This NBA off-season has been riddled with surprises and moves that change the landscape of the league. Here are the best moves made this year.
Best NBA Off-Season Moves This Year
Paul George traded to OKC for Domantas Sabonis, and Victor Oladipo
This trade came on the eve of free agency and it really started the off season with a bang. First off this trade came out of nowhere, the Thunder were not really mentioned as a destination for Paul George when the Indiana Pacers started shopping him around. Most people expected the Boston Celtics to be the front runner in trade discussions due to their plethora of assets that range from spare first round picks all the way to quality vets or young talent. Other possible landing spots that were consistently mentioned were the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland cavilers.
Seeing the return the Indiana Pacers received for George, although not bad, is not as good as what they could have gotten from a team like Boston. Domantas Sabonis has tremendous upside as a big man who can stretch the floor and Victor Oladipo still has potential to be a very good starting guard. However, they really do not speak to the value of George. Indiana may have lost in this trade, but the Thunder had a huge win.
George adds another play maker and all-star to the Thunder. With Russell Westbrook coming off a record breaking MVP season, adding George makes an all-star duo that has not been seen since the departure of Kevin Durant. If the Thunder manage their minutes diligently, we may see at least one of them on the court at all times. George adds some much needed three-point shooting and a catch-and-shoot option when Westbrook drives to the basket.
2. Jimmy Butler Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen. Signing of veteran free agents (Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford)
The Jimmy Butler trade was a huge deal when it happened on draft night. This move solidified the Chicago Bulls emphasis on a rebuild. It also changed the Minnesota Timberwolves focus to winning now, while also helping to develop young assets. Adding Jimmy Butler gives Minnesota a two-way player as well as a veteran presence with playoff experience. The Timberwolves have two young assets in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns that could really benefit from a top player being added to the roster.
Seeing Towns and Wiggins make huge strides makes any fan of the NBA excited for the future. However, anybody who follows the league knows the importance of veterans. Last season the Timberwolves showed immaturity in their play. They struggled to close games in the fourth. Butler, Jamal Crawford, and Taj Gibson can really the way in showing those young players how to close games. They can also help to create a winning culture.
Gibson and Butler have previously been coached by Tom Thibodeau. They already understand what is expected of them this season. Even though the Timberwolves lost an explosive guard in Zach LaVine, they could not have set themselves up better for a successful season.