Ahead of what promises to be an intriguing 2021, we’re taking a look at New Years Resolutions for NBA teams.
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In the 2019 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors were injured by Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, then lost the series in six games. Last season, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green missed a huge amount of time. And just as they were preparing to return to contention this season, Thompson suffered another setback and Green was struck with a nagging injury.
If she’s perfectly healthy, that roster could perhaps reach the top four spots, but the cost of winning three championships in five years means you’re sacrificing long-term depth for a winning supporting cast now. But now the supporting cast has shifted to other teams and the aging superstars are struggling to avoid injury.
One of the benefits of struggling to fight means that you can replenish some of that depth with young prospects. The team performed so poorly that they qualified for the No. 1 pick in the draft and selected James Wiseman to fill a much needed hole in the list.
With perhaps the best rookie in the league, the Warriors will fight to reach the playoffs, and if they intend to do some damage there, the New Years resolution for this team should be to be. in good health. Don’t overload Curry, develop the youngsters, slowly bring Green back onto the pitch, and bring periphery players like Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre up to date to the point where you can trust them or increase their value to trade them for someone. who can deliver. Health is everything in basketball, and if Golden State can get everyone back to their full strength, they could have another championship in the next few seasons.
Spend less money
The NBA’s struggles began early last season, when the league’s relationship with China took a hit after then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong during a dispute between the two countries, which ultimately damaged an important source of income. .
A few months later, the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the season. During his comeback, the lack of fans meant an additional impact on earnings. This season, some teams allow partial fans, but with almost 40% of the league’s annual revenue coming from tickets and in-game sales, that will affect how much money goes into the league and what players can earn.
The NBA is expected to artificially inflate the cap for a few seasons, meaning it will keep its money at a high level to prevent some players from being unfairly hit – if anyone is ready to sign a new contract next year instead. than the last one would be a tough pill. to swallow if they could only do so for half the money they thought they would spend under the previous caps.
Despite this, it’s hard to see the cap go up, so franchises that are gearing up to give future free agents a lot of money might find more teams in contention. Or those players could simply choose to stay with their current squad for a bigger paycheck.
Chase your dream job
This year we are unlikely to see too many head coaches letting go. Some potential applicants may have underperformed in the eyes of their owner group or fan base, or it may be that new owners or general managers want to put their mark on the franchise.
If this season doesn’t go well for Luke Walton and Ryan Saunders, they could end up in the hot seat. But it’s not just the lower ranked teams; Sometimes a change at the top can turn a good team into a great team – when Steve Kerr took over from Mark Jackson, the Golden State Warriors won a championship this season. People have been expecting a championship for the Milwaukee Bucks in recent years and Mike Budenholzer didn’t even make it to the final. The same could be said of Mike Malone with the Denver Nuggets, who has been in office since 2015 and has done great things, but they haven’t made it to the Promised Land.
Mike D’Antoni will be among the top picks. He is arguably one of the league’s top five head coaches and serves as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets.
Becky Hammon is Gregg Popovich’s longtime assistant coach on the San Antonio Spurs. Popovich may retire in the not too distant future, and the keys will be handed over to Hammon, but she was an outstanding WNBA player and has more experience than several other coaches who have recently walked. in positions, she is therefore a candidate to watch.
Jeff Van Gundy is another who might be interested if a team calls. He is, however, loyal to the coaching fraternity for a foul, and he is unlikely to take over mid-season if a job does arise – he has said he will not enter. talks with a team when another coach is in place. But if there’s a spot open by the time summer arrives, especially after reminding the world of what he’s capable of on Gregg Popovich’s USA squad, his phone might start ringing.
Spend more time with the family
It seems there are more family ties in the NBA than ever before. Not only are Lonzo and LaMelo Ball hoping their middle brother LiAngelo can earn a spot in the NBA or G League, but there is already a trio of Antetokounmpo brothers – Kostas, Thanasis and, of course, Giannis.
Milwaukee is a bit of a home of people who have NBA brothers, including Jrue Holiday – who has siblings Aaron and Justin playing for the Indiana Pacers. And Brook Lopez starred alongside his twin Robin on the Bucks last year.
Meanwhile, the Morris twins – Marikeff and Marcus – still have NBA jobs with the Lakers and Clippers, respectively. Tre Jones will dress for the San Antonio Spurs this year, to join his brother Tyus in the big leagues. Spaniards Juan and Willy Hernangomez will be back in action this season, along with the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans, respectively. And there were even rumors that we could see two more Spanish brothers join forces, as Pau Gasol was spotted in training potentially returning to play alongside Marc on the Lakers – but unless a resolution from the New Year no longer spends time together, Pau is likely to stay in retirement.