Only time will tell

Story by Nick Mitchell, staff writer

Snake. Ring chaser. Cheater. These are among the names fans called NBA superstar Kevin Durant after he left Oklahoma City Thunder to join the team they lost to two years ago in the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors. Now, Durant has won an NBA championship as a Warrior and says he could not be happier. With this occurrence, many players are beginning to follow suit and form their own super teams.

One player who left his team for a shot at success was the Utah Jazz small forward, Gordon Hayward. After releasing a heartfelt message to his former colleagues and associates in Utah, he went eastward to the Boston Celtics. Jazz fans were quick to turn on Hayward despite his passing remarks, but Celtics fans praised his decision.

“What the Celtics pulled off was one of the biggest steals in NBA history,” sophomore Bryson Harris said. “Hayward is a smart man for leaving a struggling Jazz team.”

Another tantalizing decision this offseason was point guard Kyrie Irving requesting to be traded from the former NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Overshadowed by four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, this was a tumultuous announcement.  Recently, Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics in a blockbuster deal for Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder and the unprotected 2018 Brooklyn Nets first round draft pick plus a 2020 second round pick. Despite sounding rather one-sided, both teams and their fans are content with the trade thus far.

“The Cavaliers offseason took a turn for the better depending on who you ask,” Harris said. “The Celtics lost this trade. They have way too many players for a very similar point guard in Kyrie Irving. Very good move for the Cavs.”

As covered thus far, there have been many shocking announcements this offseason. In spite of this, no decision was as surprising as four-time All Star Paul George’s. George played phenomenal for the Indiana Pacers team that, without him, would not have made the playoffs. He was long expected to leave the team, as he was almost traded earlier in the season. Many offers were supposedly made for George and declined, but minutes before the trade deadline, the Pacers panicked and traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for two reckless and inconsistent youngsters.

“[The Thunder] swapped two young stars for immediate success,” Harris said. “The Thunder definitely won the trade though.”

Yet another crazy offseason has shifted the scales in the NBA. However, the road in the east has certainly gotten a lot easier. Will this change the outcome of the Finals for once, or will the Cavaliers and Warriors continue to reign supreme? Only time will tell.