Biggest NBA Rumors, Trades and Acquisitions in the Last Two Weeks
3-minute overview of the NBA Off-Season so Far
By Quibbl Sports Editor Kahlil Ellis and Matt Lieberman
- A review of the NBA’s top recent trades, signings and rumors
- Links to predict trade and free agent outcomes at quibbl.me
- Player highlights and read more
Kevin Durant earned his first NBA title and Finals MVP award on June 12. Markelle Fultz was selected as the No. 1 Pick by the Philadelphia 76ers on June 22. Russell Westbrook earned his first MVP award on June 26. The NBA moratorium period ended Thursday, July 6 at noon ET, allowing teams to formally sign players and hold their introductory press conferences. But, what has been happening in between..?
The answer is everything, from blockbuster moves to evolutionary contract extensions. Need to get caught up in the NBA loop? That’s what we’re here for. Quibbl put together the major stories and trends to watch out for so that you can enjoy the games, drama & betting.
Biggest Player Deals Made So Far
- Gordon Hayward set to ship off to Boston. The former star of the Utah Jazz, Gordon Hayward, has agreed to a four-year, $128 million maximum deal to play for the Boston Celtics. He will team up with Boston’s Brad Stevens, who coached Hayward at Butler University. Last season, Hayward, a sharpshooting small forward, averaged 21.9 points to earn his first All-Star team selection. He now teams up with Brad Stevens, his coach at Butler from 2008-10, and stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford to threaten the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference dominance. The logistics of this deal are still under development, especially as to whether it will be a sign-and-trade or direct contract agreement with the Celtics.
- Paul Millsap: from Utah to Atlanta and, now, back west in Denver. Paul Millsap, a dominant power forward, has ended his four-year tenure with the Atlanta Hawks to sign a three-year, $90 million contract with the Denver Nuggets. Last season, not only was the 4-time All-Star the Hawks’ leader in scoring with 18.1 per game, but he was also second in rebounds (7.7), assists (3.7), steals (1.6), and blocks (0.9).
- Swaggy P goes upstate to the champion Warriors. Nick Young, a 12-year shooting guard who averaged 13.2 ppg on 43.0% shooting last season, has ended his 4-year stay with the Los Angeles Lakers to sign a 1-year, $5.2 million deal with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Young, who is also the the former fiancé of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, will join a deep, skilled bench that already includes JaVale McGee, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and David West.
- Warriors Steph Curry becomes the highest paid baller of all-time: Two-time MVP and recent NBA Finals champ Stephen Curry has signed a five-year, $201 million extension, the biggest deal in league history. Curry is the first NBA star to sign a “supermax” contract, or one in which earnings total over $200 million. With the rise of the superteam era and massive jumps in the NBA salary cap, this may become a norm for NBA superstars.
- KD extends his stay in Golden State. No surprise here, after a widely successful and controversial season, 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant will sign a two-year extension with the Golden State Warriors, worth a “discounted” $53 million. Throughout his 15-game postseason, Durant put up 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists to lead the Warriors over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavalier in the Finals.
- Blake Griffin commits to Clippers future. The 5-time All-Star and 2011 Slam Dunk champion Blake Griffin will re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers for a 5 year, $173 million max deal. Griffin had scheduled meetings with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, but eventually cancelled both upon deciding to continue playing for the Clippers, where he has averaged 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds over his career.
- Toronto decides to stick to its core with a three year plan. While the rest of the NBA world seems to be occupied by blockbuster trades and acquisitions, the Toronto Raptors have been relatively low-key, satisfied with their performance as third-best in the East. In fact, the Raptors are set to re-sign two of their top contributors this summer. The first is 3-time All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who averaged 22.4 ppg while leading the team in assists (7.0) and steals (1.5) last season, in a deal worth $100 million over three years. The second is a 3-year, $65 million extension for big Serge Ibaka, a major defensive threat who averaged 14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, and 1.4 bpg with the Raptors.
The Trades You Should Know About
- PG13 to join MVP Russell Westbrook in OKC. Star wing Paul George is leaving the Indiana Pacers for the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of the biggest trades of the offseason so far. In exchange for the 4-time All-Star, Victor Oladipo (15.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 spg) and Lithuanian big Domantas Sabonis (5.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg) will head to Indiana to play for head Coach Nate McMillan.
