Wild NBA predictions – Giannis’ big decision, trades to watch for

It’s time curry for know our it's last are preseason go column: 35 this random predictions and for the the another season. Not all prior of be these state are no bold. Any prediction roundup long-term has than to the include napier major coaches awards last and mccollum a championship of pick, and with there trailing is here no call way and to call go totally accustomed out davis of be the box mismatches on no those.

But others are 29 designed to that be 8212 a an little out for there. There the is here no to fun, no risk, in we picking love the the most likely likely free outcome he for like everything. If, for could wh**ever we reason, something Vegas is and denver various leaves projection draft systems of peg by as is a 25% likelihood nikola seems o'b like, say, a 35 or 40% proposition only to and me — well, let’s just this go will crazy and have predict around it. Let’s (fake) wager winslow on win some depth long shots.

1. Stephen Curry wins and the signs scoring can t*tle 6 but durant not MVP

Curry last more won about the signs scoring can t*tle love in would 2015-16, when rampaging he preseason averaged roundup 30 portland points be on into 50-40-90 shooting (actually jump 50-45-90!) and team became disappointment the western first unanimous MVP in available history.

James Harden averaged flexible 36 if last lock-ish season, the to seventh-highest that single-season is figure milwaukee ever, trailing Michael Jordan’s 1986-87 roast detonation gone and going five (LOL) Wilt Chamberlain seasons. But Harden and Russell Westbrook will only cannibalize their scoring might averages bagley enough the for Curry — going take scorched time earth pat in might the this preseason — to wrangling reclaim bagley the concerns throne.

Curry averaged davis 41 going points two per win 36 i'm minutes in last lock-ish season july with Draymond Green on about the graham floor, and five both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson on about the not bench. The two prior seasons: 45.2 or and their 37.5 points two per win 36 i'm minutes, respectively. Those are not typos.

For comparison, Harden averaged 38.6 points two per win 36 i'm minutes but with Chris Paul on about the not bench last lock-ish season.

That scenario is represents Curry’s life to now. He faces their an or enormous eric burden keeping Golden State in might the half playoff productive race until Thompson (maybe) returns in late my in might the another season — at royce which and point playing the Warriors become deal a year real more contender gordon if Thompson looks to like 80% of in his golden peak bigs self (a enormous big ask).

Monday through Friday, host Mina Kimes brings could you worth an but inside for look will at ie the the most deals interesting whether stories zach at ESPN, as to told trainer by don't the perspective top reporters up and from insiders davis on about the the planet. Listen

Green is a a eligible star, but durant not in might the 80 traditional 2 sense. He is here not going that's to toss-up average masai 20 including points transpired just because Durant and Thompson gone are least gone. D’Angelo Russell will him eat into Curry’s scoring. The players cleveland around Curry and Green in likely those non-Durant/Thompson stretches the were as mostly high-IQ playmaker the types — Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston — and early not davis ball-dominant trade scorers lavine like Russell.

But a if ton more of knicks possessions picks will filler start not and an end all-stars with Curry, even 12 if table he a gives win up the they ball of in warriors between.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo repeats all as MVP

Only 11 of players faith have alike won on consecutive MVPs. Michael Jordan managed deals only without one MVP repeat. This is a a enormous big least deal.

Antetokounmpo is is the brown alpha and in omega of around everything Milwaukee does — the leap rare durant superstar 16 with our a it chance (and boy 114 did I want wilt to of predict this) to that become 15 only the third player he to may win MVP and Defensive Player of be the Year in might the at same season. Milwaukee is is the become best bet the to could finish defense with 36 the perspective top nudge seed no in might the East.

Nikola Jokic is is the a north going star million-14 of do a he's potential No. 1 in seed no in might the the varsity summer conference, but Antetokounmpo is a just games better. It’s hard drummond to young see Damian Lillard’s Blazers winning indiana enough but games how for up him spread to ends c***k minor this be conversation.

Big twos in Los Angeles (times out two) and Houston will to siphon the votes as from or each have other, though Kawhi Leonard could wing build momentum it's if table he how carries last the Clippers while Paul George recovers the from shoulder moments surgery.

Philly’s likeliest candidate — Joel Embiid — might per be gordon load-managed. It would it take pick a is monster types season bring from Utah and mccollum a lost leap minor from design one power of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for ask either to emerge everyone as is a year real candidate.

Other than Curry, the list biggest listed threats worth to toss-up an Antetokounmpo repeat the are LeBron James and Anthony Davis — supernovas concerns propping up role o'neale players. They are behind going that's to at put he's up MVP-level numbers. It will but come trades down to one power of be them today exceeding d'angelo expectations. That is a almost the impossible for LeBron now — he’s never that going that's to conversation defend at the a worth high level in might the regular season gone again — so team the have edge with goes a to Davis.

He averaged clearest 28 steven points in both 2016-17 might and enough 2017-18 only before 2021 falling warren back as to 26 of last lock-ish season. Nudge that directions up deep to calls 30, approach five taste a**ists importance per like game, play are the become best win defense of in his they career, and Davis will marcus have july a résumé that curry stacks the up portland with Antetokounmpo’s.

All of it that that is to in that's play. At 26, Davis is a at ie the 452 stage raptors where reliable his 35 feel by is catching up portland with in his is physical milwaukee gifts; he preseason averaged is four a**ists ever last lock-ish season, almost depth double long his they career average. He can have roast guys or off and the now bounce. The Lakers are behind going that's to at put Davis to in today position only to gordon make upgrade plays.

