Early Sunday night, one of pro basketball’s top news breakers, Marc Stein of ESPN, pressed send on a tweet that sent fans into a tizzy.

The Denver Nuggets, one of the league’s asset-rich but superstar-poor teams, were part of a three-team trade discussion, he and Chris Haynes of ESPN reported, that ultimately would put Paul George of Indiana on the same roster as LeBron James, and send Kevin Love and his already Denver-appropriate beard to the Nuggets.

Within 30 minutes it had been retweeted more than 4,000 times with another 3,500 likes.

Baseball might have a “hot stove” that burns for a few weeks each winter, but the NBA offseason is a furnace that burns for months, keeping fans warm in the four months or so between games.

Stein has long held the belief that the “transaction game” gets hardcore basketball fans as excited as the actual 48 minutes of court time, and this offseason, again, has proved him right.

Since Kevin Durant and Steph Curry annihilated all comers in the NBA postseason, a string of stories and rumors have defined conversations.

Here’s a partial list: George trade talks, Jimmy Butler trade talks, DeAndre Jordan trade talks, LaMarcus Aldridge trade rumors, Cleveland General Manager David Griffin leaving, the Clippers hiring Jerry West, Kristaps Porzingis trade talks, Phil Jackson allegedly napping on the job, James’ future in Cleveland, Butler’s actual trade, the 76ers trading for the No. 1 pick in the draft, Dwight Howard being dealt for nothing of real value, Magic Johnson trading D’Angelo Russell before adding Lonzo (and, gulp, LaVar) Ball, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul’s free agency, Gordon Hayward’s free agency and Kyle Lowry’s free agency.

It’s all happened in the past two weeks.

It’s why “content” might be the biggest winner of this past week’s NBA draft and, really, the offseason overall. Stein called the thirst “insatiable,” and it’s spawned an industry of insiders fumbling between two and three cellphones while they fire off texts to agents, scouts and executives. As for actual basketball teams, a bunch got way better in the past seven days while a couple got way worse.

Winner: Timberwolves

Dealing for an All-NBA, two-way forward was the biggest move on draft night, with Butler instantly making Minnesota a favorite for a playoff spot next season (it would be their first since Kevin Garnett got them there in 2003).

Butler might not be suited to be the only star on the team, but in Minnesota, he won’t be. Center Karl-Anthony Towns is as skilled as any young player in the NBA, and Andrew Wiggins has quietly gotten better each of his three years.

Loser: Bulls

Butler’s former team got a pair of young guards in Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, and a nice prospect in Lauri Markkanen, but the haul for Butler only shines a light on management’s inability to retool the backcourt after Derrick Rose.

Last offseason the Bulls acquired Jerian Grant, a former first-round pick, for Rose. Last season they traded for Cameron Payne, a former first-round pick. And now they added Dunn, a top-five pick last year. None has been proven.

There’s a chance they might not even get a chance if the Bulls bring back Rajon Rondo. Oh, and they’re paying Dwayne Wade $24 million next season.

But most embarrassing was the sale of their second-round pick, Jordan Bell of Oregon –a do-it-all, versatile defender – to the NBA’s best team, Golden State. The cash acquired, $3.5 million, could help them pay off Rondo or Wade to go away, triggering a full rebuild the team should have seen coming years ago.

Winner: Kings

“Winner: Sacramento Kings” is a rare three-word phrase but they had a big night. The No. 5 overall pick, guard De’Aaron Fox from Kentucky, is a blur, and has the demeanor and skill to be a leader. Then, Vlade Divac and the Kings flipped the No. 10 pick into two more first-rounders, getting Justin Jackson of North Carolina and Harry Giles of Duke.

Giles has a chance to be the steal of the draft. Full-time rehab, and a pro strength and conditioning program could help him regain the explosiveness he lost after a knee injury and make him the versatile inside-outside defender teams need.

Loser: Parity

No one has made any significant gain on the Warriors, who will enter next season as the favorites. Barring catastrophic injuries, they will almost certainly end the regular season as the favorites to repeat. But even if the outcomes are predictable, there’s always the transaction game.

At least no one knows who’ll win.

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