It's July already? How? Time is obviously a social construct created by humans as a way to control the working man but damn does it fly by. It feels like classes just wrapped up in early May and here I am getting ready to move in a month. I guess when you're floating on a mids-made cloud everything either speeds up or slows down but still, wow. I'm going to be aimlessly wandering the halls of the retirement home my children are absolutely going to force me in the first chance they get in like two weeks.
This has already been the craziest free agency period ever
I didn't post the Minute yesterday because I had to drive back to Iowa City (more on that in a bit) so I didn't get a chance to discuss free agency. It officially opened up Sunday at 6PM but we knew about a lot of deals beforehand because, well, tampering is very much a thing. It was one of, if not the, craziest days in NBA history. The amount of movement, especially from stars, was almost unfathomable and it set up what should be an insane season. Matty Ice and I are going to be coming out with a longer-form free agency piece tomorrow so I'll just go over a few of the most notable moves over the last few days.
KD, Kyrie, and DeAndre Jordan head to Brooklyn
I prophesied this in February (sans the Jordan addition) and I honestly think it might be my only correct prediction since I started doing basketball stuff for Burbs. There was so much talk about these two going to the Knicks and it never made sense to me. The Knicks are a horribly run organization with an even worse owner and the media scrutiny is at an all-time high around MSG. Brooklyn was a team on the rise with a dynamic front office in an emerging market and a ton of cap space and solid young pieces. If KD and Kyrie were heading to New York, why not Brooklyn? I can't believe it actually happened and even though KD is taking a $40 million redshirt year, Brooklyn is an instant contender. It'll be interesting to see how Kyrie does on his own in Year 1 considering the rollercoaster two years in Boston but he didn't have as much control as he was traded to the Celtics; he chose the Nets. Brooklyn is adding two of the craftiest, most elite players in the league to a team that also features DeAndre Jordan (elite rebounder and efficient paint scorer), Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris. Maybe they won't be in the running for a championship this season without KD but they'll definitely make a playoff appearance with the potential to make some noise. Brooklyn is going to be one of the most fascinating teams in the league, who knows, maybe Kyrie can emerge as an MVP candidate.
D'Angelo Russell is acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade
I didn't see this coming. Ralph and I cover this in the pod I'm going to upload right after this, but I don't like the fit. I get that the Warriors didn't want to let KD walk for nothing and acquired a 23-year-old All-Star in Russell, but are him and Steph really the backcourt of the future? I think DLo is a much better fit for Minnesota and unless they can hop in and make it a three-team deal (Wiggins to GS is intriguing to me), Russell can't be moved until December. There have been multiple reports that Golden State intends to deal Russell so keep an eye on this situation.
Kemba Walker to Boston
I covered this in a Minute last week so this is going to be super brief. I feel like Boston is headed to a similar situation as last year because their "stars" all still need the ball in their hands to really thrive, but Kemba seems like he's the kind of guy that's willing to let his PPG drop and become more of a facilitator. Boston is still definitely a contender in the East and who knows, maybe they'll improve a lot without Kyrie. Good on them for replacing one All-Star guard with another.
Philly loses Jimmy Butler but adds Josh Richardson and Al Horford; favorites in the East?
I'm still kind of confused as to why Jimmy G. Buckets left a definite contender for a team that might not even be in the playoffs but that's his choice to make. It had to be a sign-and-trade due to all the money involved, and it was a super confusing saga that you can look up, but the most important pieces moved were Jimmy to Miami and Josh Richardson to Philly. Richardson is a really solid player (16.6-3.6-4.1, 41.2/35.7/86.1) and should slot into Philly's lineup nicely. He's not as efficient as Jimmy on either end of the floor but with the return of Tobias