NBA Offseason Brings Surprises, Excitement


Photo courtesy of wikimedia

Raptors forward Scottie Barnes was named Best Palm Beach County Play- er, as he attended Cardinal Newman for part of his high school career. He was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

This offseason described in one word- Crazy. First, starting off with superstar Kevin Durant requesting a trade to the many top-tier players getting big pay days. The many moves that occurred during this offseason made it crazy. 


Right as free agency started, former Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson going to the New York Knicks on a four-year $104 million deal. Many people may think of this as a risk. With Brunson coming in, he would fill in at the point guard position and take a lead role. The reason why this is a risk is he has played alongside guard Luka Doncic most of his career and has always been the second option. With Brunson having a lead role in the playoffs when Doncic was hurt in playoffs for the first three games (calf), he put up 24, 41, and 31-point games. Even though Brunson has not had that much experience with a lead role, he is a young player that is ready to get to work. The Knicks found themselves a gem.


The biggest shock of the offseason came when free agency did not start yet. Two time NBA Champion forward Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Although no trade has happened, he looks to stay in Brooklyn to start the season.  “Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there’s no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant.,” says Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA insider from Twitter. 


Freshman Reece Hoben thinks that Durant will end up on the Suns by giving up many first-round picks. 


“I think that Kevin Durant will go to the Suns in exchange for many picks along with a star player,” said Hoben.


One of the many trades of this offseason was three-time DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) Rudy Gobert traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027, a swap in 2026 and a top-five protected pick in 2029. This trade makes Gobert center Karl-Anthony Towns teammates alongside former number one overall pick Anthony Edwards. Analyzing this lineup, the front court would be very slow with those two big men. Positively though, they could be named the “Twin Towers” because Gobert is 7’1 and Towns at 6’11. It could be hard to pass them down low, but Gobert would make a huge defensive change to this Wolves team. 


The Atlanta Hawks acquired a defensive monster Dejounte Murray in a trade from the San Antonio Spurs. They acquired Danillo Gallinari, three first-round picks, and a swap. This trade helps out the backcourt of the Hawks defensively because star guard Trae Young has no defensive ability whatsoever. On the other hand, Murray is one of the best defenders in the league. The Atlanta Hawks backcourt could look scary next year, alongside sixteenth overall pick forward A.J Griffin, forward John Collins, and center Clint Capella. Do not be surprised when your favorite team goes up against this new Hawks team, since adding Murray could make them even more unstoppable. 


Lastly, let’s move on to the highlights of this offseason, the re-signings. First starting off no one other than the Joker, Nikola Jokic, signed the biggest contract in NBA history. The contract is a  five-year $254 million dollar extension. This is a no-brainer bringing back the back-to-back MVP seasons, for five more years. The Joker is here to stay in Denver for many more years. Many more accolades are to come. 


Former number one overall pick Zion Williamson signed a five-year $193 million dollar contract to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans after next season. This contract could end up being $231 million dollars if he makes an All-NBA team next year. The offensive phenom looks to make more impact this upcoming season after missing an entire season due to a foot injury. Williamson looks to dominate for the next five years in New Orleans. 


The former number two overall pick, in the same class as Williamson, Ja Morant signs a five-year $193 dollar contract. Same as Williamson, this contract could worth up to two hundred and thirty-one million dollars. Although Morant was overshadowed by Williamson’s performance at Duke University the season before he was drafted, Morant was a stud. Right now, he is one of the most explosive players in the league, if not the most. Morant is only on his way up and signing this five-year contract could solidify him as a top player in the league without a doubt.


Going on to the Timberwolves again, Towns signed a four-year $224 million dollar contract.  This contract could be worth up to six years $295 million dollars. Towns is a young player that has not stopped developing. After winning the ROTY (Rookie of the Year) in 2016, people started to see bright towards Towns. When being 26 and signing this contract, there is no doubt he is going to be at the top of the league in a few years. 


Another young player that got a huge contract was Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Darius Garland on a five-year $193 million dollars. Garland has shown he could be the superstar of a team at a very young age. With putting up decent averages in his three years in the league, there is no doubt he will be at the top of the league in no time. Garland and the Cavaliers have a bright future ahead of them. 


Although there have been some rumors about Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal leaving Washington, he shuts down those rumors. Beal signs a contract of five years $251 million dollars to stay in Washington. Beal is a young guard who has the ability to get to the basket easily. He showed that by coming up in a close battle for leading the league in scoring in 2019. Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 32 PPG (Points Per Game), while Beal scored 31.3 PPG. The Wizards knew that this player was something special. Even though Beal had a tough time beating Joel Embiid and the 76ers last year, he showed that he could lead this team to the playoffs by being the lead player. 


A signing this offseason was different than most known offers. The Pheonix Suns stole center Deandre Ayton from the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers originally offered Ayton a four-year $133 million dollar contract. Since Ayton was a restricted free agent, the Suns matched the Pacers’ deal for him. From being the first overall pick, he put up very solid numbers. Playing alongside Booker his entire career, he turned into a star quickly. Throughout his career with the Suns, he put up 16.3 points as well with 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. The Pacers’ missed out on Ayton big time. His ability to score around the paint is one of the best in the league. With former Pacers forward and now Sacramento Kings forward Domantis Sabonis leaving, Ayton would have filled that lead role in a great way. Ayton is here to stay in Pheonix. 


Although already talked about Deandre Ayton staying with the Suns, they also made a huge splash during this free agency. Suns star Devin Booker signs a four-year $224 million-dollar contract. Same as Towns, this contract could be worth up to six years $295 million dollars. Booker has always put up consistent numbers to be the number one option on the team no matter what. Since his sophomore season, he has not averaged under 25 points. 


This offseason is one to remember. Many stars come back to their teams for years to come, new faces on new teams, and one of the biggest stars in the league scares the league about a trade.