The summer in the NBA has once again been busy, with many ups and downs, with many transfers and movements in the 30 franchises, who have tried to condition their squads to achieve the best results this season. Among all of them, we highlight ten:
The Australian (33 years and 1.85 m) left San Antonio this summer after ten seasons to land as a free agent with the powerful Brooklyn Nets. The point guard, a compulsive scorer, signed for two seasons and $ 12 million. It will be an important asset in the contenders for the ring, especially now that Kyrie Irving’s participation is in limbo due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID.
Russell Westbrook, with the Lakers. Robert Hanashiro (USA TODAY Sports)
The point guard (1.90 m) faces a key moment in his career: it is an hour or never. There are not many more opportunities left to conquer the ring: age (32 years) begins to wreak havoc on an ultra-explosive player in one on one. The Lakers are his third team in the last three years: he came to Los Angeles from Washington in a transfer involving up to five teams and caused the departure of Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from the Staples Center.
The forward (37 years old and 2.01 m) was one of the most ‘cool’ signings of the summer and one of the most desired in recent seasons for being able to unite him with his friend LeBron. He comes from the Portland Trail Blazers, a franchise in which he was the last two seasons and which saved a career that was going to waste in 2008: he was one step away from retirement after leaving through the back door of Oklahoma City Thunder, first, and after the Houston Rockets. Signature for minimum veteran: one year and $ 2.6 million.
Juancho Hernangómez, with the Boston Celtics. Maddie Meyer (.)
The Spanish power forward (26 years old and 2.06 m) has had a summer, let’s say, that hectic. After finishing the season with Minnesota, the Wolves traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, a rebuilding franchise with little sporting ambition in the near future. It was a step back that was fixed after nine days: from Tennessee to the Boston Celtics, one of the most prestigious organizations in the NBA worldwide and with aspirations, at least, to fight for a good position in the East.
Ricky Rubio, with Cleveland Cavaliers. ERIK S. LESSER (.)
The Spanish point guard (30 years and 1.90 m) will play this season in the Cleveland Cavaliers, where his role is clear … and quite recurrent in recent years: he must be the guide of a young squad under construction. It is his fourth franchise in less than a year: Phoenix, Oklahoma, Minnesota and, now, Cleveland. All this since November 11, 2020.
The guard (31 years and 1.83 m) returns home. He will play next season in the New York Knicks after one of those endless NBA moves: he finished last season in a Celtics who traded him to Oklahoma. The Thunder negotiated a buyout that allowed him to land in the Big Apple. After some good years in Charlotte and not curdling in Boston, he has a new opportunity to show what an excellent player he is.
The point guard (35 years and 1.83 m) was one of the most sought-after pieces on the market … and Miami Heat took it. Through a sign-and-trade with Toronto Raptors, his franchise since 2012 and with which he conquered the ring, Lowry landed in Florida with a three-year, $ 90 million contract. Those from Canada got Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa into the operation. He is a player of incalculable quality, with shooting and intelligence both in attack and defense.
DeMar DeRozan, with Chicago Bulls. Kamil Krzaczynski (USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bulls have lived the last four seasons outside of the playoffs. A bad scenario that neither Hoiberg nor Boylen nor (for now) Billy Donovan have been able to solve. For this reason, the Illinois franchise has moved at risk. Among those moves, DeMar DeRozan (32 years and 1.98 m), who lands via sign-and-trade and a three-year, $ 85 million contract from the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls lose level veterans like Thaddeus Young and Al-Farouq Aminu in the operation and three rounds of the draft.
Another adventurous sign-and-trade from Chicago. The point guard (23 years and 1.98 m) comes to the Bulls from the New Orleans Pelicans with a contract of 80 million dollars spread over four years. The Louisiana team receives Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and a second round in 2024. Ball is a high-quality player who has yet to truly explode. He will form a fearsome outside force alongside Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
The forward (26 years and 2.08 m) was one of the great promises of the Lakers who never fully exploded. And summer after summer was the meat of rumor, and eventually the speculation came true. Kuzma entered the Russell Westrook transfer and his future is Washington, in a Wizards in which he can take one more step in a career that is one step away from stagnating. It’s a now or never.