Story-lines to follow this NBA season

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Story-lines to follow this NBA season

Ethan Curtis

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With the NBA season on the cusp of returning, there are a few things that need to be looked out for in an attempt to recreate the madness that happened last season.

The Golden State Warriors

The biggest offseason move was small forward Kevin Durant’s departure with the Oklahoma City Thunder and signing with the Golden State Warriors. Durant is a seven time All-Star with six All-NBA selections and was named the 2014 MVP. He and former teammate Russell Westbrook created one of the league’s best duos and it seemed it was going to stay that way for years to come.

Durant now joins the team that knocked him out of the playoffs last year as he uses the “if you can’t be em, join em” tactic. With this acquisition, the Warriors look to beat their regular season record (setting the NBA regular season wins record) from last year.

Wade’s Return Home

Another move that shook the basketball world was shooting guard Dwyane Wade’s decision to go back to his hometown Chicago. Wade spent his entire 13-year career with the Miami Heat as he helped the team win three championships. He now joins forces with emerging star Jimmy Butler and newly acquired point guard Rajon Rondo to form one of the NBA’s best frontcourts as the Bulls attempt to keep pace with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

The Youth Movement

We are now in year five of the lackluster Philadelphia 76ers team but this may be the year that the team puts out a competitive squad. Having had a pick in the top three of the draft for three consecutive years, this may be the turning point. The team has a healthy Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor who’s coming off a strong rookie season, and possibly the most NBA-ready prospect coming out of the draft in Ben Simmons who will be out for a few months with a foot injury.

Another team that looks to be on the rise in terms of youth is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves have the most promising core in the NBA. The team has a productive point guard in Ricky Rubio and used the number five overall pick in this year’s draft on shooting guard Kris Dunn who led his college team, Providence, to one of its most successful season in years. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Timberwolves have the last two Rookie of the Year winners, one of which is Karl-Anthony Towns who is drawing comparisons to some the league’s greatest centers. This team looks as if they’ll be competitive this year and will be a team to look out at for years to come.

Other Notable Offseason Moves

  • C.J. McCollum signs four year $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trailblazers
  • Andre Drummond signs five year $130 million contract extension with the Detroit Pistons.
  • DeMar DeRozan signs five year $139 million contract extension with the Toronto Raptors.
  • Dwight Howard signs three year $70.5 million deal with Atlanta Hawks.
  • Tim Duncan retires after 19 seasons.
  • Hassan Whiteside signs four year $98 million contract extension with the Miami Heat.
  • Derrick Rose traded to the New York Knicks.