The 2017-18 NBA season is closely approaching. Hopefully, this season's drama will live up to the crazy storylines that happened this summer. OKC forms their own big three, bringing in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Houston brings in Chris Paul into D'Antoni's high-powered offense. Both Cleveland and Boston's roster have changed dramtically. Minnesota brings in a veteran All-Star to lead a young, but budding team. Even Kevin Durant is catching heat for his burner Twitter account.
Now, a lot of these moves and signings are no-stories; just hyped up by the media to gain viewership. For every great move though, comes a team that you just say "What in the world were you thinking? Some fan bases across the US are scratching their heads and calling for their GM's head. So today, we will look into some bad moves: 8 NBA trades and 7 signings that already look terrible this upcoming season.
There's no doubt that this was one of the most chaotic NBA offseasons in history. It almost feels like an entirely new league as we get set for opening tipoff, but there's no doubt that the Golden State Warriors are still the favorites going into the season. However, some teams are really going to be regretting their recent deals very soon.
15 Trade: Chris Paul To The Rockets
Don't sleep on the Clippers this year! eriously, they have made a few moves this off-season that look bad on the surface, but could benefit them in the future. Take for example, the Chris Paul deal. Paul wasn't doing anything with the Clippers in terms of making it to the Western Conference Finals. He is an aging superstar who is a general on-the-court, but is rumored to be somewhat of a diva off of it. While I think the Clippers should have got more for Paul (the reason it's terrible), I think Beverly's defense will help LA stay in the playoff hunt.
Now, from Houston's perspective, I am one of the few that doesn't like this move. Doesn't anyone think Harden in Paul will butt heads? In D'Antoni's system, the point guard gets all the love, and there is only one rock to go around. We will see how this plays out in Space City this year.
14 Signing: Rudy Gay To The Spurs
Hey Pop', I think you and your front office down in San Antonio got this move wrong. Is Gay supposed to be your sixth man? Or do you plan on starting three forwards (four if you count Danny Green)? You know Rudy Gay is not the puzzle piece you need to take the next step passed the Warriors. He's coming off a serious Achilles injury, where recovery is very unpredictable. It could honestly alter an player's entire game! Not to mention LaMarcus Aldridge did not play up to his potential last year, and oh yeah, don't forget about Kawhi's ankle. Tony Parker will be out until at least 2018, so it probably would have been better if you skipped out on Gay and picked up a decent, athletic point guard to keep up with the competition in the west.
13 Trade: Jimmy Butler To The Timberwolves
The new look Minnesota Timberwolves are poised to be a powerhouse over the next few years. Wiggins just got his deal, KAT is a developing beast, and oh yeah, they just traded with Chicago for one of the best two-way players in the NBA in Jimmy Butler. The youthful athleticism, plus some high-flying fire power, will help the Timberwolves achieve greatness.
But this article isn't about moves that look great, it's about the ones that already look terrible. So on that note, Chicago, what the hell are you thinking? You got in return Zach Levine, a forward that relies on his athleticism, who just came off an ACL, and an unproven (or maybe just crappy) point guard in Chris Dunn. The Bulls are the next 76ers, but without the savvy to stockpile picks for the future. I don't expect them to make the playoffs this season.
12 Signing: Cristiano Felicio To The Bulls
Who? Most casual fans do not know who Cristiano Felicio is. So, let me give you some background. He's a big man, who came off the bench for Chicago the last two years, averaged 15.8 minutes per game and averaged a little bit less than half a double-double. So, in the new look Chicago Bulls fashion, they gave him a four-year/$32-million dollar contract. What? Put me in the game for a few minutes, I'm sure I could do something! While many experts think that Felicio is a "gritty" player who could help Chicago grind away the opponent's front court, I don't think he will make much of an impact.
Let's all face it, with Butler gone, Wade getting bought out, and the front office with their heads up their tails, the Bulls will be garbage.
