The offseason provides a glimmer of hope for all NBA teams. It’s a chance to make your team better and set your team up for success. This offseason will kick-off with the NBA Draft on November 8th, and free agency to follow. Although there’s a lot of uncertainty involving specific dates, we know it’s going to happen. Last year, the offseason shook up the league in a big way. As a result, we had one of the most fun, parody filled seasons in a long time. This year, every team’s main objective will be to try to find ways to beat the superstar duo of the Los Angeles Lakers. With that said, here are the biggest stories this offseason to watch for
Biggest Stories This Offseason to Watch For
Where Will CP3 Land?
The “Point God” is expected to be traded this offseason while the Oklahoma City Thunder commit to a rebuild. Since this is one of the biggest stories already, the most talked-about destinations for Chris Paul appear to be Milwaukee, New York, or the Lakers. One of my colleagues put together a mock trade that could legitimately work that sent Paul to the Bucks. An offensively gifted point guard was the missing piece a year ago, and Eric Bledsoe seems to be on the way out. But if Paul lands with the Lakers, that creates one of the scariest big threes we’ve seen. Especially given his close, pre-existing friendship with LeBron James. Regardless of where he lands, CP3 was an all-star a year ago and had a terrific season. He will raise the ceiling of whoever he signs with.
What Will The Clippers And Rockets Do?
We transition from CP3 to his two previous teams. Both the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets were title contenders this year, but face adversity for the upcoming 2020-21 campaign. First, the Rockets aren’t expected to blow up their roster, which was a legitimate option given the massive contracts of superstars James Harden and Russell Westbrook. However, the Rockets are still looking for a head coach to replace Mike D’Antoni. And whoever agrees to be the coach needs to demand the front office add size to the team. As long as James and Anthony Davis are on the Lakers and the Rockets play their-small ball, the Rockets’ chances of beating them in a playoff series are next to none.
Meanwhile, on the other side, there have been rumors that the Clippers plan on breaking their roster up. This would be an illogical decision after only one year with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George playing together. But it certainly would be one of the biggest stories if it happened. Tyronn Lue has been brought in as head coach, and if anyone can improve the chemistry there, it’s him. They must first address a few key rotation players who could leave in free agency, including Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and Reggie Jackson. The Clippers have Leonard and George under contract for one more year before they can re-test the market if they wish. After a letdown exit in the playoffs, the Clippers should commit to one final playoff push in 2020-21. They don’t have any first-round picks until 2027, so they have to trade and be aggressive to win now while they can. A playmaking point guard who can set up for others and a big man would help round out the roster.
The Warriors, Timberwolves, And 2020 Draft
With the 2019 season finally concluded, we can welcome the Golden State Warriors back to title contention. The star trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will all be fully healthy when the season starts. And they could be joined by the second overall pick in this year’s draft. Of course, this all depends on if the Warriors move back or not. In this year’s draft, there’s no “sure thing” or “can’t miss” prospect. So there could be a lot of teams trading up and down in this draft, making things interesting. The Warriors specifically are an interesting case because of Andrew Wiggins. Their roster needs a center like James Wiseman. But Anthony Edwards and Isaac Okoro are two wings with potential. Their faith in the controversial Wiggins will determine who they draft. While the Minnesota Timberwolves have the first selection and appear to be leaning towards LaMelo Ball. Whether or not a trio of Ball, D’Angelo Russell, and Karl-Anthony Towns could work defensively would be a major offseason storyline. Of course, it’s possible they trade back and select Okoro, who would be an instant contributor on defense.
Will The Young Teams Continue Their Ascend?
One of the reasons last year was so fun was the reward of seeing rebuilds start to pay off. The Phoenix Suns were the shock of the sports world, going 8-0 in the bubble. The Suns haven’t been a free agent hotbed since the mid-2000s, but the future is looking bright. Next year the Western Conference will continue to get even more competitive, so the Suns will need to bring back their pieces (Dario Saric, Jevon Carter, and Cameron Payne) and add a defensive-minded player to replace Frank Kaminsky. Other teams like the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, and New Orleans Pelicans have very bright futures ahead thanks to rebuilds bringing in young, productive talent. Each team will have some decisions to make on their own players, but the talent and overall youth of these clubs will make them attractive free-agent destinations.
Biggest Names Likely On The Move
Admittedly, this year’s free agency class isn’t going to be as star-studded as next year. The 2021 offseason has been talked about for quite some time now and teams have been planning for it. But although the names this year may not bring the biggest headlines, there are plenty of players who have a lot to offer. Veteran power forward Paul Millsap is likely to leave the Denver Nuggets at age 35 while they focus on their young guys and the future. He still has gas in the tank and can contribute. Danilo Gallinari is another stretch four who’s on the move. He’s shot over 40 percent from three the last two years and is averaging 19.2 PPG in those two years combined. In addition, Goran Dragic, and Fred VanVleet are big names who should be in high demand for their ability to create shots for themselves. The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is there are good players in this free agency class that can be difference-makers next year. Of course, I have to mention other potential trade candidates like former all-stars Derrick Rose, Victor Oladipo, and Jrue Holiday. As well as one of the better sharpshooters in the NBA, Buddy Hield.
The Biggest Stories This Offseason Will Matter
All the players and teams listed above will be part of the biggest stories this offseason. It’s possible this offseason doesn’t have as much craziness as past ones. But this should still be a productive offseason which sees the makeup of the NBA shift somewhat. It’ll be interesting to see what new stories come up as the offseason truly begins.
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