An astonishing NBA season is upon us, with over half of the players switching teams and new rookies coming in the league fresher than ever. Among those rookies is Zion Williamson who was the number one college player of the year, and was highly anticipated coming into the league. A lot of moves happened throughout the off-season, from Kevin Durant signing with the Brooklyn Nets to Russell Westbrook being traded to the Houston Rockets. Many teams who were average last season, have greatly improved chances of winning the chip such as the Clippers with Kawhi and Nets with Kyrie. With so many trades taking place, it will take some time to get used to seeing players in their new jerseys.
One of the biggest moves this off-season was the finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, after getting Toronto their first championship, signing with his hometown team the Los Angeles Clippers. Minutes after Leonard’s signing, the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) announced that they would be trading their star forward Paul George to the Clippers, forming a new dynamic duo that makes the Clippers a championship contender this season.
Prior to the offs-season, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans had one of the most significant trades. The Lakers were so desperate for another superstar to help LeBron win a championship that they traded three of their core players and half of their future first-round pick for Anthony Davis. With those three young players heading to the Pelicans, the Lakers were excited to bring in a young superstar. This trade had been in talks since the superstar wanted to get out of the team in late January of 2019. The Pelicans are a real threat in both conferences now that have the strong young duo of Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball. Many basketball sources are predicting that Williamson will win Rookie of the Year.
Prospects for Oklahoma City Thunder are not looking great. Paul George joining the Clippers left OKC with little chance of winning the championship, pushing Russell Westbrook to jump ship too. The Thunder’s more distant future may turn out bright with the Clippers giving them Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and their first-round draft picks for the years 2022, 2024 and 2026. A couple of days after the Paul George deal, the Houston Rockets contacted Sam Presti, who is the General Manager of OKC. Both GM’s came to an agreement sending Chris Paul and four first-round picks to OKC in return for Russell Westbrook, who is a two-time MVP and a walking triple-double. OKC has been predicted to be a below-average team coming in the 2019-20 season. Meanwhile, now that Westbrook on the Rockets alongside his former teammate James Harden, Houston is a championship contender.
With the new season starting, Warriors are devastated at Kevin Durant’s departure but are still planning on making a deep run in the playoffs with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the latter who decided to re-sign with them after a brief period as a free agent. Having to come back from a big injury will be difficult but we can’t tell right now, we will have to wait another year to see.
Image Credit: Lakers Instagram