Picking Apart Jimmy Butler and Chris Paul Trades

6/28/17

For every fan, the NBA Finals are the most exciting time of the year. This year though, because of the Warriors superteam, the Finals were over in only five games. Now the craziest NBA offseason since 2010 is here! Actually, this 2017 offseason can be the most insane offseason in this century with so many All-Star caliber players becoming free agents or being traded.

We are now only a week removed from the 2017 NBA Draft which has been hyped up as the best draft class since 2003. I am not sure I agree with that, but this draft class has some serious talent. This 76ers team is sure to be scary for the next 5-10 years if only they can stay healthy. If the Lakers get a superstar free agent this offseason or the next, their future will be extremely bright and don’t even get me started on the second coming of the Golden State Warriors in Minnesota.

Now I will start picking apart the Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and Chris Paul to Houston trades.

When I first saw the words ‘Butler to Minnesota’ everywhere on social media, I thought for sure that the Bulls had lost this deal by a mile, which actually wasn’t the case. First of all, when a superstar player like Butler gets traded, his team will definitely not get the same amount of talent as they give away. For example, when prime Shaq got traded to Miami in 2004, the Lakers got two starters, a bench player, and a draft pick; barely half of what Shaq was actually worth.

What the Bulls did in this deal was great as they finally have a direction to go which is rebuilding. In the past two seasons, the Bulls have consistently been stuck in the middle of the pack, not getting high draft picks or making a deep playoff run. Now that they have gotten rid of their star player for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen, three young players all with All-Star potential, they will finally tank, get a draft pick in the top 8 next season, and draft a talented young prospect. With young players, all they will have to do is wait for them to develop, and then make a deep playoff run in the future. For Minnesota, they get a superstar in Butler who is a great role model to the young players because of his unreal work ethic. Butler will also for sure lead the Timberwolves to a playoff berth for the first time in 13 seasons.

All I can say now is R.I.P Lob City. Chris Paul has been traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets for Darrun Hilliard, Kyle Wiltjer, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, and 2018 HOU first round pick. This trade gives the Clippers tons of young assets. With this CP3 deal, the Clippers are in a similar situation as the Celtics, excluding the draft picks. Both teams have many young assets and one star (Ex: Blake Griffin and Isaiah Thomas). Now for the Clippers, the wildcard is DeAndre Jordan. If the Clippers want to go into full rebuild mode, they have to trade DJ and receive young assets as well as letting Blake Griffin become a free agent and opt-out of his contract. If the Clippers keep both stars, they will consistently be in the playoffs as a low seed and get ousted by the Spurs, Rockets, or Warriors. This will keep them in a similar situation as the Bulls in the past few seasons. What I am trying to get at is either Blake has to go, or DeAndre and Blake have to go for the Clippers to be successful in the near future.

For Houston, having two ball-dominant guards is not the worst thing as it can work out like it does for CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in Portland. Mike D’Antoni’s system in Houston with Harden and Paul will make the Rockets a legitimate title contender and they might even grab the second seed from San Antonio. D’Antoni’s system works best when there is one primary ball handler with many shooters on the perimeter like it was in Phoenix during the mid-2000s. I believe what Houston will do now is make Chris Paul the primary ball handler and make James Harden play shooting guard as a spot up shooter. Of course, when Harden gets the ball in an isolation situation, he can completely embarrass his defender and show that he still has an MVP in him. With all that said, it will still be hard for Houston to put two ball-dominant guards on the court at once.

Daryl Morey, the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, said that his team “has something up our sleeve.” Though the Chris Paul trade was probably what he was talking about, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be more moves for the Rockets this offseason. Paul George or Carmelo Anthony to Houston?

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