The NBA season has just finished up, and like we all expected, the Golden State Warriors won their second straight NBA title, despite the fantastic effort from LeBron James to stop them, but now we look ahead to the always exciting offseason, and what mayhem is going to ensue before the season kicks off again late in 2018. From mega trades to new hiring’s to big draft picks and Free Agent signings, this is going to be a wild ride from the start to the finish, and although we all expect the Warriors to make it a three-peat next season, we are going to enjoy the ride to getting there. We all know that LeBron is going to leave Cleveland and there are rumors about other big stories, but each and every team aren’t represented by the media, so today we are going to do something different and take a look into the future for each and every team.
So sit back and read along as we look forward to the upcoming NBA offseason, as we offer one prediction for each and every NBA team, whether it be for the offseason, the upcoming season of a combination of both.
30 Atlanta Hawks: Add Marvin Bagley, But Struggle To Improve
It feels like a long time ago now, but just a number of years back the Atlanta Hawks possessed an incredibly deep, successful and unselfish lineup, and they found their way all the way to the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but a lot has changed since then. Now they find themselves in the lottery with a big choice to make, and that choice should be Duke’s Marvin Bagley.
Some of the other teams at the top have lineups that can potentially succeed with the right pick, but Atlanta isn’t one of those, as they still have a long way to go, but pairing Bagley with Dennis Schroder at least gives the fans a reason to be excited about their franchise. Bagley is one of the most coveted prospects in this draft, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see some teams reach out to Atlanta about perhaps trading their pick, and depending on the package, that could be a decent idea, but with Bagley and all his potential there, it will be hard for the Hawks to pass up a potential franchise altering player, a player of which the franchise hasn’t seen for a long time.
29 Boston Celtics: Despite Post-season Success, They Won't Add A Big Free Agent
The Boston Celtics had an incredible 2017/18 season, despite losing newly acquired star Gordon Hayward in the first half of the year, and All-Star Kyrie Irving for the latter part of the year and the playoffs, and many people expect them to go after the likes of DeMarcus Cousins this upcoming off-season, and even though we believe they’ll be unlikely to land a big star, they will still improve when they get healthy.
Adding Irving and Hayward back into a lineup that includes Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and others will make them almost unstoppable.
With Brad Stevens at the helm, it’s going to be yet another successful year for one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports. In comparison to the rest, this one isn’t exactly bold, but the team were one of the biggest surprises of this year after the two injuries, and with Cleveland falling in the East, Boston is ready to take its crown, and with such a bright future ahead of them, it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if they and Philly took the #1 and #2 spots in the East for the next decade.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Trade D'Angelo Russell
The Brooklyn Nets have made some terrible moves over the past couple of years, with the worst being the decision to trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and because of that, they have little to no good draft picks upcoming, and if they want to fully embrace the rebuild, moving D'Angelo Russell is the way to go about it.
Russell had a great bounce back year in 2017 after being traded away from the Lakers, and he’s just good enough for the Nets to get a good package in return.
Although it means they’ll get worse in the near future, it’s worth it to move Russell when he’s at his most valuable, in order to get the maximum return possible. Sure, he isn’t regarded as an elite Point Guard in the NBA as of yet, but a team that’s built to succeed could certainly use his services (think the likes of San Antonio, Milwaukee and Miami), and if he’s put in the right situation, Russell could be a star, but for the sake of the future of their organization, it won’t be in a Brooklyn Nets uniform after this offseason.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Move On From Kemba Walker
The Charlotte Hornets have been acquiring young talent to build around Kemba Walker for a number of years now, but like the Washington Wizards, the team just isn’t getting much better around their star Guard, and with the amount that they could get back from a potential trade, it’s about time that the team looks to move on from the former Uconn Star, and see if they can begin building a future playoff team without him.
It seems crazy to suggest that a promising team like this should move on from their biggest star, but they have underperformed every single year with Walker at the helm, and with a potential first round pick in the upcoming draft and another good player something they could receive in return, it just makes sense for them to look at this as an option. Whether this happens or not, the Hornets are going to struggle to reach the playoffs in an ever-improving Eastern Conference, so it’s worth a try, especially after they were rumored to be listening to trade proposals at last seasons deadline, and at the end of the day, it’s better to move on and struggle with younger players than struggle under a star like Walker.
