All across the land, fans have their take on what is likely going to happen once the 2020-2021 season starts on December 22. Even in an abbreviated offseason, the NBA did not disappoint when it came to the trade market. Teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference are looking to take down the Los Angeles Lakers.
The window is there for quite a few teams and some players want to bounce back from last season. With that said, here are the ten most shocking predictions entering the new NBA season.
10. Phoenix Suns Land Blake Griffin
The Suns will pull off an incredible move to bring “Lob City” back but to the state of Arizona. Phoenix traded for Chris Paul earlier in the offseason, so what is one more trade. The Suns will trade Mikel Bridges, Dario Saric, a few draft picks, and salary relief to bring in the former All-Star.
The Suns will then move Jae Crowder to his natural position of small forward and run this lineup. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Crowder, Griffin, and DeAndre Ayton. Could this lineup make a Western Conference Finals? There’s certainly potential.
9. Dallas Mavericks Trade Kristaps Porzingis
When the Mavericks traded and signed Kristaps Porzingis, the team was hopeful that he was going to be the unicorn of basketball. In the regular season, Porzingis showed promise of his glory days with the New York Knicks. Porzingis averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. His rebound total was a career-high for the 25-year old.
However, Porzingis was injured after three games in the first round of the playoffs. Porzingis missed the entire 2018 season with an injury. If the injuries continue to pile up, the Mavericks might be ready to move on and try to flip him.
8. Kevin Love To The Denver Nuggets
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to have to start competing for one of these days because LeBron is never coming back. Love is the team’s best trade asset and is due to make $31 million per season over the next two years and $28 million in the final season. With all of that money tied into a player that will not be a part of their winning future, Love will be moved for a cheap price.
Enter the Nuggets who have a hole at power forward. While Paul Millsap is a strong player, he should be more of a backup at this point in his career. Love will join a lineup of Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Michael Porter Jr. The Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals last year. This move will get the team over the top.
7. Chicago Bulls Make The Playoffs
The Bulls were a laughing stock last year, which included the Chicago fan base booing upper management when the NBA All-Star Game was holding live telecasts. Jim Boylen became a meme by the end of the season, while John Paxson and Gar Forman were eventually reassigned. The Bulls are hard-capped, so the team is stuck with the same roster.
There are no superstars on this team, but the team has Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen, and a healthy Otto Porter Jr. With a new coach in Billy Donovan, the Bulls will surprise everyone and start the rebuild process off with a bang.
6. Jamal Crawford Joins The Warriors And Starts A Game
The 40-year-old ageless wonder never goes away. Crawford is nowhere near his days of winning the Sixth Man of the Year Awards, but he has stayed in shape and was good enough to join the Brooklyn Nets last season for a game.
Crawford has never won an NBA Championship in his 20 years of playing in the league. In just five minutes of play in his one appearance last season, Crawford scored six points. He has still got the shooting touch. Crawford is going to take a veteran’s minimum, title chase with the Warriors, and even start a game at the end of the season.
5. Sacramento Kings Makes The Playoffs
To some, this is not all that shocking, but can we ever believe what the Kings offer on paper? The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. However, in 2021, the Kings are going to break their 15-year playoff drought by qualifying for the big dance.
The Kings had one of the best offseasons out of any NBA team. The addition of Hassan Whiteside as a rim protector was a solid one-year deal. The Kings landed a true point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who will play solid backup minutes. With a healthy Marvin Bagley III, the Kings will sneak into the No. 8 seed.
4. Paul George Requests A Trade
The Paul George and Kawhi Leonard experiment did not pan out the way that everyone had hoped last season. After getting knocked out of the second round of the playoffs, which included blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, the Clippers fired Doc Rivers and lost Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers.
After one year, the chemistry between George and Leonard should be there. Instead, the Clippers are going to battle for the No. 4 seed and George is going to get unhappy. He will then ask for a trade because being a middle of the pack team is not what he signed up for with the Clippers.
3. Miami Heat Land James Harden In A Blockbuster Trade
Would you rather have Duncan Robinson or James Harden? Forget the Brooklyn Nets or the Golden State Warriors who are both rumored to be a trade for the former MVP. Pat Riley is the Godfather of the NBA. There is no way that he is not sneaking around behind the scenes trying to develop a way to make this trade happen.
The Rockets traded for John Wall, but there is no telling how Wall is going to play after missing nearly 1 ½ season of basketball. Riley is 75 years old and got a taste of another NBA championship last season. Riley will spurn the future by pulling off this move in the present and ride off into the sunset with another ring.
Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, and Miami's nightlife for James Harden is a pretty good offer, right?
2. Los Angeles Lakers Trade For Damian Lillard
In a way to take the NBA title for good, the Lakers will pull off the unthinkable and snag scoring sensation guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. With a three-year window with LeBron, the Lakers will go all-in for the next three seasons. The Lakers will send a package of Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dennis Schroder, Alfonzo McKinnie, GOAT Alex Caruso, and Quinn Cook.
With Damian Lillard on the squad, they will form a Big 3 and they will become the favorite for the 2021 and 2022 NBA Championships.
1. Devin Booker Wins MVP
With the addition of Chris Paul, Booker will transcend as the best player in the league. In the last two seasons, Booker has averaged 26.6 points per game and 6.6 assists. We saw what James Harden could do when he played alongside Paul, having won an MVP in 2018. There is no reason that Booker couldn’t win one himself.
The Suns are in a prime position to make the playoffs and will need key contributions from their best player. In this season, Booker is going to average over 30 points per game, while his assist count will increase to eight per game. Booker will be the first Suns player to win the MVP since Steve Nash.