The NBA offseason was a wild one. Many players changed teams and some of the top teams made changes that might increase their chances of winning the championship. Here are the top teams going into this season.
1. Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers were the best team in the NBA last season and they got even better this offseason. They added Dennis Schröder and Montrezl Harrell, two of the three finalists for the 6MOTY award. Schröder will probably start and Harrell will probably come off of the bench. They will have a great starting lineup and a very solid bench. Wesley Matthews is another great signing for his shooting and defense. He will add some veteran presence to an already stacked Lakers roster
2. Brooklyn Nets: I think that the Brooklyn Nets are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. They have star power in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who finally get to play together this year. They have shooting in Joe Harris and Landry Shamet and they have pure scorers in Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. One acquisition that the Nets made that I really like was Bruce Brown. He is a player that can shoot, score, pass, rebound, and defend. He will be an important player for the Nets this year. If KD can come back to somewhat of his normal self, the NBA should watch out for Nets.
3. Los Angeles Clippers: Even though they lost Harrell, I still really like what the Clippers did this off-season. Luke Kennard, when healthy, is a fantastic shooter. Also getting Serge Ibaka was huge for the Clippers. Ibaka is coming off of one of his best seasons in years as he averaged 15 PPG 8 RPG while shooting 39% from 3. He will provide much-needed floor spacing for the Clippers and provide a new dimension for the Clippers. The talent is there for the Clippers they just need Paul George to step up his game when it matters most… in the playoffs.
4. Milwaukee Bucks: We all know that Milwaukee will be one of if not the best regular season team in the NBA. The past 2 seasons they have crashed out of the playoffs losing to Toronto and Miami. The elephant in the room, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has one year remaining on his contract. Because of this, the Bucks management decided it was time for a change and they traded multiple picks for Jrue Holiday. Although the Bogdan Bogdanovic deal didn’t go through, they were able to get some solid signings in DJ Augustin, Bobby Portis, Bryn Forbes, and Torrey Craig. Even with all of that, is that enough for them go to the Finals?
5. Denver Nuggets: In the playoffs, we saw the birth of a new star in Jamal Murray, who averaged 27 PPG and 7 APG and shot an absurd 45% from 3. However, the star of the team is Nikola Jokic. He has improved every year and I see him improving once again this year. The loss of Jerami Grant is big but now it’s time for Michael Porter Jr to show what he can do. He showed flashes of stardom in the bubble. He will need to step up if the Nuggets want to win a championship.
Photo: Jacob Kupferman