The NBA season goes by fast. Sometimes too fast. It also coincides with the summer months when many families take advantage of their well-earned vacation time and travel to exotic destinations like Tuscany, Bali, or Branson, Missouri. Spending all those hours in transition without access to proper WiFi or 5G can lead to a lack of NBA buzz (which science has proven will make you an absolute nightmare to deal with).
Fortunately, we here at CBS Sports have the cure. Here’s the ICYMI version of the highlights of the NBA offseason *fingers crossed* assuming the biggest move is finally done.
With the start of 2022-23 training camps just weeks away, take in all the careers, signings, trash talk and Instagram thirst traps from the ever-eventful NBA season. At least now you can waste your entire vacation time at work instead of refreshing your Twitter feed…
KD’s best pump-fake ever
The biggest news of the summer was that Brooklyn Nets superstar and prolific tweeter Kevin Durant had made a trade request and the arms race was on to see which team would make the best offer. Franchises refused to match the Nets’ exorbitant offer of 10 stars, 43 unexpected first-round picks, 22 trade picks and a lifetime supply of Buffalo’s Wild Wings.
Unable to find a deal they were happy with, the Nets met with KD again and both sides decided that all this trade talk wasn’t just wishful thinking — BOOM,.
Another example of how a wonderful middle-aged young mind imagines: expectationsIn the NBA.
Of course, that means all Kyrie Irving trade talk is also dead and everything looks hunky-dory in Brooklyn for now. We still don’t know if Ben Simmons can play basketball, but hey, one hurdle at a time.
The Cavs acquired Mitchell from the Knicks.
In a summer filled with speculation and moving parts, there was one virtual certainty: The New York Knicks were going to be done with Donovan Mitchell. After trading Rudy Gobert, the secret was out that the Utah Jazz were ready to rebuild, and the Knicks had all the necessary assets (young players and fun draft picks) to acquire the three-time All-Star guard — not to mention Mitchell’s ties to the tri-state area and the Knicks’ relationship with the CAA. It is an agency where President Leon Rose has worked for many years.
After months of negotiations, Utah and New York finally reached an agreement (*cough* Quentin Grimes *cough*) That led to the Knicks signing RJ Barrett to an extension, complicating any deal.
“Yo jazz, u up?” Enter the so-called Cleveland Cavaliers.
In a matter of days, Mitchell was headed to Cleveland to trade Colin Sexton, Lauri Markkan, rookie Ochai Agbaji, three unexpected first-round picks and two trades. The Knicks were reportedly not even given a chance to match the deal, which should come as a shock after being considered the club’s leader all season.
With a young core of Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, the Cavs look like a team to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference for the next decade. Meanwhile, the Knicks have a nice consolation prize in Jalen Brunson, who was signed early in the offseason to help bridge the gap until the next breakout superstar is found — the Knicks likely won’t get either.
Gobert or go home
Speaking of shocks, the Minnesota Timberwolves (who have All-NBA center Karl-Anthony Towns) gave up a ton of players and four impressive picks to acquire future three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The first big step is “everything must go!” Jazz Fire Sale. It seems odd to have two seven-footers in an NBA landscape where 6-foot-6 men play center, but Gobert’s defense combined with Katie’s offense should bring some positive results for a team that entered the postseason scene last spring.
For Minnesota, it seems, big is the new small.
Is 30-year-old Gobert the Wolverines’ big move finally paying off? Maybe. But the addition will certainly make Minnesota better in the short term, and they’ll be an interesting science experiment to watch this season.
LeBron wants his family to buy NBA
Everyone knows that LeBron James wants to play with his son Brony at some point (he’s said it about a billion times), but the James clan doesn’t stop at the big boy. LeBron has also hinted at his desire to play in the NBA with his youngest son, Bryce, who is a sophomore in high school.
Yes, it’s official. LeBron wants the NBA to be entirely Jameses.
Barring a change to the “one and done” rule, Bryce will be eligible for the NBA draft in 2026, meaning LeBron will be 43 years old in his rookie season. Who’s ready to see old LeBron in shorts and glasses getting out of the post and the kids slicing up the basket? yes please.
