5 Exciting Moments From The NBA Offseason
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5 Offseason Moments That Got Me Excited For The NBA To Return

The NBA season is gearing up and as usual, the offseason has been anything but calm.

5 Offseason Moments That Got Me Excited For The NBA To Return

My love for the NBA came out of seemingly nowhere. I ignored the league for so many years and I missed the rise of so many players that have grown to play such influential roles within the NBA. But I come from St. Louis, first and foremost a baseball town with some hockey thrown in there and football once upon a time. But my lack of connection to the NBA is almost what drew me in in the first place.

I have no favorite team, no hometown heroes and none of the headaches that comes with the ebbs and flows of franchise success. I've learned to love the NBA from afar and in the handful of years I've followed closely I've seen some ridiculous storylines play out. Last offseason was one for the books as teams made serious efforts to contend with the Warriors in the West and LeBron's Cavs in the East. This offseason, while considerably less dramatic, certainly had no shortage of signings, trade talks and rumors to go around. Here are the five moments this offseason that made me excited for this upcoming season.

1. LeBron James signs with the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was no surprise to anyone, except extremely naive Cavaliers fans, that LeBron would take his talents to another team. In all honesty, there was no reason for him to stay. He did what he promised he would do and bring a championship back to Cleveland and once again brought that team to relevancy almost single-handedly.

In all honesty, there is realistically no way LeBron should be able to continue to play at the level that he has, and continually improved at that. His year 15 highlight mixtape speaks for its self. At this point in his career, he really has nothing left to prove. I don't think anyone expects this Lakers team to contend for a title this year and the team its self is nothing pretty to look at. Luke Walton, Magic Johnson and LeBron himself, however, say that they're planning for the long term which has left me waiting and wondering what will come of this team.

2. Kyrie Irving Announces Intentions To Re-Sign With Boston.

I don't understand Kyrie sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about him calling Dan Gilbert for a trade from the Cavaliers only a year after winning one the greatest comeback championships in the history of the NBA. I've seen lots of conflicting reports about why Kyrie wanted to leave in the first place, especially with two years remaining on his contract at the time.

From what I could gather, Kyrie was really uncomfortable not being the face of the franchise as he was drafted first overall by the Cavaliers in 2011. The prevailing theory has been for a long time that Kyrie and LeBron's deteriorating relationship was the main reason for Kyrie leaving but apparently Kyrie never wanted LeBron to return in the first place.

Then, as he's in Boston, more rumors start to rise up that Kyrie's been talking among his camp about signing with New York following his free agency after this season. Even more surprising was that he was reportedly talking to Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis. But he put all those rumors to rest and has forced Boston to make some decisions about their salary cap space for next year.

3. Carmelo Anthony Finesses The OKC Thunder.

I don't think Melo is to blame for this particular fiasco with the OKC Thunder and their salary cap issues heading into the offseason. The Thunder picked up Paul George on the last year of his contract under the assumption that he would then leave for the Lakers. It's what he had talked about doing for at least two years and prompted the Pacers to try and move him to another team for some long-term assets. However, Paul George decides to re-sign with the Thunderafter Melo uses his player option for a contract extension. Now the Thunder are over their salary cap and have to pay a massive luxury tax. However, being the finesse god that he is, Melo works out a trade to the Atlanta Hawks that leads into a $27.9 million buyout and he can then choose to sign with whatever team he chooses. He ultimately signs with the Houston Rockets for a $2.4 million veteran's minimum contract.

Carmelo Anthony, 1st ballot Finesse Hall of Fame.

4. Jimmy Butler Sets The Timberwolves On Fire.

Jimmy Butler was supposed to be the missing piece in this offense. At the end of the 2016-2017 season, the Bulls traded away Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick for Zach LaVine, Kriss Dunn and the 7th overall pick which eventually became Lauri Markkanen.

However, rumors eventually came out at the end o this most recent season that Butler was feeling discontent with the Timberwolves, so much so that he requested a trade from the organization. Reportedly, the Timberwolves were in talks with the Miami Heat for a trade but head coach Tom Thibodeau was doing everything in his power to disrupt them. A few days later, Butler has an explosive team scrimmage where he demolishes the Wolves' starters with only the bench players and tells GM Scott Layden "You f---ing need me, Scott. You can't win without me."

Butler has expressed that he won't sit out the season as he wants to keep his value high before free agency and he frankly loves playing the game too much, but it will be interesting to see if the Timberwolves will be able to use this frustration as fuel or if it will eventually break their team apart.

5. Kawhi Leonard Is Traded To The Toronto Raptors.

Last season was difficult for the Spurs to say the least. Following a devastating quad injury in the 2016-2017 playoffs. His timetable for return continually shifted and left the Spurs pretty much in a constant limbo. Everything seemed to go well this previous December with Kawhi alternating between playing in a minutes restriction and resting.

In January, however, the Spurs announced Kawhi would return to rehab which reportedly created a rift between himself and the organization. Technically, Kawhi had been cleared by the Spurs' medical staff but he spent some extra time in New York to get a second opinion on his progress.

This cycle continued throughout the entirety of the season. The Spurs would announce or rumor a return date only to have that date pushed back again. In addition, there was a ridiculous amount of information getting leaked from the organization, some of it proven false.

There was also this idea floating around that Kawhi's camp was making some of his decisions and influencing whether or not he returned to play. In April, head coach Greg Popovich said that Kawhi's return would be left up to him and "his group" indicating that Kawhi had been physically able to return for a while.

In essence, the Spurs were attempting to mend their relationship with Kawhi while he had reportedly been interested in moving to a larger market, preferably Los Angeles. Eventually, the Spurs reach an agreement with the Toronto Raptors to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green for DeMar Derozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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