Geyer: The best and worst moves of the NBA offseason
Ellen Geyer | Monday, September 23, 2019
It’s been 82 days since my last Sports Authority about the NBA. Accordingly, I will devote the remaining 482 words of this article to THE best professional sports league in the United States. Author’s note: this piece is best read while listening to the song “Basketball’ by Kurtis Blow. Note on author’s note: Basketball IS, in fact, my favorite sport.
This summer’s free agency was one of the most absurd debacles I’ve ever witnessed. We knew it was going to be a big offseason, but we didn’t know it was going to be THAT big of an offseason. The entire playoff landscape has been reshaped by a slew of blockbuster deals, all of which demonstrate the league’s move away from a Big Three towards a Big Two. Without further ado, the biggest winners and losers of the 2019 NBA free agency.
Biggest winner: Milwaukee Bucks
It’s no secret that the Bucks’ biggest competition in the East was the Raptors, and I assume Milwaukee will be sending a thank you note to Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles for clearing the way to an Eastern Conference title. Milwaukee kept roughly the same core and will continue to build on their momentum from last season. The 76ers might give them a slight run for their money, but without J.J. Redick, I don’t know how likely that really is.
Biggest loser: Cleveland Cavaliers
The summer the Cavs had in 2019 was almost as depressing as the winter the Cavs had through 2018-2019. Absolutely devastated with the loss of LeBron, it seems like Cleveland is sticking with the strategy of moping around aimlessly with no real leadership and frankly no semblance of a desire to win. Who’s going to be the face of their franchise? Kevin Love? No offense, Kev, but we all know you’d rather jet around Europe then hit the gym with your guys in Northeast Ohio. The league didn’t even throw the Cavs a bone in the draft. It’s going to be another long year at the very bottom of the league.
Biggest Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
With one of the best plays of the offseason, the Clippers stole Kawhi Leonard right out from under LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers were good before they had Kawhi — now they’re just scary. The board man gets paid, and this year, I anticipate his salary will come in the form of back-to-back NBA titles. Sorry Warriors, you can kiss your five-year Finals appearance streak goodbye (There IS a God).
Biggest Loser: Oklahoma City Thunder
Where to begin with the poor Thunder (apologies to my colleague Charlotte, who is experiencing almost as many misfortunes as a Thunder fan as I am as a Cavs fan). Losing Russell Westbrook and Paul George at the same time is quite unfortunate, and it looks like they’ll be having a building year in what’s looking to be a particularly brutal Western conference.
Western Conference Champ: Clippers
Eastern Conference: Bucks
NBA Champ: Clippers
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.