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The 2013-14 NBA campaign concluded with the San Antonio Spurs celebrating their fifth NBA championship and the Miami Heat failing to three-peat. Now, a new round of changes is about to begin.
The NBA will be radically different in 2014-15 and the big changes will kick off less than 10 days from now, when the names of the rookies who will enter the league and their order will be announced. We already know which the teams have the highest picks and which teams stand good chances of contending for a title next season.
Of course, more radical changes of scenery might occur during the offseason and that’s because there are several potential blockbuster deals that could really reshape the association. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love might be on the move during the summer and there are several other stars who might change teams. Let’s examine the top five potential blockbuster deals for the upcoming offseason.
No. 1: Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls
Any deal including Carmelo Anthony would change the balance in the NBA. Melo can change the course of the franchise he will be a member of next season. At the moment there is a ton of speculation about his next destination. The latest rumors hint that Melo is leaning towards departing from NYC and the Chicago Bulls seem to be an ideal destination for him. Joakim Noah has been trying to recruit Melo since the All-Star break, according to reports, and with Derrick Rose (hopefully) healthy, the Bulls could emerge as a true powerhouse in the East next season.
Carmelo could be acquired by Chicago in two ways, either through a sign-and-trade or by inking the 30-year-old megastar as a free agent. The point is that if Melo has the power of choice and he wants out, the Knicks could at least get something in return by agreeing on a sign-and-trade. In this scenario, the Bulls would have to send away Carlos Boozer, whom they are seeking to ship or amnesty, a bunch of role players, and most probably their two first-round picks. This deal seems to work for either side and would instantly place the Bulls at the top of the list of championship contenders from the Eastern Conference.
No. 2: Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors
Now, this is a great one. And the best part of it, especially if you are a Warriors fan, is that it seems realistic enough to become reality. If the Golden State Warriors acquire Kevin Love, while at the same time retaining Klay Thompson, they will instantly become one of the best shooting teams in the history of the league. Just imagine a starting lineup that would feature Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, and Andrew Bogut. Would it be almost impossible for any opponent to guard them on the perimeter?
For this deal to go down, the Dubs would have to give away David Lee and Harrison Barnes, and draft picks, too. There is some speculation that in order for such a deal to happen, the Minnesota Timberwolves would demand Thompson to be included, with Kevin Martin being shipped to Golden State. Of course, the Dubs don’t want to lose their 24-year-old sharpshooter and break the Splash Brothers. And this makes sense. If a golden lining can be found, the Warriors will become simply lethal.
No. 3: Rajon Rondo to the Houston Rockets
There are several teams interested in acquiring Rajon Rondo. One of them is the Houston Rockets. The GM of the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, has declined the possibility of a Rondo trade several times. Nonetheless, with his contract expiring after the upcoming season and with the Cs still in rebuilding mode, it might be the Celtics’ wisest option to trade way Rondo and get some value in return. The Rockets would happily give away either Jeremy Lin or Omer Asik but the Celtics would most probably demand Chandler Parsons be included in the deal.
With Rondo on board, the Rockets would then form their own Big Three and would become a very strong title contender. Rondo, James Harden, and Dwight Howard are in their primes and they could help Houston contend in the association for the years to come.
No. 4: Roy Hibbert to the Portland Trail Blazers
The Indiana Pacers have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals for two consecutive seasons but failed to advance to the NBA Finals. Now might be an ideal time for a change. One big trade that would change the balances in both conferences is one that would send former All-Star center Roy Hibbert to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Robin Lopez, C.J. McCollum, and Thomas Robinson. Now, at a first glimpse, this might seem like a deal that favors Rip City. However, judging from Hibbert’s declining performance during the past season and also due to the fact that McCollum is a young player with lots of potential, this is not a bad move at all for Indiana. Especially if Lance Stephenson does not return, the Pacers will have to try and find their next starting shooting guard. Rip City, on the other hand, is looking to add those pieces which will allow it to seriously contend for the championship. This is a deal that works for either side.
No. 5: Deron Williams to the Detroit Pistons
The Brooklyn Nets’ experiment was a complete failure this past season. A team that was supposed to cruise to the top and be capable of beating the Miami Heat was mediocre. Now, it’s time for the Nets to plan their future and a trade that would Deron Williams could be the first move Brooklyn proceeds with during the offseason. The Nets could send Williams to Detroit in exchange for Greg Monroe, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Some other significant pieces, like Brandon Jennings and Mirza Teletovic, could be added to this deal.