The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


Offseason Review and What to Expect (for EVERY NBA Team this Season)

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The 2022-23 NBA season was full of surprises, hope, and victories for underdogs. Players were traded, new teams made the playoffs for the first time in several years, and a new champion emerged: the Denver Nuggets. NBA fans can look forward to more excitement as the 2023-24 season kicks off.

This past offseason was filled with new superstar rookie prospects, blockbuster trades, and major free agent signings. With each team’s offseason moves in mind, NBA fans can draw expectations for what the upcoming season holds. 


Offseason Additions: The Philadelphia 76ers had an active offseason. They signed guard Patrick Beverly, center Mohammed (Mo) Bamba, and wing Kelly Oubre, Jr. The 76ers also signed guards Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council IV, as well as forward Azuolas Tubelis on two-way contracts as undrafted free agents.

What to Expect This Season: The 76ers have a new coach, Nick Nurse. Nurse, who was able to bring the Toronto Raptors to a championship, looks to keep the dynamic duo of James Harden and reigning MVP Joel Embiid in sync and dominating. Unfortunately, this past summer, James Harden requested a trade after numerous heated arguments with 76ers General Manager Daryl Morey. As of now, the projected starting five is James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, and Joel Embiid, with Patrick Beverley, De’Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Paul Reed, and Mo Bamba coming off the bench.  If Harden decides to stay and play, the 76ers could potentially be a one or two seed in the playoffs this year. 


Offseason Additions: The Milwaukee Bucks took the NBA by storm by acquiring superstar guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Other new additions include guard Malik Beasley, veteran guard Goran Dragic, and veteran center (and brother of current center Brook Lopez) Robin Lopez. The Bucks also drafted guard Andre Jackson, Jr. and forward Chris Livingston. 

What to Expect This Season: This may be one of the most exciting seasons in recent years for the Milwaukee Bucks. New coach Adrian Griffin will have a lot on his plate. If Damian Lillard and superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo play well together, this team could win a championship. Expect to see increased minutes from young guard MarJon Beauchamp, who had an impressive run during the summer league. He could be the Bucks’ secret weapon this season. Their projected starting five are Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez, with Cameron Payne, Pat Connaughton, MarJon Beauchamp, Jae Crowder, and Bobby Portis coming off the bench. If all goes well, the Bucks could be serious title contenders.


Offseason Additions: The Chicago Bulls had a quiet offseason, only signing wing Torrey Craig and guard Jevon Carter. They drafted Julian Phillips with the thirty-fifth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and signed highly touted undrafted free agent center Adama Sanogo from the University of Connecticut on a two-way deal. 

What to Expect This Season: This is a make-or-break year for the Bulls’ big three: Zach Lavine, Demar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic. Injuries have been a key reason for their struggles these past few seasons, and much of the Bulls’ success will be determined by the health of their roster. Guard Alex Caruso spent a lot of time on IR last season. The Bulls will have to overcome adversity from the start, with injury-prone guard Lonzo Ball having to miss the entire 2023-24 season. Their projected starting five are Alex Caruso, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, and Nikola Vucevic, with Jevon Carter, Coby White, Dalen Terry, Torrey Craig, and Andre Drummond coming off the bench. If the Bulls can get off to a hot start early, then they will be set for a great season. The Bulls will be a four or five seed in the playoffs.  


Offseason Additions: The Cleveland Cavaliers come into the 2023-24 season with mostly the same roster as last year, only losing Cedi Osman and Ricky Rubio. Last season, the Cavs lacked depth at the small forward position. To address this concern, they signed up-and-coming small forward Max Strus and guard Ty Jerome. The Cavs also got what may end up being the steal of the draft after signing wing Emoni Bates from Eastern Michigan. Bates has the potential to be a future hall-of-fame player, and his game is often compared to that of NBA superstar Kevin Durant. 

What to Expect This Season: This could be the season in which the Cavs make it to the finals without the help of LeBron James. They have elite depth at every position with a projected starting five of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen, with Ricky Rubio, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, and Damian Jones off the bench. The question is whether Emoni Bates will come off the bench or be a starter for the Cavs’ G-League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge, to be developed further. Expect a bigger and better season from the Cavaliers. 


