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NBA 30 Team Preview 2019-2020

Updated on October 21, 2019
 
 
 
 
2018-2019 Record
2019-2020 Projected Wins*
Atlanta Hawks
29-53
34.5
Boston Celtics
49-33
48.5
Brooklyn Nets
42-40
43.5
Charlotte Hornets
39-43
23.5
Chicago Bulls
22-60
33.5
Cleveland Cavaliers
19-63
24.5
Dallas Mavericks
33-49
40.5
Denver Nuggets
54-28
52.5
Detroit Pistons
41-41
37.5
Golden State Warriors
57-25
48.5
Houston Rockets
53-29
53.5
Indiana Pacers
48-34
47.5
Los Angeles Clippers
48-34
53.5
Los Angeles Lakers
37-45
49.5
Memphis Grizzlies
33-49
26.5
Miami Heat
39-43
43.5
Milwaukee Bucks
60-22
57.5
Minnesota Timberwolves
36-46
35.5
New Orleans Pelicans
33-49
39.5
New York Knicks
17-65
26.5
Oklahoma City Thunder
49-33
31.5
Orlando Magic
42-40
41.5
Philadelphia 76ers
51-31
54.5
Phoenix Suns
19-63
29.5
Portland Trail Blazers
53-29
46.5
Sacramento Kings
39-43
38.5
San Antonio Spurs
48-34
45.5
Toronto Raptors
58-24
46.5
Utah Jazz
50-32
53.5
Washington Wizards
32-50
27.5
*WIN TOTALS FROM ODDS SHARK
Colin Sexton
Colin Sexton

Cleveland Cavaliers 24.5

Kevin Love, Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson still have the capability of walking around the complex sporting their 2016 championship rings, but this season will once again be about player development with Darrius Garland being the prime focus on that front. Kevin Love has the chance to reclaim his reputation this year and might be flipped for future assets if he's able to start off the season successfully. Larry Nance Jr. took a nice step forward last year with eye-popping rebounding and steal numbers when he got his chances and is clamoring for any available front-court minutes. Cedi Osman has showed some flashes of his well-rounded game and Jordan Clarkson has been instant-offense whether starting or coming off of the bench so far in his career. Rookie Kevin Porter Jr. adds additional upside to their wings, leading to pivotal lineup decisions for their rebuilding franchise. Last year's rookie Colin Sexton proved he could get buckets for them but together with Garland may be too raw to lead this Cavaliers team out of the cellar. UNDER 19-63

Charlotte Hornets 23.5

The crushing impact of losing Kemba Walker should reverberate through this franchise for a few years; making it a struggle to picture whose face could end up on the billboards around Charlotte. Terry Rozier will get his opportunity to run the team and should stuff the stat sheet acting as the primary scorer. Veterans Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams are still around with their useful talents and last year’s lottery pick Miles Bridges began to emerge down the stretch, likely making him a more reliable member of the rotation this year. Rookie P.J. Washington is another exciting prospect who could play his way into a sizable role by spacing the floor while providing some stand-out defense. Cody Zeller can be trusted at center and Malik Monk will look to become a more polished scorer this season backing up Dwayne Bacon. Just because they lack a star doesn’t mean the wins won’t accumulate for them, but it likely turns into a season of development rather quickly if they struggle even a little bit. UNDER 22-60

Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards 27.5

With John Wall spending a substantial portion of the season on the shelf, it will be Bradley Beal forced to carry this suddenly young core. Ish Smith and Isaiah Thomas are the candidates to fill in at point guard and with Smith’s good track record as a backup in Detroit he will likely carry the torch; however it is really Beal who will be facilitating a majority of the offense. Thomas Bryant quietly emerged last season as an effective big and should continue to be one of their better sources of scoring. Their lottery pick Rui Hachimura could shine with a big opportunity lying ahead in a starting lineup with plenty of shots available. A couple other rookies Admiral Schofield and Troy Brown round out the roster and should get their opportunities as well as Jordan McCrae, who's capable of getting some much needed buckets for them. This team has always taken a step back at any opportunity but at least for this season their expectations are nil. UNDER 24-58

Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks 26.5

Gaining RJ Barrett and Julius Randle in the off-season was a positive sign for a potential Knicks rebirth down the line, however, the rest of their off-season signings signaled that they want to compete for the playoffs now. Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris are able to bring some front-court scoring while stretching the floor, but should eat into the minutes of last year’s lottery pick Kevin Knox. Three point marksman Wayne Ellington and valuable swing-man Reggie Bullock join the team, which could outright trim the minutes of last year’s pleasant surprises Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson. Taj Gibson brings his contagious effort to the squad, but likely siphons time from the rapidly developing second year center Mitchell Robinson. A trio of point guards could find themselves in a battle for minutes as well with the now journey-man Elfrid Payton being the best passing option, Frank Nitilikina representing the defensive stopper of the bunch and projected starter Dennis Smith Jr. offering up his high flying athleticism. Coach David Fizdale has his hands full with his rotations, but with such a deep-well of playable talent it could result in more wins than they are projected for. OVER 30-52

Trae Young
Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks 34.5

The versatile veteran Vince Carter once again will don the ATL jersey for potentially his last go-around, exponentially adding to the excitement that this team started brewing last season. Trae Young made it hard on rookie of the year voters with some of his gaudy performances and all hopes for any playoff revival for the city hinges on the evolution of his game. John Collins is an electric talent who feeds off of Trae nicely by exhibiting his vast offensive arsenal and should be able to add to his defensive capacities moving forward. Several new faces will be introduced to fans on opening night with Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter being the two exciting pieces that should flesh out prominent roles early and often running next to their play-making point guard; in addition to the two rookies serviceable swing-man Allen Crabbe brings some valuable two-way play and Evan Turner should provide proficient ball-handling off of the bench. Alex Len being trusted to man the center position feels a bit untenable, but Damian Jones is around to split minutes as well. DeAndre Bembry and Kevin Huerter are returning to a bench that has added a few names such as Jabari Parker and the nearly extinct Chandler Parsons. With the overall youth factor weighing against them they could struggle to make it out of the middle, but after another year or two of growth this team could frighten anybody with their current genetic makeup. UNDER 34-48

Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond

Detroit Pistons 37.5

Back in the day Blake Griffin seemed destined for stardom but now is stuck in Detroit grinding away just to try to make the playoffs every year. Andre Drummond and Griffin still represent one of the more formidable front-court pairings, especially the more comfortable Blake gets extending his range. Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson are two of the better scoring guards and will be needed for numerous offensive surges to help them make it through the rigorous season. Markieff Morris will try another new team and should be a good bench forward to stack with Thon Maker behind the often injured Griffin. The talent on the wings may be a hindrance but there are pieces that could potentially perform well with Luke Kennard seeking to become a consistent offensive option as well as Tony Snell capable of strong defense. This team could claim one of the final spots out east again, but the conference likely won’t buckle as easily to them this time with more teams striving to win now. UNDER 37-45

Jonathan Isaac
Jonathan Isaac

Orlando Magic 41.5

Although they appear to be flying a bit under the radar again, they have a nice distribution of scoring and enough depth to help them sneak right back into the playoffs for the second year in a row. At point-guard they have their steady placeholder in D.J. Augustin but perhaps a former number one overall pick, Markelle Fultz, can find some of his lost confidence playing in a fresh sunny setting. Jonathan Isaac has taken strides and should continue to do so this season with his length and athleticism making him a difficult match-up on both ends. Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross form a nice offensive duo to supply buckets out of the back-court and Aaron Gordon has leveled out his play to offer steadier front-court scoring. Nikola Vucevic was their all-star a season ago and his unsung production of efficient shooting and passing will continue to lead them while behind him second year man Mo Bamba is a lock to have an impact defensively. Al-Farouq Aminu was a key off-season addition that will provide three point shooting and excellent defense at either forward position, adding to their playoff rotations if they’re fortunate enough to make it back there. UNDER 40-42

Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen

Chicago Bulls 33.5

Things are looking up in this sporty city with a talent enriched roster that can scrape together enough wins for a post-season berth and still nourish their up and coming all-stars for the future. Lauri Markkanen is primed to raise his offensive efficiency with the strongest supporting cast he's ever had assembled around him and Zach LaVine is set up to take additional strides forward this campaign having had a healthy off-season to attack the weaknesses of his game. Wendell Carter Jr. showed enough to expect steady improvements throughout his development and should be able to pair nicely with Markkanen for years to come. Veteran additions Thaddeous Young and Tomas Satoransky provide sure-handed play at key positions which is vital for elevating their young core in a season with high aspirations. Rookie point guard Coby White may not have a ton of impact right away, potentially behind Kris Dunn as well on the depth chart, but the appeal is still there to watch how he can flourish. Otto Porter Jr. may quietly be the best player on the roster and raising the team’s intensity defensively will be his primary focus if they truly are serious about obtaining one of the last spots out east. OVER 41-41

Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward

Boston Celtics 48.5

Kemba Walker slots in readily able to fill the role of leader for this squad that is in the midst of an identity shift. The loss of key facilitator Al Horford will inevitably change the way their offense looks and without Terry Rozier this year’s bench will likely turn to rookie Carsen Edwards. Defensively they have pieces that could help them with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart providing elite level defense for their respective positions. Enes Kanter may start because of his valuable scoring but could become a defensive liability in Brad Steven's scheme, therefore several smaller lineups with Jayson Tatum and Brown at the four might be unleashed with perhaps even Brown stretching to a micro-five on occasion. Gordon Hayward seeks a year of redemption and could push Smart aside in the starting lineup or work off of the bench as he hopes to fit in better with his teammates this season. They could struggle this year without a reliable post-defense and because all of their best players play the same positions. UNDER 42-40

Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat 43.5

Jimmy Butler now gets his opportunity to work with the superstar-whisperer Pat Riley as he settles into South Beach for the prime of his career. Goran Dragic could come off of the bench or be a deferential point guard with Jimmy and Justise Winslow around to handle the ball in addition to the playmaking big Bam Adebayo. Bam and Justise have become consistent options and could thrive running the offense alongside Jimmy while also amassing several defensive stops. Derrick Jones Jr. is capable of some astounding athleticism and their bench consists of unique talents Meyers Leonard and James Johnson. Kelly Olynyk could be plugged in as a starter or brought off the bench, which speaks to their level of versatility in the conference. Rookie Tyler Herro appears to have an NBA-ready-shot at his disposal giving the team a much welcomed offensive piece to use right away as well as potentially Kendrick Nunn carrying over his positive vibes from the summer-league. Butler ended up where he ultimately wanted to be and now is here to set up shop, so his teammates better be ready to match his intensity if they want to make it to the post-season. OVER 44-38

Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert

Brooklyn Nets 43.5

Kevin Durant’s new team is capable of making it to the playoffs without him playing a single game for them and could even do damage once they get there. Kyrie Irving removed himself from Boston’s baggage cart and will now have this year to hone his leadership skills by piloting this talented Brooklyn squad around him. Jarret Allen adds another year of seasoning and also gains a new mentor in DeAndre Jordan to dominate the front-court with. Spencer Dinwiddie still represents one of the more talented reserve guards and should be able to keep his units afloat with his play-making ability. Caris LeVert is in a nice situation to build off the momentum he made last year before his devastating injury limited him upon his return. Joe Harris can provide an offensive lift with the starters spacing the floor and new addition Taurean Prince could prosper in the spot that is reserved for KD. Kenny Attkinson has churned out a lot of success in the past and if he’s able to get Kyrie to fly straight then they could be one of the bigger surprises out east with where they land. OVER 45-37

Myles Turner
Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers 47.5

Despite their best player Victor Oladipo being unavailable to start the year, the Pacers still wield one of the better starting lineups for opening night. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis have taken some time to harmonize but they now produce a unique front-court duet with Sabonis an orchestrator on offense and Turner a maestro defensively. Oladipo can take his time to recover fully as newcomer T.J. Warren is capable of handling a hefty scoring burden in his absence, but the bench will likely be patchy as a result. Malcom Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb were exciting off-season additions that will slot into their starting lineup and have immense opportunities to build off of their career years. Aaron Holiday is primed for a role as back-up point guard but will have to find minutes on a bench that also brought in T.J. McConnell. Nate McMillan should continue to thrive at the helm with the potential there for another playoff run; but first they’ll need to establish a big man off of the bench while also navigating the noise during their wait for Victor. OVER 48-34

Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam

Toronto Raptors 46.5

The defending champs are quickly being written-off, but they could actually still be a threat laying a trap in the eastern landscape. Pascal Siakam has the opportunity for expansion to his game after gaining valuable experience last season on their championship expedition. Nick Nurse proved he’s capable of running a successful campaign and will look to continue to add a pedigree to the north by learning to better utilize Marc Gasol this season as well as help facilitate a breakout for O.G Anunoby. Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka have more to give offensively for this year and should still help form one of the league’s better defenses. Norman Powell and Fred Van Vleet are also still around to provide a little bit of depth and the once defensively touted Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could find his own ways to make an impact. Several strong parts remain from their championship roster and while they likely won’t repeat, they could get close if Siakam is able to win back-to-back most-improved awards. OVER 50-32

Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons
Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers 54.5

By possessing one of the better starting lineups this season it could propel Philadelphia towards the pinnacle of the conference with a potentially elite defense and their perennial superstar Joel Embiid. They will miss J.J. Reddick and his three-point shooting, but it forces Ben Simmons into expanding his range a bit. Josh Richardson is capable of knocking in threes in bunches and will also be a valuable ball-handler and utilitarian defensive piece among their starting five. Al Horford brings his winning play and tough defense aboard, giving them some scary length across their crunch-time lineup. Tobias Harris coming back is big for their championship aspirations and he should also see an uptick in shots with Horford and Simmons capable of setting him up frequently. The bench has an intriguing rookie, Matisse Thybulle, who’s potentially ready to be a defensive stopper himself and Raul Neto is their only true point guard on the roster. If Embiid is to ever rest they could unleash Kyle O’Quinn but may more likely stretch their roster by sliding Harris or Simmons up and moving Horford over to center. They might not end up with the number one seed because of some minor depth questions, but they have to be feared by all in a seven game series especially if their new parts can blend into a defensive death lineup.OVER 55-27

Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton

Milwaukee Bucks 57.5

Giannis Antetokounmpo ascended into greatness by leading his team to the best record while winning the MVP and now rules supreme over the eastern conference for the foreseeable future. The loss of Brogdon will be felt, but Eric Bledsoe and Kris Middleton stick around to help lock-down the perimeter. Wesley Matthews will have to prove he can regain his effectiveness as a starter on a championship caliber team, but could be a nice source of 3 and D for them. Mike Budenholzer successfully utilized Brook Lopez by setting him up out deep to launch threes all last season and should be positioned similarly this year with Giannis continually gallivanting wherever he pleases with the ball in his hand. Plenty of bench production is to be expected with several returning faces and Thanasis Antetokounmpo joining up next to his MVP brother, which should boost the team's chemistry. With Giannis conquering the regular season, it's now championship or bust moving forward in Milwaukee. UNDER 56-26

Jonas Valanciunas, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jonas Valanciunas, Jaren Jackson Jr.

Memphis Grizzlies 26.5

In the face of their former team fading away the franchise found new life with two beacons of hope, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, helping them kick-start the rebuilding process here in Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas had a resurgent tail end of the year after he was traded and opted to re-sign, offering some stability in the front-court to pair with the stretchable Jackson Jr. While Andre Iguodala is around everyone should soak up what they can from him with his wealth of knowledge and he should also be a valuable cog on the court. Tyus Jones was brought on to back up Morant and could pair with him at times while Dillon Brooks could be a good source of points on the wing for them working with their tantalizing rookie. Bruno Caboclo, Jae Crowder and Kyle Anderson round out the roster and offer some defensive specialization and floor spacing with Anderson also being one of the team's better play-makers. The speed at which Ja adapts should be the determining factor for their overall record but with the playoffs too far out of reach they could be content to just let their guys develop and see what sort of asset they can end up with in the next draft. UNDER 24-58

