Sometimes in life, we reach points where we feel like we're stationary and not progressing to the future. We're working on our craft but it feels like it's getting us nowhere. Maybe all we need is either a fresh start or a restart. With this first NBA trade of the summer, two teams got their wishes granted.
On June 26th, the Los Angeles Clippers traded Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gortat. This is the first domino to fall in what will be one of the craziest off-seasons since the Miami Heat created their Big 3.
If this trade were on the Richter scale it would be a 3.5 which is defined as "Often felt by some people, very rarely causes damage." Now although this trade may not move the needle for interest, it is going to change the future of two teams and shows which direction they are both going. Let's look at this from both sides.
The Clippers: A Restart
Best Case Scenario: Acquiring Marcin Gortat all but guarantees that the Clippers are ready to move on from Deandre Jordan. They are in full tank mode. Jordan opts in and allows the team to trade him to the Dallas Mavericks for some bench players and a future draft pick, basic a salary dump by the Clippers.
The Clippers then have a roster full of young undeveloped players, a coach who's best days are behind him, and an owner who has seemingly made just about every bad move possible since he took over for that racist guy they had before. They are set up perfectly to start their own version of a Sixers-style tank job.
They will lose a lot of games over the next 3-4 years and acquire as many young players and assets as possible which eventually leads to them being good again. This sounds terrible but it would actually be the best way for them to restart, seeing as how they have been a franchise for over 30 years and have never even made it to the Western Conference Finals. A restart is not only an option, but it is necessary.
Worst Case Scenario: Doc Rivers believes he has a roster that can win now, and although he is wrong, he will still try his best to make it happen. Deandre Jordan opts in and decides to try to make it work one more time in LA. The team stays perfectly healthy throughout the season and wins 42 games and still misses the playoffs.
Marcin Gortat and Lou Williams play great off the bench all season and they use it as a ploy to try to get free agents to come play in Los Angeles. Carmelo Anthony still believes he is a top 25 player in the NBA and the Clippers do as well, and they sign him to a huge contract all but sealing their fate in mediocrity over then next 5 years.
They will still lose a lot of games, but will only get mid-level talent in the future NBA drafts. They remain the same team they have been for 30 years and will continue to play in the Lakers shadow.
The Wizards: A Fresh Start
Best Case Scenario: This move is a sneaky good one for the Wizards. It was pretty obvious all season that John Wall and Marcin Gortat didn't like each other, yet they were still able to trade him away and get a player better than him. I think people believe that Austin Rivers isn't a good player for the fact that he played with his dad, and because he was expected to be the guy on a Clippers team that wasn't all that good to begin with.
Austin Rivers played well, and has improved every year of his career. He is a guy that can play on both ends of the floor and has a high motor all the way to the final minutes of every game. John Wall and Bradley Beal need help scoring the basketball, and by putting Austin Rivers at the small forward position, they could improve their offense immensely.
The trio works on both ends of the floor and the Wizards shoot up to the 3 seed next season. They make it to the second round and maybe even the Eastern Conference Finals depending on where Lebron goes. This fresh start trade could essentially be the steal of the summer.
Worst Case Scenario: Scottie Brooks hasn't been known to get the best out of a good trio of scorers, and next season won't be any different. He attempts to make Austin Rivers the backup shooting guard and tries to plug him as the Sixth Man. Either, or both, John Wall and Bradley Beal gets hurt and Rivers steps up and plays well in their absence.
The playoffs roll around and the Wizards are the 6 seed with all of their guys now healthy. Brooks puts Rivers back on the bench and the entire camaraderie of the team is thrown off. Wall and Beal try to play iso ball again and Rivers is stuck trying to pull the team through in crunch time.
They lose in the first round to the Pacers, Brooks gets fired, and Rivers has had enough of this one year experiment. The Wizards are stuck with John Wall and Bradley Beal and an empty list of coaches who want to go there. Marcin Gortat subtweets about the Wizards and petty NBA Twitter wins again.
I can't believe Doc Rivers traded his own son lmaoooo
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.