Offseason Additions: After sending star defensive guard Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics traded sixth man of the year Malcolm Brogdon and center Robert Williams III to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Guard Jrue Holiday. The Celtics also signed some much-needed height in 7’3” star forward Kristaps Porzingis. Other new signings include Oshae Brissett, Wenyen Gabriel, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens, DJ Steward, Jay Scrubb, and Dalano Banton. The Celtics drafted Jordan “The Bald Beast” Addison with the thirty-eighth overall pick in the draft. 

What to Expect This Season: If the Celtics stay healthy, this team could be incredible. A top six featuring Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White, and Al Horford is about as good as it gets. Their projected starting five are Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, and Al Horford, with Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, Sam Hauser, Oshae Brissett, and Luke Kornet off the bench. The Celtics finally have some height with Kristaps Porzingis, so fans could potentially see a whole new offensive style this season. With a roster like this, the Celtics could potentially win their first title since 2008.

Photo by Marius Christensen on Unsplash



Offseason Additions: The Los Angeles Clippers are running it back with the same team as last year plus the only two additions of the offseason: guard Kobe Brown, whom they took with the thirtieth pick of the draft, and guard Jordan Miller, whom they took with the forty-eighth.

What to Expect This Season: Unfortunately, fans can expect pretty much the same action as last year for the Clippers. With no key additions, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will still have to put the rest of the team on their backs to win games, but that will require both of them to stay healthy and not miss extended time. The Clippers’ projected starting five are Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, and Ivica Zubac, with Terance Mann, Norman Powell, Kenyon Martin, Jr., Marcus Morris, Sr., and Mason Plumlee off the bench. The Clippers have the potential to grab a low playoff seed.


Offseason Additions: With superstar guard Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of the season, the Grizzlies were in desperate need of a star to fill that role. They ended up trading for star guard Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics. They also picked Derrick Rose as a role model to mentor Ja Morant. Other signings include Josh Christopher and Isaiah Todd. The Grizzlies also drafted Gregory “GG” Jackson with the forty-fifth pick in the draft and Tarik Biberovic, who will play overseas for a year, with the fifty-sixth pick. 

What to Expect This Season: The Grizzlies can be expected to be a sleeper team this season. With Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games, the season will probably get off to a slow start. Their projected starting five are Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, John Konchar, Jaren Jackson, Jr., and Steven Adams, with Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, David Roddy, Santi Aldama, and Xavier Tillman off the bench. Once Morant comes back from his suspension and replaces John Konchar in the starting five, the Grizzlies will by far have the best defensive starting five in the league and will be a force to reckon with towards the second half of the regular season.


Offseason Additions: The 2023 draft was very important for the Hawks after the team traded away forward John Collins. They selected guard Kobe Bufkin from Michigan with the fifteenth pick of the draft, seven-foot power forward Mohammed Gueye with the thirty-ninth, and guard Seth Lundy with the forty-sixth. They also signed free agents Wesley Matthews and Miles Norris.

What to Expect This Season: This season could be a surprisingly good one for the Hawks. Sadiq Bey will get his chance to be the starting power forward and will look to prove why he deserves to be a starter. Guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray will continue to score and assist with ease. If Clint Capela returns to the level of domination he showed a few years ago, the Hawks will finally have a dominant center. Their projected starting five are Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey, and Clint Capela, with Patty Mills, Bogdan Bogdanovic, AJ Griffin, Jalen Johnson, and Onyeka Okongwu coming off the bench. Expect the Hawks to make the play-in tournament, where they could surprise some teams.  


Offseason Additions: Unfortunately for the Heat, this offseason was more about losses than additions. After losing fast-rising players Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Cody Zeller, as well as veteran guard Victor Oladipo, the team needed to bring in talent. They used the eighteenth pick in the draft to acquire forward Jaime Jaquez from UCLA. They also signed Thomas Bryant, Justin Champagnie, Cole Swider, Josh Richardson, RJ Hampton, Alondes Williams, Dru Smith, and Drew Peterson.

