First the Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves for a trio of young players, most notably Zach LaVine coming off of a torn ACL. The deal renders the franchise obsolete as they build for the future.
Next, the Pacers traded Paul George to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. In doing so, they lessened their own odds at returning to the playoffs next season while sabotaging the Celtics’ odds at forming the next super team.
Many believed the Celtics would trade for George and then sign Gordon Hayward to create a four-pronged attack in Boston with offensive-savvy head coach Brad Stevens calling the shots. George’s trade to Oklahoma City means the idea of a Celtics Big 4 could be dead in the water, making the Miami Heat a real option for Hayward in free agency.
If the Celtics fail to improve, Lowry’s return affords him a summer’s worth of gelling with his teammates. Should the Raptors bring back Ibaka as well, Toronto could usurp Boston and Washington as the clear No. 2 in the weakened East behind the Cavaliers.
Randolph, who turns 36 later this month, remade himself into a bench-scoring bruiser last year. He averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game, though his scoring efficiency continues to fall off. Nevertheless, he can still play and should also be a nice influence on young Kings big men like Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis, and Harry Giles.
The combination of Hill and Randolph does drop the Buy Cheap Jerseys Online Kings out of the Otto Porter sweepstakes. They no longer have enough cap room to offer the Wizards’ restricted Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys free agent a maximum contract, as they reportedly intended to do.