While there are still a number of dominos that could fall this
offseason, things seem to be at a standstill. Kevin Durant, Kyrie
Irving and Donovan Mitchell could be traded in the near future, but
given the current NBA landscape, which teams have improved their
overall stock heading into next season?
If we narrow it down to teams who want to enter the NBA's top
tier, three franchises stand out. Without further ado, let’s look
at a trio of teams that improved their chances of making a
(Over/Under Win Total: 47.5)
If you’re selling any Timberwolves stock, I'll buy it all up.
Last season, the Wolves won 46 games while having a nightmarish
defense at points. It improved, but not to levels respectable
enough to be a true threat in the Western Conference. All of a
sudden, that’s changed with the game-changing arrival of three-time
Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
Paired alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota’s unique
frontcourt combination has the potential to present endless
mismatch opportunities. What’s even more potent is the defensive
tandem formed between Gobert and ascending wing Jaden
The more I’ve thought over the Gobert move for Minnesota, it’s
an all-in bet on Anthony Edwards soon reaching superstar status.
With the way his trajectory looks at the moment, it’s easy to push
some chips to the middle of the table for a win-now piece. Edwards
took a huge step forward in Year 2, but he truly blossomed on the
biggest stage in his postseason debut, averaging 25.2 points per
game. The 2020 No. 1 overall pick is ready to ascend to alpha
status, and those postseason scoring numbers should carry over into
the 2022-23 campaign.
Currently, Minnesota’s rotation is filled to the brim with some
intriguing talent where 50-plus wins should be the expectation.
Starters: D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden
McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert
Second Unit: Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell, Kyle
Anderson, Taurean Prince, Naz Reid
On paper, the Timberwolves have an ideal two-way balance that
should allow them to compete with any team on any given night.
Gobert will have a huge impact, and it seems foolish to bet against
an Edwards leap. The Wolves could be this year’s team that makes a
massive step forward as an underrated threat.
(Over/Under Win Total: 49.5)
Don’t overlook what Denver is rolling out next season. Nikola
Jokic’s brilliance will be complemented by the long-awaited returns
of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Also, the Nuggets made some sneaky additions to
round out their rotation, acquiring Bruce Brown and Kentavious
With Jokic carrying Denver to new heights without his scoring
sidekicks, you can imagine how much easier it will be for the
back-to-back MVP to dominate next season.
If all clicks together, the Nuggets have top-three potential in
the Western Conference:
Starters: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael
Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic
Second Unit: Bones Hyland, Davon Reed, Bruce Brown, Jeff
Green, DeAndre Jordan
Health-permitting, trying to poke any holes in the Nuggets’
roster is a tough task. Not only will Caldwell-Pope and Brown add
much-needed two-way versatility, Hyland seems poised to step up and
become a key cog in the second unit.
With the reigning MVP adding two dynamite offensive weapons, an
already-formidable Nuggets squad could finally have lady luck on
their side. One thing is certain: the Northwest Division battle
between Denver and Minnesota will be one to keep an eye on.
(Over/Under Win Total: 49.5)
James Harden is tired of coming up short in the postseason.
After taking a pay cut for this upcoming season — allowing the
flexibility to bring aboard some former key teammates from his
Houston Rockets tenure — Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers want to
quiet the doubters.
Playing alongside Joel Embiid makes life easier for Harden and
everyone else, but they entered this offseason with multiple holes
to plug. While it’s not their ideal outcome in some areas,
Philadelphia added much-needed shooting gravity to surround Embiid
A reliable shooter and grizzled veteran PJ Tucker now starts
next to Embiid, which is one of the more underrated summer
additions. De’Anthony Melton, acquired with their first-round pick
on draft night, is positioned well to play a massive role off the
bench as their third guard. From there, some Houston-esque elements
from Harden and Daryl Morey present themselves once again in
non-Embiid minutes, with Tucker potentially playing the role of a
Across the board, the Sixers’ rotation is fortified and Philly
is also in a great spot to capitalize on the midseason buyout
Starters: James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, PJ
Tucker, Joel Embiid
Second Unit: De’Anthony Melton, Matisse Thybulle, Danuel
House, Georges Niang, Charles Bassey/Paul Reed
Following the Harden trade, Philadelphia changed its calculus
entirely. Now, with a deeper rotation — and a seemingly motivated
Harden — the sky is the limit to finally cash in on “The Process”