The NBA Offseason: Teams to Look Out For


Image courtesy of Clutch Points

Adam Matos, Staff Writer

These past few months have brought many trials and tribulations, but the past NBA season was able to continue in an Orlando Bubble with no COVID incidents. The season finished with a champion crowned: the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, with the NBA offseason coming to a close we look back on all of the unexpected trades, free agency signings and interesting draft picks. The new NBA season is set to start around this Christmas and with my many teams changing their whole structure, it will be amazing to see a completely revolutionized league.

Image courtesy of NBA

The first major event of the NBA offseason is the NBA Draft. The 2020 draft was scheduled to take place this June, but was postponed until November as the 2020 season was finishing up inside the aforementioned Orlando Bubble. The Draft Lottery saw a moderately surprising turn of events when the team with the third-highest odds, the Minnesota Timberwolves, landing the first overall pick above the Warriors and Cavaliers. These two teams quite ironically had faced off in the NBA Finals in 2018 but in 2020 were the two worst teams in the league.


At the NBA Draft itself, Anthony Edwards, a promising guard from Georgia, was taken 1st overall and as a Timberwolves fan, I’m conflicted. Edwards does seem to have the highest talent and most NBA-ready body in this draft, but many are concerned about his work ethic and maturity. He has been questioned if he is a high IQ player that can take the T-Wolves out of their ditch (Fun Fact: The last and ONLY time the Timberwolves won a playoff series was in 2004). I’m excited to see Edwards on the court but his antics should be something that Wolves fans all over are eager to find the extent of. My prediction is that Edwards will win Rookie of the Year for the Timberwolves with lots of points (as he is a great scorer), some good defense, and a good leadership and win-first mentality. I predict the Timberwolves will make the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference but unfortunately will not make it out of the 1st round as they don’t have that superstar player like somebody of Lebron, Giannis, or Kevin Durant’s power.


Free agency was also a really interesting time this offseason. The most shocking signing was Montrezel Harrell signing with the Los Angeles Lakers over his past team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Clippers fans felt like he betrayed them; this will only make the games across the city more heated than before. I can’t wait to see the intensity of the Clippers vs Lakers game this December. I predict that the Lakers will once again bully the Clippers in the paint with many elite paint players as the Clippers don’t have much defense in the paint besides the mediocre addition of Serge Ibaka. The Lakers are my way-too-early champion pick for 2021. 


Finally, there were some crazy trades that took the league by storm. The first of these was Chris “CP3” Paul, a former Thunder guard, going to the Suns for lots of young assets and first-round picks. This makes the Oklahoma City Thunder’s rebuild much easier as they got lots of young chips that they can trade for a younger star in the future as Chris Paul is 35 years old and is set to retire in the next 4-6 years.  This is a great trade for both teams as the Suns are going into a win-now mode with Devin Booker, their star, growing upset with their lack of playoff appearances. I surely expect them to make the playoffs this year and maybe even upset a high seed.


The last trade and event to talk about is the Russell Westbrook for John Wall swap between the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. My second team, behind the Timberwolves, is the Wizards so I am rooting for Russell Westbrook to do his best and restore to his 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player self. Paired with Bradley Beal, an elite scorer, this backcourt tandem could cause lots of problems in the league and might be a high seed in the much weaker Eastern Conference. 


With all this information, it is important to note how much the league has changed in the past few weeks. It should be interesting to see how this season plays out with so many players switching teams. COVID is also a big concern this year so I expect everyone to pray for a healthy, exciting and enjoyable season. Good luck to all these teams and let’s get this season underway!