NBA offseason adds intrigue to ‘17-’18 season

October 3, 2017 — by Julia Miller

Julia Miller prepares basketball enthusiastics for NBA season with recounts of offseason events.

As the countdown to the basketball 2017-2018 season begins, let’s take a moment to review all of the shocking and downright sassy events that have taken place during the NBA offseason.

Let’s start with the trade of all trades this offseason — the trade that could potentially mean tougher competition for the Golden State Warriors. Former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving shook up the basketball world when he declared his desire to be traded to another team so he did not have to share the spotlight with Lebron James.

Soon after these comments were made, Irving was shipped to Boston in exchange for star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Though Warriors small forward Kevin Durant applauded Irving for moving “onto the next chapter,” thinking of Thomas as a Cavalier has me feeling a bit uneasy.

The former Cavaliers triple threat of James, Irving, and power forward Kevin Love could not defeat the dominating Warriors with the addition of Durant last season. Could the replacement of Irving with Thomas finally be enough to crush the Dubs this year?

Another worrisome trade was the new Rocket that landed in Houston. Point guard Chris Paul, after 12 years of playing with the Los Angeles Clippers, left his long-time pals in L.A. to play with James Harden and the Houston Rockets. I guess the Warriors are going to find out if we should really “Fear the Beard” this season.

While we’re on the topic of the beloved Warriors, I must mention the changes made to our Bay Area team this offseason. As point guard Stephen Curry traveled the world with his wife Ayesha, and Klay Thompson carted “Larry” the 2016-2017 championship trophy across Asia, the Warriors’ front office made additions to their reigning championship team that, simply put, made the best team in the league even better.

Though the Warriors’ legendary starting lineup was set in $254 million stone with Durant and Curry’s new contracts, their group of reserve players was altered. Since the team did not have Durant’s Bird rights, they could lower the luxury tax on the team and could not add any additional cap space. Unfortunately, former guard Ian Clark signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on Aug. 3, leaving a backup spot open for free agent guard Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Durant’s pay cut, although pushing Clark out of Oakland, opened the doors for the return of one of the Warriors’ most beloved players, small forward Andre Iguodala. Though he got offers from the San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Lakers, and Rockets, he declined them all when Durant lowered his salary to keep Iguodala on the team on a three-year, $48 million deal.

The Warriors also acquired free agents forward Omri Casspi from the Minnesota Timberwolves, forward Georges Niang from the Indiana Pacers and guard Antonius Cleveland from the Portland Trailblazers.

The rest of the Warriors free agents on the roster happily sat through this offseason drama-free, with one slight exception.

On July 27, Warriors center Javale McGee finally made his decision to stay with the championship team, after several meetings with other teams including the rival Clippers. Members of Dub Nation, including myself, were relieved to hear that the fan-favorite center decided to stay for another season.

Now that I have caught you up with what’s going in the world’s second most popular sport behind soccer (ew), you’re prepared to watch the Warriors. Mark Oct. 20 on the calendar, because I am predicting this will be a season you will not want to miss.


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