If you’re a fan of the NBA offseason—or you just aren’t a fan of the Golden State Warriors—then the past couple of weeks have probably been a treat. We’ve had the 2017 draft, a couple of notable trades and the end-of-year NBA awards.
All of this has been little more than an appetizer for what’s to come, though. Free agency is set to officially kick off on July 6, though teams can begin reaching verbal deals with players on July 1. In addition to the pending free-agency frenzy, we also have quite a load of trade chatter.
What kind of player movement will we see over the next couple weeks? Will another “super team” be formed this offseason? We don’t have answers yet, but we do know that the coming days will be full of excitement.
With the NBA offseason finally getting into full swing, now is a great time to check out the latest offseason storylines and rumors—which is exactly what we’re here to do.
Celtics Eying Both George and Hayward
The Boston Celtics are in a pretty enviable position this offseason. They’re coming off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, they just picked third in the NBA draft and they appear to be on the verge of building the latest NBA super team.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Celtics are serious about acquiring both Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward and Indiana Pacers forward Paul George. Hayward would come in free agency, while George would have to come via trade.
According to Wojnarowski, though, Boston may not trade for George if the team cannot first secure Hayward—and this could create problems.
Here’s some of what Wojnarowski wrote:
“For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.
“For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical.”
It would behoove the Celtics to get a deal for George done now if that’s what the team is really wanting to do. The entire point of putting this potential super team together would be to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference and to eventually challenge the Golden State Warriors for an NBA title—otherwise, what’s the point?
This would be a super team, too. George and Hayward would join a strong core that includes guys like Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and third overall pick Jayson Tatum. In addition, adding George would prevent him from going to Cleveland—something the Cavaliers have looked into.
If the Celtics don’t move quickly here, they may miss out on George. If the Cavs end up with him, it may be a year or two before Boston is realistically ready to contend in the East.
Carmelo Looking for a Buyout?
As the team looks to chase the Warriors, the Cavaliers are interested in acquiring George. They might also be interested in adding Carmelo Anthony, should he find his way to the free-agent market.
The New York Knicks cannot trade Anthony unless he signs off on a deal because Anthony has a no-trade clause. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Anthony isn’t interested in agreeing to a trade deal.
Knicks president Phil Jackson clearly doesn’t want Anthony and his hefty salary around.
“We’ve not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time,” Jackson said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”
Unfortunately for Jackson and the Knicks, it appears the only way to dump Anthony will be to buy out his contract and allow him to hit the free-agent market.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com has reported that this is an option Anthony is open to:
If the Knicks to buy out Anthony’s contract, he’ll be free to sign with any team he wants, and that could include the Cavaliers.
Of course, the Cavaliers would then have to find a role for Anthony that would work for both him and for the team. Realistically, he might have the most value coming off the bench and providing some scoring when LeBron James and Co. are off the court.
Poor bench play was perhaps the biggest reason the Cavs couldn’t compete with Golden State in the 2017 finals. As Chuck Modiano of the New York Daily News pointed out, the Cavaliers bench was outscored by the Warriors bench 35-7 in Game 5.
“That score is the bench scoring disparity between the Warriors and Cavaliers,” Modiano wrote. “This would mark the 15th straight NBA Finals game the Warriors’ bench would outscore the Cavs’ (excluding one tie). Are we supposed to ignore this stat?”
With Anthony coming off the bench, the disparity might not be so big the next time the Cavs and Warriors do battle. This doesn’t necessarily sound like a role Anthony would be willing to accept, but it may represent his best chance to win a title.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com