The 2019-2020 NBA is finally here, with the preseason currently underway, the regular season looks to bring a whole new level of excitement.
The off-season was filled with rumors, speculations, and many blockbuster moves.
Aging star Chris Paul was dealt from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder for former MVP Russell Westbrook and more. The Clippers traded a plethora of pieces to the Thunder for Paul George and signed reigning NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard.
On the other side of Las Angeles, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Due to this offseason, the NBA super team era seems to have come to an end as teams seem to be building their rosters around “duos.”
One of the biggest moves being the duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving forming in Brooklyn. The Nets traded D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors for Kevin Durant via a sign and trade. So, the Golden State empire still has a chance to prolong their era of dominance.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers, Lebron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers, James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the Rockets; The Western Conference is stacked with incredible talent.
This parody of “duos” across the NBA is more evident than it has been in years. With the end of super teams, it seems like the season will be significantly more competitive, which is what most fans want.
Let’s look deeper at some teams that have already been mentioned and a couple of new teams:
To kick things off, the New York Knicks, the laughing stock of the NBA.
The Knicks did not, by any means, have the off-season success they were hoping for.
Losing out on the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sweepstakes to the cross-town rival, Brooklyn Nets, didn’t pan out as hoped, but there were some positives to their tainted offseason.
One of which is the power forward Julius Randle.
At 24 years old, Randle finished last season averaging 21 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He is a player that can definitely be a valuable asset to the squad this season.
Along with Julius Randle, the 3rd overall pick in the NBA draft, the Knicks selected RJ Barrett from Duke.
With signings players like Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, and Reggie Bullock, the Knicks look to show signs of improvement from their abysmal season last year.
The Knicks have a good balance of young players and veterans, which could help them in the long run. It seems the Knicks are trying to build a more physical team again like in the 1990s.
The Lakers acquired superstar Anthony Davis during the offseason, and they are hoping that the combination of him and Lebron James will be enough to help them reach their goal.
Other key additions for the Lakers include DeMarcus Cousins (who is now injured), Danny Green, and Avery Bradley.
The team traded away a young core for the superstar Davis but bought in players they feel will benefit their new duo.
The Los Angeles Clippers made a lot of noise in the offseason as well.
The Clippers shocked the world as they jumped ahead as the favorites for Kawhi Leonard and were successful in landing him.
On top of that, they traded for MVP finalist Paul George. Adding these two stars to the team they already had, the Clippers have become the clear favorites to win the Finals and a shot at being LA’s new team.
The New Orleans Pelicans will also be another team to watch this year.
Winning the draft lottery in May, the Pelicans drafted Duke phenom, Zion Williamson, number one overall.
Zion alone makes the team interesting enough to watch just based on how electrifying he is, but the Pelicans bought in much more than just the rookie.
Trading away Anthony Davis, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart in return. New Orleans also brought in JJ Redick and Derrick Favors for added veteran leadership.
Despite losing a player who is arguably the best in his position, the Pelicans have a bright future ahead of them.
However, Zion will miss 8-10 weeks with a knee injury.
The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, are returning this season with a similar team as last year.
All except for veteran Chris Paul. Paul was dealt in the offseason to the Thunder for 8x All-star and NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
Houston enters the season with the dangerous duo of Harden and Westbrook, which will put the NBA on high alert.
The two have already played with each other in the past on the Thunder, even competed in the finals together.
Both players are extremely capable of scoring and moving the ball, but the only concern is, who takes the backseat?
One of them will have to take fewer touches than the other. But they still haven’t figured that out yet, most likely it will be Westbrook.
This season is going to be nothing short of exciting, with a lot of talent for both coasts.
Established teams like the Milwaukee Bucks look to continue their dominance, while new teams look to prove they are capable of competing.
On October 22nd, everyone starts off with a clean and equal slate. 30 teams, 82 games, one ultimate goal.
Who will come out on top in June?