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It’s hard to believe that the power of the NBA has changed so much in just four years. LeBron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and helped the team win its first NBA championship ever. Kawhi Leonard began to emerge as the next face of the San Antonio Spurs. In 2021, do you know who Isaiah Thomas was?

The old NBA faces are everywhere. Players wanted to swap super teams and championship rings. The power in the NBA is not in the hands of the owners. It is 100% up to the players and their ability to control where they want to land.

Here are some of the biggest names in the NBA four years ago, and here they are now.

Isaiah Thomas

Then the Boston Celtics.

Right now, I’m independent.

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There was a time when Thomas was one of the best clutch players in the league. He ended the season with a career high of 28.9 points per game. He then led the Celtics to the playoffs, including 15 games where he averaged 23.3 points on 42.5 percent of the field shots.

Thomas’ career has not changed since the defeat of the Celtics before the Cavaliers in the final of the Eastern Conference. He missed the rest of the series with a hip injury in the second game. Thomas played a total of 44 games in the next three seasons. He played 40 games for the Wizards last season and was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, but was released two days later. His basketball career is currently in limbo.

Nephews and nieces of DeMarcus

When the kings of Sacramento

Now, the Houston missiles.

DeMarcus' parallel trade

Nephew and niece were once the face of the Kings, where he was named twice after the All-Star team. The cousins started in Sacramento in 2016 before being exchanged with the New Orleans Pelicans. He has an average of 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds before being sidetracked. Today the Kings could have won the deal that Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and the first and second round selections in 2017.

Cousins have since torn his Achilles tendon, torn his left leg quadriceps and torn his anterior cruciate ligament. He only played three games for the Rockets and averaged 4.7 points per game. Cousins are only 30 years old, but with the wear and tear he has undergone, his body can be much older.

Jimmy Butler

Then the Chicago Bulls

Now it’s the Miami Heat.

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Butler wanted to be the face of the Chicago Bulls. He wasn’t originally from Chicago like Derrick Rose, but he had a similar story. He was a man who had to work his way through the university and the professional ranks. He has qualified for the All-Star team three times and has been a member of the All-Defensive team in two of the last three seasons.

Chicago didn’t want him to be the face of the city. They sent him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who he helped with the playoffs. Then he was traded to Philadelphia and signed with the Heat. He has proven that his personality fits well with a champion team. Butler led the Heat to the NBA finals in 2020, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of Chicago fans.

Gordon Hayward

Dan Utah Jazz.

Now Charlotte Hornets.

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1610191613_922_How-The-NBA-Changed-In-4-Years-The-Superstars-And.jpg Credit : Getty Images

After qualifying for his first All-Star team in his last season at the Jazz, Heyward signed a maximum contract to join his former coach Brad Stevens Butler in Boston. We all know how the story goes. Gaivard suffered a catastrophic injury in the first game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the season. When he came back, his production wasn’t as high as in an All-Star game.

No one can blame Hayward for leaving Jazz right now. He has to work with Kyrie Irving and try to lead the Celtics to the finals. They played together for a few seasons, but nothing happened. This season Heyward followed the money and had 100 million reasons to join the Hornets.

Paul George

Then the Indiana Pacers

Now it’s the Los Angeles Clippers.

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When George started in the league, he almost led the Pacers to the NBA finals when the Miami Heat LeBron James led. After six seasons, George felt that Indiana didn’t bring the right pieces to form a champion team. Over the years, we have learned that the Packers could have bought or exchanged Kawhi Leonard for Anthony Davis. Instead, the Pacers didn’t want to get rid of the capital project.

George’s exchange request was later accepted, where he spent two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. His last season with the OKC showed statistics of 28.0 points and 8.2 rebounds. The thunder then exchanged it for the Clippers for an abundance of pickaxes. George’s exchange with Los Angeles was an important factor in Leonard’s decision to sign with the Clippers.

DeMar DeRozan

Then the Toronto Raptors.

Now, the San Antonio Spurs.

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DeRozan has been one of the top players in the league for the past five years. He qualified for four All-Star teams and left Toronto as the all-time leading scorer of the franchise. He had his best season four years ago, with an average of 27.3 points per game. His only failure was not to place the Raptors in front of LeBron at the Eastern Conference.

This led the Raptors to try their luck with Kawhi Leonard, who has only one season left. The Raptors sent DeRozan as the jewel in the package that also landed Danny Green’s team. In the end, Toronto’s victory in the first NBA Championship in Leonard’s season alone was the right decision.

Blake Griffin

Then the Los Angeles Clippers

Now the Detroit pistons

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Griffin was the mayor of Lob City. When Griffin played with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers were synonymous with slam dunks. Griffin was in good health, averaging almost 20 points and eight rebounds per match. After the failure of the final of the Western Conference, the leadership decided to take a different direction.

