NBA season kicks off: what have the teams been up to?
Since the 2021/22 season ended, NBA teams have been busy trading players and in some cases even entire squads between each other. There are the likes of Utah Jazz who have a whole new roster for the season, but there are some who stayed true to the existing line-up. Either way, the start of the season looks promising.
Finally, no more injuries
One of the biggest disappointments last season was Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers), who missed the entire 21/22 season due to torn ACL. The Clippers were overall rather injury-ridden as the other star, Paul George, only managed 31 games in the 21/22 season due to an injured elbow. And then of course, there is Zion Williamson (Pelicans) who also missed last season with a foot injury.
Luckily, this season’s outlook is bright, as the guys are back in good health. The Clippers have brought on John Wall, who has had to overcome many difficulties, but now can look to the bright LA sun for positive vibes and a chance at redemption. On the other hand, Williamson has said have lost some extra weight and now is moving up and down the court like a panther. The 22-year-old big man was fast before, so one can imagine what will happen this season. Maybe we’ll see something that was previously possible only in the early days of NBA video games.
The Great Disembarkment – also known as the Utah Jazz
The transfer season’s biggest domino has to be Utah Jazz, who decided to swap out most of their squad. This has produced one of the biggest cry-baby seasons, as fans are desperate to see a positive start to the season, after Donovan Mitchel, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert left the team. Minnesota, who now have Gobert, can finally consider themselves to be a “real” team and his teammate K.A. Towns has high hopes of at last achieving something big.
Talking about the Wolves, they have stretched their budget and line-up relatively thin, as the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, and K.A. Towns are not playing for pennies. The blockbuster deal saw five players leaving: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Jared Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and Walker Kessler as well as many future first-round draft picks.
Jazz also went back and forth with the Brooklyn Nets, where they received another first-round pick in return for Royce O’Neal. This time in the 2023 draft. The rebuild in Utah has begun and others should be somewhat concerned.
Keep an eye out for Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs have decided to bring on a new superstar, who would become the team’s backbone. We’re talking about none other than Donovan Mitchell who was traded in from the Jazz. In return for the fast and nifty PG (who can also play as SG), the Cavs parted ways with Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji. In addition, the Jazz acquired Cleveland’s unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027, and 2029, plus pick swaps in 2026 and 2028.
The Jazz also traded with the LA Lakers, where the team from Salt Lake City acquired Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. In return, the Lakers now have a defensive superstar Patrick Beverley, who is content to play for one of the NBA’s most popular teams, even if won’t be in the starting five ahead of Russell Westbrook.
Overall, it’ll be interesting to see how the Lakers, Oklahoma, and the Cavs start the season. On paper, it looks promising, but only time will tell how the super-duos of Embiid-Harden and Durant-Irving fare.
NY Knicks x Detroit Pistons
Obviously, these are by far the only trades done during the off-season. One of the bigger moves is considered to be the Pistons-Knicks trade, where the former gained the big-man Nerlens Noel and shooting guard Alec Burks. Also the 2023 and 2024 second-round draft picks on top of that. Knicks in return received playmaker Nikola Radicevic and the 2025 second-round draft pick.
Pacers x Celtics
Then we have the widely covered trade between the Pacers and the Celtics, where the latter had their eyes on the prize – Malcolm Brogdon. The in-form point guard displayed impressive numbers during the 2021/22 season, where he shot 50/40/90 or in layman’s terms – 50% accuracy for 2-pointers, 40% for 3-pointers and a confident 90% from the free-throw line. Last time we saw these types of numbers with Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry himself.
Celtics x coaches
Everything looked fine and dandy for the Boston team. Tatum and Brown are eager to go one better this time around and claim their Championship rings. Plus now they have Malcolm Brogdon beside them. But. Yes, there’s always a but. Turned out coach Ime Udoka has been getting freaky with a female colleague. And this is a big no-no. So Udoka will not be leading the Celtics this year.
However, the drama hasn’t settled just yet. Their new coach, Joe Mazzulla has also stirred up some controversy as the media has found some skeletons from his past such as drunk driving and misbehaviors at bars. We’ll need to wait and see, how this all affects the Celtics squad.
Sacramento Kings x Atlanta Hawks
The beginning of June saw a Kings-Hawks trade take place, where the former wanted Kevin Huerter on their side. In return, the Hawks received two small forwards – Justin Holiday and Mo Harkless. The Hawks also successfully hunted down playmaker Dejounte Murray and Jock Landale from San Antonio Spurs, who agreed with the deal by getting Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks.
More precisely, Houston Rockets x Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs now have Christian Wood and the Rockets will add Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, and 26th overall pick Wendell Moore. This means Dallas star Luka Doncic gets another talented option to surround himself with next season.
Denver Nuggets x Washington Wizards
A rare, straightforward trade this time: 2 vs 2. The Nuggets got the veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith. The Wizards got Monte Morris and Will Barton. Yep, that’s about it.
Sixers x Grizzlies
The last bigger off-season trade happened between the Sixers and the Grizzlies, where the latter was determined to add role players, who could support Ja Morant in both offense and defense. This culminated in bringing on Danny Green and David Roddy from the Sixers. The other way went De’Anthony Melton.
Overall, a more even setup
The 2022/23 season looks somewhat more evenly distributed than what we’re used to seeing. Fingers crossed for avoiding injuries and keeping a cool head. With each team having its own go-to star, will this season be determined by role players? Either way, the air is thick with anticipation.
The NBA season will tip off on Oct 19th, with the pre-season matches already underway.