26 Chicago Bulls: Re-Sign Zach LaVine & Draft Wendell Carter
The Chicago Bulls are one of the NBA’s greatest franchises, but ever since they failed to make an impact with MVP Derrick Rose on their team, they have continued to fall, but despite a poor 2017 season, they have some good young talent on their team, and with Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen already anchoring the team, they have a good core, but bringing back Zach LaVine and drafting NBA-ready Center Wendell Carter could give them a very promising starting lineup for the future.
After the heights that Michael Jordan took them too in the 90s, the Bulls haven’t really had a superstar to rely on, and while none of those 4 guys are All First-Team potential, they all look to be really great players, and it will lead the team to drastically climb the Eastern Conference standings in 2018. Sure, no one really expects the Bulls to return to the playoffs in 2018, because it’s just not going to happen (especially if LeBron James stays in the East like we’ve predicted), but small steps towards that goal will be achieved if they can bring back both LaVine and draft Carter, and in 2019, it wouldn’t shock us to see them finally return to the playoffs.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: They Lose LeBron And Immediately Begin Their Downfall
The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise success has all resulted from LeBron James, and after leaving the franchise once before, he returned and led them to their first title in history, but unfortunately for his home team, they are going to lose him yet again, and if history tells us anything, that means bad things for the franchise in the near future. Sure, they’ll do everything that they can to bring him back, but it’s just not going to happen, and with Kevin Love and a top 10 draft pick, they’ll compete again for another year, but with no James there, they become one of the least attractive Free Agent destinations in the NBA.
Last time LeBron left Cleveland, they fell to the lottery for several years in a row before his return.
While they won’t fall that far this time, they will still likely miss the playoffs, and with teams like Miami and Detroit coming up in the Eastern Conference, it looks like it’s going to be a long, hard road for Cleveland, especially since James likely isn’t coming back this time around, and unless they somehow get a megastar in the draft that everyone else lets slip to #7, they will again fall out of the playoffs for several years.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Draft Mo Bamba To Learn Under Dirk
The Dallas Mavericks have failed to remain relevant in the NBA for the past few years, but they have a lot of potential with Dennis Smith Jr. running the point, and by drafting Texas big man Mo Bamba to go with DSJ and Harrison Barnes, they no doubt have the right building blocks to build their future around. Bamba has all the ability in the world, and could be one of the biggest names in the NBA in the very near future, and with Dirk Nowitzki there to guide him through the early parts of his career, he could live up to all that potential, and the Mavericks will reap the rewards. They aren’t going to go very far in the near future, because the West is ridiculously tough, and it’s getting harder year by year, but there is a rich history of winning down in Dallas, and with these pieces in place, they will have a team attractive enough to bring in plenty of Free Agent stars in the near future. Dallas have had some bad luck as of late with trades, draft picks and Free Agents, but they got an absolute steal a year ago with Dennis Smith, and if Bamba is available at #4, they need to take him, because he could be a big star with time and patience.
23 Denver Nuggets: Draft Miles Bridges, Still Fail To Reach The Playoffs
The Denver Nuggets are one of the NBA’s most interesting teams, as they have plenty of talent and one of the best home-court advantages in the league, but they continue to fail to put it together, and even drafting the incredibly talented Miles Bridges isn’t going to be able to save them. If they continue building with their current core of players, they’ll no doubt be a playoff threat from 2019 and into the future, but they just don’t have that one player that can take over a team right now, and once Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic develop, the rest of the league better watch out, but that isn’t happening this year.
With Paul Millsap being healthy, there is always a chance they sneak into the #8 seed in the West, but we just don’t see it happening yet, so the very loyal and patient fans out in Denver need to just wait one more year for this team to truly break through. As we’ve said, they can’t really challenge the Warriors anytime soon in the West, but that team will eventually age, and with Murray, Harris, Jokic and now potentially Bridges, this team could be a dominant force for years to come when the Warriors fall, so the patience of the Nuggets fans and Front Office will no doubt pay off.