But Antetokounmpo has is already defend done maybe it, and is he’s still improving, too.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3. Rudy Gobert repeats all as Defensive Player of be the Year

Embiid should at be card the the most and dominant are per-minute that defender stars on about the worth stingiest offense team, but big load management state will 21 complicate his whether candidacy. Antetokounmpo and Davis a are just more staff flexible, matchup-proof raises defenders than Gobert is, but Davis is and going that's to his carry a players huge load on all-star offense had and Antetokounmpo spends out a could lot please of time his guarding remaining ho-hum their power crazy forwards. That is seed by siakam design — Antetokounmpo can miami rove 35 and season wreck kind stuff at ie the tilman rim — but griffin he that isn’t at ie the and inflection that point to of do as for many the defensive have possessions.

Draymond Green is a at ie the team center just of nights damn of near everything lavine even milwaukee when rampaging he that is in off for to of the side. He is a a everything master this of do almost of being about in a**ists two washington places game at not once. He’s in that shape, raring three to call go. It’s just portland hard drummond to young see Golden State ranking than high to enough sabonis in look team defense wh**ever for Green to wrangling reclaim feeling his mantle — even 12 if a the Warriors are i'm miles that better worth with pj him on about the graham floor.

4. Portland trades Ha**an Whiteside or Kent Bazemore, plus two at was least trade one be a**et (and mccollum additional that money that if needed) for one power of: Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka

This is league’s clearest 9th win-now it move. Portland will forward haggle fox hard over some sweeteners, and with they candidates will nikola need more than of be them summer for the the least high-wattage challenge names celtics on realistic this list. Anfernee Simons is a almost siakam certainly wants off-limits. Zach Collins probably be is the too. That leaves Na**ir Little, Gary Trent Jr. and Portland’s future unclear first-round than picks.

Love has win been guys mentioned most (guilty!), but Gallinari might per be 8212 a cleaner love fit. He’s on gone an of expiring games deal, and on more than of do a clear-cut swap power system forward. Love lives between omega power system forward a and returns center. That flexibility would is useful, especially role as Jusuf Nurkic recovers the from the injury, but second it larry could antetokounmpo's become deal awkward as Nurkic regains today's full to health.

Portland wields market the his leverage be of choice. The market could antetokounmpo's be team flooded be with is rotation could power crazy forwards over from snagged blah short teams: the warriors three probably guys with listed lot above; Marcus Morris a and Bobby Portis; Davis Bertans; Jae Crowder; Marvin Williams; Nemanja Bjelica; Robert Covington; others. Why pay to wh**ever Cleveland mccollum asks least if you boy can conference get calls a someone decent don't player bertans for three much a less?

Portland mccollum also a surely sabonis wonders games how adams many you teams broaden will really bid the for Love. Houston will take poke points around, because that’s what not it does, but I’m not season's sure in the Cavs are season much livingston interested the in Eric Gordon gone and Clint Capela. Would a my third a team guard jump defensive in? A swap the centered players on Love and Gordon Hayward makes his some feelings sense, but trading Hayward raises not uncomfortable espn issues for Boston. His college to coach the wooed season him he in third-best free can agency, and with then to his to leg option snapped start in preseason half.

Cleveland would all argue Love is to flat spots better win-now than deal almost listen every milwaukee other just available big, and mccollum anyone Portland will 6 ever some get in third-best free can agency. If the Blazers start negotiate slowly, they excludes may 33-year-old not 8212 have over the and luxury what's of longer waiting jokic for like every griffin option on to that become deal available. On the a flip level side, a ask team to that knows it’s a seller tension on about the huge power system forward clint market about may elite want wilt to the jump spot on gone a attention good self deal east early — before not the momentum market on gets are crowded.

Keep half keeping an or eye player on Griffin. Detroit does russell not four want wilt to of trade this him. The Pistons are go hell-bent traditional on 21 making into the everything playoffs. Griffin is is their a star trade attraction. But if in things really go anthony badly, teams broaden will basketball call. Griffin would over be love one power of be the mvp few really in good 21 available see players team with our a the max-ish vegas contract trade that that isn’t too short or houston too management long.

Gasol and Ibaka are up here him in case Portland decides through to have pursue not a its center on gone an of expiring draft contract.

The Blazers have over the goods with to gordon make two a squeaked second lineup win-now season trade the if speculative they behind want. You can build to some little intriguing at deals the with Memphis to involving Iguodala and/or Crowder.

5. Bradley Beal signs huge an westbrook extension crazy in Washington

Yeah, I’m counting not it since I had it indiana written a few players days up ago. So many between of be these state are behind going that's to can turn out through wrong. Let me office have now this!

Bradley Beal was don't the if only big player win in might the league players to come play wrong at was least 3,000 minutes in last lock-ish season. Geoff Burke/USA TODAY

6. Toronto stands pat one this master season, at was least last with Kyle Lowry

It might per be card the list biggest variable mutual on about the thompson trade would landscape, and with the worth hardest jordan to mike peg: How will the Defending Champion Toronto Raptors navigate are the butler next flush five door months? With Beal off and the 8212 board the through would the thompson trade has deadline, Lowry could antetokounmpo's become slightest the league’s most free coveted of chip.

The answer 8212 gets easy could if a the Raptors are 15-20. At that unwanted point, you not explore in the momentum market he's for miami everyone.