11 Trade: Ricky Rubio To The Jazz
Okay, so the Timberwolves pick up Jimmy Butler, but lose their floor general in Ricky Rubio. I think the loss of Rubio for Minnesota is huge. Besides Steph and Kyrie, let's look at some other championship floor generals. Mario Chalmers: not great, but was able to distribute to Wade, LeBron, and Bosh. Rajon Rondo: the reason the big three were famous in Boston. Tony Parker: similar to Rubio's vision, but a better defender and scorer. Come on Minnesota, with Butler, Wiggins, and KAT, Rubio would have been perfect, especially since his replacement, Jeff Teague (who they signed for a whopping three-year/$57-million deal), probably won't do that much anyway. With this move, I feel like an angry parent: not mad, just extremely disappointed. Hopefully, Ricky can bounce back with the Jazz this year.
10 Signing: Jrue Holiday To The Pelicans
I'm not not knocking the one-time All-Star (yes, somehow Holiday managed to make an All-Star team), but the Pelicans got the short end of the stick with this deal. With a little over $10-million of cap space left this off-season, it would have been tough to bring in a high talent point guard to compliment Boogie and Davis. So, with their hands tied, New Orleans did the next best thing and signed Jrue Holiday to a five-year/$126-million contract. Oh yeah, throw in a fifth year player-option that could bump up the total to $150-million.
My prediction is that if New Orleans doesn't make the playoffs this year, and their GM, Dell Demps, will be looking for another job in the offseason, especially considering Cousins' contract will be up. The signing of Jrue Holiday already looks terrible for Demps, and the rest of NOLA.
9 Trade: Paul George To The Thunder
Half the readers had to do a double-take when they saw that Paul George was on the list of worst trades in the NBA this off-season. But it's mostly because Indiana botched up their end of the deal so badly. They only acquired Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for PG-13. That seems like next to nothing for a perennial All-Star like Paul George. The whole front 0ffice situation just looks like a mess! Maybe that's why Larry Bird left in the offseason, because who would want to be part of that dumpster fire.
From OKC's perspective, this is the trade you wanted. A scorer to help Westbrook get past the tough competition in the Western Conference. They also added 'Melo recently, and are poised for an exciting season. One issue I have with this move on the Thunder's end is they only have George for one season. Can they do enough in OKC to convince him to stay at the end of the year? We will find out!
8 Signing: Langston Galloway To The Pistons
I'm excited for the Pistons' General Manager, Jeff Bower's new book, How to Mis-Manage Your Salary Cap. While everyone is excited about trading for the expiring contract player, and defensive specialist, Avery Bradley (which I do think was a good move), I'm here to tell you how terrible it was that the Piston's signed Langston Galloway. I'm not saying the guy is a bad player, but Detroit signed him early in free agency to a three-year/$21-million deal, hard-capping themselves before any of the superstars got a chance to decide where their final destination would be.
If the Pistons just waited out free agency, they could have picked up someone with a very similar skill set for a much cheaper price. Galloway is just another guy in a Detroit back court that's full of "just another guys."
7 Trade: C.J. Miles To The Raptors
With the Raptors contending for spot in the east, they needed a catch-and-shoot forward to compliment Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan's dribble penetration. Unfortunately, they went and got C.J Miles, and sent one of the best backup point guards, Cory Joseph, to the Indiana Pacers.
Now I have nothing against Miles. If anything, he is a decent player who was 15th in catch-and-shoot percentage last season. My issue is his stamina. The guy has been in the league for 12 years and I highly doubt he will be able to keep up with the Raptors' offense, even if he just sits outside the three-point line.
or Toronto, giving up on Joseph is unfortunate, and with Lowry being extremely injury-prone due to his small stature, this move for Miles already looks terrible.
6 Signing: Kelly Olynyk To The Heat
In last year's playoffs, Kelly Olynyk stepped up and helped bring Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was the pride of Boston (probably because a lot of their fans are racist, or is that just the Red Sox?). But in the offseason, Olynyk signed with the Miami Heat for a staggering four-year/$50-million contract. There is no way the ex-Gonzaga Bulldog is worth that much, especially in an already crowded front-court including James Johnson and emerging superstar, Hassan Whiteside.
