NBA Offseason & Kyrie Trade Request Thoughts
It has been 42 days since the Golden State Warriors won the 2017 NBA Championship in 5 games over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and watching the NBA offseason shape up has been far more entertaining than watching my San Francisco Giants lose every day.
As a Warriors fan, it has been hysterical watching other NBA teams implode because they know that they stand little to no chance at beating Golden State. Every year people will buzz about teams “winning the offseason”, and last year the Warriors “won the offseason” by acquiring Kevin Durant and other pieces to make a 73-win team even better. This year though, there has not been much talk about teams winning the offseason, instead, there has been a lot of buzz about the Cleveland Cavaliers, and how their franchise seems to be imploding after they were demolished by the Warriors.
They attempted to add another star to their team in order to better contend with the Warriors. They tried to acquire Paul George, and missed out because Indiana decided they did not want to see George on a rival team in the East, so they dealt him to the Thunder for pocket change. The Cavaliers were also trying to land Jimmy Butler, and reportedly had a deal lined up with Chicago to land the star, but Dan Gilbert fired the team’s GM, David Griffin, right before Griffin could pull the trigger.
The situation only got worse for Cleveland, they went into the NBA draft without a GM, then went through the beginning of free agency without a GM as well. This, combined with rumors about LeBron potentially bolting to Los Angeles next summer, have left the franchise in disarray.
The Cavs did manage to re-sign sharpshooter Kyle Korver to a 3-year deal, and they have also brought in Derrick Rose, and Jose Calderon, but none of those moves do anything to put the team in a better position to try and beat Golden State next year.
To make matters worse, just before the Cavaliers signed Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving requested to be traded, which has injected new life into the NBA offseason. Kyrie Irving told the team that he would prefer to be traded to either New York, Minnesota, San Antonio, or Miami. All of these teams would be significantly better with Irving (Hot take, I know), but the issue with an Irving trade is that he does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, so he can be traded anywhere. The one team that has been talked about more than others, is Phoenix, and the package that would be sent to cleveland would likely be centered around Eric Bledsoe, who has averaged over 17 ppg for the last 4 years, but he is a career .334 shooter from behind the arc, so that would move Cleveland farther away from the three point juggernauts of the league in Houston and Golden State.
All in all, this NBA offseason has been crazy, and has seen a large player migration to the west. Teams like Minnesota, Oklahoma City, and Houston have gained a lot of talent and look to try and Challenge the Warriors to be the Western Conference Champions. The Eastern Conference got a lot weaker, and will likely again see the Cavaliers make it through the playoffs with relative ease, unless the Celtics can do something crazy and acquire another star to play alongside Isaiah Thomas and Gordon Hayward.
It will be interesting to see how the Kyrie Irving situation plays out, and what dominoes will fall because of it, but I think it is universally understood that the Golden State Warriors are going to win the 2018 NBA Championship.