Steven Adams
Steven Adams

Oklahoma City Thunder 31.5

Chris Paul is seemingly marooned in OKC with marginal talent around him, but it still seems wrong to bet against him with his hero-track-record. It’s not a barren wasteland as Steven Adams still is one of the better rim-runners in the game that should thrive with CP3 while Danillo Gallinari will provide his value by shooting and getting to the free-throw-line. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the franchise's favorite son moving forward and will have an opportunity to blossom studying next to Paul. Andre Roberson is still thought of to be a great defender for them but combined with Paul and Gallinari represent too much injury history to feel all that comfortable with their season-long outlook. Dennis Schroder is there in case Paul exits or is dealt away with his passable scoring and play-making ability. It remains to be seen how happy Paul will be not competing for a championship, or if there are even any suitors for his loud contract. UNDER 25-57

Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks 40.5

With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis joining forces there is a maximum level of anticipation surrounding this team, but expectations may have ballooned too much for a young squad with a suddenly tougher conference surrounding them. They strengthened their back-court with two key additions to accompany Jalen Brunson with new starting point guard Delon Wright providing lengthy defense and the smooth shot making Seth Curry serving as a reserve.Tim Hardaway Jr. will be a solid third option for them, perhaps off the bench, and should seek a gain in efficiency working off the reigning rookie of the year. Boban Marjonavich offers a big body for them to use at times and Dwight Powell could turn his efficient offense into a starting role for them. Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith and Justin Jackson are useful ingredients to have around with their defensive versatility and could get their chances to start as well. Since Porzingis is slated for several games where he will be rested he could revert to some of his old losing New York habits when he plays, which could perhaps sputter things enough to keep them below the other dreamers of the conference. UNDER 34-48

Devin Booker
Devin Booker

Phoenix Suns 29.5

This franchise is slowly heading in the right direction and have now started forming a reputable team around their two cornerstone pieces Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. They have finally added a point guard in Ricky Rubio who can help all the members of the roster immensely on offense with his sharp passing and playoff experience. Kelly Oubre was a bright spot once he landed in Phoenix and will accompany Mikal Bridges and Dario Saric as their forwards; leaving the team with a rich mixture of play-making, defense, and shooting at their disposal. Frank Kaminsky could add his shooting touch off of the bench and Aron Baynes represents a much needed defensive presence for them as a back-up to Ayton. Booker has vastly improved in each season and Ayton will look to have the same sort of growth as the team tilts its sights upwards in the ever shifting conference. Monty Williams returns to the coaching chair and has a great opportunity to fast-track this team as they shoot their way up from the bottom. OVER 35-47

Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves 35.5

These wolves are trying to emerge from the middle of the pack this year by featuring their lone all-star, Karl-Anthony Towns, as much as possible on the offensive end and with his glorious efficiency they should be in the hunt this year with the added makings of a strong defense forming. Josh Okogie has showed off his ferocious defense and together with Robert Covington could help take this team to the next level on that side of the ball. Jeff Teague works hard on both ends and the sixth overall pick Jarrett Culver has the tools to be a two-way contributor on night one as well. Andrew Wiggins is often maligned for his lack of defensive commitment, but he still remains a valuable shot maker for them. They added a few versatile big men in Noah Vonleh and Jordan Bell as well as Gorgui Dieng still being present on the roster to provide plenty of depth behind Towns. Shabazz Napier has proven useful at each of his stops and with nagging injuries keeping Teague at bay last season he could be relied upon heavily. They’re one of the teams that could seemingly go either way this year, but a strong defense could end up being their catalyst. OVER 36-46

Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans 39.5

Anthony Davis’s bumpy departure has actually left the Pelicans looking ahead to the future quite nicely with the next man up Zion Williamson looking like a legitimate rock to build upon. Since Jrue Holiday is the best player on the team it could mean an even split at each guard position for him, allowing appearances in lineups with the sharpshooting J.J. Reddick while also running rampant on the wing when Lonzo Ball is in. Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart are two players that have great length and athleticism and should continue to progress as the season marches on while the team's other rookie, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, represents an intriguing prospect for them that could find ways to contribute immediately. Derrick Favors is slotted in to play center alongside Zion and their chemistry will be vital for the team’s success. Having two play-making guards that will be able to find Zion in tight quarters should allow him to explode in the paint this year to the extent where the local papers might dub the team the New Orleans Paints. The fact that Zion is starting off the season hurt could be a positive since it may relieve some of the post-season expectations that follow them. UNDER 37-45