- Jimmy Butler leaves the Bulls for the T-Wolves. Just when you thought the Chicago Bulls could not fall any deeper, star Jimmy Butler is suddenly gone to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns under head coach Tom Thibodeau (again). Butler and DJ Wilson, the 16th pick this year from Michigan, are being traded to Chicago for Zach Lavine (18.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.9 spg), Kris Dunn (3.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg), and forward Lauri Markkanen, the 7th pick from Arizona.
- CP3 says goodbye to the Clippers, off to the Rockets. Superstar court general Chris Paul will play for the Houston Rockets, due to a deal that gives the Los Angeles Clippers guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, a slew of other players, a protected 2018 first-round pick, and cash considerations. The Rockets pair Paul up with MVP runner-up James Harden in the back-court in an attempt to overthrow the Golden State Warriors, who have won the Western Conference Finals the last three seasons while winning it all in two of them.
Quibbls: Recent Free Agent & Trade Rumors in the NBA
Ringless Melo still on the Knicks, but for how much longer?
New York Knicks superstar wing Carmelo Anthony may not end up wearing the same uniform come next season. According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knicks front office is invested in a youth movement centered around Kristaps Porzingis and new draftee Frank Ntilikina. Given that, plus the recent departure of Phil Jackson as Knicks president in late June, the NBA future of Melo, who is now a 33-year-old going into his fifteenth season still without an NBA title, may be more uncertain than ever before.
Will Otto Porter Jr. stay a Wizard?
It appears that restricted free agent wing Otto Porter Jr., who has played all four of his NBA seasons with the Washington Wizards, will re-sign in D.C. But, after making some noise last season, averaging 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 51.6% shooting, attention has been made for this budding star, including from the Brooklyn Nets, who recently offered him a maximum contract worth $106 million over four years. Stranger things have happened…
Is it Marc Gasol’s time to leave Memphis?
With Zach Randolph and Tony Allen possibly on the way out, the Memphis Grizzlies might be ready for a rebuilding session in a stacked Western Conference. That could mean trading away their 3-time All-Star big Marc Gasol, who has averaged 14.9 points, 7.6 boards, and 1.5 blocks during his 9 NBA seasons with Memphis.
How about Marc’s brother, Pau, on the Spurs?
The 7’0 veteran Pau Gasol, who averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 boards, and 1.1 blocks last season in San Antonio, recently declined his $16.2 million player option for the 2017-18 season. Of course, this has led to speculation that he will end up on a team other than the San Antonio Spurs, but it could just mean he wants a longer stint.
How will Gordon Hayward end up a Celtic?
According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones, if Hayward agrees, the Utah Jazz are reportedly willing to facilitate a sign-and-trade deal to sign Gordon Hayward to his agreed four-year, $128 million contract. Even after trading guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, the C’s still may not have cap space to sign Hayward to that max deal any other way. Even so, the team has a multitude of valuable assets they can offer, including Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart, in order to make the move officially happen.
Best NBA Off-Season Coverage Across the Internet
Lang Whitaker shows you how how the recent off-season action will give the Western Conference even more of an edge [Link to NBA]
The continued dominance of the Western Conference over the Eastern Conference seems to be doing just that: continuing. With a slew of old stars (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kawhi Leonard) and new ones (Paul George, Jimmy Butler), as well as powerhouse franchises (Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs) and new contenders (Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves), the West looks poised to be as dominant and wild as ever.
Gordon Hayward bids an emotional farewell to the city of Utah and the Jazz organization. [Link to The Players’ Tribune]
Hayward penned this piece in the Players’ Tribune to say his farewells to the team that drafted him. Within, he announces that he will be leaving Utah to join the Boston Celtics of the Eastern Conference. He goes on to tell accounts of his time as a member of the Jazz, and discusses his goals for the future in Boston.
Colin Ward-Henninger shows you how Curry’s contract compares to high-paid athletes across all American sports [Link to CBS Sports]
After signing a five-year, $201 million extension, Golden State sharpshooter Stephen Curry has become the highest paid player in NBA history. With the extension, Curry became the first NBA player to sign a “supermax” contract in which his earnings total over $200 million. This CBS piece describes how his earnings compare to some of the other top earners in US sports, including Derek Carr and Zack Greinke.
Ryan Phillips gives you biggest winners of the first few weeks of the NBA summer [Link The Big Lead]
The Big Lead describes the franchises and players who have won the off-season so far. Spoiler alert: Many of them are in the Western Conference. Fans can only anticipate what will happen next, as this hectic off-season charges on.
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