This is a list of NBA moves that I think would have to happen to make the league more like the NFL too where virtually any team can win the championship going into the season. This isn’t a biased list, but what I think would help fix the NBA’s rating issues, competitive balance, and fan interest in multiple games and teams. Plus with my proposed scenario below, all of the big markets will be title contenders at the same time.
Suns need to get a top 3 pick
NBA Free Agency
Kevin Durant goes to Knicks
Klay Thompson goes to Lakers
Kawhi Leonard goes to Clippers
Draymond Green goes to Clippers
Demarcus Cousins reigns with Warriors
Kyrie Irving goes to Knicks
Jimmy Butler Resigns with Philly
Kemba Walker goes to Phoenix
Harrison Barnes goes to Golden State
Tobias Harris goes to Golden State
Celtics obtain Anthony Davis for Hayward, Brown, and picks.
Steph: Everyone leaves him and he’s now got to lead a team getting built from scratch.
Durant: He now joins the Knicks who haven’t won a championship since before he was born. If he leads them to the promise land everyone will quickly forget about him hopping on GS bandwagon.
Kyrie: Joins Durant after not wanting to play with Lebron, media frenzy makes Knicks, Lakers a hyped match-up and rivalry.
Klay: Takes the money and bright stars of LA that will surely make him into a bigger star then he is now being the 3rd banana on an all-time great team.
Davis: Finally in a winning situation with a young star beside him, playing for the Celtics making them even more relevant than they already are. Plus he would be following KD out east making the talent gap lessen.
Kawhi/Draymond: These two DPOY wings teaming up in LA to try and overshadow Lebron with what would be the best defensive team in the entire league. Bringing some real grit to the baby brother of the Lakers.
Barnes/Harris: With Draymond, Klay, and KD out of GS they will have money to spend and be looking to keep talent around Steph Curry. Barnes their SF prior to Kevin Durant and Harris would be nice additions to the Warriors style of play in absence of major pieces.
Outlook: With a lineup of Prozingis and Durant they will be blocking shots and hoisting 3’s from seemingly everywhere and out of nowhere. Top that off with young talent in Knox and surprise rookie Alonzo Trier and a possible off-season accusation of Kyrie Irving, the Knicks can go from laughing stock to cream of the crop in one summer. Will Kyrie leave Boston? Will KD choose to build something on his own in NY, or go to LA with Bron and the stars?
Klay Thompson; Josh Hart
Lebron James; Brandon Ingram
Outlook: With the addition of Klay Thompson I doubt the Lakers wouldn’t go all in on Anthony Davis and trade off Kuzma, Ingram, and Hart to beat out the Celtics. But with the recent defensive surge of Lonzo Ball and the way him and LeBron seem to be feeding off each other, it’ll be safe to assume if they miss out on KD this is the Lakers best option to fix their offensive issues without getting Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant like Lakers fans are wanting, which lets face it would just be a worse version of the warriors.
Outlook: Kyrie Irving likely won’t be offered a max contract by Boston unless he plays a little better than he has to start the season. With that said if they let him walk I’d expect them to pull the plug and ship away draft picks, a key young player and Gordon Hayward in an attempt to build a contender around Tatum and Davis. Resigning Horford on a cheaper deal will also be key in this, but this Celtics team would be vying with the Clippers for best defense in the league.
Outlook: With no real additions on my list or to be made I expect the Rockets to be middle of the West but a formidable team with former MVP James Harden. They aren’t off to a hot stretch through 20 games to start this year but I expect them to still be one of the best 6-10 teams for the next 2-3 years.
Outlook: They lose Davis in this scenario but gain Hayward and Brown to wings that they would have locked up for at least the next 2-3 years and more if they keep Brown’s rights. The team also has Randle who they would have to resign but assuming they do they have 2 solid post players to make up for the absence of Davis’ minutes. The addition of the wings however if Hayward can start returning to form would make this team better than they are currently constructed.
Avery Bradley; Lou Williams
Outlook: If they could not only convince Kawhi to join their team, (a team that through 20 games is one of the best defensive teams in the entire NBA) but convince Draymond to leave the 3 time (most likely 4 time) champion Warriors, they would be the best defensive team in the NBA and stout 1-4 on the defensive end. This would make the Clippers one of the more unique teams in this NBA, being built around defense.
Outlook: Another team that stands pat, but gets better simply because their core is young and getting better every year. They are also long with the ability to switch multiple positions and are in the midst of their best shooting stretch from deep in the history of their franchise. Middleton is a stud and resigning him this summer will be huge for the Bucks because if the Lakers lose out on other players they could be looking at his direction.
Outlook: Resigning Jimmy Butler will be huge for the 76ers, fresh off what I expect to be a finals appearance they will need to essentially stand pat and attempt to add a shooter around them. If Cousins isn’t healthy or somehow the Warriors aren’t in the finals or aren’t 100% in the Finals this team has a real chance to be the NBA champion this season. Philly Philly.
Outlook: Adding Barnes who has a member of the warriors 73 win warriors squad as well as bringing in Harris to replace Draymond, the Warriors are losing 2 All-Time offensive talents in this scenario, but are making up for it by the shooting increase Harris would provide over Draymond. This scenario also hinges on Cousins resigning and being good.
That would make the NBA 8 teams deep, 4 in each conference that arguably all have almost equal chance to win, with teams like the Suns on the rise with young talent.
If Suns get a top 3 draft pick and can land Zion Williamson in addition to landing Kemba.
Outlook: If they get yet another top 3 pick, which is very likely given their record yet again this season, they will be able to Pick Zion Willaimson or one of the other top prospects coming into the league. But for sake of this article lets assume they get Zion. Then an addition of Kemba who has been on a hot shooting tear to add to a back-court featuring Devin Booker would move the Suns from the bottom of the West to the Top 4-5 teams out West, making the city of Phoenix even hotter.
If all of these things take place who would you vote to win the NBA title in 2019-2020?