With less than a month before the 2019-20 NBA season begins, it’s time for a quick refresher of what happened during this insane offseason.
Jerami Grant to the Nuggets
While Oklahoma City got stripped down for parts like an old Chevy in a bad part of town, it may have been easy to miss Jerami Grant going to the Nuggets while Russell Westbrook was returning to his friend James Harden in Houston. At a bargain deal of just under $10 million per year, Grant adds length and the ability to stretch the court for an already dominating post team in the Nuggets. Grant shot a personal best 39% from beyond the arc on 3.7 attempts per game last season and, paired with the rim protection he provides at the other end, Denver seems eager to prove their position as the best in the west was not a fluke.
Al Horford to the Sixers
The Sixers had little flexibility after resigning Tobias Harris and extending Ben Simmons this summer, but they still managed to steal one of the most important playoff players from their biggest rival. Al Horford was shown to be the glue of a crumbling Celtics team last year, but even his leadership wasn’t enough to hold together what we envisioned the Boston team to be when they first assembled. But Philly has needed the veteran leadership that someone like Big Al can provide to push them to the next tier, as proven by Joel Embiid’s tears on national television last Spring. Despite only a few moves available, the Sixers appear to have faith in a team built on Embiid and Simmons and made a low-key power move in acquiring Horford.
Pau Gasol/Kent Bazemore/Hassan Whiteside/Mario Hezonja to the Blazers
One of these moves by itself isn’t quite interesting enough to make many people blink, but in a very ‘out with the old and in with the new’ fashion, the Blazers have seemingly transformed overnight into a completely different team. Dealing Evan Turner for Kent Bazemore and acquiring Hassan Whiteside in the Jimmy Butler trade gave Portland two new cards in a five-card draw. In spite of Whiteside’s flair for the dramatics in Miami, both he and Bazemore are in the final year of their contracts and should be ready to play like it. The signing of Pau Gasol and Mario Hezonja are small but indicate the culture Jodi Allen and the team want to perpetuate. Hezonja has tweeted numerous times already complimenting the city, and Pau Gasol’s mere presence is enough to set a tone on the court and in the locker room–we’re here to win a championship.
Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers
The Bucks did little to alter their core this summer to appease their Greek superstar–choosing the option of running it back, as they say. But their loss of former Rookie of Year, Malcolm Brogdon, should still be mentioned. Last year when Eric Bledsoe made viewers question if he was worth his $70 million extension, Brogdon was there to clock in for important minutes of the playoffs.
Mike Conley to the Jazz
As soon as Mike Conley left Memphis, he flew straight to a Tibetan mountain where he has been crafting his way into the best mentor he can be to a young Dwyane Wade in Donovan Mitchell. Or at least that’s what the media would have you believe with the hype already surrounding this Jazz team. Coming with Bogan Boganavic (the Indiana one), Conley adds a capable ball-handling point guard, something Ricky Rubio wasn’t always able to provide last season. With harmonious stories about Mitchell working under Greg Popovich at the FIBA World Cup and romantic tales of Conley at least getting the chance to compete for a title before he needs a walker to get on the court, the Jazz have already given themselves expectations to live up to a month before the season begins.