The craziest thing is that it doesn’t make LeBron the greatest player in NBA history. Want to know who it is? The answer is in the story (and you thought clickbait was a thing of the past…)
Yes, Russ is still a Laker
In the hearts and minds of Lakers fans around the world, Russell Westbrook has been traded to every team in the NBA. In fact, he’s still in Los Angeles, and it looks increasingly likely he’ll stay there for the start of the season. Westbrook endured a torrid first campaign with LeBron James and the Lakers, and the writing appeared to be on the wall when Los Angeles traded him for Patrick Beverley — Westbrook’s sworn enemy for years (not really, though).).
Not something you do on a star player if you plan on keeping them around.
Some make sense (Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield or Utah for some combination of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson), but they certainly require the shippers to at least give up. One of their coveted future draft picks.
So far, the Lakers and new head coach Darwin Hamm appear to be holding onto their assets and trying to work with Russ, but it’s hard to imagine Westbrook being wanted in his hometown of LA right now.
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Are hawks flying under the radar?
Is it just me or is anyone talking about the Falcons picking up Dejonte Murray? It’s early in the season, I know, but this move could have huge ripple effects in the NBA. On paper, Murray is exactly what Atlanta needs: an elite perimeter defender who can also facilitate the offense during historically dry stretches off the bench for Trae Young.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s not forget that we’re judges, the Hawks are a little more than a year away from making an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Sure, the conference is topped by the likes of the Celtics, Bucks, Heat, 76ers and (maybe?) Nets, but it would be a mistake to count out the Hawks, who seem to have brainwashed their two biggest holes. All star talent this summer.
Summer is Drew League’s time to shine, but they’re not the only pro-am game in town. Semi-competitive action can be seen all over the country, allowing NBA players to show off their skills and have a little fun in the process. But with the aforementioned Dejounte Murray going with the No. 1 overall pick for unclear reasons and Seattle native Paolo Banchero going in, things seem a little more complicated.
Murray did an And-1 muse tape-type move on Banchero, faked out and tossed the glass to himself for a dunk. Applause, oohs and aahs, etc… But then Murray looked down at Banchero, gave him a “too little” taunt, then went unexpectedly aggro by firing the ball at the chick.
All this was very strange and of course like every real fight, eclipse— At that point, I, like many, completely lost interest.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all fun and games and productive beef on the Pro-Am circuit. laterDuring the summer league, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Chet Homgren No. 2 overall Waiting for LeBron James at Jamal Crawford’s “The Crawsover” in Seattle (What’s Up With Seattle This Summer?)
Adding to the drama was the fact that the game was stopped due to a health scare on the court after the injury. Holmgren’s injury doesn’t seem to be due to the circumstances, but it’s still not a good look.
The Pro-Ams are part of every NBA offseason and the stars never stop participating, but it’s tough when a prospect’s career is delayed because of something that happened in an exhibition game.
Superstars have super-sized bank accounts
More than any other sport, being a superstar in the NBA comes at a price. Within hours of the official start of 2022 free agency, NBA teams have committed a total of more than $1 billion to five players. Yes, five players:
Not long ago, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson agreed to a five-year extension worth $231 million in incentives. Reminder: Played 85 games in three seasons (not including any playoff appearances). Star guard Darius Garland, who has yet to hit the 70-game milestone in a season, agreed to a similar deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And to think, those salaries could be even higher in a few years as the NBA negotiates a new deal for TV and streaming rights.
Summer Fitness Fashion Show!
Any NBA winter activities wouldn’t be complete without a roll call of Instagram and Twitter’s sports heroes. We’re almost at the start of training camps as teams and “anonymous sources” talk about how to put on 15 pounds of lean muscle or how to get his face in the best shape of his life. Here are some quick samples of some players who aren’t afraid to show off their core gains, but it doesn’t take much research to find more exposed pecs and bulging biceps on the gram.
Meanwhile, here’s how the two-time reigning MVP spent his time off…
The regular season really can’t start soon enough.