The NBA is set to start at the end of December after a year that has been heavily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Los Angeles Lakers were celebrating at the end of last season, as they won their first NBA Championship in ten years and are already considered the heavy favorite to repeat that feat against next season.
No surprise, as the Lakers always surrounded themselves with the best players.
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Still, there could be value elsewhere in the market with a number of teams likely to compete for the NBA Championship. Which are the 3 contenders to challenge LeBron and his teammates next season?
Three Outside Winners Of The NBA That Are Worth A Look
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors endured a difficult season last term, but make no mistake about it, they will be back in the 2020-21 season. It was the first time in many years that the Warriors weren’t able to reach the playoffs, and many questioned whether their period of dominance was over.
Nonetheless, that looks unlikely to continue into the new season, as they will be back at full strength.
Steph Curry was only able to play on five occasions last season, but will be back fully fit for the start of this upcoming season, while Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will also ensure that the Warriors are a force to consider in the betting markets.
The Warriors needed to contend without their star players last season, and many understood that it was a simple stop-gap before having another charge at the championship this term.
Of course, the crucial factor for any title chances that the Warriors have is hinged on making sure that the trio of stars remain injury-free throughout the entire season.
Miami Heat defied many people’s expectations to reach the finals last year in a competitive looking Eastern Conference. However, their marker was put down early in the playoffs as they hammered the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round.
While they eventually fell short against the Lakers in the final, it isn’t completely beyond the realms of possibility that they are able to reach at least the finals again.
Of course, the Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets will remain common picks for those in East, but neither have managed to showcase their regular form in the playoffs over recent seasons.
The Heat are certainly a team on the up, and last season’s run in the playoffs is evidence of that.
Bam Adebayo will be the most important player for the Heat next season, and there is a real argument that he could win the Defensive Player of the Year award if he can improve on his averages of 15.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds that he recorded last season.
It may not an outside selection, but the Eastern Conference is that competitive that it could be a wise pick to bet on the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Like we mentioned before, they haven’t been able to excel in the post-season thus far, but they have players that have performed excellently in the playoffs at their disposal.
Kevin Durant won two championships with the Warriors and was twice named Finals MVP.
Despite missing the entirety of last season, he will be back fully fit next year. Keeping him and Kyrie Irving fit and playing together could be key for the Nets in the upcoming season.
The addition of head coach Steve Nash could also be a vital bit of business for the Nets, and they will certainly be one of the more interesting teams in the NBA worth a look next season.