With the NBA season starting on the 22nd December, fans have begun to speculate on what we can see as the season begins. During the offseason, the NBA didn’t disappoint its followers with the trade market. Across both the Eastern and Western Conference, teams are looking to take down the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers of course, had a fantastic season during 2020, winning the NBA Finals with a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat. It was their 17th NBA title across the franchise history, with many bookmakers already putting The Lakers are the seasons firm favourites yet again.
But what are the other predictions for the course of this year?
The teams making the biggest impact
Besides the Lakers, the LA Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks are also predicted by experts to have a great season. Last year the Clippers were expected to be strong contenders for an NBA championship — they were eliminated from the playoffs which came as a shock to many fans. It’s been said to have been one of the greatest postseason collapses in the history of the NBA. But there’s still hope for them next season, with fans gearing up to see if they can make a comeback.
Similarly, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to do well, with The Golden State Warriors being backed as an underdog by the handicappers offering their advice on NBA picks.
Devin Booker Wins the Coveted MVP
Many people are already placing bets on Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns getting the coveted MVP at the end of the season. One of the best players in the league, in the last two seasons he’s averaged 6.6 assists and 26.6 points per game.
With the Suns in a fantastic position to make the playoffs, experts are predicting Booker will average over 30 points per game, and end up the first Suns player to win the MVP since Steve Nash. An incredible feat and fantastic for the team’s reputation.
Los Angeles Lakers Will Trade for Damian Lillard
It’s been said that the Lakers will snag the scoring sensation guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers, thereby forming a Big 3. Having a three-year window with LeBron the team will go all-in for three more seasons and become the favourite for 2021 and beyond.
A Trade Request from Paul George
The experiment of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George hasn’t panned out. The team were knocked out during the second round of the playoffs. The chemistry between George and Leonard just isn’t there. George will become unhappy and ask for a trade. He won’t accept being a middle of the pack team — it’s not what he signed up for with the Clippers, so he’ll want to get out.
Sacramento Kings are Going to Make the Playoff
They’ve not done it since 2006. But many experts are now predicting the Kings will manage to break a 15 year playoff drought and qualify to the playoffs this season. The reason? They had one of the best off seasons of the lot. Hassan Whiteside being brought on as a rim protector was a great decision for a one-year deal. They also landed point guard Tyrese Haliburton who will help make it happen.
As are the Chicago Bulls
The Bulls didn’t have a great time last season, and became a laughing stock over the course of the year. This included their fanbase in Chicago booing upper management during the live telecasts of the NBA All-Star Game. Jim Boylen got meme-ified and Gar Forman and John Paxson were reassigned.
But this just means that the Bulls have a lot to fight for over the course of the games, and they’ve got some strength in the likes of Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr and Zach Lavine. They’ve also got a new coach in Billy Donovan, so fans may be in for a surprise treat after last year.
The Dallas Mavericks will Trade Kristaps Porzingis
The team was hopeful when Kristaps Porzingis was signed; they believed he’d be the unicorn of basketball and bring them glory. During the regular season he did show some promise, averaging 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. But Porzingis became injured just three games in the first round of the playoffs and missed all of 2018 season with more injury.
It’s likely the Mavericks will be ready to move him on if the injuries keep up.
The Suns will Land Blake Griffin
Analysts predict that the suns will bring “Lop City” back to the state of Arizona. Chris Paul was traded earlier in the offseason, and they’ll move forward with trading Mikel Bridges, a few draft picks, Dario Saric and some salary relief to bring in former All-Star Griffin.
Following this, the Suns will move Jae Crowder to small forward with a line up of Chris Paul, Crowder, Griffin, DeAndre Ayton and Devin Bookers. Some experts are already suggesting this combination could get the Suns to a Western Conference Finals. Only time will tell if this dream becomes a reality for the team, but with Griffins on their side it feels like there could be potential.