22 Detroit Pistons: After Signing Dwane Casey, Detroit make The Playoffs in 2018
The Detroit Pistons have looked on the cusp of the playoffs for several years now on the back of Andre Drummond and a really solid group of role players, but it just didn’t happen under the leadership of Stan Van Gundy, and after leading Toronto to it’s best season for 3 straight years, Dwane Casey could be the man to finally see the Pistons into the playoffs and to reach their full potential. They will still need to have a good draft and even look to bring in some more talent through Free Agency, and that will likely happen, but Casey is a great fit for this team, and he can bring out their full potential as a unit, and while they’ll still be looking at a 6-8 seed in the East, it’s much better than what they accomplished last year.
With Casey leading the ship, this team could build slowly over the next few years.
If they can develop some of their younger talent alongside Drummond, we could be looking at a genuine force in the East for years to come, as we saw how well Casey managed to turn around the Raptors with a star player and some great role players surrounding him.
21 Golden State Warriors: Klay And KD Re-Sign En Route To A Three-Peat
The Golden State Warriors just completed a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers on their way to the 2017/18 NBA Championship, and this offseason, they are going to ensure their future remains bright by re-signing both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Some people expected one of these guys to leave in Free Agency chasing a big contract, but both want to stay by the bay to pursue titles.
While it will mean taking a pay-cut, both men will be back on board ready to lead this team to their 3rd straight NBA title.
It may not be good for the NBA to have the same team in the Finals for so long and be so dominant, but they’ve built a team of unselfish stars. If they take pay cuts to keep the team together, there is nothing anyone can do to change that, and it’s just up to another team to come together and stop them. That isn’t going to happen anytime soon, as this team can do everything together, and after 3 titles over the last 4 years, there’s no end in sight to this Warriors dynasty, and that dynasty will go on with their 4 All-Stars still at the helm.
20 Houston Rockets: Miss Out On LeBron James After Falling Short Of The Finals
The Houston Rockets were dominant all season long after acquiring CP3 during the last NBA offseason, but they still fell one game short of the NBA Finals at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, and despite plenty of campaigning from James Harden and CP3, they are going to miss out in the LeBron James sweepstakes, and will again miss the Finals. James would be crazy not to consider Houston an option, because it’s the best way to take Golden State out before the Finals, but with so much potential in Philadelphia, we can’t see him passing up on that situation, and it’s going to leave the Rockets with a case of Deja Vu during the playoffs next year.
If James were to end up signing with the Rockets, not many fans out there would be surprised, but he’s been dominant in the East for over a decade now, and that will undoubtedly lead to him staying in the Eastern Conference, and while this will allow them to bring back Clint Capela, it’s not the result they came into the offseason looking for, and it will lead them to another second place finish in the Western Conference playoffs.
19 Indiana Pacers: Add Shooters Around Oladipo, Take A Top 4 Spot In The East
The Indiana Pacers were the biggest surprise of the 2017/18 NBA season, and that’s on the back of the Most Improved Player, Victor Oladipo, and with promising young star in Myles Turner, but they didn’t quite have enough scoring to get past the first round, and with the motivated young Oladipo leading the way, a couple of veteran scorers could be enough to lift this team perhaps as far as the Eastern Conference Finals. With LeBron expected to stay in the Eastern Conference (and Philadelphia in this predictions article), it’s not going to be easy for anyone to overcome him, but if Indy can add someone like Trevor Ariza, Tyreke Evans or J.J Reddick, this team could be much better next season.
They’ve not usually been a hot destination for Free Agents, but with Oladipo working hard to get better and better by the year, other players will recognize that and want to play alongside him, and with a good draft and a decent signing or two, this could be the team that finally overcomes LeBron like they should have done several years ago with Paul George and Roy Hibbert leading the way, and it would finally give Lance a chance to go over The King.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: Trade Their Last Remaining Piece, DeAndre Jordan
The Los Angeles Clippers have been overshadowed by their LA rival for so quite a number of decades, but when the Clippers managed to put Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and CP3 together, it looked like they’d find some success of their own, but despite some good regular seasons, they never managed to make a playoff run, and that’s a big disappointment.
