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The NBA is Back… Already

With the NBA and NBPA agreeing to a Dec. 22 start date, the NBA offseason is now in full swing.

The NBA draft was on Nov. 18 and it was full of drama. Danny Green was traded twice before even being able to decide what were the popular restaurants in the first city he was traded to.

Star shooting guard Klay Thompson has been ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles after tearing his ACL last year. Truly a brutal blow to the Warriors and the league. Everyone was looking forward to seeing the “Splash Bros” back in action.

Some teams are building for the future and accumulating draft picks, like the Oklahoma City Thunder who now has seventeen draft picks through 2025. Other teams are looking to win now.

The Brooklyn Nets are looking to acquire former MVP shooting guard James Harden to pair with All-Pro point guard Kyrie Irving and former MVP small forward Kevin Durant. Brooklyn would easily solidify themselves as the most talented team in the league if they completed bringing these three players together.

Meanwhile, the 2019-2020 Champion Los Angeles Lakers aren’t sitting back and watching as teams get better either. The champs traded starting shooting guard Danny Green to Oklahoma City after his woeful postseason performance for star point guard Dennis Shroeder, who finished second in the sixth man of the year voting last year. The Lakers struggled with bench scoring this past season, especially coming from the guard positions.

With a lot of moves still to be made with the free agency still to come and possible injuries that can come during training camp during this shortened off-season, you can’t put your finger on a team to stand out above the rest just yet.

The Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks are teams I would follow during free agency. The two teams have young stars in Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Both players could be in MVP talks at the end of next season, Doncic already receiving votes this past season.

The Hawks were a bottom of the standings team last year, but the team’s nucleus is nothing but top picks waiting to come into their own. Not to mention starting center Clint Capela will have an entire training camp under his belt with the new team after being traded to them at last year’s trade deadline.

The Hawks also added sharpshooter SG/SF Bogdan Bogdonavic during free agency when the Kings declined to match the Hawks offer. Bogdanavic was almost sent to the beast in the east last year Milwaukee Bucks, but that fell through and the Hawks took advantage of that.

The Hawks are a team I project to make a run for a middle seed during next season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as high as the number 4 seed.

The Mavericks are on the opposite end of the spectrum. What was once a team that landed in the top-five in the lottery two years ago, is now a team who made it to the playoffs and almost knocked out the favorite to win it all, the Los Angeles Clippers.

he Mavs honestly might’ve had a real shot to take the Clippers out had star power forward Kristaps Porzingis not gotten hurt and miss the rest of the series. Not to mention MVP candidate Luka Doncic missed a game because a player on the clippers “accidentally” stepped on his ankle. The Mavs are a piece away from being legit contenders and I would not sleep on them.

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