The NBA offseason is always a fun time with lots of things going on. Free agency, trades, and the draft all have NBA fans’ eyes glued to the sport even when the athletes aren’t playing. There have been some amazing offseasons in the past, but none can hold a candle to the craziness that was 2017.
The amount of absolutely massive trades and signings is almost unbelievable. Not only were there a lot of deals getting done, but many of them involved some of the legitimate best few players in the world. Top 10 players at nearly every position moved at will and we saw the formation of a few more “super teams.” Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest shocks from this crazy 2017 offseason in the NBA.
10. Celtics Trading Away the #1 Overall Pick
In many offseasons, this would be the biggest news all summer. But in 2017? Not even close. Rumors began circling pretty soon after the season ended that many of the teams at the top of the draft were looking to move either up or down in the draft. You seemingly couldn’t go a few hours without a new big trade being talked about. After many proposed trades from different teams, it was ultimately announced that Boston would trade their first overall pick to Philadelphia for the third overall pick and a first rounder in either 2018 or 2019. The 76ers used that pick to draft Markelle Fultz, while the Celtics used the third pick to take Jayson Tatum. It will be interesting to see how people look back at this trade in a few years.
9. Lebron James and Other Speaking Out About Trump
This is a fairly new occurrence, and while we aren’t getting deep into politics, it would be crazy to leave this event out of a list like this. Lebron James wasn’t too happy about about the U.S. President sending out a tweet in which he mentioned Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors’ invite to the White House has been revoked. James took to Twitter and sent out a tweet, which garnered a TON of attention from all over the world. For those who think this wasn’t a big deal, you’re simply wrong. James’s tweet is officially the biggest and most widespread of any by an athlete in history. As of writing this article, his tweet has over 660,000 RTs, almost 50,000 replies and 1.5 million likes.
8. Gordon Hayward Signing With the Boston Celtics
Yes, the Boston Celtics had a busy offseason. In addition to dealing the number one overall pick, they also were able to land one of the hottest free agents of the summer. Gordon Hayward has been among the best small forwards in the league over the past year and got a lot of attention on the free agent market. It came down to him re-joining the Utah Jazz or the Boston Celtics. He chose the Celtics (who gave him a max contract) and the rest is history. The story also has a nice “reunion” touch to it, as Hayward once again teams up with Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who was actually Hayward’s head coach back at Butler. And if you think that this is the last time you will hear about the Boston Celtics in this article, you are in for a surprise.
7. Jimmy Butler Joining the Timberwolves
For the last few months of the NBA season, many people thought it was “when” not “if” when it came to Jimmy Butler moving on from the Chicago Bulls. He was unhappy with the direction the team was headed in and wasn’t as big a fan of new coach Fred Hoiberg as he was about his past coach, Tom Thibodeau. Well, it just so happens that Thibs is now the coach of another team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. As a result, the Timberwolves acquired Butler in trade that had them send Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and a first round pick to Chicago. Butler now joins Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to create of the best teams in the West. It will be interesting to see how the old pairing will be able to perform on a new team and in a new conference.
6. Dwyane Wade Joining the Cavaliers
It’s finally happened; Dwyane Wade and Lebron James have reunited once again on the basketball court. A few years since heading down and dominating the NBA in Miami, the pair will now try and do the same in Cleveland. After a forgettable time in Chicago, Wade was bought out of his contract by the Bulls and was free to go and sign elsewhere. As soon as that happened, many had him pegged to go to the Cavs. It turned out,those people were right. While Wade isn’t the same player that won those championships in Miami, he is still a very effective and intelligent player who only helps the Cavaliers extend their lead as the best team in the Eastern Conference.
5. Chris Paul Being Traded to the Rockets
That’s right, if all those other transactions weren’t enough, a top three point guard was also traded during the 2017 offseason. Chris Paul has been one of the best point guards in the NBA for the better part of a decade and is moving to a new home this year. In a surprising move around the NBA, the Clippers sent Paul to the Houston Rockets for a number of players (including Lou Williams, Pat Beverly, and Sam Dekker) and a first round pick. The backcourt of Paul and MVP runner-up James Harden means that the Rockets instantly become a better team and will challenge the Warriors, the Thunder, and the Spurs for the title of the best in the West. It will be interesting to see how this massive trade works out for both teams.
4. The World Being Introduced to LaVar Ball
About a year ago, very few people were aware of who LaVar Ball was. Many knew him as simply the father of Lonzo Ball, who ended up being taken second overall in the NBA draft. However, everyone who watches any sort of sports TV or entertainment show likely has an idea now. LaVar has been one of the most outspoken figures throughout the NBA offseason, from saying his son is already better than Stephen Curry, to saying he could beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one game (both of those claims are #FakeNews). While there is a good chance he is just trolling for the fame and reactions, there is also a chance he believes everything he says. Either way, he has definitely been one of the craziest highlights of this offseason.
3. Carmelo Anthony Traded To The Thunder
Carmelo Anthony was rumored to be on the move for months and months, until it finally happened in late September. There have been spats between Melo and Knicks’ management for a while and many thought he would not be spending next year in the Big Apple. Even so, not many predicting him making the move to Oklahoma City. Anthony was traded for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a draft pick. He will head back to the Western Conference after seven seasons with the Knicks and will join a team led by Russell Westbrook. Oh, and another new addition…
2. Paul George Leaves Indiana for Oklahoma City
That’s right, not even acquiring Carmelo Anthony was the biggest news of the summer for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Instead, that honor goes to them trading for talented scorer Paul George. George has felt “bottled up” as a Pacer for a while and has been unhappy with the fact he was not winning. People knew he was likely going to be moved before his contract expired, but many figured he was headed to Cleveland, Los Angeles, or San Antonio. However, the Thunder shocked the world by sending Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers for George in a blockbuster deal. With George and Anthony joining Westbrook in OKC, the sky is the limit this season.
1. Kyrie Irving Being Traded for Isaiah Thomas
This is just huge in every sense of the world. Rarely do we see teams trade two of the best players at their respective positions for each other like this. But that is exactly what the Cavaliers and Celtics did when they swapped point guards, with Irving going to the Celtics and Thomas heading to Cleveland. In addition to Thomas, the Celtics also traded Jae Crowder and a first round pick. This trade was unprecedented and is the first time ever that two 25 points per game scorers were swapped. The Celtics and Cavaliers are likely to battle for the top two spots in the Eastern Conference this season, just like last year. It will be exciting to see what happens between these two rivals in the upcoming season!