When it comes to NBA predictions, fans and pundits across the globe have their own beliefs in what will likely occur over the course of 82 games. Due to the movement of the NBA’s stars, the championship is there to be taken by a wide variety of teams.
The window for many teams is wide open, and all the players want a chance to perform at their highest level in order to capture the NBA’s most prestigious award.
Without further ado, here are the ten most shocking predictions entering the new NBA season.
10. Detroit Pistons Trade Blake Griffin And Andre Drummond
The Pistons made a big splash by trading for Blake Griffin, and pairing him next to defensive star Andre Drummond. They seem to complement their games well, with Griffin taking over the scoring while Drummond does the dirty work.
But the league is shifting away from big-man dominance, as guards and wing players are the players winning games and ultimately championships.
Detroit, in a shocking move, might move both Griffin and Drummond with the hopes of attracting young scoring guards or even collecting high-quality draft picks. The Pistons simply need wing players and guards, and the only way to get that might be to move the two big men.
9. San Antonio Spurs Trade DeMar DeRozan And LaMarcus Aldridge
The Spurs had high hopes when they signed both DeMarre Carroll and Marcus Morris this past offseason. Adding two effective wing players greatly improved the Spurs tenacity on defense, which may have helped their deep playoff run this season. But Morris backed out, which might have been the biggest disaster for the Spurs this season.
Even though he is not a star, he is a very productive player in a league dominated by forwards. The Spurs might look to move on from their two All-Stars, and give room to the young guys to develop and get better. DeRozan and Aldridge will not be worth more than they are now, and the Spurs will likely capitalize on their return this season.
8. Chris Paul Leads OKC To The Playoffs
When Chris Paul got traded to the Thunder, the entire world was shocked. After all, Paul was a fantastic player for the Rockets and put them on the map to become an NBA title contender. But Paul quickly aged last season, where he failed to perform at an All-Star level consistently leading into the playoffs.
With the Thunder, Paul has a responsibility to not only help the young guys get better but also play like an All-Star. The Thunder still has some talent, including Gallinari (if he does not get moved) and Gilgeous-Alexander. Paul will be the HOF point guard that he is known to be and put forth an All-Star season while leading the young and rebuilding Thunder to the 8th seed in the West.
7. Karl-Anthony Towns Requests A Trade
After Jimmy Butler left Minnesota, many people quickly wrote off the Wolves for not having enough leadership or quality on the squad. These doubts were true, as the Wolves look to be going nowhere in the West rankings. It may only be a matter of time before Towns requests trade from Minnesota, and it might happen this season.
Players have a lot of power in the league nowadays and Towns is still one of the best young players in the world. He is clearly their best player and a franchise player in his own right. Towns will most likely request to be traded out of Minnesota, to a culture that suits his desire to grow and mature under an organization that has proven itself to develop stars. Some examples? The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
6. Los Angeles Lakers Trade Kyle Kuzma For Bradley Beal
The Lakers almost pulled off an incredible move this offseason, by adding Kawhi Leonard to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This signing might have made the Lakers the best team ever, and we might have had a Warriors Dynasty 2.0.
But the Lakers were not able to sign Kawhi and instead filled their roster with quality role players. However, knowing the Lakers, they might want to add another All-Star and Bradley Beal is certainly a very rumored player in the league.
The Lakers might offer Kyle Kuzma, a nice young star, for the services of scoring machine Bradley Beal. Beal fits perfectly next to AD and LeBron and can be the man to spot up for open shots or create his own from the perimeter when the paint is loaded with defenders.
The Lakers will be the clear favorites in the West if they make this deal happen.
5. Dwyane Wade Return To The Los Angeles Lakers
Next up, the return of Flash. Dwyane Wade will return but to the LA Lakers. The Lakers will want to pair James and Wade one more time since Wade is still in tremendous shape and showed an ability to have clutch performances last season.
The Lakers are all about flash and putting on a show, and the return of Wade and James partnership will certainly sell tickets everywhere they go. Wade’s championship experience and leadership will fit nicely next to James and Davis, and certainly, provide more depth to a stacked Lakers team.
4. Warriors Miss The Playoffs
The Warriors retooled this summer after losing Kevin Durant and signed D’Angelo Russell to pair with Steph and Klay. But they might not be an NBA playoff team this season.
Klay is out for a while, and it is really up to both Steph and Russell to take over the Warrior’s offense. Both guys are great scorers who can shoot well from the perimeter, but neither of them has the size or girth to handle that kind of load over the course of the season. Not to mention, Steph has a long history with injuries and might take a few games off.
As good as Russell and Curry may be, the Warriors might not have enough talent to make it out the West with KD gone and Klay on the sidelines.
3. Ben Simmons Makes Over 100 3-Pointers In The Season
Simmons is a rare talent. He is a power forward with the skillset of a point guard and the athleticism of a small forward. He is a legitimate triple-double threat every night and is one of the most exciting players to watch in the league. As a matter of fact, he is one of the main reasons why the Sixers will be the favorites to come out of the East this year.
But his jump shot has prevented him from reaching the heights of NBA superstardom. That might change this year. Simmons will be open of the best scorers for the Sixers this season and will showcase a much-improved jump shot en route to making over 100 3-point shots over the season. This would be a tremendous number that will shock the entire NBA Universe, but Simmons is ready to take the next step as a superstar.
2. The New York Knicks Make The 2020 NBA Playoffs
No team was more heavily scrutinized than the New York Knicks, and it might be for good reason. They were unable to attract and sign one All-Star player this past offseason and had to settle for Julius Randle and role players to fill out the roster. As a result, many have written off the Knicks as another tanking team that will sit at the bottom of the conference.
But they will surprise everyone. Randle will take a jump in his play to become an All-Star, and the acquisition of key role players such as Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Marcus Morris will give them toughness and size. Perhaps most importantly, the East is extremely top-heavy.
Starting lineup with RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr and Julius Randle could surprise everyone in the East.
With a lack of talent across the conference, the Knicks will have enough squad depth and even desire to make the playoffs after a long spell of losing.
1. Kyrie Irving Wins The MVP Award
Last but not least, Kyrie Irving will be the man to prove everybody wrong this season about his leadership qualities and even his skillset.
Irving will be one of the top scorers in the league for the Nets, who will be missing Kevin Durant, and show that he can be a leader when he is in the right situation. Irving will completely take over games and catapult the Nets to a top-3 seed in the East.
If Irving is able to average at least 27 points per game while carrying his injury-ridden team to the playoffs, he might be a surprising favorite for the MVP Award.