The NBA has taken over the summer, garnering attention for free agency, block buster trades, and the draft during its offseason. The overall landscape has changed drastically this summer. The league has created a unique power and value for people to follow the offseason.
The drama in Cleveland has created discussion about the franchise, LeBron James and what he will do after this season as his contract expires.
Paul George and his abrupt departure from the Indiana Pacers was entertaining as he reportedly told the Pacers management he wanted out. Carmelo Anthony trade rumors have run rampant. Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets. Gordon Hayward moves east, going to the Boston Celtics. You get the picture.
The NBA has overtaken the NFL offseason in regards to coverage, interest and storylines.
Up until the point when Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics this week for Isaiah Thomas and a package of others, everyone was waiting to see what happened. How would that affect James and his looming free agency?
It also drew questions about James and why Irving no longer wanted to play with him. The coverage and discussion has been all over the national sports media scene. James hasn’t spoken about his future with Cleveland after this season and it’s led to speculation about him leaving for the Lakers.
Two big time stars from the eastern conference were traded to teams in the west. Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves from Chicago and George was traded from Indiana to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
George a Los Angeles native, has been linked to the L.A. Lakers and that he may return to the Lakers after this upcoming season is up as he will be an unrestricted free agent. That whole unknown with George made it difficult for teams to give up a lot just to ‘rent’ him for a season. Will see how that plays out in OKC.
Lonzo Ball was selected by the Lakers with the second pick in the NBA draft and has garnered a lot of coverage in regards to his potential and the possibility of James joining him next season.
The recent schedule release had drawn attention from fans, media and players alike as big time matchups receive hype. The return of players to their former teams is always highlighted for particular cities around the league. On opening night of the season, the Celtics visit the Cavaliers as Irving returns to his old team for the first time on October 17. Will the fans welcome him back and show appreciation for his what he did there (NBA title) or will they shun him for wanting to leave the team? The schedule came out before the trade was made but that couldn’t have added any more drama to opening night.
The NBA has new Nike jerseys unveiled recently creating more buzz arounds the team’s new threads. Nike is now the new sponsor of the league and the new spin on team jerseys is another marketing tool to create more buzz and attention around the league. The Trail Blazers have introduced a new design.
The New York Knicks saga with Anthony is full of drama as that franchise has struggled for a long time but it seems like both sides need a fresh start.
We all still sit and wait to see as this trade possibility is the last big piece that could change teams this summer. Depending on the team he goes to, he could push that team over the top to contend for a title.
One thing remains, the NBA continues to grow its brand and reach especially during the offseason as it’s become extremely to follow during the summer. Part of that could be attributed to the size of teams and league as a whole. There are less players than other major sports and thus less stars who make a big impact in the league. So when big time players do move, it shakes up the league. The NBA has grown in popularity in recent years and basketball revenue is up with new TV and marketing deals. It continues to draw us in with its twists and turns as you never know what will happen next.
Will just have to wait and see what’s in store as training camps open up in a little over a month from now around the league.