Once Upon a Dime: The NBA's Top 10 Storylines for the 2009-10 Season
This past offseason has been an enormous one for the top teams in the National Basketball Association. Big name players were acquired in trades or free agent signings. Each team aiming for the NBA Championship and that actually has a shot, has gotten better.
In some cases, close friends of teammates were lost, but new doors opened as they welcomed in other players that will be key to the run at the Finals.
Last season was like a dramatic first part of a movie, this season will be the sequel.
So many storylines will be a part of this second showing that will keep fans on the edge of their seats.
These are the ten worthy stories that you should keep on eye on for the second showing of what looks like one of the best seasons ever...
Honorable Mention: How will Andre Miller change the Blazers?
10. Wizards: a top team in East
This Washington team has always had talent, but lingering injures held them back from their full potential. If they remain healthy this season, which I think they actually will, they could easily be the fourth best team in the East.
Gilbert Arenas is a top player in the league when he is 100 percent healthy. Caron Butler is one of the more underrated players in the league and has improved drastically from his earlier years.
Antwan Jamison is always capable of a big night. Not to mention, they have playoff experience and have added some nice young guards in the offseason. The Wizards will be a force this year.
9. Sophomore class rising
The top players from this draft class is Derrick Rose and OJ Mayo. Both of them will elevate their statuses even higher this season. Rose went nuts in the playoffs and will carry his momentum into this season. With the loss of Ben Gordon, he will also be relied on more to score.
Mayo will become a scoring machine while working on other aspects of his game such as defense. He will establish himself as the face of the Grizzlies franchise. The two surprises of this class are Brook Lopez and Anthony Randolph.
Lopez will be the second option on the team without Vince Carter. Randolph will emerge as a star himself and as the third best player from this class, ahead of Lopez and Michael Beasley.
8. Rookies not as bad as advertised
This year, people were hating on the draft class. They said no one will be an all-star besides Blake Griffin which is false. This class has many other studs such as Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, James Harden, and more.
Evans could be as good as Griffin and could possibly go down as the best player in this draft class once his shot improves. Curry will be good depending on how much Don Nelson plays him. James Harden will be a key factor to the young Oklahoma City Thunder who will make noise in the future.
7. Finally All-Stars
There's been a few players in this league that have never been named an all-star, and it's unbelievable when you watch them play.
Some of those players are Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, and Al Jefferson. All three of these players will be all-stars this upcoming season. They are all young and have improved every year they have been in the league.
Unless someone emerges out of nowhere, it's safe to say that these three guys will all be all-stars for the first time in their careers this season.
6. Spurs are not done, yet
It looked like the San Antonio Spurs were done being a top team in the league. Injures and age were starting to take over. The lack of depth hurt as well. When people were starting to give up on them, they made a great move to get Richard Jefferson from the Bucks.
Not only did they keep Roger Mason Jr., but they added a legit scoring option and capable defender in Jefferson. He also has lots of playoff experience with the Nets.
5. KG guarantees the title
Maybe the injury got to Garnett's head, but he guaranteed back-to-back championships for the next two seasons.
"I talked to [Garnett] and he guaranteed the championship in 2010 and in 2011," Wyc Grousbeck said. "He was as fired up as he's ever been." [quote from the Boston Globe]
Last offseason, Paul Pierce claimed he was the best player in the league. This offseason, Garnett guaranteed back-to-back championships. What's next, Rajon Rondo calling himself the best point guard in the league?
4. Vinsanity will help Magic more than Hedo
One of the more controversial moves of this past offseason was the Magic trading for Vince Carter. Because of this and money, Hedo Turkoglu left the team for the Raptors. Experts are saying that this deal was bad for Orlando. They are wrong.
Carter is a better passer than Turkoglu and at times played point guard for the Nets when Devin Harris was on the bench. Carter is motivated right now and will play at the top of his game. He has also never played with a big man of Dwight Howard's caliber. It will benefit both of them greatly.
3. Finals: Shaq and LeBron vs. Kobe?
This seems like the Finals that every NBA fan would want. Not only is it the two best players in the league against each other, but another rivalry is in it as well.
Most fans seem to not care about Shaq vs. Kobe as much anymore, but it will certainly make things much more intriguing seeing O'Neal and Bryant facing off on the grand stage of the basketball world. Not only that, but the two best players in the league will collide too.
This could go down as the greatest Finals of all-time if it actually went down.
2. Will the Lakers repeat?
Most teams in the Championship hunt got better, including the champions themselves. They lost a vital part of their team in Trevor Ariza, but gained arguably the best defender and toughest player in the league in Ron Artest.
Not only that, but the Lakers were able to re-sign Lamar Odom who was causing some drama during the contract negotiations. Andrew Bynum should be 100 percent healthy this season and continue to improve. Pau Gasol showed that is isn't soft anymore during the Finals against Dwight and the Magic.
Kobe is still the best player in the game and Fisher will be clutch as usual. The question is, will they have the same fire that they had last season, this season?
1. Is the King going to remain a Cavalier? Who else will leave?
The big talk of the league has been whether or not LeBron James will remain with Cleveland or will he sign with New York, New Jersey, or perhaps another team. The Knicks have been doing everything so they could build their roster in a way where they can acquire the Chosen One.
James has said he wants to stay in Cleveland, but he also said he wants to explore his options. We will have to keep a close eye on this situation.
Dwyane Wade is also a free agent. He already said he will leave the Heat if they don't build a championship contender. Chris Bosh has been rumored to want to leave Toronto for a while now. With the Heat and Raptors just mediocre teams, it seems likely that Wade and Bosh would leave.
If they do leave, will they sign with the same team and make that team a powerhouse? Stay tuned for my article next offseason and you could possibly see these three players in different jerseys and even more excitement in the best professional sports league, the NBA: “Where Amazing Happens.”
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