What to Expect This Season: Unlike last season, where they had a magical postseason run in which they made it to the NBA Finals, this season will be a lot different for the Heat. After losing numerous key players, the Heat is left with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and a number of new faces. Their projected starting five are Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Josh Richardson, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo, with Dru Smith, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, Kevin Love, and Thomas Bryant off the bench. As this is largely a new squad that seems to lack top-level talent, the Heat will probably be a play-in team, at best.


Offseason Additions: After finishing second in the “Wembanyama sweepstakes,” the Charlotte Hornets took forward Brandon Miller with the second pick of the draft. They also drafted Nick Smith, Jr. with the twenty-seventh pick, James Nnaji with the thirty-first, and Amari Bailey with the forty-first. Other new signings are Frank Ntilikina, Edmond Sumner, RJ Hunter (free agent), Tre Scott, and Leaky Black. 

What to Expect This Season: The Hornets will come into the season as one of the youngest teams in the league. Their projected starting five are LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier III, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, and Mark Williams, with Nick Smith, Jr., Cody Martin, Brandon Miller, JT Thor, and Nick Richards off the bench. They were one of the worst teams last year and will look to bounce back this season. With the youth of this team, expect the Hornets to be potential play-in tournament contenders, at best.


Offseason Additions: The Utah Jazz made some interesting moves this offseason, trading for John Collins and using their three draft picks on Taylor Hendricks (drafted ninth), Keyonte George (drafted sixteenth), and Brice Sensabaugh (drafted twenty-eighth). They also signed Omer Yurtseven and Joey Hauser.

What to Expect This Season: The Jazz will be a sleeper team this season. They have one of the more underrated projected starting fives with Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, and Walker Kessler, and reigning Most Improved Player of the Year Lauri Markkanen, and Keyonte George, Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fonntecchio, Taylor Hendricks, and Kelly Olynyk off the bench. The biggest question for this team is who will end up as the starting point guard. Expect the Jazz to have another disappointing season, as they are not likely to be more than a play-in tournament team. 


Offseason Additions: It was a quiet offseason for the Kings. They signed Chris Duarte, Sasha Vezenkov, JaVale McGee, and Jordan Ford, and drafted Colby Jones with the thirty-fourth pick and Jalen Slawson with the fifty-fourth.

What to Expect This Season: After a surprising playoff run last season, the Sacramento Kings are looking to have another strong season. Their projected starting five are De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, and Domantas Sabonis, with Davion Mitchell, Malik Monk, Kessler Edwards, Sasha Vezenkov, and Alex Len off the bench. The Kings are a sleeper team this season and could potentially be a five or six seed in the playoffs. 


Offseason Additions: It was an uneventful offseason for the Knicks. They traded “could’ve been star” Obi Toppin to the Pacers and signed former Villanova star guard Donte DiVincenzo. They also signed Nathan Knight, Dylan Windler, Jacob Toppin (brother of Obi Toppin), and Jaylen Martin.

What to Expect This Season:  The question of whether the Knicks are officially back still cannot be answered, but after a breakout season last year, the Knicks have finally found their trio of Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle. The Knicks’ starting five consists of Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson, with Immanuel Quickley, Donte DiVincenzo, Evan Fournier, Josh Hart, Jericho Sims, and Isaiah Hartenstein coming off the bench. If the Knicks can improve their 3-point shooting a little more (which DiVincenzo probably can), they can go further than they did last season. After being one of the best sixth men in the league last season, expect Immanuel Quickley to have a breakout year.  This is a Knicks team that has elite depth and could potentially be a three or four seed in the playoffs. 


Offseason Additions: The Los Angeles Lakers were very active this offseason, signing Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, Cam Reddish, Colin Castleton, Alex Fudge, and D’Moi Hodge and drafting Jalen Hood-Schifino with the seventeenth pick and Maxwell Lewis with the fortieth.

What to Expect This Season: The Lakers could be the team that gets LeBron another ring. While their projected starting five are D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Anthony Davis, with Gabe Vincent, Max Christie, Rui Hachimura, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes, Taurean Prince, and Cam Reddish coming off the bench, the Lakers’ roster is so stacked with talent that nobody even knows whether they will have a regular starting five. The Lakers could be serious championship contenders this season and by far have the most depth.


