NBA Preview: Old Faces New Places
The NBA season is about to begin and there is a lot of changes. Superstars such as Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade make their introduction on new teams.
After seven all-star appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant—the former 2013-2014 MVP—makes his regular season debut for the Golden State Warriors this fall. After failing to beat the Warriors in the western conference finals last year, Durant adopted the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ mentality this summer and will hope the decision brings him a championship at the end of June.I disagree with Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State because it was the same team that eliminated him last season. The Thunder had a 3-1 lead in the playoffs and blew it so it wasn’t like Durant had no chance to win a championship with the Thunder.
The acquisition of Durant by the Warriors causes key players that were apart of the championship team in 2013 to depart because it’s extremely difficult to afford them.
Guard Leandro Barbosa, who was important piece off the bench for the Warriors, signed with the Phoenix Suns for a two-year, $8 million contract. Center Andrew Bogut was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a future draft pick to clear more salary cap space for the Durant acquisition. Marreese Speights signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Even though the Golden State Warriors lost key players mentioned that does not guarantee them a trip to the NBA finals with Kevin Durant on the team.
Kevin Durant moving to Golden State opened up Oklahoma City to acquire Victor Oladipo who looked like a promising guard on the Orlando Magic that finished with a record of 35 wins and 47 losses last season. It will be entertaining to see how Oladipo plays on a team with a big role and high expectations.
Dwyane Wade is always in conversation as one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history and for the first time in his career he will not be wearing a Miami Heat jersey.Wade has taken his talents to his hometown state Chicago along with veteran Rajon Rondo in hopes of being stiff competition in the eastern conference.
After years of disappointment, the New York Knicks have brought some excitement with their acquisitions of former MVP Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah. The acquisitions bring much needed help to All-Star Carmelo Anthony who is the focal point of the team and it will be interesting to see how they play together this season.
The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers did not make any major trades. Instead, they signed all the important pieces to make another run at the NBA Championship. Players with small roles pay off dividends towards the end of the season, look for guard Mike Dunleavy to make a strong contribution to the team towards the end of the season and playoffs. He’s a known three point shooter and another weapon Lebron James could use to stretch the floor.
With all these NBA All-Stars moving on new teams this year it will be very entertaining to watch, the chemistry between these new players with new homes will be the most challenging . Getting used to new teammates and new surrounding can take a little time for your favourite team to get into the win column.
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