Some people will tell you that the NBA offseason is the best of any sport. Not many sports have the freedom of movement that NBA players have when they handpick teammates for trades and boldly express their desire to leave or stay with a team. Former All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson even said that NFL players wish they had it like NBA guys.
The trade moratorium officially started Monday at noon, meaning deals can officially be made, and the Phoenix Suns made a big acquisition.
According to multiple reports, 10-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul has been traded to the Phoenix Suns. The Sixers were reportedly looking into acquiring Paul in a trade.
This trade could be the one that keeps Devin Booker happy and potentially ends the Suns' playoff drought since 2010. Paul will be Booker’s most accomplished teammate yet, and the Suns also have big man Deandre Ayton and one of the league’s best young defenders in Mikal Bridgers. Things are looking up in Phoenix even after their 8-0 bubble run.
Even though the Thunder got Kelly Oubre and the reliable Ricky Rubio, they are showing signs of a rebuild. Oubre has just one year remaining on his deal. Rubio and Oubre will help the young Thunder remain competitive, but it seems that Oklahoma City has one eye pointed toward the future.
Adrian Wojnarowski already reported a blockbuster trade sending Thunder guard Dennis Schroder to the Lakers on Friday, and the deal can become official today.
Russell Westbrook reportedly wants out of Houston, so he could be another big name moved. And James Harden rumors are out there, too.
The NBA draft is Wednesday, and free agency begins two days later. Hold on tight ... the NBA is taking us for a wild ride this week.
All charges dropped against DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker, the New York Giants' 2019 first-round draft pick, was released in September for his role in a pending robbery case and had his charges dropped Monday. He was initially charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault.
Baker, who was one of the top cornerbacks coming out of Georgia, had an up-and-down rookie year. He started 15 games, but he didn’t record an interception.
The Giants' pass defense ranks 23rd this season, and some people are wondering if they gave up on their first-round pick too soon? That indeed seems to be the case as Baker may be a victim of extortion.
Many fans and other teams would have questioned the Giants' morals if they held onto Baker after he faced a mandatory minimum of 10 years after witness statements. But those statements were later recanted, and Baker won’t face time.
A Giants return seems unlikely after his release, but Baker instantly becomes one of the top cornerbacks available due to his youth and potential. Some NFL team is likely to take a chance on Baker.
Hail Murray is the play of the year
Quarterbacks need security blankets, and Kyler Murray’s postgame tweet showed how much confidence he has in DeAndre Hopkins. “Hop down there somewhere!” Murray said on Twitter.
D-Hop was down there, and he made a catch over the NFL’s third-highest paid cornerback and two more defenders to give the Cardinals a 32-30 win on the game’s last play. It may have been the catch of the year considering All-Pro Tre’Davious White was there, and two other defensive backs were inches away from deflecting the ball.
Hopkins' massive hands are as advertised. He apparently wears 6X gloves now. He once had to cut his 3X gloves before a game because they weren’t big enough.
Those massive hands are football magnets. Hopkins is leaving little doubt on who has the best hands in football.
After the completion, the announcer yelled, “Murray Magic,” and that saying might stick. Murray has been magical during the Cardinals' 6-3 start, and he’s comfortably in the MVP conversation.
The Murray-Hopkins connection is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best, and many athletes took notice of their play of the year candidate.