The NBA offseason was wild during the first two weeks but, the activity slowed down in a major way when the calendar flipped to August.
With all the drama built up during the 2021-22 season, almost every fan was looking forward to some major deals happening. As the season ended, some tensions were going around the association. Speculation regarding certain players and teams began to circulate in NBA communities. I’m not going to lie, I was expecting some heavy-hitting headlines as well.
With how things have been quiet around the league lately, it’s safe to assume that there won’t be any big moves any time soon. However, with training camp for all 30 NBA teams set to start in late September, here are five storylines we all should pay close attention to over the next month.
Donovan Mitchell’s future with the Utah Jazz is uncertain
The Utah Jazz trading away Rudy Gobert was one of the biggest moves this summer. Although his chemistry with Donovan Mitchell was already in question during the season, no one expected the Jazz to trade Gobert for a bunch of role players.
Additionally, Jazz executive Danny Ainge has made it known that they are open to trading three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell. His dynamic with the team and the front office will be watched closely by many, including the New York Knicks.
The Los Angeles Clippers will make a strong comeback
Last season, the Clippers struggled a lot due to injuries to their key players. Paul George was limited to 31 games last season due to his elbow injury. Also, Kawhi Leonard didn’t play a single game during their last campaign as he spent a huge amount of time rehabbing from his ACL injury.
The Clippers also made some key moves during the offseason. Signing veteran guard John Wall is an indication that the Clippers are serious about gunning for the title. Despite his injury issues, acquiring a veteran point guard was a necessity for th Clippers.
The New Orleans Pelicans are expecting a lot from Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 NBA season after suffering a broken foot before the start of the 2021 Summer League games. He was flooded with criticism from fans and the media for his inability to stay healthy.
Recently, there has been footage of him playing basketball with kids at his camp with ease. It’s a good sign for the Pelicans they are relying on him to be their leader. Although they did make the playoffs without him, the Pelicans still need Williamson’s presence. Additionally, Williamson recently signed a five-year $184 million extension with organization. Showing the player and team’s long-term commitment to each other is the first step after some tremendous success from Williamson in limited playing time since the Pels made him the No. 1 pick back in 2019.
Another challenging season awaits the Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers had a very disappointing outing last season. Their defensive inconsistencies and chemistry issues made them the laughing stock of the NBA. Additionally, Russell Westbrook is still on the roster, and his fit with the Lakers isn’t the best.
All eyes are on the Lakers as they try to will their way back into participating in the postseason. Also, Westbrook’s second season with the Lakers might be short-lived as they are still very mich in the running for a Kyrie Irving trade.
How will the Brooklyn Nets handle Kevin Durant’s agenda?
The Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant shook the entire league at the beginning of free agency as the 12-time All-Star demanded a trade out of Brooklyn. However, because of how picky the Nets are, nothing has sizeable happened yet. By the looks of it, Durant might start the 2022-23 season as a player for the Nets. Plus, the ultimatum Durant gave Nets owner Joe Tsai backfired against him.
Shortly after making his demands, Tsai made it known that he’s siding with the Nets’ general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash. Will they be able to work things out in training camp or start the season with a soured relationship?