1. Making sense of the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade debacle – Jon Duke and Justin Poulin, Celtics Blog
It’s been about a week since it was reported that Kyrie Irving was being traded to the Boston Celtics, yet the deal hasn’t officially been processed by the NBA. We know that Isaiah Thomas’s hip was the main hiccup in the trade, but with the teams going back to the drawing board to figure out proper additional compensation, it’s unclear what it will take to get this deal done. Celtics Blog contributors Jon Duke and Justin Poulin give their thoughts on the status of the trade and what the Celtics might have to add to the pot.
2. Is There More to This Kyrie-Isaiah Deal Than Meets the Eye? – Haley O’Shaughnessy, The Ringer
The Cleveland Cavaliers have until Wednesday to veto the Irving trade to the Celtics, which again puts pressure on both sides to come to an agreement on a new deal. With a lot on the line for both sides, and the potential for a lot of impactful players to be resentful if this deal does fall through, The Ringer’s Haley O’Shaughnessy went through several theories as to why this trade was proposed even though both sides potentially knew about Thomas’s hip.
3. NBA 25 Under 25: Giannis Antetokounmpo and the players who will redefine the league – Dan Devine, Yahoo! Sports
We move on from hypothetical trades to hypothetical icons for the future of the NBA. Yahoo’s Dan Devine took a look at five potential stars under the age of 25. While Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo rightly headlines this list, the other four players have shown glimpses of being unstoppable. They are expected to take that next step this season. It’s interesting that Antetokounmpo is the shortest player on this list, since the league is widely viewed as perimeter-oriented.
4. “Best in the league” – Ben Simmons’ lofty goal ahead of new NBA season – Niall Seewang, ESPN
As we begin to watch for the next crop of NBA stars, one player doesn’t want to be grouped with the young guns. He wants to join the league’s elite. Philadelphia 76er rookie Ben Simmons sat out his entire first year in the NBA, but is confident he’ll immediately live up to the expectations that accompany a No. 1 pick this season. There’s ample speculation that the Sixers will be vastly improved this season, and a good amount will come down to how good Simmons actually is.
5. How the NBA Was Saved on the Back of a Napkin – Seerat Sohi, Sports Illustrated
Now is definitely the time to get excited about the future of basketball, but as always, the offseason is a great time to reflect on the history of the sport. In her debut column for Sports Illustrated, Twitter favorite Seerat Sohi wrote about the creation of the shot clock, how it changed the way basketball is played, and how it created a much more enjoyable fan experience.