The NBA season is right around the corner, with nearly two weeks left. After an offseason that saw many big names change places, we are in for an exciting regular season that may not be as predictable as last season. Anything is possible after all the changes were made.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder Struggle to Find Chemistry
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a glorious offseason by snagging two superstars in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to pair with Russell Westbrook. On paper, the Thunder look extremely dangerous and stacked with talent. However, the key is to mesh all that talent together, which is going to be the difficult part. Westbrook and Anthony demand many touches and shots, which is going to be tough to evenly distribute. Then you have George on the wing, who is going to require a certain amount of touches and shots as well. The Thunder are ultimately going to have a rough time building chemistry, which could lead to a lot of frustration and disaster.
4. Philadelphia 76ers Make the Playoffs
If the Philadelphia 76ers can remain healthy, there is a strong chance that they make the playoffs. They used the offseason to bring in a nice blend of veteran players to complement the youngsters. Additionally, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric showed plenty of potential last season and should be much better this season. The Sixers will also have Ben Simmons make his debut along with this year's number one overall pick Markelle Fultz. With many teams in the Eastern Conference descending, the Sixers have a good chance of sneaking into the top eight.
3. DeMarcus Cousins Gets Traded
The New Orleans Pelicans added DeMarcus Cousins midway through the 2016-2017 season, but he wasn't able to make an enormous impact. Cousins and Anthony Davis have similar style of play, which may be the reason the Pelicans have been unable to mesh the two superstars. If Cousins is unable to co-exist alongside Davis again this season and the Pelicans continue to be mediocre, they may consider trading Cousins before he could hit free agency in 2018. That way they can get some assets in return rather than losing him for nothing.
2. Kyrie Irving Becomes the Best Point Guard in the League
Last year, Russell Westbrook was clearly the best point guard in the league by averaging a triple-double. The years before, it was Stephen Curry, who won back-to-back MVP awards. This season, Kyrie Irving has his own team in Boston, which will give him the chance to finally display his full potential as a superstar player in this league. Besides, Westbrook's numbers and overall play may decline since he has more help this season. Irving wanted his own team to demonstrate that he is a big-time superstar, and I believe he can do just that.
1. Kawhi Leonard Wins MVP Award
With James Harden teaming up with Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook teaming up with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, the top two candidates for MVP last year will see a drop off in their averages, which may knock them out of the MVP race. That leaves only one clear-cut winner for the award -- Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was third in the race last season and should climb higher this season since he will remain the only superstar without star power on his team. We could expect Leonard to carry the Spurs to a top-two record again, on his way to an MVP award.