Old Faces in New Places : NBA Edition

The NBA season is coming upon us, and we see old faces in new places as we take a look back at the off-season that saw big names switch cities and made people upset. But first, let’s all remember why players switch — to chase a ring and, in some cases, bigger contracts.

The first big name that people are still talking about is Kyrie Irving.

Irving was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 pick.

This was a good move for both teams, but especially for Boston after the Avery Bradley trade. Bradley was traded to Detroit for Marcus Morris, who gives Celtics’ big man Al Horford some help. While Bradley excelled on defense, Thomas struggled mightily, so the trade for Irving, a far better overall player than Thomas, helps Boston on all spots of the ball.

This Celtics team looks like the real deal with the addition of Gordon Hayward, who came over this off-season after playing seven years in Utah.

For Cleveland, they get young talent plus a first-round pick in the potentially loaded 2018 draft. However, Thomas will be a downgrade as he can’t defend like Irving can. Remember what Irving did to Steph Curry in the 2016 NBA Finals? He shut Curry down, and Curry couldn’t stop him.

Crowder is a nice piece for when Kevin Love comes off the court. I think Crowder might fit better in Cleveland than Love. Ever since Love came to Cleveland, he has not played like he did in Minnesota.

Now, the idea that Irving should have talked to LeBron James before the trade or open up the lines of communication again now that the trade is over with is pointless. Irving can make his own decisions on where he plays. James didn’t talk to many people when he left Cleveland to go and play for Miami, so why should Irving? Who would want to play with someone who complains whenever he is touched by an opposing player like James? Maybe someone will get a bottle for baby Bron-Bron and help him get the one thing Irving has that he doesn’t have — a hairline.

Irving, you go and play where you want and chase a ring if you don’t want to play with James. Honestly, James isn’t in my starting five if I had to make a team with today’s players.

Other big name players have made new homes this off-season like Chris Paul going to the Houston Rockets and Paul George being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul was expected to opt out this past season and sign with Houston. He was traded before he opted out so the Clippers could get something in return. He joins James Harden in hopes to try and dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. The Rockets are also looking to pry Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks.

Unlike the Paul move, George being traded to Oklahoma City from the Indiana Pacers was a surprise. A trade was expected to be made, but to Los Angeles Lakers instead. However, the Lakers wouldn’t give up their first-round pick. This will give last year’s MVP Russell Westbrook some help after playing this season without Kevin Durant who signed with the Warriors last year. Now, Oklahoma City has a year to try and convince George to stay before his contract is up. If he doesn’t sign back with the Thunder, he is expected to go play for his hometown Lakers.

All these players and teams are looking for one thing — a championship. Every team is looking to knock off the Warriors and Cavaliers who have both faced each other in the NBA Finals for the past three seasons. To these other teams, I say go ahead and build a “super team.” The Heat did it with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and so did the Warriors after Durant signed with them before the 2016-17 season.

James said after the Durant signing that he would try and sign all the best players if he owned a team. That’s what teams are doing these days in order to try and win a championship. Let’s see if it pays off.

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