Sports

Preview of the 2021-22 NBA Season

Manny Bezabeh  ’22

Contributor

Across the league, the NBA has been significantly altered by trades and free agent signings during the off-season. With big names such as DeMar DeRozan, Russell Westbrook, and Kyle Lowry all on new teams, many questions are triggered. Will the Los Angeles Lakers redeem themselves after their embarrassing playoffs last year? Will the Chicago Bulls return to their glory days with the marquee additions to their roster? These trades, free agency signings, and eventual injuries will immensely impact teams this season.

The Los Angeles Clippers are entering this season without their superstar forward, Kawhi Leonard, out with a torn ACL. Despite Leonard’s absence, the Clippers should be fine with players like Terence Mann, Ivica Zubac, and Luke Kennard. They have shown great promise at a young age and are poised to take a leap forward this season. Seven-time all-star Paul George, leading the pack, will have plenty of help from talented veterans in Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson, and newly-acquired Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers will surprise everyone this year, and if Leonard can make a return in time for the playoffs, they may well win it all.  

The Los Angeles Lakers did not mess around this off-season. After acquiring superstar guard Russel Westbrook (32, turning 33 in November), the Lakers have made it clear that their ambitions are set on winning, especially as Lebron James (37 in December) enters the final years of his career. Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka prioritized surrounding the Lakers big three of  Anthony Davis, James and Westbrook with experienced veteran players Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, and Carmelo Anthony. If superstar players like Davis and James remain healthy, the Lakers are in a prime situation to win 

The Chicago Bulls shocked the NBA world when they reported adding DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball to their star-studded roster. Additionally, they picked up key free agents like Alex Caruso and Derrick Jones Jr. to strengthen their bench. The Bulls have one of the more talented teams in the NBA. The only concern for them is that they still lack a superstar-caliber player to lead them to an NBA championship. They will be an interesting team to watch this season, but a championship may be out of reach. 

DeRozan’s former teammate Kyle Lowry took his talents to South Beach in the off-season, joining Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo on the Miami Heat. In the last season, the Heat were decimated by the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. The Miami team will be determined and motivated to prove their doubters wrong. Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Victor Oladipo will also play a pivotal role in the team’s success. The Heat’s team is a serious contender to win the championship. The upcoming NBA season will most definitely be an interesting one to watch, with a handful of teams who bolstered their rosters with talent and depth ready to start their quest for the 2022 NBA championship.

Photo Credit: NBA