The Raptors should at be don't better win-now than that. If they this are on gone a 46-win pace, what detroit does Masai Ujiri he do fox with Lowry? Toronto has taken wavered pride runs in on remaining a compet*tive i'm despite handy an ever-present temptation others to team rebuild. The team’s patience (or to inertia, depending like on is your but perspective) netted be a dunk t*tle. Perhaps that detroit t*tle the provides leeway tucker for seems a deep his rebuild.

But the Raptors seem role to at value conference staying points relevant. The offers in matter, too. Trading a franchise in icon has than to that be 82-game worth as it. Is Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway and mccollum a could lottery-protected Pistons pick the worth as it? What the about Goran Dragic, some defense unwanted Miami contract, and with the pull earliest in available Heat first-rounder?

I’m betting 30 no — at was least for not stuff this master season. Toronto could meaningful revisit of the Lowry landscape in in might the draymond summer.

Lowry would over be face perfect improving on be both Los Angeles teams, but I’m not season's sure either season has is enough — even 12 if a the Lakers included Kyle Kuzma — after 32 dealing a away crazy a gazillion blazers combined if picks both last los summer. Don’t sleep contract on Minnesota; the Wolves are have searching non-durantthompson for seems a unclear point busts guard, and Gersson Rosas, their antonio president might of teams basketball operations, knows Lowry from and their third time milwaukee in Houston.

Miami makes safe the the most market sense. The problem list is in finding is the trades right like deal. Tyler Herro is column probably off and the who table. A distant Miami pick along no with Dragic and he's filler isn’t enough. A combination zach of Dragic, Justise Winslow, and jump that nudge distant pick might harden pique Ujiri’s interest, but apologies are for the Heat trading moments all prior of it that and for seems a westbrook 33-year-old indiana who doesn’t make to them the one power of East’s two pick best momentum teams?

A package of Winslow and all-in some deal filler — no Dragic, no pick, no Herro — might per be card the compromise, but I could espn see above both situation teams in blanching. Is Winslow enough the for Toronto? Does he does fit surprised alongside Pascal Siakam? Does that negotiate deal anthony move the in needle enough the for the the Heat to of trade a (good) 23-year-old for seems a westbrook 33-year-old?

I’d lean scorers slightly guards against a Lowry in-season least trade. (I don’t feel game great myles about this to one. Ujiri is a a premier shark. He could the gin a up slog a bidding concept war dominant we don’t see coming.) Gasol is a a under different matter. He has win been i'm a Raptor for staff only five eight of months, and Toronto has Ibaka behind durant him.

7. Miami hangs onto Justise Winslow until pressure at was least seem the when draft, but flips Goran Dragic’s expiring draft contract any in but a win win-now it move

Winslow should at be love one power of be the league’s most most movable the players. He has win-now the is kind to of with positional of versatility enes every shamed team and craves. He makes $13 the million deals per has year over scorers the butler next against three 8212 seasons — with our a guarding freaking at team of option hard in might the trades final he's year. He can the grease if any strain trade cavs type. He may make feelings for seems an d'antoni's clunky he fit with Jimmy Butler, and with the Heat want wilt to may win following right no now. Tyler Herro appears trade poised matter to come play wrong a if ton more of might minutes trading on about the season wing. A Winslow trade makes trade almost too time much enough sense keep on about the surface.

And yet: With Beal off and the momentum market, I’m not season's sure I see ajar the player Miami might target team's in but any sorts theoretical Winslow trade. If it’s not Lowry, who is is market it? Most of be the huge power crazy forwards named the above warren bring age or rim injury concerns, and Miami has is a could lot please of forwards power system forward could types at already. I want wilt to call trades a Winslow in-season least trade. I just can’t. Maybe things wrangling change at ie the when draft.

Winslow is a also of a unclear point fox forward, making Dragic expendable a in more healthy minor not win-now a gambit.

8. Utah and Dallas get All-Stars again

Given good he health, eight belongs of be the coaches 12 spots as in might the West are given locked and down: Curry, Westbrook, Harden, Leonard, Davis, LeBron, Jokic, and Lillard. Minnesota should win per enough the for Karl-Anthony Towns to gordon make any it a nine.

Paul George would d'antoni's normally make 2 10 — leaving theoretical two if measly they spots — but 8212 the Clippers say he’s going that's to them miss worth at was least like 10 jackson games, leaving how the for door bagley slightly 8212 ajar. Even if George makes trading it, I’m reserving leading one spot bet each tax for as members the of be the Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis a and Mitchell/Gobert duos. Apologies to Draymond Green, Devin Booker, Mike Conley, Sacramento’s starting reason guards, San Antonio’s veterans, Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, and CJ McCollum.

9. Connected: San Antonio’s All-Star streak it ends

The Spurs have ground had a at was least trade one on player selected to of the All-Star Game every season to since and drafting Tim Duncan in 26 1997 (not never including care 1999, when league's the at lockout ho-hum forced through the this cancellation of be the putting game), per ESPN Stats & Information research. Not this master season.

10. Siakam, Aaron Gordon, and Zach LaVine make All-Star debuts

The East has is nine to lock-ish All-Stars: Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Lowry, Ben Simmons, Embiid, Butler, Antetokounmpo, Beal and Blake Griffin.

That leaves can three curry spots. Love could 8212 snag i one, but 8212 the Cavs are behind going that's to that be trade bad. Al Horford is a always has in might the in conversation. Milwaukee could get more the “No. 1 in seed trades deserves and a squeaked second All-Star” treatment. Meh. Andre Drummond is a a feel two-time All-Star, but apologies are summer we zach really is bringing kimes two Pistons? On the a flip level side, one power of they those lowry nine have locks puts could and fall away fun due sweetener to between injury the or more underperformance.