Offseason Additions: The Orlando Magic made some interesting moves this offseason, waiving high-potential big man Bol Bol. With two early first-round draft picks, they acquired tall guard Anthony Black from Arkansas (selected with the sixth pick) and wing Jett Howard from Michigan (selected with the eleventh pick). They also picked up Australian 3-point shooting forward Joe Ingles, reigning dunk contest champion Mac McClung, and Trevelin Queen.

What to Expect This Season: The Magic have one of the youngest rosters in the NBA. This is not necessarily negative because it gives players like Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Markelle Fultz more opportunities to develop. Their projected starting five consists of Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, and Wendell Carter, Jr., with Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Joe Ingles, Johnathan Isaac, and Moritz Wagner coming off the bench. The Magic also have a not-so-secret weapon playing for the Osceola Magic, their G-League affiliate: Mac McClung. While Mac is just 6’2”, which is on the shorter side for the NBA, he is the reigning dunk contest champion and has an impressive vertical! Mac will develop well in the G-League and will most likely be pulled up to the NBA if the Magic make the playoffs. The Magic are a play-in tournament team at best, but as time goes on, given the ages of the players on the team, they will improve each season.


Offseason Additions: The Dallas Mavericks had an active offseason, drafting Dereck Lively II with the twelfth pick in the draft and Olivier-Maxence Prosper with the twenty-fourth pick. They also signed a number of free agents, including sharpshooter Seth Curry, high-flying dunker Derrick Jones, Jr., Grant Williams, Dante Exum, Richaun Holmes, Greg Brown, Joe Wieskamp, Jordan Walker, and Mike Miles.

What to Expect This Season: This season, the Dallas Mavericks will have one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA with Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. Though the Mavericks lacked depth at the power forward and center positions last year, they addressed that issue with the additions of Richaun Holmes, Derrick Jones, Jr., Olivier-Maxence Prosper, and Dereck Lively II. Their projected starting five are Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Grant Williams, Olivier-Maxence Prosper, and Dereck Lively II, with Jaden Hardy, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Josh Green, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Seth Curry coming off the bench. The Mavericks will most likely have a better season than they did last year and could potentially be a five or six seed in the playoffs. 

Photo by Jerome on Unsplash


Offseason Additions: After an up-and-down season for the Brooklyn Nets, they needed to fill the large holes left by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They selected Noah Clowney with the twenty-first pick in the draft, Dariq Whitehead with the twenty-second pick, and Jalen Wilson with the fifty-first. They also signed Lonnie Walker IV, Armoni Brooks, Darius Bazley, Dennis Smith, Jr., Trendon Watford, and Patrick Gardner.

What to Expect This Season: This season is going to be a bounce-back season for the Brooklyn Nets. After barely making the playoffs last season and getting blown out in the first round by the 76ers, the Nets will come into the 2023-24 season with a new team from the start. Their projected starting five are Ben Simmons (who is due for a big year), Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and Nic Claxton, with Dennis Smith, Jr., Cam Thomas, Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Day’Ron Sharpe filling out the bench. When healthy, this is an impressive roster, and the Nets could be a six or seven seed in the playoffs.


Offseason Additions: This offseason, the reigning NBA champions looked to add to their considerable depth. They drafted Julian Strawther with the twenty-ninth pick in the draft, Jalen Pickett with the thirty-second pick, and Hunter Tyson with the thirty-seventh. They also signed Jay Huff, Souley Boum, Justin Holiday, Armaan Franklin, Andrew Funk, and Braxton Key to fill the rest of the roster.

What to Expect This Season: After winning the 2023 NBA Championship, the Nuggets are back with the same starting five of Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter, Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic. No matter whom the Nuggets play, Nikola Jokic will dominate, averaging a triple-double (10+ points, 10+ assists, 10+ rebounds) and showing that he is the best player in the league. This will be another impressive season for the Nuggets, and they could potentially be back-to-back NBA champions. 


