2019-20 NBA season is going to be awesome. This summer has seen a ton of player movement, including 8 All Stars from 2019 switching teams.
Some of the movement has involved some reunions behind old teammates or some previous teammates shifting teams together. The following list takes a look at the hidden identities of some teams and the reunions taking place for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Hidden identity – 2017-18 Pelicans
This isn’t a bad team to reunite. In Rajon Rondo’s one year in New Orleans, it represents the only playoff series win of Anthony Davis’ 7 year career. Demarcus Cousins was part of the team for half the year but was injured and missed the postseason.
Other connections – in 2010, rookie Danny Green played 20 games for Lebron’s Cavs; new backup PG Quinn Cook played with Javale McGee in 2017-18 and Demarcus Cousins in 2018-19 as members of the Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans
Hidden identity – 2017-2019 Lakers
The Lakers traded former #2 overall picks Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram plus Josh Hart to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. Had the Anthony Davis trade gone down mid-season, you could have included Julius Randle in the reunion.
Hidden identity – 2009-2012 Thunder
Obviously it’s a stretch to say they fully resemble the Thunder, given the lack of Kevin Durant, but Harden is a significantly better player than he was on the Thunder. These are 2 of the last 3 players to win MVP. They played in the 2012 NBA Finals together.
Golden State Warriors
Hidden identity – 2012-13 Warriors
The Warriors have made 5 straight NBA Finals, winning 3 Championships in that span with this core trio. In 2013, Andre Iguodala joined the team and Kevin Durant signed in 2016. The 2012-13 team won 51 games and lost in the first round of the playoffs. That team also had Harrison Barnes, and this one has 2019 All Star D’angelo Russell, but it’s really back to basics for Golden State with their original big three.
Hidden identity – 2017-2018 Knicks
Last February, the Knicks traded disgruntled and injured Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas as part of a trade that helped them shed the hefty contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr and Courtney Lee. Porzingis expects to debut and re-join his old teammates in Dallas at the starting of the 2019-20 season. Before his injury, Porzingis led the Knicks in 2018 with 22 ppg with Hardaway second on the team with 17 ppg, and Lee sixth with 12 ppg.
Los Angeles Clippers
Hidden identity – 2016-17 Rockets
Obviously, it’s a stretch to say this team is like the Rockets, given the presence of the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly, and Montrezl Harrell are all key pieces to this Clippers team – all three were acquired from the Rockets in a trade for Chris Paul. Lou Williams was the third leading scorer of that Rockets team, while Beverly was a primary starter and Harrell played a smaller role.
Players reunited – Thaddeus Young and Zach LaVine + Otto Porter and Tomas Satoransky
As part of the 16 win Timerberwolves in 2014-15, Young started 48 games, averaging 14 ppg, before being traded to the Nets. LaVine started 40 games (played 77), averaging 10 ppg as a rookie.
Before a mid-season trade to the Bulls, Otto Porter played 41 games with the Wizards, playing alongside PG Tomas Satoransky, who played 80 games averaging 8.9 ppg, 5 apg
Players reunited – Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris
We all know about Kyrie’s contributions to the Cavs during his time in Cleveland. The Cavs drafted Joe Harris 33rd overall in 2014 and he played 51 games as a rookie, alongside Kyrie.
Players reunited – Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner
The NBA free agency summer of 2016 was insane and two of the wildest contracts were signed by Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe, both with the Blazers. Turner spent the last three years in Portland while Crabbe only played a year wit Turner, but the two find themselves united in Atlanta following salary dumps. They are joined by chandler Parsons, who would have signed with Portland if not for Memphis upping their offer, forcing Portland to “settle” for turner.
New York Knicks
Players reunited – Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton
This is another case where players aren’t necessarily reunited, they are just switching teams together. Both free agents signed with the Knicks after spending one year last season in New Orleans. Randle averaged 21 ppg, 8 rpg and Payton averaged 10.6 ppg, 7.6 apg, 5.2 rpg.
Hypothetical team – Nets
Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum were both drafted with picks acquired from the Nets. That famous 2013 Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade that netted Celtics a treasure chest of picks led to them drafting Brown 4th overall in 2016 and Tatum 3rd overall in 2017.
They would have had the 8th pick in 2018, if not for a trade that landed Kyrie Irving in Boston from Cleveland. Ironically, the lost out on the pick (Collin Sexton) and now lost Kyrie to the Nets.
Hypothetical team – Nuggets
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were both drafted with picks acquired from the Nuggets. In 2013, Nuggets picked Gobert 27th and traded him on draft night for the 46th pick (Erick Green) and cash. In 2017, Nuggets picked Donovan Mitchell 13th and sent him to Denver for Trey Lyles and the 24th pick (Tyler Lydon).
This summer, the Jazz also Emmanuel Mudiay, former #1 HS prospect, who was the #7 pick by the Nuggets in 2015.
Players reunited – Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez
The Lopez twins (Brook and Robin) will play together for the first time since their Stanford days, this time in Milwaukee. In 2007-08 as sophomores at Stanford, the twins averaged a combined 29.5 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 4.4 bpg. Stanford made the NCAA Tournament both seasons, including a Sweet 16 in 2008.
Players reunited – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson were teammates at University of Arizona in 2014-15. They combined for 25 ppg and 13.3 rpg, helping lead the Wildcats to a 34-4 record.
Other College/High School
4 players on Minnesota’s roster have played in Final Fours, inclding two guys have won it – Gorgui Dieng (2013), Shabazz Napier (2014), while Karl Anthony Towns (2015) and Jarrett Culver (2019) have both made it there.
Kings are an All-High School team. They have 2 guys ranked #1 going into college Harrison Barnes (2009) and Marvin Bagely (2017), plus Harry Giles ranked #2 (2017) and De’Aaron Fox ranked 6th (2016)