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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.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for two-to-four weeks with a sprained left foot, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.

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Chicago Bulls

Bulls’ Zach Lavine Meets Privately with Jim Boylen

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Amid the division within the Chicago Bulls organization between new head coach Jim Boylen, who took over recently for the fired Fred Hoiberg, and a number of players on the roster, has taken another turn.

According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelbourne, Bulls guard Zach LaVine spoke with Boylen one-on-one following the players boycotting of Sunday’s practice imposed by Boylen, which they felt was excessive.

“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said, per the report. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”

“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”

Boylen has said that he has spoken with the team regarding the purpose of the practice on Sunday, but it is clear that the dysfunction runs deep in the organization.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks Could Trade Enes Kanter

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Enes Kanter’s days as a member of the New York Knicks could be coming to a close as the veteran big man could be traded by the Knicks ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If they choose not to trade him, the Knicks could renounce him during the offseason to maximize their cap space so that they could be major players in free agency next summer.

“If the Knicks are going free-agent shopping in July, they will likely do it without Kanter,” Marks speculated. “The impending free agent has a $27.9 million cap hold, and the only clear path for New York to create max room would be to renounce Kanter or let him walk in the summer.

The question leading into the deadline: Will the front office decide to maximize Kanter’s trade value now or keep the center as an insurance policy if they miss out on their free-agent targets?”

Kanter has posted 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for New York this season.

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