So over the course of the last 12 months, the team has traded 2 out of the 3 pieces that made Lob City so exciting over the past few years, and with a tough Western Conference to navigate, they will likely move the third in the upcoming offseason in favor of a huge package that can help them avoid a full rebuild. Jordan is incredibly talented and athletic, and although he doesn’t have the outside shot that many big men today do, he can do everything else, and would be such a valuable piece to any team, and it’s just the right time for both sides to part way, and depending on where he goes, he could be the final piece that a team needs for a deep playoff run.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: The Lake Show Finally Lands A Huge Free Agent In PG13
Every single NBA offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to land huge Free Agents, and ever since Kobe Bryant left, they’ve not managed to actually come through on these expectations, but this year, with LeBron James, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins all linked to the Purple and Gold, they are going to land at least one, and after a disastrous end to the OKC Thunder playoff run, we expect it to be Paul George.
Unfortunately for OKC, they are going to have to deal with Carmelo Anthony yet again in the upcoming season, and it’s going to be without Paul George, who will pair with young stars Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram in what could now possibly be a playoff team. Sure, George doesn’t immediately make them a threat to the NBA Title, but if they can continue to grow and develop young talent around George, they will be back to the force they once were in no time, and that will no doubt attract other big Free Agents in the future. We’ve often made jokes about how LA expect to get big Free Agents every year, but it’s going to again begin to happen, so the future is very bright for the purple and gold dynasty.
16 Memphis Grizzlies: Draft Jaren Jackson And Finally Move Marc Gasol
The Memphis Grizzlies were once a staple of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs on the back of their grizzled, old-school style of play, but that just doesn’t work in today’s NBA, and the team has struggled for a few years now, and the best way to recover is a full rebuild, and the best way to get that kick started is to draft Michigan States Jaren Jackson, and moving on from veteran Centre Marc Gasol.
It’s not going to be easy, as Gasol is getting up there in age, but there are a few teams around the league that could use a big man with Gasol’s skill set to give them another weapon, and if Mike Conley can stay healthy for an entire season, the rebuild could be a lot quicker than many Memphis fans are expecting. Jackson has plenty of potential, but needs time to grow in the NBA, so being drafted by Memphis would give him plenty of time on the court to grow into the player he will one day become, and if they can continue developing a good core, they could again be back in the playoffs in just a few short years, but it has to begin this offseason.
15 Miami Heat: They Trade Hassan Whiteside
Ever since LeBron James left, the Miami Heat have been struggling to put a full, competitive team together, but with Hassan Whiteside guarding the paint, it looks like they were going to change that. Unfortunately, last season showed that Whiteside maybe isn’t as good a fit down in South Beach as we all thought, and with some other young players ready to lead the way, a move to deal Whiteside is the best option for the Heat, and it could lead to them finally returning to the playoffs.
It’s not going to be an easy move to pull off, because Whiteside doesn’t have the skills that so many big men in the modern game do.
That hurts his value, but there are plenty of teams out there that need a rim protector, and Whiteside is a great option. The Heat truly don’t have much elite potential on their team, but the goal every year is to make it to the playoffs, and with the Cavs expected to fall, Miami could be the team to step up and take their place in the Eastern Conference Playoffs (even though they won’t make it as far as the Cavs did with LeBron James, as they’ll likely be a first round exit).
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Trade For DeAndre Jordan, Become A Dominant Force In The East
The Milwaukee Bucks had a great season in 2017, and they even pushed the Boston Celtics to 7 games in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and they did that with a bunch of role players and the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, so if they wish to make the Bucks relevant yet again, they need to bring in another star, and with The LA Clippers giving up CP3 and Blake Griffin last offseason, it’s time they unload DeAndre Jordan, and Milwaukee is a great landing spot for him.
