As I said in a post last week, I expected the NBA offseason to get off to an explosive start. We already had the trade of Anthony Davis to the Lakers, but free agency was upon us. Where would the big names go? Would they stay put, go for a big market to spread there brand, would they force trades?? Well, now we have some answers!
The Brooklyn Nets
They have made the biggest splash by signing two of arguably the best talents in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Even though Durant will most likely not be able to play this season, he will still be paired with Irving to form one of the most formidable duos in all of the NBA. Both have the ability to create on their own, make shots (especially clutch shots as seen in both of them making a shot to win the NBA Championship) and be matchup nightmares. Not to be forgotten, the Nets also added Deandre Jordan to fortify their post game.
The Boston Celtics
Next, we have the Boston Celtics with the signing of Kemba Walker. As we talked about with Irving, the domino effect can be seen with Walker. Irving left for the Nets, leaving an opening for a point guard with the Celtics. Not only do they fill the opening left by Irving, they filled it with a superstar in his own right. Walker has been the only star for many years with the Charlotte Hornets and finally got his opportunity to make big money this offseason. The Hornets did not want to go into the luxury tax, thus there was the opportunity for him to sign elsewhere. Pairing Kemba Walker with an already loaded roster filled with athletic guards and forwards in Gordan Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum, the young Celtics should be a matchup nightmare on the offensive end. They will ultimately miss the post game from Al Horford, as he left to sign with the rival 76ers, but there is no denying that Walker makes this offense pretty special, especially with his propensity to distribute the ball.
The Miami Heat
Finally we have Jimmy Butler to the Heat. You could call this the decision part 2, if you will. Though him going to the Miami Heat will be facilitated by a trade, rather than a signing, you could argue that it is not similar to the Lebron situation back in the mid 2000's, but you catch my drift. Butler gives the Heat the superstar that they have missed since Lebron left and went back to Cleveland. Even when Dwayne Wade went back to the Heat after his short trips to the Chicago Bulls and Cavs, he wasn't the same player he was in his heyday. Butler gives the Heat a dynamic scorer, supreme defender and player they can build around. Though he has caused drama at every stop he's had over the past 4 years, I do think he now finds himself in a spot he wants to be where he can be the man.
The only thing left in this offseason will be to find out where Kawhi Leonard goes next. We've already seen with these four moves so far that the NBA is now wide open. Will Kawhi join Lebron and AD on the Lakers? Will he sign with the LA Clippers to challenge the Lakers for LA supremacy? Will he stay in Toronto, a place where he just won a championship and could arguably challenge for one for years to come? We'll see!