The 2019-2020 NBA season is fastly approaching we are just days away from preseason play and weeks away from opening night. The biggest storyline in the general NBA during the offseason was the free agency period. New Orleans Pelicans Point Guard Lonzo Ball was asked on if he could describe this summer in one word, and he said “change.”
5. Detroit Pistons
2018-2019 Record: 41-41 (8th in East)
Additions: Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, Sekou Doumboya
Losses: Stanley Johnson, Ish Smith, Jon Leuer, and Zaza Pachulia
The Pistons made the playoffs last year, and we got to see a full season of Blake Griffin after he was traded to the team in the middle of the 2017-2018 season. We saw Griffin put his best numbers scoring-wise with 24.5 points per game. Griffin and Drummond made an outstanding frontcourt, and that was enough to get the eighth seed in the east. This offseason the Pistons did not make any game-changing moves in the offseason. Their most significant step was signing Derrick Rose, who will add more depth and another scoring option. The Pistons will drop to 9th or 10th in the conference.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
2018-2019 Record: 36-46 (11th in West)
Additions: Jarrett Culver, Shabazz Napier, Jordan Bell, Noah Vonleh, Jake Layman and Trevor Graham
Losses: Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Dario Saric, Tyus Jones, and Luol Deng
The Timberwolves are a team that could have potential if they make the right moves. The Timberwolves had Jimmy Butler last season, and after chemistry problems, the front office would trade Butler to the 76ers before the deadline. Drafting Jarett Culver is hinting that the team would like to move on from Andrew Wiggins. Karl Anthony Towns has shown that he could dominate on the offensive end. This team could either stay where they are in the conference or move down.
3. Washington Wizards
2018-2019 Record 32-50 (11th in East)
Additions: Ish Smith, C.J Miles, Isiah Thomas, David Bertans, and Rui Hachimura
Losses: Dwight Howard, Sam Dekker, Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, Trevor Ariza, and Tomas Satoransky
The Wizards took a colossal hit when John Wall down with an Achilles injury in the middle of the season that would sit him out the rest of last season and all of this upcoming season. The Wizards were constant playoff team when Wall was healthy, and Beal was putting up fantastic numbers. The injury would set the Wizards back as they would miss the playoffs last season. This year they lost some assets and did not really improve. Look out Beal having an all-star caliber year as he is playing to get the max deal. This Wizards without Wall could potentially drop down in the conference. They could be right back in the lottery next year.
2. Charlotte Hornets
2018-2019 Record: 39-43 (10th in East)
Additions: Terry Rozier and P.J Washington
Losses: Kemba Walker, Jerry Lamb, Frank Kaminsky, and Tony Parker
The Charlotte Hornets were one of those teams that were very inconsistent. They were terrible for a while, and then they were decent. In the last nine years, they have made the playoffs three times. There star point guard Kemba Walker said that he would potentially leave if the Hornets could not try to build a decent team. They did not, and Walker left for Boston. They lost two assets in Kaminsky and Lamb. All the Hornets got in return was Terry Rozier who left Boston. The Hornets had a terrible offseason, and because of this, they might drop to last in the conference. The Hornets could use this season to develop younger talent like Miles Bridges and Malik Monk.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2018-2019 Record: 49-33 (6th in West)
Additions: Chris Paul, Shai Gilegous Alexander, Danillo Gallinari, Darius Bazley, Mike Muscala
Losses: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Jerami Grant, and Patrick Patterson
The Thunder were in the finals at one point in time having three players who turned out to be MVP’s and the sky was the limit. They were a young core with fantastic potential. Things change, and bit by bit what could have been a dynasty was gone. The Thunder traded away Paul George to the Clippers and then traded away Russell Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul. The thunder got many first-round drafts picks in years to come. There were talks of getting rid of Chris Paul, but GM Sam Presti said the team has no intention of moving Paul. The Thunder are in full rebuild now after losing two stars and will look to their absurd amount of draft picks as their starting point. They will develop their young talents and try to acquire young players. The Thunder will obviously drop in the conference, but they are preparing for the future.