allen

Allen still holds the career record high with 2,973 points. The 2013 NBA finals became his crowning glory. Miami Heat won the finals in overtime (OT) on Game 6 and eventually, Game 7. One of the cited reasons for the championship was Allen’s jumper.

1. Stephen Curry

Curry has single-season three-point records which he also broke with an all-time high season after season. He currently leads the league with most treys, and he owns the record for hitting the trey in 157 straight games. Curry is also about to break Allen’s record for all-time three-points ever made.

 

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How the NBA Has Changed Over the Past Decade

Other than the usual NBA team expansions and player turnover, new standards and rules are introduced from time to time. And much like how the three-point shot addition of the 1980s resulted in evolved team strategies, such periodic tweaks often lead to how each basketball game is played.

1) Centres no longer dominate the court

Big men dominated NBA seasons until 2010-2011 where there were only 13 giants on the court, from East and West. The majority of the players such as Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Love would spend most of their time on the perimeter if they were to play at all. While at it, they were the traditional centres. 

Indeed, the NBA is no longer the “big” man’s league it was 10 or so years ago. Nonetheless, the average height is at 6’7” and 220 lbs. And while there are still giants on the court these days, you can see more movements and actions including blocking shots and dunking from them than their counterparts a decade ago. 

2) Perimeter players are more crucial to a game

No position is more important than others. But the contributions of each are appreciated all the more today than in the 2000s or beyond. This is especially true today wherein each game is becoming more stringent than the last one. 

Nowadays, the rage revolves around being a guard or forward or assume the role whenever the need arises. Speaking of the perimeter, the handlers, jumpers, and shooters connive to dominate the court. This means centres can become shooters too, particularly those big men with the skills of a forward or guard.

Guards and forwards, of course, are expected to have decent defensive and offensive skills as well.

3) Three-point plays are taking over

The three-point shooting has come a long way since it was introduced. Today, a team recruit based on how a player makes plays and shoots balls. So stats such as field goal percentage and long-distance shooting accuracy and matter.

All 30 NBA teams have tremendously increased in their three-point attempts. In the 2017-2018 season, an average team has 28.98 attempts per game compared with that of in the 2007-2008 season with 18.04 attempts.

4) More possessions lead to bigger performances

The high volume of three-point attempts and makes result in two things: faster and more ball possessions and more triple-doubles league-wide.

Teams speed up their games deliberately to take advantage of three-point plays. Games are not only quicker; they have possessions 10x more on average. Furthermore, since a shot happens earlier in the shot clock compared with a close-to-the-basket shot, NBA teams and players alike had a higher chance of amping up their stats. 

More and more players–from Lebron James to Ben Simmons–accumulate more points, assists, rebounds, blocks and stills. As if the triple-doubles are not enough, they also break records – their own and that of the others. Milestones are reached on a nightly game basis. 

While it would be unfair for the NBA players to be compared by generations because of these changes, there is no denying how these tweaks have influenced all the teams’ game strategy. It all boils down to turning the tables and playing on what changed. Quite literally.

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