Jordan is athletic and plays very hard on both ends of the floor, and pairing him with the Greek Freak would make them one of the longest and most athletic teams in the East, and if they can somehow manage to unload Eric Bledsoe in the trade (seriously, we are still confused as to why the acquired him in the first place), it will be a huge win for the franchise. This one may not happen, but these are meant to be bold predictions, and if they are wanting to take the next step to becoming serious threats in the East, they need to make a big splash, and this is one we can certainly foresee happening.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Bring Jimmy Butler Back
One controversy that isn’t talked about as much is the tension that is apparently occurring in Minnesota between Karl-Anthony Towns and management/coaching staff, and much like with the Spurs, this one is going to be resolved without KAT being moved. The Big 3 up in Minnesota led them to their first playoff berth since 2004 this past season.
If Butler, Towns and Wiggins can all be healthy for the 2018 season, they could take it a step further, and that’s what we predict will happen, with all 3 of them still with the team.
Like most teams in the Western Conference, they don’t really have a chance against the Golden State Warriors, but they definitely have the potential to face them in the Western Conference Finals if all 3 men can stay healthy and happy up in Minnesota, and if it doesn’t work out this upcoming season, we could understand if they broke it up in favor of trading one of the guys away, but for this season, they need to give a deep playoff run another chance to see how they go, because this team is very exciting to watch.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: Boogie Returns As They Take The Next Step
The New Orleans Pelicans have been on the verge of success ever since they drafted the immensely talented Anthony Davis, and he took his game to the next level following the devastating injury that sidelined DeMarcus Cousins a year ago, but if the two can come together yet again, they’ll elevate themselves even further in the Western Conference. It’s going to be a big contract given to Cousins, but the time to act for New Orleans is now, and if both men can be at their best, they’ll contest a top 4 spot in the West, and if they don’t make this move now, they’ll essentially be wasting the prime of one of this generations biggest and brightest talents.
Against the might of the Warriors and the Rockets, it’s unlikely that New Orleans have a shot at the Finals, so if they look to move Anthony Davis to get a monster package in return, no one would blame them, but if they bring Cousins back, they’ll have a chance, and we predict that’s what they’ll do, even if it’s only for a one year shot, because Davis is an incredible talent, and he has the ability to lead this team a very long way.
11 New York Knicks: Draft Trae Young, And Continue To Grow Under David Fizdale
The New York Knicks have been struggling for years, despite bringing in home-town hero Carmelo Anthony, and they’ve now decided to build the team around Kristaps Porzingis, and as last years draft pick, Frank Ntlikina struggled to adapt to the NBA, they’ll no doubt target Trae Young in the upcoming draft to pair with Porzingis for the future. Young was one of the most impressive college players in quite some time, but his game doesn’t exactly translate to immediate success in the NBA, so he will slide down the draft board in comparison to the likes of Luka Doncic and DeAndre Ayton.
He’ll definitely thrive under the bright lights in New York, and if he does indeed slide to #9, the Knicks won’t hesitate in making him their Point Guard of the future.
There will be temptations from the teams before the Knicks to pick up Young, simply because of his college output and the hype, but the Knicks are the best pick, and with David Fizdale taking over, this team could finally be on the way up, especially if Young can develop his good, all-around game, and under the bright lights, he won’t falter like so many others have.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: Look To Trade Russell Westbrook, But Are Unsuccessful
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been successful since their transition from Seattle to OKC, and that’s due to talents like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden, but only Russell remains, and this past season, the team tried to create another ‘Big 3’ that would take them deep in the playoffs, but unfortunately, the trio of Russ, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George just never gelled perfectly, and they were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz.
Unfortunately, due to that quick exit, they are going to lose Paul George, and Melo will return, but it’s about time they look for an out with Russell Westbrook, but due to the demand, they will not be successful. It sounds ridiculous to trade Russell Westbrook, but he’s just not a great leader for this team, and Russ just doesn’t make them better overall, and if they don’t succeed this season, they are definitely going to NEED to move him, especially with what they could get back, because simply put, even with all the things this team has gone through with Westbrook, they’ll just never win with his selfish style of basketball leading the way.
