Young stars blossomed, like Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota, Nikola Jokic in Denver, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Rudy Gobert in Utah and Devin Booker in Phoenix. There were compelling storylines, from Westbrook’s triple-double chase to Mike Mike D’Antoni’s splashy return to coaching to the ongoing Phil Jackson-Carmelo Anthony turmoil in New York to the shaky future of the Clippers to the ascent (and possibly intertwined futures) of the Celtics and the Jazz.
The Warriors loomed over all stories, of course. They’ll continue to do so in the coming years. But that does not mean there isn’t a lot worth watching in this league, in the short and long terms.
For one, moving away from Fultz and toward Jackson signals that the Celtics are intending to keep Isaiah Thomas, a free agent next summer, for the long term. Maybe even shooting guard Avery Bradley, too.
But more interesting is how the potential acquisition of a Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys future first-rounder from the Sixers would affect the Celtics’ offseason. The Sixers have their own pick and the Lakers’ pick next year, and both figure to have a good chance of winding up in the lottery. The Celtics have Brooklyn’s pick, plus their own, in next year’s draft. The Nets were the league’s worst team last season and should not be much better next season.
If Ainge comes out of the 2017 draft with, potentially, two lottery picks in 2018, plus Jackson and an acre of cap space, the feeling around the league is that he will be looking to sign a top-tier free agent this summer and leverage those picks in a trade for another major piece.