Ten Things You Might Have Missed This NBA Offseason



Andrew Levin, Staff Writer

The 2019 NBA offseason is definitely one for the history books as storyline after storyline came out all summer long, leaving many fan bases in shock, happiness, and agony.  Here are just a few that transpired over this past summer.


Zion Williamson drafted #1 overall to the Pelicans

Wherever Zion Williamson landed in the 2019 NBA Draft, it was bound to make headlines. The New Orleans Pelicans were lucky enough to get the #1 draft spot, despite only a 6% chance. This was shocking to many NBA fans because it was expected that Zion would go to a team that was tanking, such as the New York Knicks or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Zion should be the heavy favorite to win rookie of the year next season. All NBA fans are hoping he lands in the dunk contest as well, where he could potentially compete against Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine at the United Center in February of next year.


Lakers trade for Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis’s trade request was long before the offseason — in late January of the 2018-19 season — but did not end up getting traded until mid June. The Lakers were targeting Davis for a while, but the Pelicans consistently turned them down because the Lakers wanted more than what they were willing to offer. They also did not want to trade Davis to another western conference team, creating another threat on that side of the NBA. They Pelicans ended up agreeing to a trade with the lakers which included: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first round picks, one of which was the number four overall in the 2019 draft. This was one of many acquisitions by the Lakers this offseason, but it was by far the most impactful.


Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sign with Brooklyn

Three years ago Kevin Durant changed the course of the NBA by signing with the Golden State Warriors. He did that again by signing with the Brooklyn Nets this offseason. Kevin Durant is still arguably the biggest acquisition of the summer, even if he does not play a single game in the 2019-20 season. Durant will need a long time to recover from the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. In that time Kyrie Irving will attempt to make a playoff push with the Nets. Once Durant gets back Kyrie Irving will move to the number two option in that offense, a spot that has suited him better in the past.


Russell Westbrook traded to the Rockets

This was definitely one of the most surprising moves of the offseason. After the Paul George trade (we will get to that later) Russell Westbrook wanted out. Oklahoma CIty did not wait long to trade him to the Houston Rockets. They traded Westbrook for Chris Paul, two future first round picks, and two pick swaps. Every person who watches the NBA knows that there is only one ball on the court, that is why many wonder how the pairing of Westbrook and James Harden will work. With this trade the Rockets are poised to make a run next season. 


Jimmy Butler signs with Miami

Drama has been very common around Jimmy Butler since he got traded from the Chicago Bulls. On the Bulls he was known as a very gritty, blue collar, young basketball player. He was one of the hardest workers in the league and he was a lockdown defender. Since then he has been on the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Philadelphia 76ers, and now the Miami heat. He was traded from Minnesota because he did not respect their young players, which could be why he left Philadelphia. He now joins a fringe playoff team in Miami, we will see if he causes problems there too.


The Knicks swing and miss yet again

The Knicks were long considered the favorite for Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and even Zion Williamson. Well, they went 0/3, but hey, at least they got Julius Randle. The Knicks failed to get superstars so they instead used their money to overpay mediocre players. They do have a promising player in RJ Barrett, who was the #3 pick in the 2019 draft. Outside of him, it is not looking good in New York.


Al Horford signs with Philadelphia

Al Horford does not get enough credit, he was the glue that held the Boston Celtics together. He is 6’10’’, he is a solid perimeter shooter, oh and he is the only player in the league that has figured out how to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo. That should be very helpful for the 76ers come playoff time. It will be interesting to watch the inside out game of Horford and Joel Embiid next season. 


Kemba Walker signs with Boston

The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving, they lost Al Horford, but they got Kemba Walker. Kemba Walker finally escaped the underwhelming Charlotte Hornets organization. Charlotte failed to surround him with good players, so he left after eight solid seasons with them. Kemba Walker is a more natural leader than Kyrie Irving, as we saw Irving caused many locker room problems throughout the season. Hopefully his leadership can take the Celtics farther in the playoffs next season.


New look Golden State Warriors with D’Angelo Russell

The Golden State Warriors will certainly look different next season, mainly due to injuries and free agency. Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the NBA Finals last year, Kevin Durant left for Brooklyn, Andre Igoudala was traded to Memphis, and they acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets. Klay Thompson will likely be out all of the 2019-2020 season. This will cause many concerns for the Warriors on the defensive end this year. Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell will be able to hold down the fort on offense, but how good their defense is what will determine how far they go.


Clippers acquire Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

The Los Angeles Clippers won the 2019 offseason. Breaking news came out almost simultaneously one night in early July: the clippers signed Kawhi Leonard, and they traded for Paul George. In doing so, they traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danillo Gallinari, and five first round picks to the Thunder. Both Kawhi and Paul George come back to their home town in Los Angeles. They are also arguably the two best two-way players in the NBA. The clash between the Clippers and the Lakers next season is going to be very interesting to watch.