The Boston Celtics will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on the opening day of the 2017 – 2018 season tomorrow. This is part 6 of a 7 part preview. I’ll start with the east coast, then do the west and finally Part 7 will be my take on the upcoming season as a whole. In part five, we examine the last division, the Pacific.
Golden State Warriors
- Drafted: NONE
- Added: Nick Young, Omri Casspi, Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher
- Lost: Ian Clark, James McAdoo
- Injured: NONE
The defending champs really don’t need much help in getting better. Even with OKC and the Cavs adding superstars in the offseason, Steph Curry and Co. are the favorites to win the NBA Finals at 5-12 odds. That didn’t mean that the Warriors had a light off season. Golden State was able to re-sign every single one of their star players with Curry locking in for 5-year/$201 million, Kevin Durant for a 2-year/$53 million and Andre Igoudala for a 3-year/$48 million. With Draymond Green returning as Defensive Player of the Year, the Dubs will be the best team in the NBA.
Los Angeles Clippers
- Drafted: NONE
- Added: Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Willie Reed, Milos Teodosic, Sindarius Thornwell, Jawn Evans, C.J. WIlliams, Jamil Wilson
- Lost: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton, Luc Mbah-a-Moute, Brandon Bass
- Injured: NONE
Losing Chris Paul this summer was inevitable for the Clippers, but that didn’t stop them from having a good offseason. The Clippers essentially traded in Paul for Patrick Beverly, both of whom were 1st Team All Defensive last year. They also added young stars in Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell and veteran Danilo Gallinari. The Clippers re-signed Blake Griffin to a 5-year/$173 million contract in June, making this Blake’s team. Personally I do not know what is happening in LA. If Griffin can feed of this new talent can and add excitement to the Clippers, the season will do well. If we get the Blake from last year and he cannot lead his team, a lot of questions would need to be answered by the GM.
Los Angeles Lakers
- Drafted: Lonzo Ball
- Added: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, Alex Caruso
- Lost: David Nwaba, Nick Young, Thomas Robinson, Tyler Ennis
- Injured: NONE
The other team in LA is still feeling the effects of losing Kobe Bryant. But don’t worry, they drafted Lonzo Ball (I kid). Ball averaged 10.8 points per game in the preseason, and is the projected starting PG for the Lake-show. You know for a fact Lavar Ball is going to show up strutting when the Lakers open against the Clippers on Thursday. Ball is an over hyped, undersized point guard with no fundamentals. He will get shut down in the steep NBA learning curve (See Austin Rivers) and a complete flop for being the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Lakers have a young team and payed the pretty penny to get Lonzo. The Lakers of the past are no more and will stay at the bottom of the Pacific Division for the second straight year.
- Drafted: Josh Jackson, Alec Peters, Davon Reed
- Added: Troy Daniels, Mike James
- Lost: NONE
- Injured: Brandon Knight (whole season), Alan Williams, Davon Reed
The Suns do not have a very high expectation for the 2017-18 season. Once a pillar in the NBA Playoffs, they should miss it again. But the Suns should be able to exceed expectations. They have a good fan base and a young team and a great guards in Devin Booker rookie Josh Jackson. SHould both players succeed, Pheonix has a chance to stay competitive. But they are a team that is fully in the rebuilding phase and there are a lot of unknowns for the upcoming season.
- Drafted: De’Aaron Fox, Frank Mason
- Added: Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, Justin Jackson, JaKarr Sampson, Jack Cooley, Harry Giles
- Lost: Darren Collison, Langston Galloway, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore, Tyreke Evans
- Injured: Harry Giles
The Kings made headlines when they sent star center Demarcus Cousins to New Orleans. And here we are, 1 day before the opening for the NBA season and the fate of the Kinds is uncertain. Owner Vivek Randive, has made a lot of mistakes in running the franchise. Yes, they have one of the best metric capturing systems, a new arena and all the bells and whistles that come with a tech-guy from Silicon Valley, but they lack the key for a good NBA team, talent. Randive has done nothing to help grow the franchise, and this summer was a clear representation of that. Personnel issues continue to spin out of control, as does the King’s 2017-18 season.