9 Orlando Magic: Draft Collin Sexton
The Orlando Magic have seemingly been stuck in neutral ever since Dwight Howard left, as they’ve always managed to draft players with great potential, but they’ve never put a solid group together that gives the fan base optimism, but with Vujecic as the big man, they have a chance to finally do that by pairing him with fantastic young prospect, Collin Sexton. Sure, there will be temptations to take someone like Wendell Carter, but with Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vujecic already there, they need a solid guard to facilitate to their talented big men, and it would finally mean a reason for the Orlando Magic fans to get excited about their team and their future.
Sure, the road to success certainly isn’t going to be that easy, as they still have to put a complete team together, but that trio, along with the likes of Jonathan Simmons give the team reasons for hope and optimism, so this draft could really be make or break for the franchise over the next several seasons. There is plenty of amazing talent at the top of the NBA Draft in 2018, so no matter who Orlando take with the #6 pick, it’s likely going to be better immediately than what they have now, but Sexton is the best pick due to their lack of talent at PG, so it’s the choice they need to make.
8 Phoenix Suns: They Land The Euroleague MVP
Phoenix have been horrible for quite some time, and despite acquiring some talented young players, they’ve never managed to put it all together, but with Devin Booker leading the way, pairing him with the Euro-League MVP Luka Doncic would finally give them the building blocks they need to find their way back to the post season for the first time since 2010. Doncic may not have the explosiveness or the athleticism of someone like DeAndre Ayton, but their new Head Coach was also his coach in Europe, and with amazing ball skills, great measurables and a maturity beyond his years, Doncic could finally be the piece that Phoenix have been searching for.
With Booker already in the backcourt, there is certainly a belief around the NBA that the Suns could consider drafting someone like DeAndre Ayton or Marvin Bagley with the #1 overall pick, or even trade it away for a more experienced piece, but Doncic has the star power, and with the connections to the Suns organization, it just makes the most sense, and in a year or two, with this backcourt, they’ll be a hot zone for impending Free Agents, and while success won’t come immediately, it will no doubt give the fans something to look forward too.
7 Philadelphia 76ers: The Process Adds A King
The Philadelphia faithful have had a long road of patience to become the team they have today, but the Process has paid off handsomely, with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid looking like megastars in the NBA, and with the success they achieved alone, LeBron James has no doubt been paying attention, and when comparing their situation to everywhere else, Lebron to the 76ers just makes too much sense for The King.
Ben Simmons is too one-note at the moment, and Embiid is injured often, so bringing in a star like James would be the absolute perfect addition.
While there are no doubt risks involved financially, it’s one they should take, as they could no doubt win a ring or two together before his inevitable retirement. There is always the chance that James ends up in Houston (I don’t think they should, as he may ruin their chemistry), Los Angeles or even staying in Cleveland, but Philly makes the most sense, as they could give him a great deal, he could stay in the Eastern Conference, and they have a winning team there already, so James could take them all the way to the finals, and The King to Philly may end up with LeBron getting his 4th ring.
6 Portland Trail Blazers: Fail To Make A Splash
The Portland Trail Blazers have been seen as a future force in the West for years now, but 2017 was the year they stepped up and finally made the playoffs on the back of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and despite all that young talent, they will unfortunately fail to lure a big name to the team to take the next step in 2018. The team will still no doubt make the playoffs in a very tough West, especially if the core group continue to grow together, but it will definitely be a disappointing off-season for the Trail Blazers, as they look to solidify their spot in the top 8 teams out West.
They don’t pick until late in the first round of the draft either, so they may not be able to get an elite level player from there, and while they don’t need much to take them to the next level, it’s going to be very difficult for the fan base to accept that the Front Office do nothing this offseason, because there truly is nothing of note that they can do except hope that Lillard and McCollum can carry them through in a deep playoff run next season.
5 Sacramento Kings: Pair DeAndre Ayton With De'Aaron Fox
The Sacramento Kings were once a great franchise, but they never managed to quite win the big one, and although De'Aaron Fox doesn’t look like a guy who can lead a time to the Finals, pairing him with another young talent like DeAndre Ayton can bring out the best in the speedy young Fox, and if they both live up to the hype that preceded their careers in the NBA, they could be the building blocks that help the Kings become a dominant franchise yet again (or else, it’s possible that they could be on the move to Seattle, or another city looking for an NBA franchise).
