The upcoming NBA season will be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Anticipation is off the charts after the shocking the offseason. LeBron James may be playing his final season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before heading into free agency. Kyrie Irving was traded away from the Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics to make the Eastern Conference fascinating at the top. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George were traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets and Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. All of these changes will impact the league for the better with huge stories coming into play right away.
Unfortunately, there are things that every franchise has to worry about. Many of the General Managers are trying to keep things positive. This means hiding certain fears about the short term and long term futures of their teams. We'll take a look at some of the stories the GMs are trying to keep under wraps. Is your team trying to keep a story hidden from you? Find out by going through the following list and reading about many of the happenings in the league. These are fifteen things various NBA General Managers don’t want you to know about we head into the season.
15 Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaiah Thomas May Miss Entire Season
The trade of Kyrie Irving by the Cleveland Cavaliers looks great on paper if everything works out. Isaiah Thomas was better than Irving last season. Jae Crowder adds a great wing player to upgrade the defense come playoff time. The Brooklyn Nets pick may be very high in the lottery. The biggest qualm here is the potential of Thomas missing most, if not all the season.
Thomas is recovering from a hip injury and is expected to miss the first few months. Cleveland has depth with Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade being more than suitable enough to make up for the backcourt minutes. However, Thomas’ dynamic scoring will be needed come playoff time. The Cavaliers have to be petrified of Thomas possibly missing the entire season or being limited when on court due to the injury concerns.
14 Oklahoma City Thunder: Paul George Still Wants To Be A Laker
The team to have the best offseason was definitely the Oklahoma City Thunder. They acquired both Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in exchange for very little. MVP Russell Westbrook now has two legitimate Superstar talents on his roster to make a run at contending for an NBA Championship. The news of Westbrook signing an extension along with the offseason trades has Thunder fans extremely optimistic after last year’s pain of losing Kevin Durant.
One issue for Oklahoma City going forward is the rumor of George still wanting to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA fined the Lakers for tampering by reaching out to George’s agent. Recent quotes show George is excited about the Thunder, but he refuses to say they are the favorites to keep him when he enters free agency. Oklahoma City fans will most likely only have George for one year and the franchise doesn’t want them to know it.
13 New Orleans Pelicans: Either DeMarcus Cousins Or Anthony Davis Will Be Traded
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the teams in the Western Conference hoping to take a step forward after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins last season. Most NBA teams are abandoning the old belief of building around big men. New Orleans however decided to put two of them together. Cousins and Anthony Davis struggled to form chemistry when on the court together during the second half of last season.
Davis has been involved in trade speculation and Cousins is entering free agency in 2018. The likelihood here is that the Pelicans will trade one of the two at some point this season. Cousins is more likely to any contenders wanting to rent the big men. Cleveland comes to mind given the Brooklyn Nets lottery pick they own. The Pelicans wants fans to have hope heading into the season, but someone is clearly going to be traded sooner than later.
12 Philadelphia 76ers: Struggling In Training Camp
One fan base with unwavering optimism entering the season is the Philadelphia 76ers. Young prospects like Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric give them a chance to be special if everyone progresses. JJ Redick signing to a one-year contract as a free agent adds a talented veteran and it should help the team contend for a late playoff seed in the weak Eastern Conference.
The problem here is that the team does not appear to be on the same page. A video leaked of them practicing in training camp. This video showed almost a full minute of the 76ers missing every shot they took from open three-pointers to lay-ups. Potential is great, but most of these young players have never accomplished anything of note in the NBA. It is easy to forget and Philadelphia is banking on the fans not thinking about it.
11 Utah Jazz: Failed to Replace Gordon Hayward
The Utah Jazz came off one of their better seasons in recent memory last year. Gordon Hayward led them to 50+ wins and a first round playoff victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Sadly for Utah fans, Hayward decided to leave for a new journey on the Boston Celtics. The superb play of Rudy Gobert and the acquisition of point guard Ricky Rubio give hope to fans wanting to return to the postseason.
A big issue is the fact that the team did nothing to replace Hayward. Rubio is a good replacement for George Hill but no talented wing players were added. The combination of Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles will pick up the slack and have to make up for what was lost with Hayward. Utah will have an extremely tough task to secure a playoff seed in the loaded West without a dynamic wing player.
10 Boston Celtics: Banking Everything On Kyrie Leading Them To Ring
The Boston Celtics are trying to present their offseason as both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward being added to contend for a title. However, the trade for Irving saw them give up all of their top trade assets. Boston lost last year’s best two players in Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder along with an extremely valuable Brooklyn Nets lottery pick.
Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk also found their way off the Celtics roster to set up the team adding Irving. There are still a few young assets on the team, but they will have to make up the depth lost. Boston banked absolutely everything on the Kyrie trade working out in their favor. There will be no other big deals coming with the current core. This is the roster the Celtics have to win with at some point over the next few years.
9 Washington Wizards: Signing Otto Porter Was Horrible Decision
An early regret from the offseason features the Washington Wizards overpaying to re-sign Otto Porter in free agency. The Brooklyn Nets offered Porter a massive contract worth $106 million over four years. Brooklyn did this due to badly needing young talent and not having draft picks. Washington was forced to match it if they wanted to keep him on the roster.
Porter ended up staying with the Wizards on the max contract based off his potential and youth. This looks terrible now considering how much the landscape has changed. Major stars have been traded to form new super teams. Washington is nowhere near being able to contend for a title and now have basically made Porter the last max player they’ll have on the roster due to the cap space. Porter’s contract puts a ceiling on the Wizards.
