NBA is as much of a sport off the court as it is on the court. Trade rumors, locker room beefs, super teams, and of course LeBron leaving Cleveland once again are the storylines once again. I present you the starting 5 of NBA storylines entering the 2018-2019 season.
Point Guard: The Jimmy Butler Saga
We all know the recent beef between Jimmy Butler and the Wolves (mostly the Wiggins brothers). So how will this pan out during the season. Will Butler be traded before the season starts?
Who the hell know at this point. What we do know is that Butler continues to push for a trade. Rumors circulated last weekend with Butler heading to Miami but the deal quickly fell apart per Woj. To be honest Woj probably already knows where Butler ends up but in typical Woj bomb fashion, his reporting of the Miami- Minnesota deal was overly tweeted to make it seem more than what it was.
At this point there is no destination for Butler. I expect JB to start the season on the Wolves roster. The players and coaches will act like nothing happened and everyone is buddy buddy. Fast forward a month into the season with the Wolves struggling to play as a team, the Butler rumors will begin to fly again.
I am not going to get anyone’s hopes up but if I were to then enter the New York Knicks. Jimmy Butler would be a perfect fit on the Knicks, but I wont get anyone hopes up so forget I mentioned it.
Shooting Guard: DeMar DeRozan vs. Kawhi Leonard
When you have a super star for super star trade with both players in their primes, they will be compared forever. Luckily for Kawhi he enters a situation where he can control the Raptors offense. While DeMar was in Toronto he had the ability to take any shot he pleased. DeRozan was loved in the 6 even though he struggled in the playoffs and never got past LeBron.
Fortunately for Kawhi, LeBron is now in LA. The east is as wide open as it’s ever been. Kawhi will thrive in Toronto where he can play however he pleases. No coach will demand of him what Pop did in San Antonio. Although Kawhi thrived in the Spurs system, the free-range hell have on the Raptors will take him to the next level. On the other hand DeRozan will struggle trying to play under such a strict system. His game is a terrible fit for Pop and I expect huge growing pains. Kawhi will thrive from day 1 while DeMar will frustrate everyone in San Antonio.
Small Forward: LAbron
Even my grandma knows LeBron took his talents to LA, hell even my dog probably knows. In typical LeBron fashion, he bolted from Cleveland for a second time to find greener pastures. And those pastures aren’t on the court but rather in Hollywood. LeBron clearly made this decision with his post NBA career in mind.
Although I do believe the Lakers will vastly improve pairing young talent with LeBron, but the rhetoric all season will focus on off the court storylines with LeBron. Meetings with actors, movie rumors, clubbing on game days will all be part of the Lakers back page this season. The roster does have talent but I believe this will be the first time since 2005 that LBJ misses the playoffs.
But of course LeBron will take all the credit for the good and blame the coaches/ teammates for the bad. This change of scenery will take a full season to work in the crowded western conference.
Power Forward: What happens when DeMarcus Cousins returns?
Imagine a starting five of Stephan Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins. No I am not talking about an all-star team I’m talking Golden State Warriors. Although Cousins is coming off an Achilles tear, we can only expect him to make a full recovery. Whenever DeMarcus returns we will get to witness the best starting lineup in the history of the NBA. At that point cancel the season- Warriors in 5 over Boston.
Center: Celtics will break GS record for best season (73-9)
Baring injuries we will finally get to witness the Celtics team with superstar Gordon Hayward. Factor in another season of experience for Tatum, Brown, Scary Terry and the Boston Celtics may have the best top to bottom roster in NBA history. With LeBron heading west, the Eastern conference is wide open.
I expect a regression from the Sixers, who are the only real competition in the east. With the Celtics second unit being better than most starting lineups in the east, I fully expect Boston to push and break the record for most wins. The current number from Vegas is o/u 58.5 wins… throw the house on the over.