Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Sports Gazette NBA Writers Poll 17/18 Part 1: Best Offseason Move

Posted on 13 October 2017 by Adam Samuel

With the start of the NBA regular season on the horizon, the writers of the Sports Gazette have come together to provide their thoughts on the season to come. Over a six-part series of articles, a panel of five will analyse the lay of the land, and decide who we believe will either shine or disappoint in 2017/18.

In part 1, we discuss which team made the best move of the offseason.

 Matt Horsman

  1. Paul George to Oklahoma City (3pts)
  2. Dwayne Wade to Cleveland (2pts)
  3. Jimmy Butler to Minnesota (1pt)

This is an easy one. I like Victor Oladipo but he was not good enough to help Westbrook turn the Thunder back into a challenger. Paul George’s arrival changes that, and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not previously, but I am really excited to watch the new look Thunder in action.

Special mention for D-Wade who was a great get by Cleveland. If Derrick Rose can get anywhere near his Bulls form back then this looks like a good offseason for them.

Ben Morse

  1. Kevin Durant re-signs with the Warriors (3pts)
  2. Paul George to Oklahoma City (2pts)
  3. Kyrie Irving to Boston (1pt)

Now you may be thinking “hey Ben, Kevin Durant didn’t move team!”. Well technically, you would be right. But the move by the Warriors and Durant to come to an agreement to sign a new two-year deal which keeps the four superstars together is a move that I believe will bring the title back to Oakland.

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a fantastic decision this summer by giving Russell Westbrook some support, adding Carmelo Anthony and, more importantly, Paul George who is a 4x All-Star and should be an excellent foil for Westbrook.

Boston upgraded their PG by trading for Kyrie Irving which should hopefully, along with Hayward and Horford, give them a chance for progressing to the NBA Finals. Special shout-outs go to Minnesota for trading for Jimmy Butler, and the Lakers in getting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

 Louis Olvera

  1. Paul George to Oklahoma City (3pts)
  2. Kyrie Irving to Boston (2pts)
  3. Jimmy Butler to Minnesota (1pt)

No doubt that Kyrie Irving’s trade request shocked the NBA world this summer. Why move away from a guy like LeBron James who can promise you a shot at an NBA title every year? But the biggest surprise came in Paul George going to Oklahoma City.

Sam Presti seems to have locked up the General Manager of the year award before the season even starts. George gives the Thunder a quality two-way player that can help in the win department.

Kyrie Irving will not make a big impact in the win department since Boston already had the best record in the East. The image of Jimmy Butler playing alongside a young, talented, and hungry squad in the Minnesota Timberwolves is just straight up awesome.

 James Pike

  1. All of Oklahoma City’s moves (3pts)
  2. Kyrie Irving to the Celtics (2pts)
  3. Chris Paul to the Rockets (1pt)

Yes, the Kyrie move has stolen the headlines, but we knew that the Celtics were going to be a top-two seed in the East already. The same could not be said about the Thunder, who may have been facing a Russell Westbrook departure sooner rather than later coming into this offseason. In the word of Chris Thompson at Deadspin:

“In the time since the Thunder lost Kevin Durant, they’ve turned Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter, and a draft pick into Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, and brought in the criminally underrated Patrick Patterson on a value contract. Whatever you think of the new-look Thunder, that’s an incredibly impressive retooling. ‘’

Who knows if it will work, but at least Oklahoma City is trying, and that’s what matters! Chris Paul also deserves credit for making his move to Houston happen: he (correctly) figured out that the Clippers were not going to win a title and that he needed to move on, and swapped them for the chance to play alongside James Harden. That’s exactly the kind of move the Winston-Salem, North Carolina native (REPRESENTIN’ THE TRE FO!) needed to stay in the hunt for championships.

Adam Samuel

  1. Paul George trade to Oklahoma City (3pts)
  2. Jimmy Butler trade to Minnesota (2pts)
  3. Chris Paul trade to Houston (1pt)

A very hard decision indeed. Somehow the biggest trade of the season (Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas) hasn’t cracked my top three, but for me the most team changing moves were all made in the west.

In agreement with those of my colleagues not named Ben, top of my list is Oklahoma’s acquisition of Paul George from Indiana. The team could go 20-62 and Sam Presti will still be the executive of the year. Turning Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis into a 23.7ppg superstar? Genius.


1st  – Paul George to Oklahoma (14pts)

2nd – Kyrie Irving to Boston (5pts)

3rd – Jimmy Butler to Minnesota (4pts)


Part 2: Most Disappointing Team

Part 3: Number One Picks

Part 4: Rookie of the Year

Part 5: NBA Champion

Part 6: Most Valuable Player