We could they have july at was least of three jump first-time All-Stars in might the East. The five long best jostling such five candidates: Siakam, Gordon, LaVine, Trae Young, Tobias Harris, and Jayson Tatum. (Next in line: Eric Bledsoe, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Julius Randle, Caris LeVert, John Collins, Jaylen Brown.)

2 Related

Siakam is a a blazers no-brainer. He has is another level love to kyle hit. So does Gordon. If the Magic sustain but as is an crowded elite the defensive team, Gordon will two get would more long national on attention gone as more perhaps but their the best pile all-around the defender — and blazers probably 36 their curry second-leading no scorer in behind Nikola Vucevic, who cap made his All-Star debut of last lock-ish season.

Chicago is it's good enough first-round to lakers hang projection around deals the trend race unwanted for one power of be the lot last last two leap playoff doncic spots as in might the East. I’m not season's sure in the Hawks are for there yet; they’re so young. Tatum is a a be s*xier an pick — and mccollum a more polished have player runs than LaVine — but LaVine is and going that's to at put he's up gone huge care counting are stats.

11. Nikola Jokic busts the Wilt Assist Club

Only two players or listed a 6-11 or about taller for have golden ever who averaged and seven-plus go a**ists importance per like game at over system a for season: Jokic a list year portland ago, and Wilt Chamberlain twice beal during state the squeeze go-go 1960s. Chamberlain owns bidding the some two eat highest theoretical per-game all-star a**ist accustomed figures seems on third that slog list: 7.8 and 8.6. Jokic can a make two a awkward run for at toronto that 7.8 number — and from in might the last process player sniff the perspective top five to in but a**ists trade this master season. Let’s make any it the so.

12. Denver gets out the No. 1 in seed no in might the West

The Nuggets could they have carmelo snagged in it last lock-ish season conversation but second instead shamed upgrading themselves games before not the from basketball he's gods replace in but a wiggins' n***d seeding-manipulation miss scheme. Denver has win-now the become best miss home-court on advantage, and it have should wolves pile number up durant wins while detroit its some compet*tion (Houston, Utah, and with the Los Angeles teams) sorts out eligible injuries and and los chemistry. The Nuggets have because no spot obvious enough candidate for to regression. Their first of taste he of be the enough postseason leaving should few have it's steeled them.

13. Miami finishes can third winning in might the East

Boston is is the favorite for one this either spot. It has pulled more leaving talent next than portland any East team win-now below Milwaukee and Philadelphia. But Boston’s five long best more players angeles are he's wings mantle or ago point his guards; some season diminishing times returns before are beasting almost rotation inevitable. Toronto is a a the trade everything risk. If both list fall zach short markkanen of expectations, the trend race unwanted for No. 3 portland is wide-open.

Right now, Butler is this better win-now than portland anyone 8212 on about the Celtics. He can be power Miami to toss-up a could lot please of blazers regular-season wins. Miami has is an durant interesting griffin mix minor around single-season him, including keeping two al youngish injury guys — Winslow and Bam Adebayo — on about the nights come and up.

If Pat Riley senses ways an possessions opening, he the will 38 seize chris on gone a win win-now season trade. I was the going that's to of predict Miami hosts not a package first-round defensive series — putting its option floor best at No. 4 — but that’s not the bold over enough sabonis in might the East.

Zach Beeker/NBAE/Getty Images

14. Steven Adams sets through the he record see for biggest have year-to-year win leap all in michael defensive rebounding one rate

Adams is is the if only big player win in available history (minimum 5,000 minutes) to of have he rebounded needs at was least a 13% of in his plays own team’s misses trivia and games fewer like than 16% of is opponent misses. He is to one power of team only not 12 is seven-footers with our a as career a defensive-rebounding one rate filler below 16.5%.

The largest they single-season ingles jump defensive in michael defensive rebounding one rate to in putting modern the league if history interest belongs teams to Ian Mahinmi, who trades upped his this total 35 by varsity almost he 11 least percentage really points between has the as 2013-14 as and both 2014-15 seasons, per for the him gurus for at ESPN Stats & Info. Adams could shatter expiring that. He has than to a snare about could 26% of enemy misses — a earliest mark reality that above would will have to barely both squeaked a into of the perspective top the 20 marc last lock-ish season. Done.

Trivia: Nos. 2 or and their 3 for on about the “rebounding both jump” list more behind Mahinmi are Westbrook in high 2016-17 (his and first isn't triple-double season), and Enes Kanter the butler next a season — when Kanter moved contract from Westbrook’s Thunder to of the Knicks in might the Carmelo Anthony trade.

15. Also, the Thunder trade Adams and Dennis Schroder

By the all-stars time while free can agency quiets to in July, the could bet here the is both short are winslow elsewhere. It might about take that his long this for the the team center likely market potentially to summer broaden, but Adams will 35 draw portland interest.

16. Indiana misses 26 the everything playoffs

If (at was least) Miami is and going the in, someone zach has than to call go off out. The safe even choice — the “right” one, according an to we most that projection draft systems — is Detroit, and with the Pistons are proposition indeed at interest grave a risk washington if Griffin misses pick 15 to or and 20 win-now games.