De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox

Sacramento Kings 38.5

De’Aaron Fox has emerged as one of the top tier point guards in the league, leading the front-office to shell-out for enough pieces to stack around their new King of Kings. They have several strong forwards and Marvin Bagley III seemingly is primed for his own coronation with a potential second-season break-out upcoming. Bogdan Bogdanovich is a strong across the board contributor and together with Buddy Hield create a formidable offensive wing duo for Star Fox to hit. Dewayne Dedmon is capable of holding down the middle for the starting lineup and with Harrison Barnes and Trevor Ariza both able to play small-ball-fours it could allow Bagley to switch over to center at times, giving them options of ultra-quick lineups. Behind Fox are capable names in Yogi Ferrell and Corey Joseph to provide vital bench play for a team with playoff aspirations. They won’t catch anyone by surprise this year, but with their dependable guard play it gives them an advantage over a lot of their peers. OVER 39-43

DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan

San Antonio Spurs 45.5

One of these years coming up will be Greg Popovich’s last and then it’ll be interesting to see where the franchise heads; but, until then this team is always a lock for over-achievement. DeMar DeRozan had his best year facilitating and will look to keep raising his game under Pop's tutelage. LeMarcus Aldridge steadily does his thing and together with Jakob Poetl form a solid front-line. At forward Rudy Gay leads a group that includes newcomers Trey Lyles and DeMarre Carroll, adding to the teams's depth. They welcome back Dejounte Murray who once again brings a lot of hype around him with his shut-down defender reputation and developing jump-shot. While Murray was recovering Derrick White and Bryn Forbes found themselves producing for the starting lineup and Patty Mills will run it back with Pop one more time, giving them a lot of guard versatility. The playoffs should still happen in their fair city even though the young teams out west are getting more and more frightening. OVER 47-35

Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers 46.5

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum led the Blazers to new heights by boosting them up to the three seed and then exhibited post-season fireworks during their journey to the conference finals; but after coming up short the star duo returns to a brand new roster around them, which explains their deflated win projection. Rodney Hood earned his spot during their post-season run and should score nicely along the wings with the bouncy Kent Bazemore providing a bit of everything in reserve. Hassan Whiteside and Zach Collins are both shot blocking experts that could help form a scary defensive back line. They also have two stretch-fours in Anthony Tolliver and Skal Labissiere to help occupy minutes until Jusuf Nurkic is able to come back from injury. Mario Hezonjia and first round pick Nassir Little are two more potential impact players for them with the rookie potentially grasping a starting spot at some point. Lillard has taken his game to new heights and is well equipped to tackle this tough season ahead, giving them hopes of some more post-season magic down the line. OVER 47-35

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green
Stephen Curry, Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors 48.5

There are reasons to be excited for this upcoming Warriors season; Stephen Curry will have a license to thrill arenas with staggering statistics, DeAngelo Russell, coming off of his first all-star game, gets to run with the best shooter in the business while holding his own with dazzling doses of display, and they are no longer public enemy number one who built the unstoppable team. Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein form a good duo at the center position and if rookie Jordan Poole can make some sort of splash for them they could form a decent lineup while awaiting the return of their brother Klay Thompson. Draymond Green will be more freed up to have an impact offensively with the Durant departure, but an immense defensive burden will be thrust on his shoulders with the loss of so many key figures: Iguodala, Livingston, Klay and KD. Alec Burks is capable of producing off of their bench and former slam dunk champion Glen Robinson III could be ready for a role in the league again. Some are struggling to see them inside the playoff picture, but they may be forgetting what Curry can do as he's excited for this upcoming challenge of keeping their streak of 5 straight 50+ win seasons going for the former champs. OVER 50-32

