Is the new diverse NBA a blast from the past? Are we looking at the most wide-open season in years? After years of the Warriors dominating the NBA, some cracks are forming in the foundation. Kevin Durant is now in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson is likely out for the year. The addition of D’Angelo Russell helps, but doesn’t come close to offsetting those losses. That is just the tip of the iceberg in an NBA offseason full of change. Is this the future of the NBA or just a temporary glitch in the matrix?
Stars on the move
By trade or free agency, things got interesting over the summer as plenty of superstars don new threads in 2019-2020. Anthony Davis moved to the Lakers for a king’s ransom via a trade with the Pelicans. The Thunder traded Paul George to the Clippers after Kawhi Leonard asked to play with him in LA. After losing George to the Clippers, the Thunder went full rebuild and moved Russell Westbrook to the Rockets. Mike Conley went to the Jazz as part of rebuilding the Grizzlies. In the east, the Heat grabbed Jimmy Butler from the young Sixers. Kemba Walker chose to become the Celtics point guard after Kyrie backed out to join KD in Brooklyn. If this wasn’t enough for NBA fans everywhere, then I don’t know what is because wow what an offseason.
Big 3 Obsolete?
The Celtics brought Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen together with Paul Pierce. Thusly, creating the first big three in the NBA. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh made it bigger than life. Then LeBron went home to Cleveland joining Kyrie and Kevin Love in four Finals. The Warriors countered with Kevin Durant joining Steph Curry, Klay, and Draymond Green. This gave them the most talent in the NBA. The model started back in 2007 was the roadmap to get championship rings for 11 years. Then something crazy happened this offseason.
The stars went back to the Michael Jordan as Batman and Scottie Pippen as Robin model. Looking around the league, the closest big three is Klay, Steph, and Draymond. Klay’s injury puts it back at to two. Are we past the big three era? Is the old the new norm? Are stars no longer sacrificing numbers for rings? Or are GMs just waiting to grab the next disgruntled superstar to create the newest big three?
No Longer Top Heavy
During eight of the last nine seasons, the NBA starred the Warriors and LeBron in the NBA Finals. LeBron’s run ended in the previous year, subsequently, are the Warriors next to fall? With the Warriors getting weaker and more teams out West stronger it will be a tough road in 2019-2020. Contenders to their title run reside in Houston, two in Los Angeles, Utah, Portland, Denver, and the Spurs. When you have Popovich as a coach, you have a chance. All those teams and we haven’t even got to the East yet.
On that note, we have talent that headed out east creating potential contenders in Brooklyn and then all the guys from last year. That list includes the Bucks, Sixers, Celtics, and finally Toronto, Even losing Kawhi the Raptors are still the defending champs and a good ballclub. After years of two to four teams having a shot, it sure feels more wide open than ever with eight to ten teams with a good to excellent shot at the Larry O’Brien trophy in the upcoming season.
New NBA or Old Hat
So after all the change in the offseason and no team that would qualify as THE team to beat, it is a new/old era of basketball? Or just a hiccup in the NBA’s big three mentalities? If you like the most competitive field you can get this is your year in the NBA. So, in the end, you tell me is this new diverse NBA a blast from the past or should we expect the big three to be back in the near future?