The 10 NBA superstars that will be on different teams for the 2017-18 season

So you thought that Kevin Durant going to the Golden State Warriors or LeBron going to Miami was a big deal? Well, they were, but this 2017 off-season has been off the hook. Though none of the top five NBA players moved or changed places, a number of those players in the top twenty five of the league certainly did.

1. Kyrie Irving to Boston Celtics

This was the biggest shocker in the NBA. A superstar on a championship team that wanted to leave? A team that was all but guaranteed another trip to the NBA Finals if they had stuck together? In any case, Irving is in Boston and look for him to be motivated to not only keep the Celtics as competitive as they were, but focused to dominate.

2. Chris Paul to Houston Rockets

We knew if the Clippers didn’t at least get to the NBA Finals, that the team would have to re-evaluate the roster. Paul wasn’t about to wait on the upper management anymore. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in an early offseason blockbuster, teaming with MVP candidate James Harden. If the two ball-dominate, but exceptional assistmen (that can also hit standstill jumpers) can co-exist, look for Houston to be more potent and more dangerous this season.


3. Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland Cavaliers

Thomas had an exceptional NBA season, one in which he was a legitimate MVP candidate. Unfortunately, Thomas’ season ended with a hip injury in the Eastern Conference Finals — that along with his height and age, the brass wasn’t sure how many more seasons the diminutive and dynamic player could lead the Celtics, so they jumped at the chance to trade him for a younger, taller, and similarly dynamic Irving. One thing that Thomas has over Irving? The visible fire and intensity — it’ll be interesting to see how Thomas takes to being secondary to LeBron.

4. Paul George to Oklahoma City Thunder

The only reason why Paul George is so low on this list, is because he played for a mediocre Indiana Pacers team and we’re making this list based on the “shock and awe” that came with the player moving coming off last season. The combination of his skills, his age, and his ability to play multiple positions actually makes him the most-coveted player on this list. He’ll join last season’s MVP Russell Westbrook in what seems to be the best pairing of superstars coming into the 2017-18.

5. Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City Thunder

It’s been a long time coming and unfortunately for the Knicks and Anthony, Carmelo went out on a whimper. Aged, a shell of his former self offensively, and never even an average defender, ‘Melo can still do one thing and that’s fill it up. Teaming up with Westbrook and George, we’ll get to see ‘Melo take on a role that we’ve seen him thrive in the past — the secondary or tertiary option. As he was in Team USA, he’ll no longer be the main focus so can save himself. Hide on defensive and offense whenever he feels. This will allow him to pick and choose when to be aggressive, or to sit back and be set up for easy jumpers with passes from George and Russ.

6. Gordon Hayward to Boston Celtics

A first time NBA All-Star last season, Hayward was on the cusp of superstardom for the Utah Jazz. Instead, after some back and forth, he chose to leave for the greener hues of the Boston Celtics. In Beantown, he’ll team up with Kyrie Irving and a retooled Celtics team.

7. Jimmy Butler to Minnesota Timberwolves

There’s been rumors about Butler leaving ever since he and Derrick Rose were in the backcourt together. Even after Rose was traded, the whispers about Butler never settled. His play and aggression on the court proved he was an elite player, but the Chicago Bulls clearly wanted to move on; sending him to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft day for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen). In Minnesota blue, he’ll provide veteran leadership to Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony Towns and the other young puppies.


8. Dwyane Wade to Cleveland Cavaliers

The Chicago experiment for Wade ended after just one year. He’s more zip than he is “Flash” nowadays, but always a cerebral player, Wade has always coupled his speed and athleticism with patience and a deep understanding of the game. He’ll again team up with buddy LeBron in Cleveland. It might not be a big three considering Wade’s age, but more like a big 2.5.

9. Derrick Rose to Cleveland Cavaliers

Okay, make that a big 2.75 with Rose also joining Wade, LeBron and Kevin Love on the Cavs. Rose has, according to himself, playing “revenge basketball” over the last few years as he’s tried to get back to his explosive MVP days. Those days are over, but at just 28 years old, he has plenty of game in him left. With a bevy of superstars around him to take up some of that slack and the focus, this could be the environment where Rose can re-invent himself.

10. Dwight Howard to Charlotte Hornets

Dwight Howard makes this list because of his former-dominant self and early Hall of Fame trajectory. Watching Howard play today, it’s hard to believe that he was once the most-dominant force in the game. Whether it’s injuries, lack of focus, no passion, or a combination of it all, Howard isn’t anywhere near what he used to be. Still, like Rose, he still has some good years in front of him if he can stay in shape, stop yapping at the refs, and focus. That’s what the Hawks and Rockets hopes for and they moved on. Will the Charlotte Hornets be the last team to give Superman one last try?

That’s ten NBA all-stars that changed uniforms in the last three months or so — the most we’ve ever seen in NBA history. And the list doesn’t even include other important and effective players like Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio, Danilo Gallinari, Brook Lopez, and D’Angelo Russell. This season is going to be an interesting one with so many different story lines, match ups and chemistry issues to pay attention to.


The one team that hasn’t been very much affected by all the changes this off-season? It’s the Golden State Warriors. They still have Steph Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Time will tell if the re-tooled and new additions to the Cleveland Cavs, Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets will change anything in the Eastern or Western Conference.

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