Taking a Look Forward to the New Year
With the year quickly coming to a close and 2018 fast approaching, there is still a ton of basketball left to be played this season – and of course, we have to get a little bit ahead of ourselves!
Why not? Predictions are always fun – especially some bold ones – after all, they’re not dumb if you have a logical thought process behind it. If I can say so myself, there is a logical thought process behind just about everything I say. So that being said, let’s get right into it because 2018 shall soon be here!
Here are BallnRoll’s five bold predictions for 2018!
5. Despite Injury, Michael Porter Taken First Overall in 2018 NBA Draft
Starting off with a player who hasn’t even played an NBA game – hasn’t played a single college game either for that matter.
While the likes of Mo Bamba and Trae Young are already tearing up the NBA, and LiAngelo Ball will undoubtedly be a superstar in Lithuania or wherever, Porter may very well be a future superstar. With some comparing him to Kevin Durant, Porter has elite athleticism for his 6’10” frame and a shooting touch reminiscent of the Golden State Warriors star.
A gamble may just pay off!
4. All-Star Game will Feature Many New Faces
The NBA youth movement is in full force and come the 2018 All-Star Game, many first-timers will be headlining the rosters of some of the game’s best players.
Out of the East, the likes of Kristaps Porzingis, Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, and even rookie sensation Ben Simmons will get their chance to shine, while over from the West, Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Jokic will receive their first of many All-Star selections .
3. Cleveland Cavaliers Find a Suitable Back-up for Isaiah Thomas, not named Derrick Rose
It seems like Isaiah Thomas’ return is all but imminent at this point, and while Jose Calderon has done all he could while the star guard has been out rehabbing his hip injury, he has been a liability on both ends of the floor – primarily defensively.
With the issues that Thomas will bring to the defensive side of the ball, the Cavaliers will need someone who could provide them with good minutes off the bench. Of course Derrick Rose may come back sometime, but he doesn’t present a good fit to the second unit with his lack of shooting ability, meaning the Cavaliers will need to look at exterior sources.
Maybe a Tyreke Evans?
2. Trade Deadline Turns Wild
The NBA hierarchy of teams is just about set, so it doesn’t take an NBA general manager with a fancy business degree from a fancy institution to realize at what stage his team is at. Clearly, there are teams in the league who need to hit the reset button and as the 2018 Trade Deadline approaches, general managers will be pulling the trigger.
DeAndre Jordan, Nerlens Noel, and Marc Gasol have already been involved in trade rumours. Before the February trade deadline, they will get the hook and will be sent to new homes. An interesting player to watch is Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets. The impending free agent has been a key piece in a dysfunctional Hornets organization and for Michael Jordan and his staff, the time to move on is now. The Hornets had something a couple years back when they won 48-games, but since then, they have brought in cheap, veteran pieces who weren’t ideal fits, sending the team right back down to the Eastern Conference cellar.
It’s time to sell!
1. LeBron James Wins 5th MVP Award
The best player on the planning winning the MVP? So bold, right?
Well, here’s the thing. James could have had 10 MVP-trophies hanging out in his house by now, but his greatness has been taken for granted for years. James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have all been making strong cases for the award, but this regular season will be all about The King – and he will reclaim his prize for a 5th time in his career.