The NBA’s Central Division has been one of the more active this offseason. They have a good mix of top teams, middling talent and bottom-feeders.
The Central Division has had a huge shakeup of talent this summer. It’s seen three of its top players leave with very little in return.
The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers have all shipped out All-Star caliber players in Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Kyrie Irving. That’s arguably three of the division’s top five players gone. Just like that.
The Pacers got screwed. The Bulls might come out okay. And the Cavaliers appeared to get the best return. As of now, at least.
You can also add the Detroit Pistons to the list of teams who lost one of their top players. They failed to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who bolted to the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year “prove-it” deal.
That only leaves the Milwaukee Bucks. They are the only team who didn’t lose a significant contributor. However, Jabari Parker won’t return to action until February thanks to an ACL tear, and who knows if he will ever be the same again?
The door is now open for a few of the teams to climb the ladder and make some noise. Whether they take advantage of the chaos, however, remains to be seen.
Regardless, the reigning Central champs should have little trouble repeating. The real battle will come in the middle of the pack. Which team is ready to take that next step and move closer to a divisional title? Continue reading to find out.