LeBron taking shots in a game. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison/flickr

Big name players were on the move this offseason

Another summer passed, another rollercoaster of an offseason for the basketball world and its fans. From trades, free agents signings and drafts, every team is bulking up their rosters in hopes for a shot at the National Basketball Association (NBA) title for the 2018-19 offseason.

First things first, we will address the elephant in the room, and by elephant, I mean the 270 pound, 6’11’’ center that is Demarcus Cousins. Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors and only made the back-to-back champions even more dominant with arguably the best center in the league.

Although his Achilles is injured, once he comes back I don’t expect to see too much of a downfall in his statistics as he averaged 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG and 5.4 APG in only 48 games last year. The Warriors have never had a center of this caliber, surrounding talent Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green making the starting five all participated in All-Star games. The five have a combined total of 25 All-Star Game appearances.

The other and probably most important signing in California was the King, Lebron James, deciding to take his talents to the West Coast. Shaking up the Western Conference and leaving the Eastern Conference up for grabs, LeBron James has joined the dynasty that is the Los Angeles Lakers. He liked the potential in the young stars and the opportunity to compete in a tougher conference. He also understands the team’s history and wants to be added to list of Laker legends.

The Lakers were also able to add JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson. Is this the beginning of a new era? Only time will tell, but with these additions to their young core, the Lakers look to make a big splash this season.

With the devastating loss of LeBron James, a silver lining was took place for the Cavaliers as they will keep Kevin Love on a four-year contract. Eighth overall pick, Collin Sexton, looks to immediately make an impact on the Cavaliers and keep them in playoff contention. 

All Spurs fans were hurt once rumors began that Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio. The 2017-18 season seemed to drag on and, out with his injury, the team lost their connection with Leonard out of the way. Once he expressed that he no longer wanted to be a part of the organization, the Spurs began weighing their options on where to send him. The Spurs may have got the steal of the year by getting DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl along with a protected first-round pick in 2019 for Leonard and Danny Green. The Spurs are looking to not miss a beat with the absence of Leonard this season.

After Boston lost to Cleveland 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics wanted to keep their core intact. They were able to bring back guard, Marcus Smart, on a four-year, $52 million contract.

The Mavericks got DeAndre Jordan, signing him and Dirk Nowitzki for another season. With Dennis Smith Jr. and the 2018 third overall pick, Luka Dončić, the Mavs are looking to contend for another title as Dirk’s playing window closes. Guard, Devin Harris, is making his return to the team as well after jumping around the league a bit.

Last season, after getting traded from Boston to Cleveland, to Los Angeles, point guard, Isaiah Thomas, is looking to make a fresh start with the Denver Nuggets. He signed a one-year contract and looks to show he still has plenty in the tank. There is still a chance of Thomas coming back to Boston for a reunion but only time will tell.

After opting in to the final year of his $27.9 million contract, Carmelo Anthony was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks waived him almost immediately, clearing the way for Anthony to become an unrestricted free agent. Once that happened, Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets joining his longtime friend Chris Paul and reigning MVP James Harden to compete for a shot at dethroning the Warriors. At least he got a jersey with his stint with the Hawks.

Dwight Howard got traded by the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets in early July. He was waived soon after and decided to sign with the Wizards. In his first press conference, Howard said, “I learned Magic for eight years. Traveled to La-La Land. Learned how to work with Rockets. I went and learned to fly with some Hawks. Got stung by the Hornets — just a joke. But through all of that, it’s taught me how to be a Wizard.” The former defensive player of the Year is looking to show he can still bang down in the paint.

Vince Carter is going to the Hawks. The 41-year-old is to take on the leadership role for this young team in his 21st season in the NBA.

After a monster season, center, Clint Capela, signed a five-year extension to stay with the Houston Rockets. Capela was a crucial part in Houston’s success last season, and eagerly waiting for another shot at the Western Conference Championship.

All of these big names jumping around the country makes the NBA look even more different than last season as all players are chasing greatness as well as titles. With the development of super teams as well as the young and hungry teams, this upcoming NBA season will be the most interesting yet.

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