Seems like a high price to pay for a backup! Yes, Olynyk can put up the deep three or post up, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. It would have been better if Miami went out to get a guard, rather than the Monstar look-a-like, Olynyk.
5 Trade: DeMarre Carroll To The Nets
In ESPN's trade grades, the Brooklyn Nets received an A for Carroll, while the Raptors received a C-. What was Toronto thinking here? While Carroll was never going to be a superstar, the Nets got away with international robbery here. They only had to send center Justin Hamilton to Canada, and in return, got Carroll and the Raptor's 2018 first and second-round picks.
Brooklyn was already low on draft picks for the future, so this move made sense, considering they could even use Carroll for trade bait in the future, while Toronto on the other hand, is stuck with stars who are extremely injury-prone. We will see how the season plays out, but Brooklyn got the better end of this deal, and for the Raptors, this trade already looks terrible.
4 Signing: Ron Baker To The Knicks
All the credit in the world goes to Ron Baker's agents. They played the Knicks like a fiddle. Baker received a two-year/$8.9-million contract after putting up dismal numbers with the Knicks last season. I mean, I loved Baker when he was demolishing opponents at Wichita State, but the guy is clearly not worth this salary. He put up 4.1 points per game in 13.5 minutes per game last season.
This signing just shows the ineptitude of the Knicks' front office. Bakers agents created a false sense that he was being pursued by other teams, and New York jumped the gun and gave him a deal. I highly doubt Baker will produce at all, and think the Knicks are in for a 76ers-esque rebuilding process over the next decade. Fans are hoping they can trust the process, but this move already looks terrible.
3 Trade: D'Angelo Russell To The Nets
The Nets will always be the Nets; extremely active in the trade market, and always blundering. But, in this case, Russell is an up and coming star who will contribute greatly to Brooklyn. What is terrible, is the Lakers side of the deal. They sent Russell (along with Mozgov) to Brooklyn for Brooke Lopez and the 27th overall pick.
Obviously, the new front office headed by Magic Johnson is all in on Lonzo Ball, but that doesn't mean you have to trade your best asset away. Even though Russell was the point guard in LA, he played shooting guard in high school and would have complemented Ball nicely. Maybe they are just making some cap room to bring in superstars in 2018, but right now, in my unprofessional opinion, trading away Russell already looks terrible.
2 Signing: Tim Hardaway Jr. To The Knicks
Really New York, Tim Hardaway Jr. is going to command your offense? At four-years/$71-million, this guard is way overpaid. Even Hardaway Jr. himself was surprised that the Knicks offered him that much money. Without 'Melo and Rose, the Knicks get younger, but are definitely a lottery pick for next year. The worst part about it, this move came after Phil Jackson was fired. I'm still scratching my head!
To explain how ridiculous this signing is, just take a look at what Dan Favale of Bleacher Report's statement.
"The Knicks are the only party worth crucifying here. Close to 17 percent of their cap is going to a player who didn't crack the top 75 in any kitchen-sink metrics last season and who has never been a plus defender... Hardaway was not worth $71 million in this summer's market."
1 Trade: Danilo Gallinari To The Clippers
Ok so this is more of a sign-and-trade, but what do you want, I'm only human! Speaking of flaws, remember when I said don't be surprised if the Clippers are decent? I think I spoke to soon. In the off-season, they picked up Gallinari, who is known for his beautiful jump shot, but can also finish around the rim. So why is this the trade that looks the most terrible already then? Because of injuries! The Clippers now have Gallinari (who has only played over 70 games once since 2009), Blake Griffin who has rented a condo on the injury report, and DeAndre Jordan who owns a time-share there!
The Clippers are older and slower now that Paul left, and the Gallinari addition was not the answer to their woes. So LA, that is why you are the first and last worst terrible move of the NBA offseason!