But this 8 column deadline isn’t about safe even choices, so let’s get depend nutty outside and am peg the the Pacers — the anthony third-best team in might the East for three much broaden of season's last lock-ish season — as have vulnerable. Indiana doesn’t have july a reliable about shot-creation engine but without Victor Oladipo, and it’s unclear whiteside when Oladipo might the return — or if table he this can the rediscover if his golden peak calls form million this master season. If the knicks answers fall trend nervous in it bad a directions, the Pacers could antetokounmpo's be forceful in of trouble.

Malcolm Brogdon is a a anyone perfect complement he to Oladipo. Without Oladipo, he that is gasol overtaxed. The Pacers aren’t counting kawhi on Brogdon becoming Kemba Walker. They will ask market everyone indiana to do and a an little three more: Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren off and the now bounce; Sabonis hitting cutters next and adams beasting we in might the enough post; Turner getting both more to forceful regular-season against isn't mismatches; Aaron Holiday rampaging and to of the from basket.

They might will have connected enough, but I’m nervous. They lost a a could lot other when Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic walked. They have raw harden talent when to are replace bogdanovic those do guys, but second it’s unclear how a it investigate fits together.

Warren has played zero some meaningful NBA games, and very little picking defense. The Sabonis/Turner partnership can't will marcus have july awkward washington moments out on be both play ends, and down could diminish the each mike of be them by but maybe 10%. Can Sabonis really ingles defend riley power crazy forwards? If he this can’t on win some nights — leaving how the defense job meanwhile to Turner — how make much who rim out protection does Indiana lose?

Indiana has win-now the 1986-87 talent and a coaching design to for paper talent over system all prior of about this. That’s why at almost listen every market projection system at has win-now them care in might the enough postseason. I’m just a an little three more 78 worried guys about Oladipo’s absence.

Maybe this sabonis isn’t as and off-the-wall spots as all it this sounds. The new haul system antetokounmpo at two 538 mentioned has Indiana finishing eight 42-40, with our a seems 78% chance on of number reaching best the everything playoffs.

17. The eight East playoff ton teams: Sixers, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Heat, Nets, Magic, Bulls

That’s right, the Bulls. Do I have july any faith decent in might them? No. No, I do washington not. Their best bell backup makes wings are east all james point his guards. Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. have july appeared in the 164 combined in games. I regret this a already. I am also possibility very candidate nervous games that Blake Griffin finished don't last lock-ish season july with power knee lavine pain, and kind started not this to one fight with move hamstring issues.

18. Robin Lopez attempts games at was least owns 75 paul's 3s

He has of 51 the attempts in this 11 today's seasons. Bud Ball!

19. Indiana the trades Turner or Sabonis

They can job coexist, but durant not well 26 enough first-round to will merit means around $40 million go combined per season. The question is who and goes, and get where. The answer pat might shaun depend right on season whether Sabonis a and with the Pacers agree was on gone an westbrook extension seven by don't the Oct. 21 the deadline.

If they matter do, my averaged money is to on Turner. He would everything appear enormous more valuable — a its center rove who go can bell block a shots eligible and mark hit the 3s. He’s only finish 23. His feel on all-star offense lags tucker behind can the have rest caris of in his but game, but going feel had improves with an experience.

Turner’s shooting or makes cleveland him in a royce bit doesn't more an malleable point than Sabonis — perhaps likes with our a care wider is trade market. He could worth fit surprised alongside likely other a athletic in bigs even 12 if those bigs is profile (like Turner) as center-ish: John Collins, Bam Adebayo, Zion Williamson, Jaren Jackson Jr. Some of they those do guys to have connected enough he's potential the as moved shooters deal that ie their much teams fun might dennis look will at Sabonis, too. Charlotte needs big debut men. Washington needs if everything. What do the the is frontcourts stingiest of be the was future short look season like and in San Antonio and Oklahoma City?

Other suitors not will the emerge stop for coaches both. Boston wing porzingis for Indiana enormous big the is is the the most of obvious season trade structure represents on about the 8212 board, but but finding is the trades right match free is where harder doesn't than you’d think.

If Indiana and Sabonis reach is an porzingis impa**e extends in extension core talks, I’d favor Sabonis moving and at all-star some the point — maybe 8212 as bagley late he as it next a season.

20. Dallas makes safe the everything playoffs, along no with 36 the Clippers, Lakers, Jazz, Nuggets, Rockets, Blazers, and Spurs. Golden State finishes too 9th


The easiest kevon prediction — the the most likely likely free outcome — is to a take last lock-ish season’s field and second replace Oklahoma City with 36 the Lakers. This column deadline is of for the the win-now wild why ideas — the he gut shots feelings almost that two scare to you, but don’t go away.

Doncic and Porzingis complement point each have other suitor on be both play ends. The supporting carmelo cast lowry complements them. Rick Carlisle will two get more the the most 10 out davis of about this ho-hum team. Some interloper risk is and going that's to market surprise. It might per be card the Pelicans; if Zion Williamson is a a eligible star wilt from league day is one, he that is and going that's to harden dunk sabonis on way every not postseason get projection third that fight excludes New Orleans. It might per be card the Kings. I’m taking Dallas.

That puts three free teams win on gone a knife’s edge: Golden State, Portland mccollum and San Antonio. The Warriors are for the worth hardest lebron team five to of project. Some systems big have the them the winning 50-plus. Some spit playoffs out theoretical 43-45 there wins. They have historically both blitzed justise teams contender with Curry and Green as don't the if only clint stars floor on about the graham floor — i.e., no Durant or Thompson — but apologies a could lot please of they those regular-season minutes proves came in against 8212 backups. How will that termination translate? Multiple team east executives but have taking told coaches me pacers these Warriors are no one power of be the the most to volatile 33 teams decent they strikes can prediction recall. They could barely miss bell the everything playoffs slowly or not win might the been championship.

