BY MICHAEL FRANCO
It’s a different kind of NBA season this year. The league shifted their schedule to a December start, and the playoffs are now scheduled between May 22 to July 22, 2021. They also cut down on the number of games from 82 to 72. With Canada still not allowing travel across its borders the Toronto Raptors have temporarily relocated to the more temperate Tampa, Florida.
The coaching carousel continued to spin this offseason. One of the marquee moves saw former two-time MVP point guard, Steve Nash, taking over as head coach of the stacked New Jersey Nets. Billy Donovan became the head coach for the Chicago Bulls. Stephen Silas, the man who helped architect the Mavericks record-breaking offense, will now orchestrate the Houston Rockets. Nate Bjorkgren became head coach for the Indiana Pacers. Tyronn Lue will try and help the Los Angeles Clippers avoid another early round playoff flameout. Stan Van Grundy will bring his rugged style and mentality to the up and coming New Orleans Pelicans. Tom Thibodeau hopes to teach the New York Knicks a thing or two about defense and player development. Mark Daigneault became the head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Doc Rivers moved from one coast to the other to take over for the Philadelphia 76ers.
It was also a busy offseason on the free agency front. Here’s a look at some of the biggest moves in the offseason: the Oklahoma City Thunder traded All-Star point guard Chris Paul and small forward Abdel Nader to the Phoenix Suns and small forward Kelly Oubre Jr., the Philadelphia 76ers traded Al Horford to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson, the Dallas Mavericks traded Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers for Josh Richardson and Tyler Bey, guard De’Aaron Fox agreed to a five year $163 million extension with the Sacramento Kings, guard Fred VanVleet signed a four-year $85 million deal to return to the Toronto Raptors, Gordon Hayward signed a four-year $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, Rajon Rondo signed a two year $15 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, Donovan Mitchell signed a five year contract extension $195 million deal to return to the Utah Jazz, Jayson Tatum signed a five year contract extension worth up to $195 million with the Boston Celtics, Brandon Ingram has signed a five year contract extension $159 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, LeBron James signed a two year $85 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall, and Anthony Davis signed a five year $190 million contract to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers also extended Paul George to the tune of $226 million over the next five years.
And the season hasn’t stopped providing movement. The Rockets dealt disgruntled superstar, James Harden, to the Nets for a boatload of picks and assets. The trade expanded to include the Cavs and the Pacers to get the Rockets the haul they were looking for.
I think this season is a wait and see what happens because anything can happen to your favorite team and some games may be postponed or cancelled with everything going on in the world.