NBA predictions are hard enough in the middle of the year, or even at the start of the playoffs. But I am going to try something absolutely ridiculous.
I am going to predict the biggest storylines of the 2019-2020 NBA season right here right now. We will have them saved so that we can pull this article out in June of 2020 and check to see whether I was right or wrong. Make sure to leave me a message in the comment section detailing your predictions for this NBA season!
Rookie of the Year
There are some fascinating rookies this year. We’ve got:
And many more.
To keep this concise, we are going to work with just these three. Someone else might win it, but I highly doubt it. These three are the cream of the crop.
Here’s why Zion Williamson will win the Rookie of the Year Award
Okay, you might be thinking “wow, what a safe prediction.” And you would be correct, picking Zion is safe, but it’s also the right pick and here’s why:
Ja Morant looked NBA ready last season in college, but playing the point guard position in college and the NBA is much different. It takes almost all of the great point-guards a year or two to figure out the NBA. Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving all struggled their first few years.
They also all figured it out. So although Ja might have the most upside, why don’t we just give him some time to grow into the all-star expectations that people have set for him.
RJ is playing in New York. Let me say that again, RJ Barrett is playing in New York. His team quite literally spent all of their off-season money on power-forwards. Now, employing very few stars could work in Barrett’s favor.
It might allow him to pad his stats and do extremely well in the face of sorry teammates. (When I say sorry, I do want Dennis Smith Jr. to be good, but I doubt he will be) More than likely, Barrett struggles getting acclimated to the League, and his teammates let him down. But I can tell you about a guy who will have great teammates around him.
Zion and the Pelicans aren’t rebuilding, they’re pushing for the playoffs. After David Griffin sent pouting-star Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a treasure trove of assets, the Pelicans made some key signings in Derrick Favors and JJ Reddick. This team has veterans, and enough young firepower to easily claim the 6th or 7th seed in the Western Conference, and Zion might be good enough to lead them right now.
Zion is the safe choice, but to me, he seems like the only choice.
NBA MVP Race Predictions
I think the MVP race goes two ways:
LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo
Alright, hear me out.
LeBron is rested. He has had a lengthy recovery time from the strenuous season, and that could be detrimental to the rest of the League. The last time LeBron didn’t play some form of playoff basketball was in 2004-2005.
That was 13 years ago, and LeBron has played an insane amount of minutes in that time span. Everyone knows his finals run of appearances that stretched from 2011-2018, but he missed last season’s playoffs in his first year with LA.
This season, LeBron has every reason to come out guns blazing. He’s well-rested, finally has a good supporting cast in LA, and wants to reclaim the throne. Imagine if LeBron returns to this form:
I think this is the year that LeBron takes down every one of his competitors and wins the MVP award.
If those things don’t pan out with Bron, the “Greek Freak” is the next logical decision. Honestly, if Giannis continues his improvement, he might be the MVP already. I expect LeBron to be pretty good this year, but Giannis might be really really good.
Either way, those are my two NBA predictions for MVP and my gut says it will be LeBron.
NBA Champion Predictions
This prediction is tough.
If you follow the NBA at all, you know that this offseason has been the craziest one in recent history. It’s almost as if the whole league was turned completely upside-down.
The Raptors lost everyone on their championship team.
The Bucks still haven’t figured out that one superstar can’t win by himself.
The Lakers…are the Lakers…and I don’t trust the numerous dollar store players that they signed after missing out on Kawhi.
The Clippers have five NBA players. Like legit five.
The Rockets teamed up the two most ball-dominant players of all-time.
The Sixers still have Ben Simmons. (He still can’t shoot btw)
The Celtics shipped Kyrie and Horford, got Kemba, but still have the trash version of Kobe aka Jayson Tatum.
The Trailblazers got Hassan Whiteside. I don’t know if this is an improvement, or regression, but feel free to interpret it however you want.
The Warriors lost KD and Iggy but I still have a feeling they will be pretty dang good with Steph, DLo, and Draymond holding down the fort.
All of those teams are good teams.
One of them will be an NBA champion.
But picking which one is really, really difficult. I’m going with a team from Los Angeles, California.
I think the Clippers can win it all if they don’t get hurt. (That will be really difficult for 5 starters who are going to need to play the whole season for them to be in playoff contention.)
I think the Lakers win it all if LeBron is 2018 LeBron. I just don’t know if he can ever be that guy again. (Danny Green and Kuzma are awesome if LeBron is LeBron, they are scrubs if he isn’t)
I don’t know which one it will be, both have problems, and both have awesome pieces.
Those are my way too early NBA predictions. It kinda feels like I’m searching for a needle in the haystack and I don’t know what is right.
But one thing is for sure, this NBA season is gonna be the most fun we’ve had in a while.