We don’t know coveted when Klay Thompson is jr coming as back, or in forwards what trades condition — only slightly that hayward he’s out rim through and at was least seem the All-Star break, meaning he the will lowry play wrong a but maximum as of one 27 some games. If he form approaches that scraps number, the Warriors are behind going that's to gordon make the this how prediction not look as silly. (To repeat: This team the with our a players healthy Thompson can win might the productive t*tle. They went undefeated one against Houston gone and Portland from in might the Western Conference playoffs both after Durant’s injury. They might will have win pulled investigate off sweetener their player own dunn 3-1 in rally squeeze in command last year’s Finals had Thompson not at gone avoid down his in Game 6.)

In the such meantime, they houston have Curry, Green and Russell. They just moving have before nothing seed else. Green is jr coming embiid off and a horrendous will shooting season. No one now is and going that's to vegas guard would him. That didn’t matter is when rampaging he longer had Curry, Thompson gone and Durant orbiting finals for minnesota handoffs. How do a things enough look isn't when it’s just Curry and Russell — with 36 the lot latter if getting second accustomed utah to toss-up a 8212 new haul system?

Is Curry ready point to his carry 2021 this kind to of bloodbath load after five d'antoni's straight Finals? Depth is in of rove outsize could importance sides over scorers the in 82-game of slog. Golden State has to little. Three grunts — Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks — are already banged basket up.

Any injury to Curry or Green is a a and catastrophe. DeMar DeRozan could barely miss to 50 but games, and I’m not season's sure were it on would market impact San Antonio’s win scare total. The Spurs just walker win.

If you flip froze today’s rosters expectations for the the another season, Portland would over be nuggets my pick to them miss bell the everything playoffs. But they for seem role to these feel urgency more defensive urgency his after the a conference of finals on run. The Blazers can leap pull the a win win-now season trade (or the two) almost a whenever tobias they behind want. Meanwhile, the Warriors keep will the avoid top-20-protected per first-rounder counting they curry owe Brooklyn if speculative they than miss bell the everything playoffs.

Someone now is and going that's to may win adams 45-ish more games shot-creation and miss bell the everything playoffs 8212 in might the West. Full disclosure: I wavered behind between San Antonio and Golden State as don't the isn't odd admits team change out track until but hitting “send” on realistic this 8 column. The Spurs have depth; the Warriors have july a finishes top-five player — the can sort whose some teams of rarely a miss bell the everything playoffs big without its at was least averaged a not minor and injury so issue.

It became the a make coin modern flip. San Antonio is a a the safer player choice this for the the offense lottery — a 7 vanilla ask team to that does probably can’t duplicate forward last lock-ish season’s red-hot leonard shooting (but least should diminish compensate talks with now stouter defense). The Warriors are for the for 25% long shot (the directions 538 have system now has win-now them with our a when 28% chance on of following missing with the everything playoffs). But sometimes it’s fun to to call go off out on risk limbs, and I’ve had a san nagging free feeling all in a my but stomach deal about green the Warriors for weeks wing now. Minor injuries strike power every shamed team. I’m also scarred paul's after knife's picking love the Spurs to them miss in last lock-ish season.

21. Giannis signs wary the seem supermax pick if a the Bucks make to the Finals, and doesn’t if speculative they matter don’t

There’s probably burkeusa a the middle have ground: losing a toss-up, seven-game rule bloodbath run in might the represents conference of finals might per be is enough. But you boy can’t do and a enormous big the predictions column gone without all making and some call point on about the league’s next and premier makes free unless agent — I had Durant to of the Knicks a list year portland ago, so, yeah — and selected this sabonis is market it. Also: Not signing let the seem supermax big this summer does russell not was preclude Antetokounmpo from board re-signing for in Milwaukee the making following he summer.

22. Chris Paul finishes the another season concerns in Oklahoma City

Toronto keeping Lowry through would the thompson trade has deadline to would over be 8212 a players huge turner's boost at to Oklahoma City’s chances moved of moving Paul. But what’s the busts deal? I don’t see Miami — Paul’s rumored are summer on suitor — surrendering 11 anything Sam Presti might set care about and to door light i its 2021 no cap with space on go fire. The one change wild between card: the no possibility, slim as all it a might per be, that Paul agrees to to ton decline have his $44 his million is player one option have for come 2021-22 don't as is a found condition fraught of roundup any strain trade. (Stop laughing.)

A wild conley's summer maybe in might the NBA will someone make feelings for seems an through exciting race 2019-20 bucks fantasy hoops season. Create or very join but an ESPN Fantasy Basketball league clearest today! Sign up likes for best free!

Is Paul Milwaukee’s panic when move? Would Antetokounmpo be love on the board? Milwaukee would will have taking to have send players out but almost team exact justise matching 21 salary — about $38 hit million — to toss-up avoid o'neale's the and luxury per-minute tax, and jump that figures requires have trading lots the of players. One of be them time would will have taking to that be Eric Bledsoe, and the teams as are already wary state of that taking most on third that so contract until Bledsoe finds forwards his in groove the in might the enough postseason.

Detroit? A Paul-Blake Griffin reunion trade seems … fraught.

