Despite all the happenings surrounding the infancy of the NFL season, the NBA keeps taking a sizeable bite out of the global attention span with big moves over what has been one of the most interesting offseasons in a long time.
The New York Knicks finally did what seemed inevitable, shipping Carmelo Anthony away. Oddly enough, his landing spot wound up being with the Oklahoma City Thunder next to Russell Westbrook and Paul George, a move first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
While it is hard to imagine any other development before the season tips off can match the blockbuster trade, it wouldn't be a huge surprise given the course the offseason has traveled so far.
With such a theme in mind, here is a look at the latest rumblings.
Andrew Wiggins Extension Chatter
Contracts and extensions aren't as attractive as a big name like Carmelo getting shipped to a new team.
But a guy like Andrew Wiggins hitting the open market at some point could change the league in a big way as well.
Wiggins has the look of one of the league's next big superstars, meaning the Minnesota Timberwolves can't like the idea of him heading toward restricted free agency in 2018. Furthering the problem from a cap outlook is the addition of big names like Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler, not to mention a future payout for center Karl-Anthony Towns.
Alas, The Vertical's Shams Charania reported the two sides are on the path to a max:
The Timberwolves haven't made the playoffs since 2004, and the conference around them only keeps getting better, so it makes sense to break open the checkbook and get this done.
One could argue Wiggins is the most important player on the roster from a long-term perspective. He's only 22 years old and has missed just a single game over the course of his three-year career so far, which has seen him bump his scoring average (23.6 points per game in 2016-17) and shooting percentage (35.6) in each season.
Barring something dramatic, look for the Timberwolves to wrap this up as soon as possible.
The Odd Trey Burke Saga
At the age of 24, Trey Burke is the most interesting free agent left in the NBA.
He wouldn't be, but Burke had reportedly worked something out with the Thunder and was set to join what looks like a new powerhouse.
Before he changed his mind.
Charania reported as much, replying to his since-deleted tweet with a new update:
The why and how of Burke changing his mind is hard to guess, as is where he might end up next. There should be plenty of interest at this stage of the offseason, though, provided the boost he can provide to a bench.
Burke spent the first three years of his career with the Utah Jazz, a team that then shipped the No. 9 pick in 2013 to the Washington Wizards. With the Wizards, he only averaged 12.3 minutes per game but drilled 44.3 percent of his attempts from deep on limited looks.
Still, Burke has value as a former top-10 pick and apparent interest from a would-be contender like the Thunder before they brought in a superstar says it all.
Aftermath of the Carmelo Sweepstakes
So the Thunder walk away the big winners of a late-offseason push to contend, and the front office certainly deserves kudos for managing to bring in both George and Anthony without even surrendering a first-round pick.
It is one of the best hauls in an offseason of plenty, undoubtedly. But the big splash creates plenty of ripple effects, starting right in the Western Conference with other teams that might have thought they had a serious chance of striking a deal with the Knicks.
The biggest loser in this area wound up being the Portland Trail Blazers, as Wojnarowski explained.
"[Knicks GM Scott] Perry remained in contact with Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who had the most versatile array of assets for New York and motivation to make the deal—but, ultimately, Anthony would not accept a trade to the Pacific Northwest," Wojnarowski wrote.
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It's odd Anthony didn't like the geography surrounding the Trail Blazers yet didn't take issue with Oklahoma City. Either way, on the court he would have fit nicely with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, giving opponents fits on the defensive end of the court.
The Trail Blazers aren't ruined by any means after missing out, though the boost would have been nice after a .500 campaign in a deep conference.
As for Anthony, he still shot 35.9 percent from the floor a year ago while averaging 22.4 points. With the attention defenses will have to throw at other weapons on the Thunder, he'll need to keep in a strong shooting rhythm to help the team climb the ranks of the conference.
Stats and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.