It might be a few months away from the NBA regular season tipping-off once again, but that hasn’t stopped the league from continuing to capture the attention of its fans.
On the eve of Kyrie Irving making it clear of his intent to be traded away from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the league shows again why its rousing offseason can only be matched by football’s hectic summer transfer market.
Unprompted and essentially out of nowhere, the Cavaliers guard reportedly wants out of his side in the Eastern Conference just as moves around the league had seemingly quietened down.
But as we know, anything is possible in this league. Especially with the impact the Golden State Warriors has had in recent history. The association’s offseason is still enduring a whirlwind of events; franchises are gambling to be number one, as well as individual players pursuing their own success in different directions at the cost angering teammates and fans.
In turn, the NBA naturally stands as one of the most ruthless and sleepless sports, especially during its ‘offseason’ - though, the idea that the season is ‘off’ is completely false.
This summer, we have already witnessed Jimmy Butler’s shock move to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chris Paul’s switch to the Houston Rockets and Paul George transferring to join Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it has not stopped there.
An event on its own is NBA Free Agency, it’s a frenzied period after the NBA Draft where a portion of the game’s elite’s let teams bid for their signature after their contracts have ran out where they were currently residing.
One of the league’s most underrated forwards is Paul Millsap, and he decided to buy into the project at Denver, due to the Nuggets’ stable setup for the future with Serbian powerhouse Nikola Jokic and a few potential rising stars.
Elsewhere, Gordon Hayward, who appeared in his first All-Star game last season, had the pick of the bunch with the Utah Jazz, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics all begging for his services, with him ultimately choosing the latter.
Hayward had the opportunity to continue his career at the Jazz where he spent seven years, but he had other ideas, causing some interesting reactions from the fans.
Other high profile moves included the Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari who left for the Los Angeles Clippers after six seasons in Colorado, although there was no jersey burning from the Denver faithful.
And it’s not over yet. Basketball’s most affluent league boasts a dramatic preseason just as frenetic as football’s. A move of just one All-Star has the ability to change the whole scope of a team or even the league, especially in the case of Kevin Durant moving to the Golden State Warriors, or LeBron relocating to the Heat in 2010.
In football, teams who wish to instantly transform back into a serious contender will find themselves overhauling their squad. Case and point with AC Milan, who have almost purchased a new starting line-up this summer.
Basketball can be similar, yet, due to the obvious fact a team will have five players on the court, that one superstar they may add-in can change the whole outlook of a roster.
Which is why team’s around the league are twisting and probing for the league’s best performers, alongside the possibility of picking up a potential gem in the NBA Draft; an essential for a lower-performing or developing team.
Subsequently, NBA enthusiasts will be glued to their smartphones for the duration of the summer and autumn, in optimism of news relating to their franchise.
And so, during a week where the football world is scrambling to find more information on Neymar’s potential switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, similarly the NBA world is reacting to Kyrie’s bombshell down in Cleveland as fans start to dream about the slim chance he may join their squad.
In terms of quality and excitement, the NBA is one of world’s most progressive leagues. And just like football, the business never stops - even during the summer.