The NBA playoffs finally ended a few weeks ago, and for basketball fans this is always a sad time. Sure, the finals were excellent, and there's always the summer league games to watch for truly obsessed fans - but it's not like you'll be throwing on your team's jersey and making bets at Betfair exchange over a summer league game!
Fortunately, this offseason is off to an incredibly busy and entertaining start, with several transactions poised to significantly alter the NBA landscape. Here's a look at the 5 most significant moves of the NBA offseason thus far.
5. Cavaliers Sign Jarrett Jack & Andrew Bynum
Cleveland is still far from contention, but adding Andrew Bynum and Jarrett Jack - in addition to another strong draft class - could significantly speed up the rebuild. Bynum is a wildcard, but he came cheap, and if he's anything like he was when healthy in LA, Kyrie Irving suddenly has a top-5 center to work with. Jack, meanwhile, is arguably the best backup PG in the league. Only time will tell whether or not these moves help to lure Lebron back home, but in the meantime they probably put Cleveland in playoff contention.
4. Nuggets Sign Andre Iguodala
The Nuggest were already an up-and-coming western conference contender, and Iguodala rounds out their roster in a flawless way. He gives them the lockdown defender they need, and can contribute on offense without taking too many shots from the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. In fact, Iggy's penetration threat probably gives the "splash brothers" even more open looks.
3. Rockets Sign Dwight Howard
Frustration aside, Dwight Howard is still a very productive center, and we probably didn't see him fully healthy at any point in 2012-2013. Therefore this has to be viewed as an excellent signing for the Rockets. We know now, however, that Dwight is a difficult teammate and tricky star to work around, so it will be interesting to see how James Harden and co. adapt to playing with Howard.
2. Clippers Hire Doc Rivers
There's an argument to be made that Doc Rivers is an overrated coach. He's won 1 title, and did it with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen at the height of their powers, and is considered by most to be a top 3 coach in the league. Regardless, however, players love him. This signing is significant more because it guaranteed Chris Paul would stay with the Clippers (and helped bring in JJ Redick, Jared Dudley, and Darren Collison).
1. Celtics Trade Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce
This has to be considered the biggest move of the offseason. It started the rebuild in Boston (bringing in a few overpaid players, but also a slew of first round picks). and established the Brooklyn Nets as true contenders in the East. No single move changed the landscape more than this massive trade.
- Category: NBA