NBA Free Agency: 5 Most Impactful Trades in the summer of 2017
The summer of 2017 saw some of the biggest names in basketball swap teams in order to maximize their chances at a title. Indeed, it is difficult to think of another offseason with the same amount of movement. As many as 7 All-Stars sported new uniforms for the 2017-18 season, and most of them forced those moves as trade pieces rather than in free agency.
Not all of these moves were nearly as consequential to the franchises who traded for them. Some trades ended up as win-win situations for both parties, while some left the team trading for the superstar in the best possible spot.
For the purposes of this article, we are also considering draft-night trades, given that one of them was actually more consequential than a trade that involved a perennial All-Star getting a trade to become the third banana on a 'superteam'. Our countdown for the most impactful trades made in 2017 is as follows:
#5 Boston Celtics trade down in the draft to acquire Jayson Tatum
The Boston Celtics traded down in the draft to acquire a player who put LeBron James on a poster in Game 7 of a Conference Finals series. If that doesn't rank among your all-time draft-day trade fleecings, I'm waiting to hear your take.
Jayson Tatum was tipped by a number of writers to go off the draft board to end up among the top-four picks. The Celtics were most impressed by him in the workouts they hosted - more than Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson or Dennis Smith Jr. But then Trader Danny pulled off one of the heists of this decade, trading down in the draft to acquire the player he liked the most while adding another projected lottery pick in 2019 - most likely the Kings' pick in that class.
Tatum showed off his capability in one of the best rookie playoff seasons in NBA history, as he totaled the second-highest points tally for any rookie through a single postseason as the alpha dog on a Celtics team missing Kyrie. Without Tatum's scoring punch, the Celtics could never have gotten past a stacked Sixers team in the Conference Semifinals.
Markelle Fultz, whom the Sixers wanted to select, underwent one of the most curious rookie seasons in league history. He had a number of shoulder injuries through the year, and he changed his shooting form to accommodate for the bulk he put on his arms through the offseason. Brett Brown was unable to bring back the sweet hesi pull-up jimbo that made him the consensus #1 pick in 2017 through the season.
Fultz even without a serviceable jump shot will be an above-average NBA player if he puts in the work, but the Sixers would definitely like his broken jumper back to its original form.