NBA recap and season preview

Nicholas Rose, Staff Writer

As the heat was rising over the summer, the NBA simmered with many upcoming changes. Local players from colleges in the triangle were hot commodities for the NBA draft in June. The number of trades rose compared to the previous year’s numbers.

Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) had multiple players leave their program and enter the NBA draft this year. The most highly watched player, Zion Williamson, was drafted first overall to the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I don’t think it is (a) feeling I can really describe,” said Williamson when questioned by the media following getting drafted. 

Williamson was overwhelmed after being selected first in the draft despite the many rumors that had circulated prior to the decision. Nothing could stop his emotions as his dreams were coming true before his eyes.

Two other players from Duke were drafted in the top 10 in addition to Williamson. Small forward RJ Barrett was picked third overall by the New York Knicks. Cam Reddish was drafted tenth overall as a point guard for the Atlanta Hawks.

Coby White, a UNC point guard was drafted seventh overall to the Chicago Bulls while his Carolina teammate, Cameron Johnson, was drafted 11 overall by the Phoenix Suns. Nassir Little, also from UNC, rounded out the first round picks at No. 25 going to the Portland Trailblazers. 

NC State did not have any players drafted  into the NBA but 2019 graduate, Torin Dorn, participated in the Charlotte Hornets summer league.

 Free agency and trades were another big story this summer. Many NBA superstars were on the move. Due to contract disputes, Kemba Walker left the Hornets because they were unable to pay him what he wanted. Walker told the Hornets he would take less than he was owed but Charlotte was unable to meet his few demands. Some people see this as a mistake by the Hornets because he was arguably the best player in franchise history. This caused Walker to sign a 4 year, $141 million contract with the Boston Celtics. 

Former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant signed a four year deal with the Brooklyn Nets worth $164 million. The Nets gave Durant a large contract with the knowledge that he will miss the entire 2019-2020 season due to a surgery for a tear to his Achilles tendon.

“I am sad that Durant won’t be playing next season but am looking forward to the next season with him (Durant) on the Nets. I think that Irving and Durant will make a great duo and have the potential to win a lot of games” said Daniel Shoaf, Junior.

Photos by Wikimedia Commons

 In addition to the Durant move, Anthony Davis was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. After the great season Kawhi Leonard had with the Toronto Raptors, he surprisingly signed a three year deal with the Clippers for $103 million. Paul George was traded to the Clippers.

With all the offseason trades and acquisitions, the whole year has potential to be filled with NBA basketball excitement. This is good for the NBA because it keeps the fans engaged full time. The upcoming year will be filled with excitement on and off the court.