Offseason Additions: After a decent season, the Indiana Pacers looked to add more depth to get them to the next level. With their four picks in the draft, they took Jarace Walker with the eighth pick, Ben Sheppard with the twenty-sixth, Mojave King with the forty-seventh (he will play overseas for a year), and Isaiah Wong with the fifty-fifth. They also traded for former dunk contest winner Obi Toppin from the Knicks and signed Bruce Brown and Oscar Tshiebwe.

What to Expect This Season: It seems that the Pacers have found their dynamic duo: Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner. Their projected starting five consists of Tyrese Haliburton, Benedict Mathurin, Bruce Brown, Obi Toppin, and Myles Turner, with T.J. McConnell, Buddy Hield, Jordan Nwora, Jarace Walker, and Jalen Smith coming off the bench. Obi Toppin is finally going to get his chance to start and show the Knicks what they missed out on. The Pacers are likely a play-in tournament team that could potentially surprise everyone and become a five or six seed in the playoffs.


Offseason Additions: The New Orleans Pelicans had a quiet but likely effective offseason. With their one pick in the draft, they took guard Jordan Hawkins from UConn with the fourteenth pick and signed Cody Zeller and Kaiser Gates in free agency.

What to Expect This Season: This is a last-chance year for the Pelicans. Ever since they drafted Zion Williamson, a power forward from Duke who was widely regarded as a generational talent, with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, everything has gone downhill for the Pelicans. Williamson and many other key players on the team have been severely limited due to injuries. This year will hopefully be different. Their projected starting five are CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Zion Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas, with Jose Alvarado, Dyson Daniels, Trey Murphy III, Naji Marshall, Larry Nance, Jr., and Cody Zeller coming off the bench. Unfortunately, it is not likely that this roster will take the Pelicans to the playoffs, so they will probably be a long-shot play-in tournament team. 


Offseason Additions: After a disappointing year, the Pistons needed to make major changes to their roster. They drafted tall guard Ausar Thompson from the Overtime Elite League with the fifth pick in the draft and guard Marcus Sasser from Houston with the twenty-fifth pick. They also signed free agents Malcom Cazalon, Stanley Umude, Tosan Evbuomwan, and Zavier Simpson and traded for Joe Harris from the Brooklyn Nets and Monte Morris from the Washington Wizards.

What to Expect This Season: This season is all about bouncing back for the Pistons. With a very young roster, they can develop their guys and work as a team to succeed. Their projected starting five are Cade Cunningham, Ausar Thompson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, and Jalen Duren, with Monte Morris, Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks, Marvin Bagley III, and James Wiseman off the bench. The Pistons will also have the opportunity to develop guard Zavier Simpson and wing Ryan Turell, who will play for the Motor City Cruise, the Pistons’ G-League affiliate. While the Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild, their roster has some interesting storylines. Simpson, known as “Captain Hook” because his signature move is the hook shot (which defenders have struggled to block since his college days at the University of Michigan) should help bring the Pistons back to the old-school playstyle of their former “Bad Boys” days. Ryan Turell looks to become the first Orthodox Jew to play in the NBA. Turell plays with his kippah (yarmulke) on his head, with the Motor City Cruise logo on it. Turell played D3 college basketball for Yeshiva University, where he averaged 23.98 points, 5.66 rebounds, 3.18 assists, 1.23 steals, and 0.62 blocks per game, earning him the nickname, “Jewish Jordan.” The Pistons can be expected to be a middle-of-the-conference team, with the potential to be a play-in tournament team. 

Photo by Ryan on Unsplash


Offseason Additions: The Toronto Raptors did not need many upgrades coming into the offseason. They used their only draft pick on sharpshooting guard Gradey Dick from Kansas (selected with the thirteenth pick), and signed free agents Dennis Schroder, Jaden McDaniels, Garrett Temple, Mouhamadou Gueye, Kevin Obanor, Javon Freeman-Liberty, and Marquis Nowell.

