This past offseason in the NBA was one not to be missed. Just in case you may have, here is a brief recap of some the biggest offseason moves and news:
- Hello / Goodbye: On May 15, 2014, Steve Kerr was hired by the Golden State Warriors to replace Mark Jackson as head coach of the team. Jackson’s firing was surprising considering that the team improved each season in his three seasons as head coach. In his last season, the team won 51 games, but was eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Kerr inked a five-year deal, worth 25 million, with no prior head coaching experience.
- Phil’s Big Catch: After failing to acquire Steve Kerr as head coach, New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Phil Jackson, hired the newly-retired Derek Fisher on June 10, 2014. Similar to Jason Kidd, Fisher made the transition from player to coach immediately after retirement and with no prior coaching experience. Fisher retired as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 10.
- Cavs draft Wiggins: With the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft for the third time in four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins, a high-flying shooting guard from the University of Kansas
- And then made room for Love: On August 23, a three-team trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia 76ers saw Wiggins and, second-year forward, Anthony Bennett on the move to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Love. The 76ers received Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and a 2015 first round draft pick from Cleveland. Minnesota also received Thaddeus Young and a trade exception.
- Homecoming: On July 11, 2014, Lebron James returned his talents back to Cleveland after spending four seasons in South Beach and winning back-to-back NBA championships with the Miami Heat. James hopes to do the unthinkable; bring a championship to his home of Northeast Ohio.
- Nets Trade Coach Kidd: After an alleged falling out with Brooklyn Nets management, Jason Kidd’s rights to be hired were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for a 2015 and 2019 second-round pick on July 2, 2014. The fallout was public and embarrassing for all parties involved. Former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, Lionel Hollins, was hired as the new head coach of the Nets on the same day.
- Chicago Big Three: On July 18, 2014, the Chicago Bulls signed four-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion, Pau Gasol. If Derrick Rose remains healthy, a “Big-Three” of Rose, Gasol, and Joakim Noah, may be one of the most formidable combinations in the Eastern Conference.
- Bad Break: During the 4th quarter of an exhibition USA basketball game, forward Paul George, suffered an open tibula-fibula fracture after landing awkwardly on the stanchion. George is expected to miss the entire 2014-2015 season and the Indiana Pacers will have to look elsewhere for contribution, especially after losing Lance Stephenson during free agency to the Charlotte Hornets.
- First Lady: On August 4, 2014, the San Antonio Spurs made history by hiring 16 year WNBA veteran, Becky Hammon, as the first full-time female assistant coach. Hammon had previously assisted the Spurs during practices and sat behind the bench during games on occasion. The hiring of Hammon leaves the opportunity open for the first female head coach in the future.