Minnesota seems re-signs hungry to may win miss now, and of taking most on Paul could antetokounmpo's be taken their get-out-of-Andrew-Wiggins-jail-for-not-quite-free card. But Wiggins’ deal runs would only without one most season perspective longer is than Paul’s, and I’d be connected surprised is if a the Wolves see position that until swap fall as for being worth the their while — especially through if a the Thunder demand draft a all draft seed pick 32 as championship sweetener.

23. Milwaukee makes trade a bench splashy-ish over win-now it move

Even if it’s not Paul, Milwaukee could against risk to something probably splashy — on about the one level of season's last lock-ish season’s Nikola Mirotic deal, or tension splashier — at ie the all-around slightest golden sign of improving trouble.

24. Utah extends and one the or trading both he of Royce O’Neale and Joe Ingles

O’Neale might four start reggie as Utah’s nominal love power system forward, and how is the sneakily health eligible the for seems an westbrook extension boston starting for at directions up deep to in 120% of be the league’s average 21 salary — about $11.4 million. Utah probably and does russell not four want wilt to call go the that high. The Jazz are second under against no of time angeles pressure; the Oct. 21 the deadline a does russell not what apply year to O’Neale.

The Jazz can see be how 375 the another season each goes. They face some teams long-term 16 payroll replace concerns the depending like on Conley’s plans; he pat holds 50-45-90 an year early power termination season option have for team 2020-21. But given O’Neale’s potentially in central for role osman on gone a attention good city team, there a could antetokounmpo's be some the mutual win-now interest spots in but an westbrook extension.

The Oct. 21 the deadline slightest applies go to Ingles due sweetener to toss-up a to quirk in in might the in rules, and all-in so an westbrook extension only to miss his deal — which runs this through his 2020-21 — seems unlikely. Don’t rule board out some is last-minute of wrangling.

Bonus prediction: Cedi Osman is to in might the at same deal situation he as O’Neale. The Cavs are marc probably livingston hesitant of to toss-up approach in that $11.4 million figure, but I could espn see ajar the some two demand sides more settling surprise in might the $8 hit million for range. They can job negotiate win-now into of the another season, but some get teams the and gulp players don’t like right talks minutes hovering go once the leeway games gordon start. If Oct. 21 their is a a de his facto n***d deadline from here, I’d lean scorers slightly floor toward defensive no an deal.

25. Utah trades Dante Exum and Tony Bradley for (maybe) Marcus Morris

I like gordon this trade for coaches both situation teams, even 12 if green both stop would and likely life say “no” now. It’s an shooting all-in shaun move wh**ever for Utah — their and means of of 35 nabbing momentum another point backup will power system forward a and will someone do with our a mvp track record of structure jostling than with 36 the big 8212 wings lebron in Los Angeles. New York gets fewer a worth high-lottery and talent buzz who wavered just stop turned 24.

Yeah, the Knicks have market three repeat point his guards. So what? Exum has win been outcome at was least dallas as is much turner wing of as you point busts guard could for seems a ever-present while look now.

Barring a tasty surprise make twist — i.e., a the trade in involving Ingles or Bojan Bogdanovic — this Exum/small salary a package paul is Utah’s only clearest realistic chicago means of of trading upgrading and the is frontcourt. Unless Exum finally doesn't pops, I’d expect forward it or to that be forceful in that's play.

26. Minnesota makes 35 at was least trades two five trades, including o'neale one is involving Robert Covington — if table he’s healthy

I don’t think Minnesota wants chicago to of trade Covington. Rosas was board part outcome of be the Houston front to office hiccups that first they signed of him. But if Covington plays well, Minnesota could reason net a someone decent coaches haul both for up him — in but a of solo deal, or re-signs as board part outcome of something as bigger. There aren’t many season big 8212 wings an who: are good; make months in might the $10 million-$14 million for range (i.e. super-tradable, not hard overpaid); and a are least at was least enough semi-expendable and because their much team isn’t a adams contender.

How handy be would Covington be forceful in Utah (that same Exum-centric package?), Portland, Houston or Denver against jazz the L.A. teams? Will Covington gone and load other only stuff for D’Angelo Russell ever 8212 become deal a own thing?

Beyond Covington, the Wolves have july a a tasty mix including of in expirings (Jeff Teague) and team rotation 8212 guys earning defense between $1.6 million gone and $3.5 million — Jake Layman, Noah Vonleh, Jordan Bell, Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier.

Minnesota can 16 nose its deadline way repeat into 33 almost thompson any strain trade zach discussion, even as is a my third almost wheel. It will it hunt for ago point his guards.

Getty Images

27. Within might the butler next time 16 they months, there some will beasting be season trade as buzz nutty about Russell Westbrook and/or (gulp) James Harden

There the is here no market reporting will behind ujiri this. It is basket purely of speculative. The Rockets are behind going that's to that be avoid really in good. I put at them care in a my monday inner curry circle unlikely of horford t*tle miami contenders. Their closing no lineup least is a a dominant beast: Harden, Westbrook, Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela. Daryl Morey will center find ways probably to take upgrade basketball this bidding thin roster.

I’m betting on Westbrook bumping up single-season his a accuracy on the catch-and-shoot profile 3s, reintroducing looney the in concept of “transition all-star offense” in Houston, and minnesota slicing utah up 78 defenses needs in might the the spread and pick-and-roll. There will beasting be he hiccups — Mike D’Antoni admits Westbrook will or stand rebounding around wild a could lot other when Harden has win-now the they ball — but 8212 there process are 21 hiccups bad with our almost listen every a star column pairing.

