The NBA looks completely different after free agency. Players from the East, like Kawhi Leonard, went west. Players from the West, like Kevin Durant, went east. The trades and free agency maneuvers created new power alignments all over the league.
A Bleacher Report article said, “this is as wide-open as the NBA felt in years. Perhaps even decades.” AP announced, “There is no favorite.” After years of domination by Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors could the league entering an era of parity? It’s far to early to tell but the new teams are electrifying.
The blockbuster moves in free agency included Kawhi Leonard’s leaving the Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers. He was joined by six-time All-Star Paul George from Oklahoma City. George averaged 28 points a game last season and was third in voting for the league’s Most Valuable Player. The new Clippers will combine aggressive defense and a high-flying scoring attack. Most of the new power rankings have the Clippers ranked at the top.
But they will have plenty of competition. Some of the toughest will come from the other side of the Staples Center. LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers added centers Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. These two caused considerable damage as teammates in New Orleans. The Lakers will also include emerging power forward Kyle Kuzma and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. As a team headed by James, they will feature zesty passing and shut-down defense. Davis can be a dominant play stopper in the post and James can dominate all over the court.
The East was turned on its head by the combination of Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan and an injured Kevin Durant joining the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets, already a playoff team, will be a better team in 2020 and a title contender in 2021.
The West continued to churn as Russell Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets, who shipped Chris Paul to Oklahoma City. Can two on-ball players like Westbrook and James Harden co-exist on the Rockets squad? If they can, they will feature a dynamic offensive assault.
The Thunder will inherit Paul’s massive contract, but also gain draft picks to help rebuild their squad. If the Thunder decide to tear the team down to start over could they put Steven Adams in play? Celtics fans likely hope so after their front court was decimated by the departures of Aaron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Al Horford.
The Celtics also lost point guard Kyrie Irving to free agency and replaced him with Charlotte Hornet point guard Kemba Walker. Their statistics are similar but Walker’s maturity makes him a substantial upgrade.
Former Florida Gator and Celtic, Al Horford is now with the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers. He wanted a four-year deal which the Celtics would not offer and the Sixers did. Even though the
Originally posted by The Florida Squeeze on 2019-07-27 13:56:18