The NBA season is less than a week away!
With the preseason underway, there's a few storylines I want to discuss before the circus begins. Where does Harden end up going? What does Giannis' extension means for 2021 free agency? People doubting the chemistry of the Brooklyn Nets? We'll get into more as the season gets closer, but I feel like those are the three hot pressing topics going on around the league.
HARDEN OUT OF HOUSTON?
This has obviously been the biggest story of the offseason. The Houston Rockets have gone through a complete transformation this offseason. With a new front office, new coaching staff, along with a new roster, I don't blame Harden for wanting out of Houston.
ESPN released a story stating the Rockets and Harden are at a "breaking point".
People were surprised when it was noted that Harden has the final say in a lot of the decisions the Rockets make. Duh. Superstars in the NBA are treated differently. Harden is at the level of Lebron, KD, and Steph where they have a heavy influence on some of the personnel decisions for the team. If the front office is building around one player, shouldn't the player have some intel on what he's comfortable with?
Harden also being a modern-day Dennis Rodman is great. If it doesn't affect his performance on the floor, why not let him do his thing?
I think the Rockets have a good roster to compete this year. They're probably not going to contend for a title, but they definitely have hope. If I were the Rockets, I'd trade Harden for all the picks I could get. Their draft capital is like an empty pantry, and they can get an elite trade package for trading away one of the biggest superstars in the league.
If I were Harden though, stay off the strip club buffets and start getting back in the gym...
GIANNIS SIGNS SUPER MAX EXTENSION WITH THE BUCKS
It's a great day to be a small market team. When the NBA put these new rules for max and super-max contracts, the whole point was to help smaller market teams keep star players. It hasn't worked out too well, considering every player leaves their team the second they have a chance. Good for Giannis staying with the Bucks though.
Now, this could all change in a snap of a finger. If things don't go too well, Giannis can request a trade out of Milwaukee. I'm a little surprised by this because I thought Giannis was going to test out the market. NBA players were already starting to serenade Giannis like he was a contestant on the Bachelor.
Instead of following them like sheep, Giannis used it as leverage. Not like he needed any leverage considering the Bucks were going to give him a blank check regardless.
What does this mean for free agency in 2021? Well, now that Paul George and Giannis are locked up, the prized player has to be Kawhi. I don't think he leaves LA, but he's an absolute weirdo and it seems like that Clippers locker room is more toxic than Call of Duty game chat.
Giannis staying in Milwaukee means the whole NBA landscape isn't going to shift this offseason.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN BROOKLYN
There's one team everyone around the league is wondering how they're going to look. The Brooklyn Nets.
Everyone speculates the chemistry of the team, but I think it will be just fine as long as Kyrie doesn't pull some dumb shit. Yes, he already pulled shit off with the media, but I think that's been resolved. The Nets must have realized they're going to get fined every time he doesn't show up. I'm sure ownership had a stern talk with Kyrie regarding his obligated media sessions.
Another question mark is how Kevin Durant is going to look.
I know it's the preseason, but yeah. KD will be just fine.
For me, it's not whether KD and Kyrie will get along. It's how this coaching staff is going to gel together. With Nash being a first-year head coach and having personalities like D'antoni and Stat working under you, it's going to be interesting to see how they work together. The three of them probably have a great working relationship going back to their Phoenix days, but I'm curious to see how they respond to Nash as the head honcho.
As long as Nash keeps the personalities on the team under control, along with staying healthy, Brooklyn should no doubt be one of the favorites to win the title.
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