8 Miami Heat: Pat Riley Doesn’t Want Dwyane Wade Back
Dwyane Wade chose to sign a one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers to team with LeBron James one more time and contend for another ring. The comments from Wade recently have seen him flat out admit he wants to eventually end his career with the Miami Heat. Fans of the Heat want the same thing and hoped he would return following the buyout from the Chicago Bulls.
A quote from Wade saw him reveal that Pat Riley views him as the enemy for leaving the team a year ago. Next summer will see Miami fans and players badly want Wade to join the team. Riley is the one making the decisions and appears to be against it happening. The Heat organization definitely doesn’t want fans knowing the team president is going to work against something everyone wants next summer.
7 New York Knicks: Rift Between Kristaps Porzingis & Jeff Hornacek
The New York Knicks trading Carmelo Anthony completely changed the dynamic of the franchise. Kristaps Porzingis is now the face of the franchise and he has to become a Superstar for them to get anywhere of note. The young talent has shown flashes of greatness, but there have been a few instances of controversy with Porzingis similar to what happened with Anthony.
Porzingis was reportedly on the trade block due to Phil Jackson souring on him this summer. Luckily for Knicks fans, Jackson is now gone. However, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek also has had a poor relationship with Porzingis. Reports indicate that Hornacek had harsh words for Porzingis last season and that was why Porzingis skipped his exit meeting. A rift between the new Superstar and coach is not how the Knicks want to start this transition period.
6 Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol Frustrated
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are the two Superstars on the Memphis Grizzlies as the team looks to improve while losing a few veterans. Memphis has seen Gasol blossom into one of the best big men in the NBA. They have sadly never been able to take advantage of their talented roster to legitimately contend for an NBA Championship.
This recent offseason saw things change when Zach Randolph signed with the Sacramento Kings after Memphis showed no interest. Gasol was reportedly upset about losing one of his best teammates and someone he battled with for many years. A recent interview featured Gasol also state he appreciates the family atmosphere playing basketball for Spain’s national team as it doesn’t exist with the Grizzlies. Gasol could easily demand a trade if Memphis falls apart.
5 Houston Rockets: No One Wants Ryan Anderson
The Houston Rockets made a big splash acquiring Chris Paul in a trade. A combination of James Harden and Paul with three-point shooters surrounding them will provide a challenge to the Golden State Warriors. However, more fire power may be needed to truly contend in a best of seven series against the Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.
Houston tried to acquire Carmelo Anthony in the offseason as well but could not get a deal in place. The Rockets need someone to take Ryan Anderson and his contract in any deals that brings back a max contract. Anderson is talented but he is just not worth the money he is owed at this stage. No one wants Anderson and it is going to prevent the Rockets from getting another star before the playoffs.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Desperately Want To Trade LaMarcus Aldridge
One guarantee every NBA season is the San Antonio Spurs putting up a great fight. San Antonio always finishes highly in the Western Conference despite usually not having the most talented roster. However, the Spurs signed a top free agent a few summers ago when adding LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency. Aldridge has regressed rather than bringing the team to another level.
San Antonio reportedly offered Aldridge in trades for anyone willing to offer a top fifteen lottery pick last summer. No one took them up on this offer and Aldridge is the second best player on the roster entering the season. The team wants to get rid of Aldridge due to his underperforming and bad attitude. Spurs fans will give him another chance to prove his worth, but the team is quietly hoping to get rid of him.
3 Golden State Warriors: Finally Have Competition
The Golden State Warriors are still the favorites entering the regular season after last year’s NBA Championship win. Golden State went 16-1 and was very close to having a perfect playoff run. The combination of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson provides one of the best offenses of all time. Draymond Green leads the defense to provide domination on both sides.
It seemed like an obvious outcome that the Warriors would win the title every year they remained together, and that still may be the case. No one could have predicted the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets all improving drastically this offseason. Everyone has a better chance at contending with the Golden State. There is finally competition for the Warriors after they had an easy run to the title last season.
2 Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron's Last Chance At Title
Another thing the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to keep secret is the terrifying future of life without LeBron James. Most reports indicate James will be looking to make a change with the Los Angeles Lakers being the favorites. The Cavaliers were so bad during the four years without LeBron last time he left that they won the lottery twice.
James potentially leaving means this will be the final chance for Cleveland to win another NBA Championship in the foreseeable future. The Cavaliers have to make a decision whether the Brooklyn Nets unprotected draft pick is valuable enough to keep for the future, or if they should add another star at the trade deadline. LeBron’s free agency impacts every decision made all season. Cleveland fans should enjoy the season for all it is worth in case the King leaves for a new opportunity.
1 Los Angeles Lakers: Everything Riding On Lonzo Being A Superstar
Lonzo Ball already has pressure on him after all of the news made by his dad LaVar Ball running his mouth. The dream situation of being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers will see Lonzo have one of the most anticipated rookie seasons in many years. Something that the Lakers don’t want fans thinking about too much is how much will ride on his success.
Lakers fans badly want to buy into the rumors of LeBron James and Paul George signing in free agency next summer. The team will need at least one young asset to show he can be a Superstar. Lonzo is the man that has to pull this off. As the point guard, Ball has to make his teammates better while showing on his own at the most competitive position. The Lakers short term future can see massive results, but Lonzo needs to prove he is a special talent this season.