The 2019-20 NBA season is shaping up to be one of the best NBA seasons in recent memory. After winning a championship in Toronto, Kawhi Leonard has returned to his home state of California as he looks to become the first player in NBA history to win three NBA Finals MVP awards on three different teams.
Enough about Kawhi. How crazy will the upcoming NBA season get? Let’s review some of the league’s most popular tweets to predict what we think will happen in 2019-20.
Even the players thought it was wild
NBA fans often consider free agency a crazy time. For the actual athletes, however, it takes major moves to get a response. Players know the cutthroat ways of pro sports franchises. This is one reason we know this offseason has been especially surprising. Even star NBA players have expressed their shock. Here are some of our favorite tweets from the offseason:
A battle for Los Angeles?
Both the LA Lakers and LA Clippers became Western Conference contenders seemingly overnight. LeBron James and company added Anthony Davis to the roster. Although they gave up a young core, it makes sense when you can land a player with Davis’s abilities and star power.
To land Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers needed to secure a deal for Paul George. They did just that, giving up five first-round draft picks and two great young prospects to secure George for three seasons. A tandem of Leonard and George will scare opposing offenses. They’re easily the two best perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Our prediction: We expect both teams to land near the top of the Western Conference standings when the regular season ends.
Where’s Brooklyn at?
Everyone is discussing the Big Three in Philadelphia; Boston signing Kemba Walker; and last year’s No. 1 seed Milwaukee (led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo). But we choose Brooklyn as the sleeper team to make it to the NBA Finals out of the East.
The Nets landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Although Durant won’t play next season due to a ruptured Achilles, Irving is still an upgrade over D’Angelo Russell. The Nets also have sharpshooter Joe Harris and DeAndre Jordan, who’s still a beast of a rebounder in the middle.
Our prediction: They may only reach 50 wins next season. However, the Nets’ toughness in the playoffs this past season will help them go deeper in the 2020 playoffs.
What can we expect from the Golden State Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors are overlooked for 2019, but we think this is still one of the Western Conference’s top four teams. Stephen Curry could have another MVP-caliber season as he returns to the top of the offense. D’Angelo Russell will fill in well at shooting guard.
Klay Thompson will rehab from a torn ACL and may not return until the postseason. If he can return, then we will still give them a puncher’s chance of earning their fourth NBA championship.
The rest of the West
The two Western Conference teams no one talks about in free agency: the Portland Trailblazers and Utah Jazz. Led by Damian Lillard, Portland will try to make an NBA Finals berth in 2020. Jusuf Nurkić will be a key factor in their playoff success — if he can return from his broken leg in March.
Denver has a 1-2 punch in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, who can put up a triple-double on any given night. Russell Westbrook and James Harden reuniting should also make Houston a popular pick to make the Finals. But we aren’t sold on the Rockets after numerous playoff failures.
We expect the Western Conference race to be hard-fought, and we’re already looking forward to potential playoff matchups.