This NBA off-season has memorable as the association has flipped, since the start of the new league year. The Lakers and Clippers have seemingly put themselves in the driver’s seat to win next year’s NBA Championship. With that being said, here are 3 teams that could be surprise championship contenders in the NBA next year:
- Indiana Pacers – The additions of Malcolm Brogdon, TJ Warren, and Jeremy Lamb provide Victor Oladipo additional scoring help. The Pacers also have 2 young and talent centers in Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. If needed, the Pacers are in position to trade one of these players to help add another piece at next year’s trade deadline
- Utah Jazz – The Utah Jazz added a dynamic veteran point guard in Mike Conley. The Jazz also added Bojan Bogdanović, which along with Conley, vastly improves the Utah’s offense. These moves also take pressure off of Donovan Mitchell, who is one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. Combine these moves with Ruby Gobert, one of the best defensive players in the NBA and you get a Utah team that has the potential to be dangerous come next year’s playoffs.
- Portland Trail Blazers – One may think that a team that was just in the Western Conference Finals may not be an underdog, however, Portland has quickly become an afterthought after this off-season. This however, shouldn’t be the case as the Blazers match-up well against most teams in the west. The combination of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is arguably the best pair of guards in the west, with the caveat of being an ACL injury keeping Klay Thompson out for the foreseeable future. The Trail Blazers also possess the contract of Hassan Whiteside, which is an important expiring deal. With a salary just north of 27 Million, it makes a trade for an expensive player possible. Portland could find themselves in position to trade Whiteside and assets to get their missing piece.
More than any time in recent memory, the NBA has become a wide open league, which makes any team willing to take a risk, just one move away from a NBA Championship.
Which team do you think will surprise the NBA as a championship contender?