The offseason is the time when teams across the league make moves to improve their rosters and attempt to gear up for a promising season. Teams fight for the best free agents on the market and try to negotiate the most advantageous trades.
Basketball, like most sports takes great teamwork. It’s impossible to tell how new players might mesh with more established ones. But that’s the exciting part of every new season. Every fan has high hopes for the new rookie or the star that was hard to negotiate for. And some teams fare better than others when it comes to personnel choices. Let’s take a look at some of the offseason trades and negotiations in 2018.
Which Team Made The Best Move?
This one comes as no surprise. LeBron James had enough of Cleveland after last season’s disappointing finals loss. For the fourth year in a row he’d faced off against Steph Curry and the Warriors. And for the third time he lost. That was just one too many for LeBron. It’s sad to see him leave his home state but it’s hard to argue that there was much of a future for James in Cleveland. With an aging roster their chances of rivaling Golden State or Houston in the future were dwindling.
So the L.A. Lakers are now going to boast the best player in basketball as part of their squad. The move to L.A. by LeBron has to be heralded as the best offseason move. He’s the most influential player in the league. After all, the team he’s played on has made it to the finals the last eight years in a row.
But it might be an overstatement to say that the Lakers made a good move here. LeBron could have gone to any team. He’s that good. With that much power, any team would gladly accept him in their lineup. But whether you credit the Lakers or LeBron himself with the move, it certainly will have the biggest impact of any offseason move this year. Now we will just have to wait and see how James fits in with Ball and the rest of the cast. Our guess? He fits in just fine. You better believe that Golden State and Houston have a new rival in the West.
Big Predictions For The 2018 Season
Golden State looked pretty last season. They handily dispatched LeBron and the Cavaliers to take home yet another title. But perhaps this year they meet their match. Things are being shaken up in the NBA. For the past few years we’ve seen whichever team has LeBron, be it the Heat or the Cavs, face off against Western powerhouses like the Warriors or the Spurs. But the dynamic will be different in 2018.
First of all, LeBron is now playing in the West. So say goodbye to James and Curry matchups. Second of all, the East has a few teams with a real shot to make things interesting. Look for Boston with their lineup of up-and-comers to make some noise. Not to mention the fact that they have returning to the floor, start Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Next, is Toronto. They put up a good fight against the Cavs in this past post season. With the addition of Kawhi Leonard to the team they could be a force to be reckoned with. In any case, the Eastern Conference will be steeped in competition, getting teams ready for a heated post season. Everyone is eager to put Curry and his Warriors in their place. This could be the year to do it.
27-year-old center Greg Monroe has yet to be signed by any team. While he’s no superstar, he consistently put up ten points a game last season as he bounced around from Milwaukee to Phoenix to Boston.
It’s been rumored that Toronto may be interested in acquiring Monroe to fill out their frontcourt. With Jonas Valanciunas and Pascal Siakam they are not in great need of a center but Monroe would be a solid man off the bench. Monroe could add even more depth to a team that is already very deep. A veteran like Monroe might be the oomph needed to surpass teams like Boston and Philadelphia.
Dwayne Wade is another player whose future is up in the air. At thirty-six he’s getting up there in years but still a solid contributor. He’s likely to stay in Miami for another season but interestingly enough, he has an offer to play next season in China. Amazingly, he’s being offered twenty-five million over three seasons to play for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.
As basketball leagues around the world are more and more able to pay players competitive salaries, it’s possible we may lose some of our stars to foreign play. China especially, is an up and coming league that is sure to see growth going forward.
It’s fun to speculate and make predictions about the up coming season. But it is still July. We have a ways to go before rosters are officially set in stone. One thing is for sure, 2018 is going to be one hell of a season.