We shouldn’t judge star trades too soon

It seems like every offseason in the NBA now there are big stars being traded from city to city. Last year it was CP3, PG13, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler. This year’s biggest name so far is Kawhi Leonard, going from the Spurs to the Raptors in what people are saying is a great move for the Raptors, and a not so great one for the Spurs. The first thing people on twitter, and in the Basketbloggers group chat, said is that “The Spurs got fleeced” with only receiving DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl. Everyone seems to be assuming that Kawhi is going to play for the Raptors and be at full health and maximum effort this season. But that might not happen. As an audience of the NBA, we have these takes soon as these trades happen. That teams give up too much or too little for these stars, but looking back at these trades, we seem to feel that the stars don’t get enough value in return for being traded at the time. Lets take a look at the previous summer star trades.

 

Jimmy Butler for Lauri Markannen, Kris Dunn, and Zach Lavine.

The Wolves got a steal! That’s what many people thought on draft night. Lavine was rehabbing a torn ACL, Markannen was considered a bust candidate, and Kris Dunn looked like a wasted top 5 pick. A year later, I do not know if the Wolves make that trade. Lauri looks like a legit starter in this league, giving the team shooting at the four and he plays hard on defense. He would be an awesome fit next to KAT. Lavine looked better as the year went on, seeming like he could be a linchpin on offense moving forward. Dunn showed massive improvement, and looks to be a solid starter. Jimmy Butler is an All-Star, but he also makes a ton of money. For his services, you could three starters, two of which are on rookie contracts. The starting lineup of Dunn, Lavine, Wiggins, Markannen, and KAT and some cap space could go pretty far. If I was the Wolves, I would’ve kept my young core together in hindsight, because now this is the last year of Butler’s contract, and he could leave the Wolves with nothing next summer.

 

Chris Paul for Loise Williams, Montrez Harrell, Patrick Beverly, and some other pieces.

Well CP3 is staying in Houston, signing a max extension this summer. But CP3 is getting older, and missed time in the playoffs again this year. By the end of this contract, he is going to be making around 40 million a season and be on the wrong side of his thirties. If Houston doesn’t continue to improve their team and find other pieces to pair with him and Harden, this contract could looks really bad really quickly, especially if CP3 gets hurt for an extended amount of time. On the other side, the Clippers missed the playoffs. Not great right? But, they have expiring deals, cap space coming up, Blake Griffin traded, and good young talent. Since CP3 was leaving anyways, you can’t argue that getting the sixth man of the year back was a bad return. If you are the Clippers, you have to happy with where your team is headed and how you were able to get rid of that old core and rebuild so quickly.

 

Kyrie Irving for Collin Sexton, and a bunch of players that aren’t on the team anymore.

Remember when the Celtics “gave up too much” for Kyrie, who is a top 5 pg in the NBA? Isiah Thomas just signed for almost nothing with the Nuggets and looks like he might be washed, Crowder is happy in Utah, and Collin Sexton might not even be the best pg in this draft. Kyrie had two years left at the time, and I wonder if the Cavs, who are now without their two best players from two years ago, wish they could go back and take a different deal, or not trade Kyrie at all.

 

Paul George for Dontas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo

The Thunder dumped Oladipo’s contract for Paul George. What a move! People were praising Sam Presti for being a genius this time last year. Things changed pretty quickly when Oladipo came to the Pacers and played well enough to be an all-NBA guard this season. That would be a pretty solid player to have next to Westbrook, especially since his deal isn’t that bad for such a good player. This brings me to my point. When these young players get traded, we do not know what will happen. Jakob Poeltl could be the next all-NBA center this season. Kawhi Leonard could be hurt all year and leave the Raptors. We as fans and media members, have to be cautious with how we react to these trades and keep the long view in mind. DeRozan is an All-NBA guard that just got paired with the best coach in the NBA. We could be saying this was a steal by the Spurs if Kawhi doesn’t ever come back healthy. But we just don’t know. So watch your hot takes, watch the young players involved in these trades, and keep in mind the future of these franchises moving forward when these happen. You don’t want someone retweeting your takes a year later and making you look like an idiot.

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