Only one season after signing the maximum contract, the Clippers exchanged Griffin for the Pistons on the trade-in date. The Clippers won that deal. Griffin played only 18 games last season, while the Clippers used their available hood space to bring in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Carmelo Anthony

Then the New York Knicks.

Now, the Portland Trail Blazers…

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Four years ago Anthony finished last season with an average of more than 20 points per race. It was also his last season with the Knicks. It’s hard to believe that the former All-Star is a rising star since his last days in New York.

After the season, Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The experience lasted only one season and was transferred to the Houston Rockets. His stay in Houston lasted only 10 games and he practically left the NBA. Instead, the Portland Trail Blazers gave him a chance, and he enjoyed his role as a banker. He’s closing the games for Portland right now.

Chris Paul

Then the Los Angeles Clippers

Now the suns of the Phoenix

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/How-The-NBA-Changed-In-4-Years-The-Superstars-And.jpeg Photo Harry Howe/Getty Images

If someone had told you four years ago that Paul would one day be a member of the Phoenix Suns, would you have believed it? Paul praised the mayor when the Clippers composed the trio of Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. However, the Clippers group never qualified for the finals of the Western Conference.

Paul’s last years were overshadowed by his relationship with Doc Rivers. After the game against Doc’s son Austin Rivers, rumors circulated that the locker room was broken and that the young Rivers played a major role. Eventually Paul was swapped for the Houston rockets. Paul finally had a chance to advance with the Rockets to the finals of the Western Conference, but he was traded to Russell Westbrook. After OKC decided to rebuild, he became the leader of a young Suns team that plays exceptionally well.

Kawhi Leonard

Then the traces of San Antonio

Now it’s the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Seems like the best time to get on with Kawhi Leonard. It’s been almost four years since Leonard’s relationship with the team broke down. A badly managed quadriceps injury resulted in a breach of trust between Leonard and the Spurs. This led the Spurs to accept his trade application.

It is a happy evolution because Leonard would be the next face of the team after the departure of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Leonard was named San Antonio’s defensive player of the year twice and won the MVP title in the 2014 NBA final. Instead, Leonard won a title in Toronto and is currently trying to lead his third team (the Clippers) to their first NBA championship.

Russell Westbrook

Then the thunder of Oklahoma City…

Now the wizards of Washington

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Westbrook didn’t do a very good job of getting Durant out of town. There are reports that their relationship has been rocky. When Durant left, we saw the best version of Russ we’d ever seen. He did a triple average and was MVP. Unfortunately his teams never made it to the second round of the playoffs.

Last year in Houston, he was swapped for Chris Paul. Management thought Westbrook and James Harden would be the perfect combination. Instead, Westbrook didn’t get along with the team’s culture and wanted it out, so the team swapped for John Wall in Washington. At 32, Westbrook passed the milestone and has not made it to the NBA finals since a young Thunder team qualified in 2012.

Kevin Durant

Then the thunder of Oklahoma City…

Now the Brooklyn Nets.

kevin duran stef-kri christian godparents photo/Getty Images

The Thunder was led by Durant and Westbrook in the finals of the Western Conference, while the Golden State Warriors took a 3-1 lead. The Warriors set the NBA record for most wins in one season with 73. But we all know how the story goes. The Thunder lost a 3-1 lead and the Warriors advanced to the NBA finals.

The warriors lost to the Cleveland Knights and recruited Durant to join their dynasty. The Warriors won two NBA championships and Durant won two MVP trophies in the NBA finals. Durant missed everything last season with a torn Achilles tendon. He is now working with Kyrie Irving to give the city of Brooklyn its first NBA championship.

Kyrie Irving

Then the Cleveland Riders

Now the Brooklyn Nets.

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1610191618_430_How-The-NBA-Changed-In-4-Years-The-Superstars-And.jpg (via USA Today)

The last two superstars have both played for the Cavaliers, but have two different stories. Irving’s three-point shot in the NBA final will go down in Cleveland’s history forever. Irving was a superstar to the Cavaliers. Problem is, he wasn’t a superstar. Irving felt he was living in the shadow of LeBron, so he wanted out.

Irving joined the Celtics, but he never became a real team leader. His stay in Boston was characterized by questionable comments and an unorthodox style of leadership. Irving left Boston to join Kevin Durant in Brooklyn.

LeBron James

Then the Cleveland Riders

Now the Los Angeles Lakers.

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For two years James was unable to lead the Cavaliers outside the combination of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Although he made it to the NBA finals for the second time in four seasons, his legacy is marred by three league losses.

When LeBron left Cleveland, many thought the move to Los Angeles was his moment after basketball. His kids were about to start high school, and California has excellent basketball programs. Instead, the Lakers reorganized after a season out of the playoffs, acquired Anthony Davis and won the NBA title in 2020. LeBron is trying to get the fifth seed this year. Title to win. Four years later, he gets six Michael Jordan rings?

 

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