Ayton played for Arizona, so he knows what it’s like to play in the big time, so drafting him would be a great pick for Sacramento, and if he is taken at #1 by Phoenix, they will take Luka Doncic to pair in the backcourt with Fox, but either way, this team is about to get a whole lot better. We’ve predicted that Phoenix will take Doncic, so the obvious choice in Sacramento is Ayton, and even though they’ll still be the worst team in California, they’ll continue to improve, and with Fox and Ayton leading the team, the future will be very bright down in Sacramento.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Re-sign Kawhi Leonard Despite Controversy
Despite bowing out of the playoffs in very quick and quiet fashion this past season, the Spurs were making headlines all across the NBA for the wrong reasons (and in very non-Spur like fashion) due to the controversy with Kawhi Leonard, but it’s not going to end in a way that a lot of fans predict. A lot of the so called controversy has come from outside sources reporting on the situation, but most people on the inside believe that Leonard and the Spurs aren’t going to part ways.
In fact, it’s going to be quite the opposite, as they will give him one of the biggest contracts in NBA history.
That in of itself isn’t like the Spurs, but Leonard is a fantastic talent, and when he’s healthy, he could lead this team all the way to the NBA Finals, even in such a tough Western Conference, and it makes sense for them to lock him up long term. The team around him isn’t as talented as the Spurs teams of recent memory, but with a good offseason, they could be one of the elite teams yet again in the NBA, and that all stars with the signing of Kawhi Leonard.
3 Toronto Raptors: Keep It In House, Sign Tyreke Evans And Take The Next Step
The Toronto Raptors just finished the greatest regular season in franchise history, managing to secure 59 wins and the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they were again stopped by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the ECSF, and this led to the firing of Dwane Casey, and although many people have called for the front office to blow this team up and start again, they still have a good squad, and there’s a chance for them to take it a step further if they play this offseason right.
There are plenty of great options out there to replace Casey, but to ensure as little turnover as possible, the best choice is Nick Nurse, the Assistant Coach of the team, who has had plenty of success in Europe as a Head Coach, and he’s ready to make this team his. Secondly, they need to secure some more depth to support their fantastic starting 5, and one great option is Tyreke Evans, who had the best season of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, and with the ability to take over a game, he is what they needed in the 2017/18 playoffs, and with these two changes plus another year of playing together, it could possibly be the year they break through and go to the Finals.
2 Utah Jazz: Add Shooting Around Donovan Mitchell, Make A Deep Playoff Run
The Utah Jazz had an incredible 2017 season on the back of some fantastic play from their whole team, but most notable the defensive force Rudy Gobert inside and rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell, and heading into the 2018 season, there’s not much that they need to fix, so adding another shooter like Trevor Ariza, JJ Reddick or Tyreke Evans may just do the trick to get them into at least the third round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Adding Evans would be the ideal situation, as he could provide a similar style to Mitchell off the bench, and would give them the depth they need to challenge a team like Golden State or Houston, but either way, this team and their future are in very good hands with the rising star Donovan Mitchell. There isn’t really much to add to this team to make them a threat, as they’ve got great shooting, a blend of veterans and young stars, as well as some of the best team D in the NBA, but a good star off the bench could always help their case going forward, and that should be their target this upcoming offseason.
1 Washington Wizards: Deal Bradley Beal, Build Solely Around John Wall
The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is considered one of the best in the NBA, but the team just can’t find success with both men out there, and it’s about time the front office take action, and by dealing Bradley Beal and building around John Wall, they’ll get a really nice package in return. A lot of Wizards fans in this situation would no doubt prefer to have Beal, but Wall is considered the bigger talent, and if they can get some shooters in return and add depth to the team, they could be a serious contender in the #5-#8 seed in the Eastern Conference next season.
Unfortunately for the team, this just isn’t working, as much as they’d like to see this duo carry them to the title like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson achieved.
They need to do something now before one, if not both men walk out in Free Agency. We’ve predicted plenty of trades here, but this would no doubt be the biggest of the lot, and if they do get a generous package deal in return, it could change the landscape of the Eastern Conference entirely.