For the first time in several seasons, there is uncertainty surrounding the Golden State Warriors.
The team once again cruised to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference last season before reaching the NBA Finals for the fifth straight year. With the most talented roster in the sport, the squad appeared destined to win a third straight title and fourth in five years.
However, the Toronto Raptors won the championship in six games as Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant suffered major injuries. Durant then left in free agency, while core rotation players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston were shipped out.
There is still a lot of talent on the roster between Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell, but there are more question marks with this squad than we have seen in some time.
It could lead to a wild ride in the team's first season at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Season Opener: Oct. 24 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Championship Odds: 9-1 (via Caesars)
Full Schedule: NBA.com
Los Angeles Lakers (First Game: Nov. 13)
There was a lot of hype for the Los Angeles Lakers going into last season after signing LeBron James, but this year should be different.
First and foremost, the addition of Anthony Davis provides the team with a superstar in his prime who can win games by himself. The Warriors don't have anyone who can stop him on their own, which could create some problems in this matchup.
James should also be healthy after missing 27 games last season, and the contributions from the two stars and players like Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green should make the Lakers a top title contender this season.
Games against the Lakers could serve as an early measuring stick for the Warriors as they try to remain a top contender in 2019-20.
DeMarcus Cousins and Quinn Cook returning to face this team could also add a level of intrigue going forward.
Los Angeles Clippers (First Game: Oct. 24)
The Warriors have gone into each of the past few seasons as the overwhelming title favorite, but now the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the favorite.
The Clippers gave Golden State plenty of problems during the first round of the playoffs last year, winning two games behind Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley. The Warriors also had Durant and Thompson at the time and still needed six games to advance.
This would be a big enough shift on its own to create some concern, but the Clippers won the offseason by landing Kawhi Leonard in free agency. This is the player who just won NBA Finals MVP with his 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game against the Warriors and now has a lot more talent around him.
With Paul George, who finished third in MVP voting last season, also in the fold as an upgrade over Danilo Gallinari, the Clippers could be unstoppable.
Considering the team's ability to dominate on both ends of the court, this squad will be scary all season.
The games against Los Angeles will either be a wake-up call for the Warriors or a sign that they are still as good as they have been in recent seasons.
Even with all the losses this offseason and Thompson's long recovery from a torn ACL, the Warriors should be elite offensively.
Curry is still a star who averaged 27.3 points per game last year even while sharing touches with Durant. With a higher usage rate, the guard should resemble the player he was when he won two MVP awards and could once again challenge for a scoring title.
As long as Russell stays with the team, he should be an ideal fit next to Curry as someone who can both knock down shots consistently and create opportunities for others.
The team will need more out of Green than what he showed last season, but his effort during the playoffs (13.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game) proved he can still be a game-changing weapon.
Of course, there are legitimate question marks on the defensive end. Between Durant, Thompson and Iguodala, the Warriors have lost their three best perimeter defenders, while Curry and Russell have been more inconsistent on that end.
Adding in the fact the Clippers, Lakers, Rockets and Jazz have made significant improvements in the offseason while the Nuggets and Trail Blazers should remain tough, surviving the West will be a serious challenge in 2019-20.
Record Prediction: 50-32