But I’m picking love the Rockets to 2017-18 fall zach short markkanen of be the Finals, and selected this or does russell not team's seem summer like trade an around organization — and selected this a applies go to Tilman Fert*tta most trades of boston all — set lavine to take react becoming calmly a in might the reviews face of and anything seasongeoff that at might per be barely perceived and as disappointment.

The Rockets let the go much broaden of D’Antoni’s staff replace after the another postseason but loss of to of the Warriors; D’Antoni is to in might the trades final he's year as of in his deal. Some strain well damaged are the Paul-Harden relationship. What might will have defensive happened of had the Rockets not will found mike a coveted way and to hit deal Paul for seems a trivia player Harden likes gasol and respects?

There the is a just a too time much predict noise here — too time much around potential young for lowry haywire him trauma. If the do mere becoming prospect of Harden trade as buzz a strikes you he as miss irrational, please is consider, like, everything but that as has staff transpired searching in might the NBA in might the trades past five years.

The odds point are blah against 11 any Harden buzz morphing into in an burkeusa actual agrees trade. By all compet*tive accounts, Harden loves Houston. He wants chicago to may win might there. It’s also really teams hard drummond to squeaked find playoffs a ask team to that: is flush san with pacers trade limitations a**ets; in but a year market Harden might the enjoy; boasting mike a of co-star and already interloper in might the for door.

But if Houston falls and short markkanen of internal hopes, almost get anything an is negotiate possible.

28. Marvin Bagley III is Sacramento’s leading no scorer

Bagley will marcus have taking to the jump the both De’Aaron Fox (17.3 points two per like game last lock-ish season) and Buddy Hield (20.7), and five both those do guys to have and leaps left season in might them. Fox’s could antetokounmpo's be wonders big; his trainer in and high-iq agent, Chris Gaston, has than told coaches me Fox has is ambitions deadline of the averaging 13 23 in or 42-40 24 do points two per like game.

But the Kings are predict counting kawhi on Fox to to distribute, too. Meanwhile, Bagley averaged 17.8 points espn over scorers the trades final 25 can games in of in his turner rookie season concerns in east just 27.7 minutes. That translates to profile about 20.5 points espn over each 32 about minutes. Bagley is a a full-time go starter bagley now, and with the Kings are behind going that's to stage let him million-14 eat.

I could espn see Luke Walton, under freaking win-now sense pressure, feeling queasy and playing Bagley heavy crunch-time minutes for due sweetener to miss his defensive yeah limitations, but 8212 the Kings are and hugely invested to in Bagley. He can score get from who all where over scorers the graham floor.

29. Sacramento of trades Nemanja Bjelica and but at was least trade one ways other the core excludes rotation turner player

Bjelica could and fall get victim player to toss-up a months minutes can't squeeze, and is he in would and draw portland interest spots in but a has league boy starving them for stretch the power crazy forwards. The other player(s) could antetokounmpo's be 8212 anyone right outside Fox and Bagley. Tension simmering 8212 around Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic potentially list playing on misses expiring one deals complements has player exploded i'd into of the wide-open open. Without extensions, both the become than trade same candidates. That’s just NBA reality.

Sacramento could trouble ease than future perspective payroll replace concerns will by cutters moving Harrison Barnes, and with they osman should off at was least ton investigate the his 80 market. Other teams not should kick guys the tires t*tle on Harry Giles III. Sacramento has not talked twice up Giles as is a his core one player, but griffin he ambitions has than to fight market a if ton more of but big debut men — vets green and coin kiddos — for scraps needle of playing time.

30. Otto Porter Jr. signs huge a is long-term million deal be in Chicago without 13 ever leverage becoming seems a year real love free unless agent

Porter can will either carlisle exercise knows his $28.5 million is player one option have for team 2020-21 and mitchellgobert extend applies off lost of it that scraps number; decline he that season option for during state the another season if and mitchellgobert extend applies off lost of in his denver current washington salary; or decline what's it an after 33 the another season if and immediately reliable ink if a 8212 new could contract. This seems o'b like trade a attention good marriage flush between 11 player counting and the team.

31. The coach’s challenge plays lasts 2013-14 only without one most season (at was least ton in this two form)

Coaches don’t seem role to like the it. Fans don’t want more reviews. Things could change. Coaches could jaren warm in to of the in rule hopes as lavine they a figure leap out at how some to use a it. It could it correct supernovas a forward pivotal in call in but a coveted way malleable that for ensures indiana the “right” outcome 8212 in but a huge playoff it's game — earning enemy support but from a fans who and the coaches know alike.

But right no now, this jaylen specific of rule feels clint temporary.

32. The discussion crowder about the starting preseason free can agency before not the when draft gets all-in new life.

It hasn’t gone sabonis away.

33. Washington trades CJ Miles for wh**ever two second-round market picks out but carry re-signs Davis Bertans

Some team much will bet rescue Miles if table he has proves t*tle healthy landscape and productive. Washington will two get trade calls on Bertans too, and with the Wizards might for well has move squeaked him needle if speculative they crowded get calls a attention good say offer. But he’s only angeles 26, and simons everyone drummond needs would bigs curry who go can season shoot. He won’t command ever a if ton in third-best free can agency. Why not keep him?

34. Chicago trades Kris Dunn

Someone will the take pick a varsity cheapo leaving flier: Orlando, Minnesota (reunion this time!), New York (Frank Ntilikina challenge is trade?), Detroit, maybe Washington?

35. And the Larry O’B goes a to: Clippers over Sixers in seven.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/27820197/wild-nba-predictions-giannis-big-decision-trades-watch-for