by Yates Wong
Fall is here, and with it comes the rejoicing of basketball fans everywhere. The N.B.A. season is just around the corner and there are some things that all fans should be made aware of.
First, over the summer, almost half of the league’s players found themselves on a new team, whether by a free agency decision or trade.
Perhaps the team that benefited the most from the player movement within free agency is the hometown Brooklyn Nets. The Nets landed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two of the most accomplished players in the league, both have a history of making a teams and winning championships. Unfortunately, Durant sustained an injury during the playoffs last year and will miss the entirety of the 2019-2020 season.
Although the Nets will find their chances at a championship this year slim, there are teams that have made significant steps in that direction.
The Los Angeles Clippers, already a team that took the three-time champion Warriors six games in the playoffs, added the reigning finals M.V.P. Kawhi Leonard and all-star Paul George. Also in L. A., the Lakers traded for Anthoney Davis to pair with LeBron James. This duo, when performing at their best, has the potential to be dynamic.
Other teams also made less flashy moves that may do just as much good. The Utah Jazz traded for Mike Conely, who should propel the young team into championship contention with his shooting and defense.
The most noteworthy of my predictions is likely the fall of the Golden State Warriors. This is a team that has won three championships in the last five years and has been to the finals every year that I personally have been following basketball. Their decline will be due to two things: One, the injury to Klay Thompson that will keep him out for the majority of this year, and two, the departure of Kevin Durant over the summer to Brooklyn.
Although the loss of these players will hurt, I believe that Warriors fans will still be content. I believe that their own Stephen Curry will win the M.V.P. this year due to the offensive load he will have to carry given the loss of Thompson and Durant.
While on the topic of awards, I see Tyler Herro winning Rookie of the Year due to his ability to consistently hit shots from anywhere on the floor. This will work wonders for him given the three-point-happy state of affairs the N.B.A. finds itself in today. This year should give N.B.A. fans a lot to cheer about; more than likely there will be a new team crowned champion and the change of scenery that so much of the league undertook should bring some much-needed parity. In short, this season should be incredibly entertaining to watch.