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With offseason trades happening every week and free agent players signing with new teams, NBA general managers are busily shoring up their lineups hoping to dethrone the defending 2016 champions, the Golden State Warriors.
On July 7, 2016, Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors. That year the Warriors were the ones seen in the West Playoff bracket. The Warriors advanced to the NBA finals with 12 wins 0 loses to face Cleveland Cavaliers with 11 wins, 1 loss. On June 13, 2017, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors won the 2017 NBA finals in a 4-1 series, according to ESPN.com
Players in the East are signing to teams in the West conference. For example DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul. In some cases, teams have signed and/or traded multiple times such as Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.
With the start of preseason on September 30, 2017, teams’ offences have great chemistry with the addition of new players.
Oklahoma City Thunder is probably the most improved front office and team. Sam Presti, the Thunder’s General manager has added g/f Paul George and g/f Carmelo Anthony, but have lost Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter, Doug Mcdermott, and their 2018 second round draft pick, according to ESPN.com. With the loss of Kevin Durant, the Thunder’s front office have been trying to replace that loss with another superstar on a team. With the addition of two superstars that are averaging 25+ points, then you have a dominant duo with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook that could be a team that could potentially compete for a championship.
New Orleans Pelicans has the height and potential of becoming one of the most dominant big men lineups in NBA history. During the 2016-17 season, Pelicans succeeded in acquiring Center DeMarcus Cousins to work with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday forming a big three. ESPN.com Over this summer, Pelicans signed free agent Rajon Rondo to form a two guard, two bigs elite four. Even though the Pelicans lost a potentially great guard in Buddy Hield, they got a dominant centre and a dominant guard that knows what it takes to win.
The Boston Celtics have veteran talent and rookie talent to be the Warriors and could even take the Eastern Conference. Boston had an interesting offseason.
Boston’s front office only kept two players, Al Horford and Marcus Smart. But between trades and free agency, they still have a full roster. Over the summer, Boston acquired an all-star guard Kyrie Irving, and all-star forward, Gordon Hayward, according to ESPN.com. In the draft, Boston had the third pick overall, which was used to acquire duke university guard Jason Tatum. With this lineup, there could actually be competition in the east.
Philadelphia 76’s have had the 1st pick in the draft two years in a row in which they acquired guard Ben Simmons in the 2016 draft and Markelle Fultz in the 2017 draft. ESPN.com. In the 2016 summer league, Ben Simmons suffered a foot injury which was bad enough that he never played a game in the 2016 season. In the 2017 season Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz will be starting for the 76’s. 76’s big three are second and first-year players so they have potential to be dominant in the eastern conference with teams like Boston, Cleveland, Washington, and Toronto, just to name a few.
This season will be filled with great games with even better teams. Teams that could actually dethrone the Golden State Warriors!