What to Expect This Season: After a decent season last year, the Raptors look to stay competitive in a very competitive division consisting of the Knicks, Nets, Celtics, and 76ers. Their projected starting five are Dennis Schroder, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and Jakob Poeltl, with Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent, Jr., Gradey Dick, Chris Boucher, and Precious Achiuwa off the bench. The Raptors have a potential sleeper in undrafted free agent rookie guard Marquis Nowell. Standing at only 5’7”, Nowell is currently the shortest NBA player. Only a few players under 6’, such as Isaiah Thomas, Muggsy Bogues, and Calvin Murphy have succeeded in the NBA. Nowell is going to have to work his way up from the Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors’ G-League affiliate, but he has always been the underdog, and if there is one thing that he does best, it is overcoming adversity. If Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam continue to dominate the way that they have been, and if all the new additions fit in well, then the Raptors could potentially be a five or six seed in the playoffs. 


Offseason Additions: After a putrid season, the Rockets needed to improve in almost all areas. They had a very active offseason, trading for tenacious defender Dillon Brooks from the Memphis Grizzlies and signing free agents Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, Aaron Holiday, Jock Landale, Nate Hinton, Jeenathan Williams, Mathew Mayer, Joshua Obiesie, and Jermaine Samuels. They also drafted tall guard Amen Thompson from the Overtime Elite League with the fourth pick in the draft and wing Cam Whitmore with the twentieth pick.

What to Expect This Season: Like all the other teams who finished in the bottom half of the league, the Rockets hope for a bounce-back year. They have a young team to develop and a lot of high-potential players on their roster. Their projected starting five are Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks, Jabari Smith, Jr., and Alperen Sengun, with Amen Thompson, Cam Whitmore, Reggie Bullock, Tari Eason, Jock Landale, and Boban Marjanovic coming off the bench. Jalen Green could play more minutes due to the indefinite suspension of guard Kevin Porter, Jr., who is facing abuse accusations from his girlfriend. It is going to take some time to get these young players to reach their maximum potentials, but when they do, the Rockets will be back to their days of winning. This Rockets team has a ton of potential, and if some of the young talent develops quickly, the Rockets could be play-in tournament contenders. 


Offseason Additions: The San Antonio Spurs had the most anticipated offseason by far. After winning the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, they acquired the first overall pick in the draft. So many teams were hoping to get the first pick because of one man: Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama is a 19-year-old 7’3” power forward/center with an eight-foot arm span. He is considered the highest-rated prospect ever.  Last year, Wembanyama was playing in the French League for Metropolitans 92. While there, he averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, and 3.0 blocks per game, amazing stats for a then-18-year-old. The Spurs wasted no time selecting him with the first overall pick, looking to make history. They also took another French player, guard Sidy Cissoko, with the forty-fourth pick. They traded for Cedi Osman from the Cavaliers and signed Sir’Jabari Rice and Setric Millner, Jr. 

What to Expect This Season: The Spurs are hopefully in good hands, pairing once-in-a-lifetime prospect Victor Wembanyama with arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time, Greg Popovich. Popovich has coached some of the league’s best big men of all time, like David Robinson and Tim Duncan, so fans can only wonder how Wembanyama will develop under a coach like Popovich. The Spurs have a relatively young team but still lack a superstar (Wembanyama does not count as he has not yet played a regular-season NBA game). Their projected starting five are Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Victor Wembanyama, and Zach Collins, with Devonte’ Graham, Malaki Branham, Julian Champagnie, Jeremy Sochan, Charles Bassey, and Cedi Osman off the bench. If Wembanyama lives up to the hype, the Spurs finally have their superstar.


Offseason Additions: The Phoenix Suns had a very active offseason. They were a part of the three-team trade that sent Damian Lillard to the Bucks. In that trade, the Suns acquired Jusuf Nurkic, Nasir Little and Keon Johnson from the Trail Blazers and Grayson Allen from the Bucks. They also traded for superstar guard Bradley Beal from the Wizards and Jordan Goodwin, also from the Wizards, and signed free agents Eric Gordon, Yuta Watanabe, Drew Eubanks, Keita Bates-Diop, Chimeze Metu, Bol Bol, and Udoka Azubuike.

