For the third time in as many years, the NBA Finals pits the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After two epic championship series, the Warriors added arguably the second best player in the world: Kevin Durant. This move sent shockwaves through the NBA and had fans, media and other basketball players complaining about Super Teams.
Many believe that Super Teams are bad for the league, and that they should be stopped at all costs. That’s no fun, though.
While we can’t change the fact that Super Teams will almost always be a part of the NBA, it could actually be a good thing.
Some teams might decide to sit out the next few seasons, only to take over when the Warriors inevitably disband and LeBron James finally proves he’s human; others, in the name of competition, will look to compete with these Super Teams. Some might even have a chance to surpass them.
Here are three teams that can join the conversation of being the best team in the NBA, with just a few simple moves:
Chris Paul to the Bucks
Rumors are already swirling that CP3 could jump ship and join the Spurs this off-season, but the smartest move for the Point God is to go to the Eastern Conference’s next great team: the Bucks.
The only glaring weakness on the Bucks roster is their point guard. And Paul, 32, is entering the end of his prime—he could use help from the Greek Freak, Khris Middleton, and a (hopefully) healthy Jabari Parker.
With the addition of Paul, the Bucks would immediately enter into the discussion of best Eastern Conference team, alongside the Cavaliers. And imagine guarding a pick-and-roll between the Greek God and the Point God. Teams should pray that doesn’t happen.
Celtics make big moves
The Celtics, the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the 2017 NBA Playoffs, have a solid team that will only get better. The Celtics will have plenty of cap room, and Boston owns the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft thanks to a trade with the Nets.
The Celtics can play the long game and select Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick, but that’s boring. Danny Ainge and the Celts need to enter ‘win-now’ mode and sell off high-draft picks with potential for guaranteed players.
First, Boston can offer a package that includes the No. 1 overall selection for either the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, or the Pacers’ Paul George. If the Celtics decide to re-sign Isaiah Thomas, a tandem of IT with either Butler or George could be deadly.
That makes the Celtics better, sure—but not quite super.
Their next move should be to sign Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward to a max deal. Hayward, who Boston coach Brad Stevens recruited and coached at Butler, would have to take less money to join the Celtics, but his faith in Stevens could seal the deal.
The Celtics would then have a core lineup of Butler/George, IT, Hayward, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown.
With a glut of wings, Boston could then trade off pieces like Marcus Smart or Jae Crowder. These moves would undoubtedly elevate the East’s top seed in 2018.
Knicks give it another try
Former MVP Derrick Rose declared the Knicks a Super Team last off-season, but that obviously didn’t come to fruition. But screw it, New York shouldn’t tear it all down—they should give it another try! Everyone has faith in Phil Jackson, right?
In order for the Knicks to really become Super, they’ll have to build around disgruntled unicorn Kristaps Porzingis. And that means trading away Carmelo Anthony.
A deal that included ‘Melo for Blake Griffin would make a ton of sense. The Knicks are stupid enough to sign the injury prone, high-flying dunk artist to a max deal in order to get Anthony off the books. If healthy, Griffin is a perfect complement to the ‘Zinger.
The Knicks should then try and fill their hole at point guard with free agent Kyle Lowry, unless Jackson believes Rose can regain his former MVP status (spoiler alert: he won’t).
The Knicks should then pool all their assets and make a trade for DeMarcus Cousins. This would be the ultimate Knicks strategy. While the NBA trends toward small ball, New York would load up on athletic big men who can stretch the court in PorzinGOD, Cousins and Griffin.
I mean, it’s better than the dumpster fire they’ve put out there the past decade.