Every year the offseason provides us with excitment, some years mild, some years it feels like the basketball gods have blessed us, this year can’t even be described by the latter. This offseason has possibly changed the balance in the NBA in a way we haven’t seen before.
This is the team that I think improved the most, in previous articles I have talked about Towns and what the Wolves needed to do to take that next step, and they overachieved comparing to the vision I had for them. The trade for Jimmy Butler is perhaps one of the greatest trades I have ever witnessed, a superstar in his prime, a great offensive and defensive player, and most importantly a good leader on the court, for three players, who despite having a lot of potential, could end up not reaching it, plus the Timberwolves also got the 16th pick in this year’s draft, Justin Patton. This move alone would have sufficed but they still added Jeff Teague, a great playmaker who can shoot and defend, and Taj Gibson, a solid veteran. Now, much like the warriors, they have four good shooters on the floor in the starting lineup (Sure they’re not Curry and Thompson but still), two superstars (one of them being a 21 year old who could be the face of the NBA in the years to come), two stars (Wiggins can still improve and become a superstar), and an Experienced veteran in the starting lineup, plus a decent enough bench unit.
Maybe not this year but give them some time together and this team can be really scary.
Oklahoma City Thunder
They still need a few pieces but going from a team with one superstar who carried a mediocre supporting cast to the 6th seed in a tough western conference, to a team with two superstars and basically the same supporting cast is a nice improvement, the thing is Paul George and Westbrook fit together in a way KD and Westbrook never did and never could. While KD and Westbrook are both ball dominant players, hence not fitting well together(especially because Westbrook is just too much of ball hog to play alongside another ball dominant player, not criticizing it’s just his style of play), Paul George is a superstar who strives playing offball.
While their firepower isn’t equal to that of some other teams, the way both their superstars might fit together may elevate their play more than expected, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Although there were other reasons, I post poned writing about the offseason because of how long it really was, and after the Kyrie Irving trade was complete I took a look at the boston celtics roster and realized how much it really changed. It’s hard to predict how well they will do this season, on paper they are better, but Thomas displayed a skill Irving hasn’t really had the oppurtunity to display while being on the same team as Lebron James, leadership. We all know that Irving has the ‘mamba mentality’, there is no doubt he shows up when his team needs him most, but Boston’s long term success depends on wether Irving can lead them as the alpha dog or not.