What to Expect This Season: Like the Lakers, the Suns’ roster has elite depth. Their projected starting five are Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Kevin Durant, and Jusuf Nurkic, with Saben Lee, Grayson Allen, Keita Bates-Diop, Yuta Watanabe, Drew Eubanks, and Bol Bol off the bench. Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant arguably make up the best trio in the NBA right now. The Suns also have who I believe is the most underrated player in the NBA, Sudanese center/power forward Bol Bol. Bol is the son of the tallest NBA player of all time, 7’7” Manute Bol. Bol, like his father, is a physical marvel, standing at 7’2” with a 7’8” wingspan and weighing 220 lbs. As a young player, Bol was actually on the shorter side of his youth basketball team, so the coach designated him as a point guard. This served him well, as it gave him an opportunity to develop strong ball-handling skills, and at ten years old, he was widely regarded as one of the best ball handlers in the country. Once he reached sixth grade, Bol’s genetics finally kicked in, and a sudden growth spurt brought him to 6’2” at only eleven years old (but his coach kept him at the point guard position). Now, despite being one of the tallest players in the league, Bol regularly brings up the ball and is great at shooting off the dribble.


Offseason Additions: The Oklahoma City Thunder had a pretty quiet offseason, using their two draft picks on guard Cason Wallace from Kentucky (selected with the tenth pick) and wing Keyonte Johnson from Kansas State (selected with the fiftieth pick). They also signed Vasilije Miric, Jack White, Davis Bertans, and Victor Oladipo.

What to Expect This Season: The Thunder have a team of young talents. Their projected starting five are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Luguentz Dort, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren, with Vasilije Micic, Cason Wallace, Isaiah Joe, Aleksej Pokusevski, and Jaylin Williams (note the difference in spelling from Jalen Williams) off the bench. I also expect to see an increase in minutes for young wing Ousmane Dieng, who could become an elite wing. If the Thunder continue to develop their young stars, they will be a four or five seed in the playoffs.


Offseason Additions: The Minnesota Timberwolves had a quiet offseason, only signing Shake Milton, Troy Brown, Jr., Daishen Nix, and Tyrese Martin. They also drafted Leonard Miller with the thirty-third pick in the draft and Jaylen Clark with the fifty-third.

What to Expect This Season: The Timberwolves are one of the more underrated teams in the NBA. They have a solid trio of Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert, and Karl-Anthony Towns. When uninjured, these three are offensive machines, breaking down defenses and putting up strong offensive numbers. The Timberwolves’ projected starting five are Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert, with Jordan McLaughlin, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Troy Brown, Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Naz Ried coming off the bench. Rookie wing Leonard Miller could develop into an elite, lengthy small forward. The Timberwolves have the potential to be a five or six seed in the playoffs. 

Trail Blazers:

Offseason Additions: This was a rollercoaster offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers. After winning the third pick in the draft, they took prodigy guard Scoot Henderson from the G-League Ignite. They used the twenty-third pick in the draft to pick up forward Kris Murray and the forty-third to acquire guard Ryan Rupert. They also signed Moses Brown and Ashton Camara. These gains, however, were offsetted by the loss of one of the Trail Blazers’ best all-time players, superstar guard Damian Lillard. Lillard decided that he wanted to part ways with the Trail Blazers, so they honored his wish and traded him to the Bucks in a three-team trade, in which the Trail Blazers received Deandre Ayton, Jrue Holiday, and Toumani Camara. The Trail Blazers also traded Jrue Holiday in exchange for Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III.

What to Expect This Season: The Trail Blazers are coming into the season with an almost entirely new team. They have a lot of young players paired with some experienced veterans. Their projected starting five are Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Jerami Grant, and Deandre Ayton, with Malcolm Brogdon, Matisse Thybulle, Jabari Walker, Kris Murray, and Robert Williams III coming off the bench. The Trail Blazers will have a great season, thanks to their strong roster, even without Lillard. The Trail Blazers are serious contenders to be a top three seed in the playoffs. 


Offseason Additions: The Golden State Warriors were very active this offseason and made a number of big moves. Early into the offseason, they traded for veteran point guard Chris Paul from the Phoenix Suns. This move surprised most NBA players since the Warriors have one of the greatest point guards of all time, Steph Curry, already on their roster. They also signed free agents Cory Joseph, Dario Saric, Rudy Gay, Rodney McGruder, Usman Garuba, Jayce Johnson, and Jerome Robinson and drafted guard Brandin Podziemski from Santa Clara with the nineteenth pick in the draft and forward Trayce Jackson-Davis from Indiana with the fifty-seventh pick.

