July 1st was the start of NBA free agency and it was absolute mayhem. The combination of massive contracts, trades, veteran exceptions, and trying to understand the collective barging agreement and cap space will make your head spin. Yet through all of that there were a couple deals that stood out among the rest. Here are the five best moves of the NBA Offseason & Free Agency so far.
#5: The Thunder win the Paul George sweepstakes:
Disclaimer: If Paul George re-signs with the Thunder, this move will be higher on the list. Until then I’m not confident that George will be in Oklahoma City next year. The bottom line is the Thunder robbed the Pacers by acquiring an absolute superstar for Victor Olidipo and Domantas Sabonis. George will be a great matchup with Russell Westbrook, and will give a massive boost to a squad that was ranked 10th in overall team defense.
#4: Rockets trade for Chris Paul.
Who’s going the handle to rock? The one knock on Chris Paul (besides not being able to win big games) is the fact that he dribbles the ball a lot. Yet I do think once James Harden earns Pauls’ trust then they can split ball handling duties. However Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the league, elite passer and a very good defender. The Rockets didn’t have to give up rising star Clint Capela and the resurgent 6th man of the year Eric Gordon to acquire him either. It will be really interesting if Houston can land Carmelo Anthony….
#3: Gordon Hayward signs with the Boston Celtics:
The Celtics fan base was becoming an angry mod after Jimmy Butler and Paul George were acquire for table scraps. Failed promises of fireworks had the Green Nation anxious on America’s birthday, yet Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens convinced Godron Hayward to take less money to come to Boston. This move not only improves the Celtics in the here and now but it also puts them in a great position going forward. Add Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris to the mix…Celtics now have a formidable squad in a weak Eastern Confrence.
#2: The Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Jimmy Butler.
Reunions feel good right? Pretty sure that’s how Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau are feeling right now. The T-wolves gets an elite two way superstar on a good contract. Butler and his ability to close games is exactly what a young Minnesota team needs. Butler, Wiggins, Towns, Teague, and either Gibson or Deng is an awesome starting five.
#1. Tie: Kevin Durant and Steph Curry resign with the Golden State Warriors.
Do I really need to say much? The Warriors swept the playoffs and retained their two best players (which happen to be 2 out of the 3 best players in the NBA) while keeping their bench intact. This Warriors team is a combination of great planning and absolute pure luck.
Honorable Mentions: Spurs sign Rudy Gay, Timberwolves land Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford, Clippers retain Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry stays in Toronto, Nuggets are building one of the best front courts with addition of Paul Millsap.
Written By: Steve Accardi