NBA has announced that the season will restart on December 22, 2020. The newly crowned champions, the Los Angeles Lakers will most likely be the favorites in winning it all again. Although some fans except the finals MVP, Lebron James, to not play all games in the first month as he still needs time to recover his body. He is already 35 years old and playing in his 17th season. One of Lebron’s best asset is his conditioning, he spends millions of dollars every year for his body to remain in peak shape.
Although it is very likely that Lakers roster will change as their point guard Rajon Rondo is opting out of his contract and will try free agency. Derrick Rose is one of the likely substitutes for Rajon Rondo. Rose’s wife has also shown interest in playing with the Lakers since she posted in a social media of Rose wearing a Lakers jersey. Rose who is a former season MVP is yet to get a ring in his resume. Chris Paul is another name that has been rumored. Paul is a close friend of Lebron, so it would be favorable to acquire him as it builds chemistry. The other rumor that is more reliable is a Demar DeRozan trade in which the team will give up Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma. DeRozan, who faced Lebron in the East finals might have a chance to play with him and win a ring.
Even though the Lakers are the favorites, it is not yet a guaranteed ring for them. The Golden State Warriors’ star, Curry and Thompson have recovered and are about to play. The Warriors are also getting the second draft pick which might acquire another young star that could help the team get even better. The Houston Rockets are now in chaos due to Westbrook not wanting to play with James Harden. Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks have a young core that will surely be better coming to the season. Luka Doncic, Jamal Murray, and Nikola Jokic just keep getting better. It would not be an easy route for the Lakers but they will be the favorites in terms of betting odds.
In the East Side of the NBA, it is more difficult to predict since the teams are not consistent. Who could have predicted that the Miami Heat would have gone to the Finals instead of Bucks, Boston, and 76ers. The Miami Heat showed great team chemistry and their young stars stepped up. Jimmy Butler has shown to be a legit all-star player that can bring his team to the Finals. The reigning seasons MVP and Defensive Player of the Year are still thinking if he should stay or change teams. Another favorite to win East is the Brooklyn Nets, if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will play. Both superstars have the potential to carry their team and win it all. Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors also have the chance to get better.
NBA was forced to start earlier than expected due to the organization losing money. It is also worth noting that the season will have fewer games than usual to compensate for the date. Had the pandemic not happen, we would have a different timeline.