What to Expect This Season: The Warriors come into the 2023-24 season led by their veteran superstar trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The biggest concern for the Warriors is that they lack depth at the center position. Their tallest player is Dario Saric, standing at 6’10”, but he is not a center. Currently, their tallest center is 6’9” Kevon Looney. Their projected starting five are Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green, with Cory Joseph, Gary Payton II, Moses Moody, Johnathan Kuminga, and Kevon Looney coming off the bench. While height may pose a challenge when it comes to playing teams with over-seven-feet big men, the Warriors have an elite “small ball” starting five, so I do not expect this to be a significant problem. Look for an added boost from lesser-known young guard Lester Quiñones. Quiñones is coming off one of the most impressive summer league campaigns in a long time. He put up an impressive 22.35 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 0.85 steals per game. He should be able to develop playing behind and being mentored by Steph Curry. If everything goes right for the Warriors, they could potentially be a four or five seed in the playoffs.  


Offseason Additions: The Washington Wizards were one of the busiest teams this offseason. They made a big trade early into the offseason, giving superstar guard Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns. They recovered, though, by acquiring talented young guard Jordan Poole as well as Patrick Baldwin, Jr. and Ryan Rollins from the Golden State Warriors. They also traded for Tyus Jones from the Memphis Grizzlies, Landry Shamet from the Phoenix Suns, and Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari from the Boston Celtics. Additionally, they signed free agents Jared Butler, Eugene Omoruyi, and Dejan Vasiljevic and drafted French wing Bilal Coulibaly from French team Metropolitans 92 with the seventh pick in the draft and Serbian-Swedish center Tristan Vukčević from Serbian team Partizan Mozzart Bet with the forty-second pick.

What to Expect This Season: The Wizards have a talented young roster. Their projected starting five are Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford, with Delon Wright, Corey Kispert, Bilal Coulibaly, Danilo Gallinari, and Taj Gibson off the bench. One player who could provide an unexpected boost off of the bench is Australian guard Xavier Cooks. Cooks is not the average guard. He is 6’8” (the usual height for a small forward or power forward), has the playstyle of an athletic power forward (specializing in attacking the basket and throwing down powerful dunks), and is a highly skilled shot blocker.

Before being signed by the Wizards prior to the end of the 2022-23 season, Cooks came off of an impressive season playing for the Sydney Kings of the Australian NBL, where he averaged 15.1 points, 3.7 assists, and 7.8 assists per game, helping solidify himself as the 2022-23 NBL MVP. He also helped the Sydney Kings win back-to-back NBL Championships in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. It is unlikely that Cooks will start or even see significant minutes early in the season, given both the depth of the Wizards bench and the expected adjustment period for him to get used to the pace and style of the NBA, but I expect his minutes to increase throughout the season. If Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma can work well together and the rest of the Wizards can contribute, too, then the Wizards could potentially be a six or seven seed in the playoffs. 

When asked about who their favorite team is and who they think will win the championship and the MVP, students expressed their own opinions and expectations. Junior Justin Haberman responded, “My favorite team is the Warriors, but I think the Nuggets are going to win the NBA championship again, and I think that Nikola Jokic is going to win the MVP award.” Junior Omarion McClean said, “My favorite team is the Miami Heat, but I think the Milwaukee Bucks are going to win the finals. I also think Wemby [Victor Wembanyama] is going to win the MVP. Sophomore Thomas Dunne commented, “The Nets are my favorite team, but I have the Warriors winning the finals again. I also think that Jokic is going to win the MVP.” Whoever wins, fans can anticipate an action-packed season full of surprises.

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Lewner
Gabriel Lewner, Contributor
My name is Gabriel Lewner, and I am a member of the class of 2025. I am a student-athlete on the varsity winter track team and varsity tennis team. I love to write and talk about sports. I am excited to be a part of Horizon!