Every summer with the NBA is the same story: NBA fans are bored and cannot wait for the games to start again, but they are being kept entertained by "moves" around the associations through trades, free agency or the NBA Draft. This year was remarkably special in terms of important players moving to other teams as not less than 8 All-Stars from last season have changed teams during the summer. As the 2017-2018 NBA Season starts tonight here is a summary of the most important changes to know about before jumping into the new season of the greatest basketball league on Earth:

The Kyrie Irving situation and Boston's new look reshapes the East

  • The main story of the summer might have been the trade request from Kyrie Irving, only a couple of weeks after playing in the NBA Finals for the third straight year. It seems that Irving got tired of being in the shadow of the great LeBron James and wanted to be the leader of a team on his own. After months of uncertainty about Irving's future, the Cavs were able to find a great deal for the point guard as Kyrie was sent to the Boston Celtics, Cleveland's main rival in the Eastern Conference, in exchange for another All-Star and third best scorer of the league last season, Isaiah Thomas, as well as Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Boston's 2018 first round draft pick.
  • Gordon Hayward wanted out of Utah after a great season with the Jazz where he took them to the Playoffs for the first time in 5 years and became an All-Star for the first time in his career. He was a free agent and he chose to sign with the Boston Celtics where he will form a strong Big Three with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.
  • Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost their second best scorer in Kyrie Irving the had a very productive summer and are looking very strong for the new season. Indeed, in addition to Thomas and Crowder coming from Boston, the Cavs have signed former MVP Derrick Rose and 3-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade. Two additions that can be critical for the franchise's success down the line this season.

New "Super Teams" seem to be forming to fight Golden State

  • Another headline story is that Russell Westbrook is getting some help in OKC ... big time. The Thunder has recruited two All-Stars, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, to play along Westbrook and create a formidable "Big Three" that, at least on the paper, can compete with the record-breaking Warriors. Paul George arrives in a trade that sent Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers in exchange for the four-time All-Star. Carmelo Anthony, who was looking to get traded all summer, turned out to be sent to the Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round draft pick.
  • Chris Paul, after 6 seasons with the LA Clippers, has been traded to the Houston Rockets to form an explosive backcourt duo with MVP runner-up James Harden. The trade involved good players being sent to the Clippers as Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell, most notably, "took their talents to LA."
  • Jimmy Butler, the face of the Chicago Bulls for the last couple of seasons, has been traded on draft day to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn and the pick #7. This wasn't the Wolves' only move this summer as Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford were also added to the squad led by Tom Thibodeau and they now look as a strong team that can make some noise in the packed Western Conference.

Other notable signings

  • Paul Millsap was a free-agent and has signed a three-year, $90 million contract with the Denver Nuggets where he will surely have fun playing in the paint with NBA revelation Nikola Jokic.
  • Danilo Gallinari has left the Nuggets to go play with the LA Clippers through a 3-team trade. The Clippers finally signed a solid small forward that they needed for so many years... right after they lost Chris Paul.
  • Rajon Rondo has left the Bulls (Wade, Butler and Rondo are now all gone from Chicago...) to go distribute dimes to the "Twin Towers" Cousins and Davis in New Orleans.
  • The Celtics (them again!) have traded the great defender Avery Bradley to the Pistons for Marcus Morris.
  • After the Timberwolves signed Jeff Teague, Ricky Rubio moved on the Utah Jazz while George Hill was signing with the Sacramento Kings.
  • The young D'Angel Russell has been traded to the Nets (to make room for Lonzo Ball) along with Timofey Mozgov in exchange for Brook Lopez. Caldwell-Pope joins Lopez as he leaves Detroit to join the team led by Ball.
  • Dwight Howard, after "coming home" last year to Atlanta, has been traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee and Marco Belinelli...
  • The Grizzlies have lost 3 players that were core to their identity as Vince Carter and Zach Randolph went to sign with the Kings while Tony Allen has signed with the Pelicans.

The first game of the new season, an exciting Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers (Kyrie vs LeBron !) starts tonight at 8PM Eastern Time (1am in London and 2 am in Paris). Have a great season !