The summer of 2017 brought many changes to the NBA landscape. Whether it was acquiring a new player, letting go of an old one, or simply making a change to the team, many organizations made a huge leap in an attempt to get better. These moves don’t always pan out the way they hope, but it always has an effect on the league.
In this list, we count down the most impactful and game changing moves of the summer:
5. Knicks Fire Phil Jackson
Fact number one: the Knicks were terrible with Phil Jackson running the show. Fact number 2: the Knicks are still terrible without Phil Jackson running the show. Yes, we all know the Knicks won’t be making any noise this year. Thier problems go way beyond the reach of Phil Jackson. But the decision to fire him was such a big deal because it could determine the fate of Carmelo Anthony. With Jackson gone, Carmelo may not be as inclined to leave. Not only that, but the firing at least starts the process of recovery. Things look bad now, both with the Melo situation and with the status of the roster. The Knicks, however, finally took a step in trying to make a change… even if it doesn’t pay off right away.
4. The Lakers Draft Lonzo Ball
For all the talk that LaVar Ball spits out, he’s right about one thing: his son can play. Lonzo Ball is the type of point guard every player wants on their team. His playmaking ability and passing accuracy helped make him one of the top prospects in the draft. It’s not just his skill alone that makes him so valuable though. He can attract star players to L.A., which the Lakers haven’t done in quite some time. You see, what makes Lonzo’s arrival so important is that it’s helping to turn the tide of the Lakers misfortune. Lonzo is the start of a fresh and new era in Los Angeles.
3. Chris Paul Comes To Houston
Chris Paul’s move to Houston was probably one of the biggest stories of the year. Sure, the Rockets were a great team last year, without him. But with CP3, they have a much better chance to compete with the Warriors and Spurs. They went from good to great just by signing the All-Star point guard. How much better they’ll be is still a huge question mark, but on paper, they have the star power to compete with the best.
2. Paul George Gets Traded To OKC
Big, important moves don’t always necessarily have to end well. In this case, the Thunder could be worse off than how they started. When OKC traded for Paul George, they knew it could only end up being a one-year rental. But next summer, PG13 won’t be their only potential Free Agent, as Russell Westbrook can hit the market as well. George may very well be the reason Russ stays in OKC. But he could also be the reason he leaves. Because of the potential effect, George has on Russ, his move to Oklahoma City is the second biggest of the summer.
1. Timberwolves Trade For Jimmy Butler
This draft day trade has literally changed the Western Conference hierarchy. When the Wolves traded for Jimmy Butler, they got a lot more than just him. Because he was on the roster, Minnesota was able to sign Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Taj Gibson. And now, even Kyrie Irving is reportedly wanting to go there. All of the dominoes fell when Butler was traded that night. He instantly transformed the Wolves from bottom feeders to contenders.