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz 53.5

Mike Conley could be a perfect addition for a team that has higher expectations then just making the playoffs in the mountainous west and together with their budding young star Donovan Mitchell could form one of the leagues highest scoring back-courts. Bojan Bogdanovic is in a position to help space the floor and should benefit from the attention the guards draw as they penetrate the lane. Dante Exum is still around to offer his length in reserve as well as Emmanuel Mudiay capable of getting hot for their bench. Joe Ingles will transition to a bench role and should be effective running the show while also rotating in on the wing in crunch-time to provide some of his stout defense. Jeff Green and Royce O'Neal will look to capitalize with their minutes next to the team's pulse, Rudy Gobert. Conley adds upside to their defensive prowess next to Gobert and with Mitchell on the rise the hype still surrounds this team despite their rising competition. UNDER 50-32

LeBron James
LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers 49.5

For the first time in his career LeBron James might not be the best player on his team with Anthony Davis at least challenging him for his mantle. After a lost season for Davis he reunites with a past point guard in Rajon Rondo, both hoping to dominate in the purple and gold despite their buddy DeMarcus Cousins being unable to play with them. Javale McGee and Dwight Howard will operate as the teams center options but Davis will likely have to spend some time there as well, especially once Kyle Kuzma returns from injury. Kuzma took some time adjusting to life with LeBron, but he was able to improve with added play-making coming on mid-season for him and is looking like a potential third best player on a championship team. Quinn Cook is capable of spacing the floor efficiently and Avery Bradley could start with Danny Green to provide their strong defense. Jared Dudley is always a great locker room presence to acquire and with LeBron and Davis both getting some rest last post-season, they could be fresh enough to run the table. OVER 53-29

James Harden
James Harden

Houston Rockets 53.5

The main complaint against James Harden and his mastery of the offensive end of the floor usually comes from lack of entertainment: too many free throws, bad looking three pointers, stagnant offense; but now Russell Westbrook stops by off his own personal rocket ship ready to re-ignite the championship aspirations in Houston while entertaining with his high octane level of play. Clint Capela remains one of the best centers in the game and pairs well defensively with PJ Tucker to form a strong duo capable of covering up a lot of mistakes on that end. Shooting gobs of threes will be Eric Gordon this year as well as Austin Rivers off of the bench. Back when Harden and Westbrook were Thunder teammates they did not start together but now after separating and each winning an MVP they will need to learn to share the court and defer to the other at times. Russell is coming off a pairing with superstar Paul George so will be ready to fill in as the boss-number-two for a team that has dreams of a finals MVP for one their studs. OVER 54-28

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets 52.5

This mile high team is headed for another season of ascension with their MVP candidate Nikola Jokic running the program. If Jamaal Murray continues to raise his level of play then he will continue to take on more offensive duties, as the most prolific scorer on the roster. Gary Harris had an injury plagued campaign that hampered him but it allowed Torrey Craig and Malik Beasley to prove themselves worthy as appendages in the Jokic System. The team’s depth improved dramatically with the savvy signing of Jerami Grant as well as the return of last year’s lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. They have plenty of lineup options to run next to their play-making center with Will Barton, Paul Milsap and Mason Plumlee all still around. They are built really well for the regular season and might push all the way to the top of the conference in a year where their continuity and elite depth could prove to be the difference maker. OVER 55-27

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George

Los Angeles Clippers 53.5

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George deciding to team-up this summer represents the biggest free-agent wave since Chris Bosh and LeBron James joined Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat for their infamous run together. The Clippers now adjust their sights from besting their LA buds to total league dominance thanks to the Tobias Harris deal that opened up space for their summer madness and also netted them a valuable shooting commodity in Landry Shamet. Patrick Beverley should offer his usual smothering defense to complement nicely with the incoming intensity brought in by their two new stars while Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams form the best bench scoring duo from a season ago and will soak up valuable minutes despite the drastic changes around them. Moe Harkless, JaMychal Green, Rodney McGruder, and Patrick Patterson flaunt the team's depth and Ivica Zubac could end up showing more of his potential this year. Doc Rivers has managed super-teams before, with the last iteration of the Clippers' Big Three and in Boston with Ray Allen KG and Paul Pierce, so he should be able to handle any extra-attention around the squad to get them where they're going. OVER 57-25

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