Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Jabari Parker (Duke) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number two overall pick to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
There is so much to look forward to this coming NBA season. What are some likely events that can unfold?
Cleveland Cavaliers will get Love but at a higher price than intended
Barring a last-second decision by the front office to withhold Andrew Wiggins, it looks like it’s just a matter of time before the Cleveland Cavaliers get Kevin Love in a trade. However, the final price tag will prove higher than what most believe. As it stands the deal is for Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a 1st round pick in 2015. However, it’s important to note the Timberwolves have been here before. When they dealt another star power forward named Kevin Garnett in 2007, it was for five players and two 1st round picks. Garnett was 31-years old at the time. Considering Love is only 25, it’s hard seeing Minnesota accepted just two players and a high pick.
San Antonio Spurs repeat bid will end in Western Finals
The only goal left unaccomplished the San Antonio Spurs of the Tim Duncan era is a repeat championship. He has had four shots at it in his career and 2014-2015 will mark his fifth. Every meaningful player and coach is back from the team that won it this past season, so the roster is fully intact. There is no reason to doubt the team will be very much a favorite to go deep in the NBA playoffs. Unfortunately an aging roster and murderously difficult Western Conference will wear them down. Expect the champs to see their latest bid at history end in the Conference Finals.
Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol elevate Bulls offense to top ten
Tom Thibodeau can coach defense. Everybody knows that. Since his hiring the Chicago Bulls have never fielded a unit out of the top three in that category. The main problem over that same timespan, and one the franchise has worked devilishly hard to fix is the points production. Chicago just has a hard time scoring. Part of the problem is the injury issues with point guard Derrick Rose but also the lacking presence of a second offensive piece. No Bulls team has ranked higher than 19th in points per game under Thibodeau.
That is about to change. Not only is Rose due back, but the team made sure to have help waiting when he does. The biggest addition is veteran forward Pau Gasol. Not only can he put up points by himself, he’s also a great passer. Along with an array of new shooters like Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic, Chicago will emerge with their first top ten offense of the Thibodeau era.
Jabari Parker will win Rookie of the Year
The Milwaukee Bucks have a long way to go before they are relevant in the NBA picture again but they took a gigantic step in the right direction when they landed Jabari Parker in the draft. The Duke product proved himself a scorer from the very beginning, averaging 19.1 points as a freshman, a school record. Despite his age he is already ahead of the curve in preparation to play in the pros. Throw in the fact he’s on a bad team and this coming season will be a great chance for him to showcase his individual skills. Expect that to transform into Rookie of the Year honors.