With All the Shaking up in the NBA, Who Will Win Next Year?
If you thought this past year’s NBA betting and NBA Finals was exciting, thrilling, edge of your seat entertainment, then you ‘ain’t seen nothing yet!’ The 2015-2016 season hasn’t even started and NBA fans are already predicting who will take the Larry O’Brien trophy next. Of course there’s the regular noise from fans about their perspective cities, even if the city happens to be Philadelphia, New York, or Los Angeles. But with the NBA free agency season in full effect, every fan has a reason to be optimistic.
Let’s start with perhaps the biggest move in this year’s free agency, forward LaMarcus Aldridge leaving the playoff contender Portland Trailblazers to join Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. Stars leaving their playoff contending team to join a better playoff team is not unheard of, e.g., Lebron James; but Aldridge’s move may be one of the best in a long time. The Trailblazers’ star averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds last season that would only add to the Spurs’ offensive weaponry. He’s not shabby on the defensive side of the ball either, and let’s face it, he got paid, signing an $80 million, four-year contract. Spurs fans can barely contain their excitement, but they aren’t the only Texans with sights on an NBA championship.
Not long after Aldridge, another rising star decided to jump ship and head to the Lone Star State. Center DeAndre Jordan left star-studded Los Angeles to come back to his home state and join the Dallas Mavericks. The league’s leader in dunks, rebounds, and field goal percentage saw the potential of teaming up with NBA champion and future hall of famer Dirk Nowitzki, realizing, like many Dallas fans, that the Mavs are only a piece away from getting a ring. Perhaps Jordan is that missing piece?
Some stars, of course, thought it would be better to just stay put. Defensive Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season, Marc Gasol, re-signed with his hometown team, the Memphis Grizzlies, solidifying their place as championship contenders. The number one draft pick of 2012, Anthony Davis, decided that the new coach and the new up and coming team in New Orleans was enough to put them in contention; the five-year, $145 million contract didn’t hurt either. Even Draymond Green, said to be ‘the heart and soul’ of the Golden State Warriors, chose to stay. Playing with the ‘splash brothers,’ learning from Coach Steve Kerr, and waiting for his newly acquired championship ring may have been what influenced his decision. Either way, the Grizzlies, Pelicans, and Warriors’ fans have plenty to be excited about.
Well what about Philadelphia, New York, and L.A.? With three top ten picks in the draft, the 76ers are an up and coming team that folks looking to bet on the NBA should keep a close eye on. New York and L.A. both made a few moves that will probably put them in playoff contention. NBA fans mustn’t forget; every NBA team is an NBA team; therefore, every team has a chance. Will NBA fans see a rematch of the Warriors and Cavaliers? Who knows? One can only wonder how much money Vegas will make. Will the Finals be as exciting this coming year? We can only hope.