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Eastern Conference

Superteams Are The New Way To Go

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Recently the term ‘superteam’ has become popular to throw around by NBA fans and people who cover the league whenever any number of good players teams up to play together.

I personally think the term gets overused, but if this offseason has proved anything it’s that teams are going to try and put together these superteams to try and dethrone the Warriors.

The term really started getting used when LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided they were going to team up with Dwyane Wade in South Beach in July of 2010.

That was the only superteam at that time in the league and James was crushed for wanting to go team up with guys he got along with that were also top players at their positions to try and finally win a championship.

It now appears that James, Wade and Bosh were ahead of the curve on teaming up with other great players in the league, because on July 4, 2016 Kevin Durant decided to leave Oklahoma City and team up with the 73-win Golden State Warriors, who he had just seen storm back from a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals to beat his Thunder.

That move really set this movement in motion and this offseason we saw a number of moves that confirmed this is the new way of the NBA if you want to be a real contender.

This offseason it started before the new league year actually started on July 1st, when Chris Paul informed the Clippers that he was going to be leaving them to go play with James Harden on the Rockets, which lead to him being traded before he hit the open market.

This isn’t even a slam dunk fit schematically, but it just goes with the theory of putting as many good players as possible on the same roster and figuring that the talent will be able to figure it out.

This movement continued just days into free agency when Gordon Hayward decided to leave Utah for Boston.

Hayward, much like Durant the year before, had a good situation but decided that he would rather make the jump to a more talented roster than to try and stick it out and win a ring where he was.

Kyrie Irving even jumped into these waters and he was playing on a team that had been to the Finals in three straight seasons and he was playing with the best player in the world in LeBron James.

Even if they were to go on and lose to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals they still have the best roster in the East, which will make things easier.

Another move to try and form a superteam was the Timberwolves trading for Jimmy Butler. They already have some great young pieces in place with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, but adding Butler just put more elite talent on the roster and if they want to take the next step of being contenders it was necessary.

Fans can not like this movement and I’m not particularly a big fan of it, but this is the way the league is going and you should expect more stars to join forces to try and beat other star-studded teams if they are not able to bring a championship to their current situation.

Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Gordon Hayward Says He’s ‘Basically 100 Percent’

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Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward says that he is “basically” 100% eleven months removed from his gruesome 2017-208 season opening-night ankle injury, and has been playing 5-on5 games with teammates to prepare for training camp in October, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

“I would say I’m basically 100 percent,” Hayward said. “There’s certain things that I think are going to take time — even if I was 100 percent healthy, I’m not 100 percent as far as basketball-wise, just because I haven’t played in a year.

“I’m trying to figure those things out. The last step for me as far as from a physical standpoint is a little explosion, that little last juice bounce that you get. So that’s going to take me the longest time. But like I said, for the most part, I feel very good.”

Hayward discussed the latest milestone in his recovery, playing with his teammates again.

“It’s so much fun being able to play again, and play with my teammates,” Hayward described. “Using these past two weeks, and the next month or so, will be good to kind of get back into the game, feel the rhythm, the timing, different things like that. But it feels pretty good.”

“I think when you go through a process like this, you just find out that, if you want to get back to the player that you were, it takes a lot of effort,” said Hayward. “I think you find the fight within yourself because there’s so many days where I wake up and it’s like, ‘Man, here we go again.’ Another day I’m driving in, it’s freezing cold weather here in Boston, below zero, going into the facility, and the team’s in L.A., or they’re in Miami or whatever, and they’re playing, and I’m picking up marbles and putting them into a bucket. I’m standing on one leg and doing balance drills. I’m shooting from a chair.

“Like, all that stuff, to be able to get up and do it every day, and do it a little bit better the next day, and slowly work off getting out of the chair, and getting out of the boot, and now I can stand and shoot, and now I can do one dribble and shoot — and just the long process. I mean, it was a process and a journey. I’m still not there yet, but it just helped me find kind of a fight in me.”

Hayward is ready for the new season and expects to be on the court for the Celtics when the season tips off.

“Yeah, 100 percent I expect to be out there [on opening night],” Hayward proclaimed. “This is what this time is for me — to kind of find my groove a little bit. Like I said, you can do all the drills you want, all the cardio, the jumping [and] agility stuff. But there’s nothing like playing 5-on-5, so when I play out here with my teammates, when we get into practice situations, that’s going to be the best — playing in the preseason games, that will be the best work I can get.”

“Watching the guys last year just gave me a lot of confidence in our team and what I think we have the ability to do,” said Hayward. “I’ve been playing with some of them these last two weeks, and we have a lot of talent on this team. We have a lot of depth, and it’s going to be a fun year.”

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Eastern Conference

Knicks to Target Kyrie Irving Next Summer

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The New York Knicks have their eyes on the summer of 2019 when they could have the opportunity to court their top free agent target, current Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, according to NBC Sports’ A. Sherrod Blakely.

“I’ve spoken with people within [the Knicks] organization. They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that—if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free-agent market [next] summer—Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice,” Blakely said.

Irving, who is believed to be willing to give the Knicks “consideration” in free agency, is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract and will make $20.1 million with a player option of $21.3 million in 2018-2019.

 

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Eastern Conference

Wizards Sign Jordan McRae

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The Washington Wizards have signed Jordan McRae to a two-way deal, according to the RealGM transactions rundown.

McRae, 27, last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers back in the 2016-2017 season, and has spent time with the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs, who drafted him in the second-round of the 2014 NBA draft.

 

 

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