Despite the recent surge in COVID-19 breakthrough cases, the expectation around the NBA is that things will return roughly to normal for the 2021/22 season, writes ESPN’s Tim Bontemps in his offseason roundup.
Bontemps polled 10 executives and scouts on some of the most pressing questions of the offseason, such as who the best player will be this season (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant tied for first), the best moves of the offseason (the Heat signing Kyle Lowry won out over the Magic drafting Jalen Suggs and the Wizards getting off Russell Westbrook‘s contract), the worst moves (DeMar DeRozan‘s signing with the Bulls), and others.
The executives also gave their thoughts on why fewer teams seem to be tanking this season and who should be considered the favorites to win the title.
We have more news from around the world of hoops:
- 2022 was at one point considered a loaded free agency class, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link), but after the most recent round of extensions, the big names have been whittled down to Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine. Marks predicts some, if not all of Josh Richardson, Aaron Gordon, Jalen Brunson, Tyus Jones and Mitchell Robinson will sign extensions before the season starts and quotes a Western Conference executive who says that due to scarcity of stars on the market, he expects the regular season trade scene to be extremely active. Marks also breaks down the teams who have or could have cap space next summer.
- 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion Jeremy Evans, who spent five seasons with the Jazz and two more with the Mavs and Hawks, has signed with the Greek team Panathinaikos, according to Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link).
- JD Shaw also tweets that former Raptor Lucas “Bebé” Nogueira, who was picked just one spot after Antetokounmpo in the 2013 draft, has come out of retirement to play for Sao Paolo in his home country of Brazil. As Shaw notes, Nogueira had announced his retirement in February.